In 2017, the Competitions Commission not only oversaw the execution of hundreds of club competitions matches in both the men’s and women’s categories, culminating in the cities of Budapest, Göppingen, and Cologne setting the stage for the highly successful Final4 tournaments. It was also a great year for youth handball with the EUROs and the European Championships spread across four countries. The qualification for the EHF EURO 2018 was finalised, and the European teams exhibited a first-class performance at both the men’s and women’s World Championships.
2018 will be a mammoth year for the Competitions Commission in terms of setting and implementing regulations, ensuring that the best structures on a technical level are in place to serve the positive promotion of the sport, as well as liaising with the stakeholders on the various aspects of competition. In 2018 with seven high profile European national team events on both the YAC and Senior level in Croatia, Slovenia, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Austria, Georgia, and France, as well as two YAC world championships in Hungary and Poland, and the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, the European national teams are provided many opportunities for development and international success.
In 2017 the EHF Methods Commission supported over thirty SMART and short-term development project requests, carried out four qualitative analyses of the YAC EHF EUROs and European Championships. The Commission also continued in its quest to expand the reach of the Goalcha project by hosting a conference in Austria, as well as prolonging its cooperation partnership with the European Union via the 2017 Week of Sport, and gave renewed focus to the area of wheelchair handball. The highlight of the year was the notable 4th edition of the EHF Scientific Conference that focused on the players’ environment.
In 2018 the next edition of the European Wheelchair Handball Nations’ Tournament will be held in Portugal, and the EHF Competence Academy & Network will continue to support the EHF Member Federations with educational materials, numerous courses, and access to lecturers.
The Beach Handball Commission oversaw three successful competition events starting with the ebt Finals in Italy, followed by the Men’s and Women’s 17 and adults EURO events in Croatia, and crowning the season with the Beach Handball Champions’ Cup in Gran Canaria. Continuing with a focused marketing strategy the number of televised matches at the EURO events tripled compared to the previous year, which resulted in more video clips being produced. The highlights of these events can be found in the 2017 eBook publication. In their efforts to expand the reach of beach handball in Europe, the Beach Handball Commission began talks with the European Universities Sports Association (EUSA); the positive cooperation will continue in 2018 as the both parties aim to bring a showcase event to the fore in the summer. In keeping with expanding the profile of the events, the Commission will enter into talks with the organisers of a large handball tournament in Europe to see if beach handball can grow its audience. The Beach handball Commission looks forward to the opportunities that 2018 will bring.
The EHF Comptrollers executed their annual examination of the EHF finances in April 2017 and were present at key strategic meetings where financial presentations were made; and in their second function as a Comptrollers Council of the EHF Marketing GmbH, they checked the finances for the year 2016/17 in October. Following the abdication of Comptroller Ehrmann-Wolf, the Substitute Comptroller Prettenthaler was activated and immediately assumed the allocated tasks. In 2018, the matter of the constitution of the Comptroller’s Board will be put before the Congress in June.
A change in the IHF Regulations resulted in fewer cases being brought before the first instance; the Court of Handball handled 20 cases in 2017 and the majority of new cases reflected the current professional development of the sport such as TV minimum requirements, playing hall standards, or advertising boards.
The third legal journal was published in 2017 covering the season 2016/17; the journal gives a comprehensive overview of the legal system, a breakdown of the cases according to the violations submitted to the instances, and a look at eight of the most interesting cases of the season. Moreover, the on-site handling of legal cases at EURO events will change as of 2018; the Court of Handball and Court of Appeal will act as ad hoc bodies, i.e. Disciplinary Commission and Jury, hence replacing delegates who used to act as such.
There was no change in the activity within the Court of Appeal, three cases were sent to the second instance for review and two of those cases are reproduced in the third legal journal.
Decisions passed at the EHF Ordinary Congress 2016 have been implemented leading to the integration of new arbitrators from the various EHF stakeholders. This is a clear step forward for the ECA as a modern institution entrusted by the European handball world to solve disputes. One significant case reached the ECA.
In 2017 the Nations Board continued to engage for all issues relating to and having influence on national team events. At the Conference for Secretaries General in Paris an in-depth presentation on the Board and how they serve the National Federations was given. At the meetings that took place in 2017 through the open discussions that covered a wide range of topics such as financial distribution, regulations, media and marketing rights, it was the input from the Nations Board resulted in a working group being formed to tackle the broader spectrum of the EHF EURO Regulations. The Nations Board also played a significant role in the structure of the match schedule and the EHF EURO Cup - elements that are to be implemented in future EHF EURO events. In 2018 the Nations Board will continue to revisit other ongoing topics such as the development of the emerging nations and EHF EURO qualification phases.
The Professional Handball Board continues to be the platform that brings the stakeholders together – the National Federations, the Clubs, the Leagues, and the Players; the recommendations arising from the PHB are treated at the Executive level. The scope of the topics within the individual groups directly influences the others; thus, it remains imperative to keep the channels of dialogue open. In 2017 the members of the Professional Handball Board discussed a range of topics that included the scheduling and the future of club competitions as well as media and marketing rights, sponsorship and partnership agreements, and calendar issues. To the last point, the input from the members of the PHB resulted in the creation of a think tank that will continue to deal with ideas in order to optimise the calendar.
In 2017 the Women’s Handball Board continued their work towards the overall objectives of raising the profile of the sport by enhancing the products available, providing further education opportunities, and working in close cooperation with the emerging nations. The highlight of the year came with the successful execution of the Women’s Handball Workshop that facilitated an expansive exchange of information on topics such as building suitable structures within the National Federations that are able to better support women’s handball, engaging with and encouraging youth players to remain dedicated to the sport as well as other matters. On the level of education, the WHB supported the education of 25 female participants across six courses in cooperation with the EHF CAN. In 2018, Nodjialem Myaro (FRA) will assume the WHB Chair following the abdication of Narcisa Lecusanu (ROU) due to her successful candidature to the IHF Executive Committee.