Executive Committee (EXEC)
The Executive Committee is the leading body of the organisation on an internal level. The EHF Executive meets on a quarterly basis.
When I look back on the year in sport, both on and off the court, the realm of European handball has remained active and dynamic. We continue to take significant steps forward in the areas of competition and sport governance. The intensity of cooperation never ceases to amaze me… so many people on so many levels are very willing to contribute to the advancement of handball. Proving the adage that together, we are stronger.”
Arne Elovsson – EHF Vice President
The Executive Committee is proud to look back on a year that saw the culmination of a few long-term projects, which included the reformation of Younger Age Category competitions, the introduction of a new style in the men’s Champions League, and the successful expansion into new media markets. Relationships with our partners have been tended and are now stronger; the commitment of the EHF to transparent communication and working practices did benefit the organisation in 2015 as existing agreements of cooperation were extended and new associations were cemented.
The members of the Executive Committee, together with the professional staff, have yet another year of intense activity ahead. The members will continue to work closely with their delegated partners i.e. IMGA, USPE, ISF, EUSA, and EYOF, as well as representing the EHF at various events. The highlight of the year will be celebrating 25 years of the European Handball Federation in November 2016; in the same period, an election congress will also take place; 2016 will be a year of renewal in more ways than one.
Competitions Commission (CC)
The Competitions Commission oversees the organisation and development of the EHF club and national team competitions for men and women as well as all matters of officiating.
The Competitions Commission remains dedicated to moving the club and national team events forward. We are fortunate to have the optimum mix of expertise and experience within this strategic group. Our successes are easily measured on the court as handball continues to reach more people on a global scale, and more teams and national federations are eager to be part of and host our competitions. We look forward to the future.
Leopold Kalin – Chairman
The Competitions Commission brought a number of projects to fruition in 2015; the new look of the Younger Age Category competitions was definitively determined, the second edition of the Women’s EHF FINAL4 was successfully held in Budapest, Hungary. On the level of the VELUX EHF Champions League with the current season ongoing, we saw the competition expand from 24 to 28 teams split over four groups. On a management level, the Competitions Commission welcomed a new member – a stakeholder representative – to bring input and feedback between the commission and the handball clubs of Europe.
On a national team level, the Men’s 18 and Men’s 20 EHF EURO as well as the corresponding European Championships will debut in the summer of 2016. The seventh edition of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 will be staged in Cologne, and the Women’s EHF FINAL4 will return to Budapest. With over twenty national and club team competitions in 2016 in addition to the Olympic Games in Brazil, the spectacular EHF EURO 2016 in Poland will be the first of all these activities and the crowning glory -the women’s EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden will provide the finishing touch to a year that is set to be unforgettable.
Methods Commission (MC)
The Methods Commission lends focus to coaching and technical matters, education and training in cooperation with EHF CAN (Competence Academy & Network); development of European handball at the grassroots level is supported through various programmes.
The technical game is multifaceted and educating the protagonists – the coaches, managers, and officiators – is instrumental to the game as a whole. In 2015, we were able to oversee several courses and symposiums, the highlight of which was the 3rd EHF Scientific Conference that focused on medical aspects in handball. Ultimately, our vision is to ensure that handball remains accessible to all, so being able to organise another wheelchair handball event in 2015 was an excellent result for the Methods Commission. Cooperation with universities and competent external partners seems to be more important than ever.”
Jerzy Eliasz – Chairman
In 2015, the Methods Commission finalised a new web application and uploaded a wealth of teaching materials to the EHF activities portal in addition to the documentation and quantitative analyses from the courses and events that were organised in 2015. The second edition of the Young Coaches Workshop, which saw fourteen participants registered, was a success. New development agreements were signed with the national federations of France, Belgium, Lithuania, and Estonia among others. In early December, the MC saw the 2nd Wheels on Fire Tournament take place in St. Pölten, Austria with national teams from Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden take part. The Methods Commission also completed the exploration analysis into the 1.5 ball size project and the overall report was submitted to the International Handball Federation.
In addition to continuing with the familiar Foster, SMART, and development aid programmes, several National Master Coach and Licensing Course will be held in Spain/Portugal, Serbia, and Germany. The 2016 EHF Rinck Convention Open Master Coach and Licensing Course, taking place in Poland on the fringes of the EHF EURO, is shaping up to be one of the largest RC events held in its history; at this event, the inaugural EHF Coaching Achievement Award will be presented to a very special guest – Lino Cervar from Croatia. Furthermore, in 2016, the first Rinck Convention Expert panel will be installed to handle all related matters. Cooperation with the European national federations will be intensified in the New Year, especially with the 13 federations who have yet to become Rinck Convention signatories. Furthermore, the set-up of a handball-related medical platform will be discussed.
Beach Handball Commission (BC)
The Beach Handball Commission is dedicated to the organisation of beach handball competitions and events, the development of the sport, and technical aspects including refereeing.
2015 has been an excellent year for beach handball; we have seen an increase in the live transmission of top national and club team events. The second edition of the Beach Handball Champions Cup in Gran Canaria was an overwhelming success. From educational courses to events, we hope to continue this positive trend, especially with the upcoming events on a world level; our teams from Europe are definitely ready for the competitions that lie ahead.
Ole R. Jorstad – Chairman
The 2015 ebt Finals in Budaörs, Hungary capped the 2014/15 season that saw 56 tournaments with 152 participating teams; at the final event, there was an increased level of media interest and the organisers utilised LCD advertising boards for the first time at a beach handball event. As the year progressed, together with EHF CAN, educational courses were held for beach handball referees and delegates; the BC continues to test the abilities of officials via regular online testing. Following on from the Beach Handball EUROs in Spain, another highlight of 2015 was the second edition of the Beach Handball Champions Cup that was held in Gran Canaria, the immense popularity of the event saw the number of entrants increase to 24.
Nazaré, Portugal will be the scenic setting for the 2016 Men’s and Women’s 16 Beach Handball European Championships in July; this event will serve as the qualification to the 2017 World Men’s and Women’s 17 Beach Handball Championships, organised by the International Handball Federation. It was announced in 2015 that beach handball was admitted to the list of disciplines at the 2018 IOC Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, where the corresponding world championship will serve as the qualification. In the area of development, the Beach Handball Commission will also continue to work on the possibility of a Beach Handball European Open (BHEO), watch this space!
EHF Comptrollers (COMPT)
The EHF Comptrollers serve as internal auditors to the European Handball Federation; this is an elected body that prepares reports for the Executive Committee and the Congress and who meet prior to independent audits.
Once again in 2015, the European Handball Federation met all their financial obligations in accordance with the Statutes and Bylaws of the organisation. Together with my team, I am pleased to report that the European Handball Federation continues to uphold the core values of transparency and integrity – especially in the realm of finance.
Wolfgang Gremmel – EHF Comptroller
The undertakings of the EHF Comptrollers in 2015 were analogous to work in the preceding years. During the biannual visits to the EHF Office in April and October, the EHF Comptrollers were supported by the members of the Finance Department, and the EHF Treasurer, Ralf Dejaco was on hand to answer any questions.
In 2016, the work of the Comptrollers will proceed in accordance with the set schedule. In November 2016, the board of comptrollers will be newly elected during the Congress, along with all other elected bodies.
EHF Court of Handball (CoH)
The EHF Court of Handball handles disputes in the first instance. Cases of first instance refer to infringements of the EHF/IHF Regulations, disciplinary offences and disputes in connection with competitions between National Federations or clubs.
2015 has been another challenging year for the Court of Handball; from the appearance of new types of legal questions to the constant flow of cases in need of swift adjudication, the Court of Handball continued to make impartial, clear, and transparent decisions. Even with more competition, European handball was, again, an example of fairness. The publication of the first EHF Legal Journal was also a milestone, which I hope our members will find useful on the road to success and fair play.
Rui Coelho – Court of Handball
EHF Court of Appeal (CoA)
The EHF Court of Appeal was created to examine and decide on cases in the second instance.
In 2015 the Court of Appeal had to decide upon 3 formal admissibility cases. It demonstrates that regulations are essential in any situation to ensure an ordered course of action. To fulfill these regulations it is also necessary to determine administrative rules such as deadlines, which are legally binding – both for the legal court and the involved parties. These guidelines have proved, time and again, to be instrumental to realize the efficient and effective work of the Court of Appeal.
Markus Plazer – Court of Appeal
EHF Court of Arbitration (ECA)
The EHF Court of Arbitration is an independent body offering the means to solve disputes by professionals in a flexible and efficient way. A party having recourse to the EHF Court of Arbitration proceedings to solve a dispute renounces civil court remedies.
In 2015, once again, we had the opportunity to see that ECA provides handball stakeholders with a modern alternative way to solve disputes. Indeed, the diversity of cases, the constant growth of the pool of qualified arbitrators as well as the publication of the first ECA Journal demonstrate that ECA is a professional, independent and transparent court of arbitration with a bright future ahead.
Jörgen Holmqvist – ECA Council
2015 Legal Review:
In 2015, a total of two legal periodicals were published via eurohandball.com; the documents, anonymized for privacy of the parties, reported on cases that covered the spectrum of case type such as disciplinary, marketing, transfers, etc. The periodicals serve to educate those interested on how cases are resolved and also to show how a seemingly simple case can be very intricate matter in need of a decision. Over the course of the year, 36 cases have been dealt with within the EHF legal system.
Besides, guidelines to draft employment contracts have been made available in other to provide basic guidelines to help clubs, players and other concerned stakeholders in the process of drafting employment contracts, demonstrating the constant willingness to provide handball actors with more legal services.
2016 Legal Preview:
The sole objective of the EHF legal bodies and the EHF Court of Arbitration is to protect the sport of handball and its protagonists. 2015 saw an 18% reduction in the number of protests compared to 2014; any reduction in the number of cases is always welcome – it is a testament to the game and all involved. In 2016 we hope for fewer cases, and those that come before the three panels, can expect that it will be treated with the utmost impartiality.
We do wish that 2016 will see an increase in the use of the EHF Court of Arbitration (ECA). Indeed, the ECA remains underused in light of the utility that such a tool represents for all handball stakeholders, especially the clubs and the players in order to protect their rights. The ECA is not only the final instance of the EHF legal system, it is also an alternative way for stakeholders to solve their private disputes. Created and recognised by the EHF, ECA offers an alternative to civil courts due to the complexity and length of their proceedings. ECA proceedings are treated by independently selected arbitrators in accordance with the Rules of Arbitration.
Legal Body Breakdown
Case Type Breakdown
Nations Board (NB)
The Nations Board (NB) is a group of experts elected by Congress to represent the interests of the 50 EHF Member Federations and 2 Associated Federations. Following the analysis and subsequent development of input, proposals to the Executive Committee are submitted by the Nations Board on behalf of the National Federations.
In 2014, patience was the keyword from the presidential address in the business report, and he was spot on! The work within the Nations Board is demanding, yet always interesting; it has taken time to effect change, but it has been worth the wait! In 2016, we have a new look for the YAC events and in 2020, the men’s EHF EURO will be played with 24 teams. The Nations Board and the Federations we represent are proud to have been the driving force behind these major achievements.
Morten Stig Christensen
The Nations Board continued to cover a wide range of matters relating to national team events – this included coordinating with the professionals in Vienna as work on the international calendar progressed to the point where the calendar for 2016/17 is complete and the first draft for 2017/18 is being treated by the relevant departments within the EHF. Many issues of notable magnitude such as the education of handball club managers, the qualification procedures to IHF and IOC events, as well as the organisation of youth and senior national team events, were tabled and dealt with over the past 12 months. The aim of the Nations Board is protect and represent the interests of the national federations, which is undertaken zealously by the six members.
2016, on a sporting level, is a year of great significance as two senior EHF EUROs will be played in Poland. The Olympic Games in Brazil, in addition to the qualifications to subsequent events such as the 2017 World Championship and the EHF EURO 2018, are events that will be closely monitored by the Nations Board prior to and during the activities. Moreover, the topic of media rights and commercial interests was raised in 2015; the Nations Board will continue to discuss this matter of core importance in the coming year. The Board will also continue on its path of raising and unifying the standards within all areas of the sport.
Professional Handball Board (PHB)
The Professional Handball Board (PHB) is a common strategic platform for the key stakeholders within men’s handball. Collectively the Board represents national federations, clubs, professional leagues, and players.
2015 saw the implementation of the advanced men’s Champions League system that the Professional Handball Board spent the past two playing seasons refining. Our aim to have the best sporting products on the market is the main motivation behind the PHB. The collaboration between the stakeholders remains progressive and effective as we move together on the various issues that are integral to the betterment of handball in general.
Joan Marín – Chairman
From anti-doping and match-fixing issues, through TV, media, and commercial partnerships into education and events, the Professional Handball Board worked on a wealth of topics in 2015. With the players at the heart of the game, the PHB delved into the areas of player eligibility and qualifications, scheduling, club and national team events keeping the workload of the players at the forefront of all the deliberations. Educational mandates that originated within the Professional Handball Board, as well as long-term perspectives in relation to competition systems have seen temperate success with the second edition of the Handball Club Managers education course beginning in 2016, the implementation of a new men’s Champions League system, and upgraded standards for all matches.
The work will continue in 2016, the Professional Handball Board are invested in the further education of players on the topics of anti-doping, match-fixing; furthermore, the PHB will revisit the issues of competition sponsorship, general partnerships, and the prominent matter of European handball venues. The EHF database currently hosts 1300 venues – moving into this topic, the PHB will address questions of venue capacity, security, as well as ticketing questions. The responsibles in the EHF office will also continue to work closely with the member of the Professional Handball Board in the main and recurrent areas of the international calendar and qualifications.
Women’s Handball Board (WHB)
The Women’s Handball Board is responsible for the multi-faceted promotion and further development of women’s handball across Europe and the global involvement of both active players and female professionals.
Since the introduction of the Women’s Handball Board in June 2012, the WHB have worked tirelessly in order to bring women’s handball forward and enhance the status of women involved in handball. The essence of our work is found in educational initiatives, whether on a grassroots or auxiliary level, as well as promotional and development activities. These initiatives will drive women’s handball forward for many years to come.
Lidija Bojić-Ćaćić – Chairwoman
The Women’s Handball Board supported 13 female participants at the various courses and seminars organised by EHF CAN in 2015. However, the work of the Board was not limited to further education; the Women’s Handball Board gave awards of recognition to the female national team head coaches and their Federations at the Women’s 17 and Women’s 19 European Championship events in 2015 to promote female leadership; the WHB collaborated closely with the national federations and clubs, steering them in the direction of development and the necessary assistance, which included the analysis of the players survey that was undertaken at the EHF EURO 2014 and club survey of the of the women’s 2015/16 European Cup teams, as well as a school fostering project with the Federations. Over the past twelve months, the Women’s Handball Board has also collaborated with EHF Media and Communications to develop a social media activity plan not only aimed at changing the perspective, but also raising the profile of women’s handball.
In keeping with the objective of supporting further education of female handball protagonists, the Women’s Handball Board expects to support over 40 participants over five courses and seminars in 2016; and in view of the upcoming EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden, the Handball Ambassador programme will be accelerated once again. Within the framework of the EHF EURO, the WHB will introduce and present the inaugural Women’s Handball Leadership Award. The WHB will also present a national federation with an award for their work in the area of women’s handball development later in the year. In March 2016, the WHB will host a workshop open to national federation representatives dedicated to strengthening the women’s handball network – full steam ahead!