In Bulgaria on Sunday, the European Handball Federation (EHF) Disciplinary Committee fined the Norway handball team 1,500 euros for what they deem as “improper Clothing,” making it approximately 150 euros ($175) per player. Each for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms during their bronze-medal match losing to Spain.
In April, Norway’s hardball team filed a motion to start discussions around allowing women to wear shorts in the sport. To date, the federations (EHF/IHF) said no other actions had been brought forth by the country. Although the team members knew there might be possible fines, after alerting the federation of their intentions, team members wore bikini bottoms until their last match. It was then they switched into shorts for their bronze-medal game with Spain.
“In 2021, it shouldn’t even be an issue,” Eirik Sordahl, the president of the Norwegian Volleyball Federation, told the national news agency (NTB). Sordahl also referred to the International Handball Federation (IHF) rules state, “female athletes must wear bikini bottoms.” They must have “a close fit,” be “cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg” and a side depth of no more than 10 centimeters. A member of Parliament, Lene Westgaard-Halle, tweeted; “Dear @ihf_info. Can you please stop the forced bikini nonsense at your beach handball games? It is embarrassing, disgraceful and sexist. You are ruining both the sport and your own reputation.”
There have long been discussions regarding all of the beach sports attire. The Men’s handball team also has information detailing what they are allowed to wear during competition; shorts no longer than 4 inches above the knee. Men are also authorized to wear tank tops. Several individuals, both on and off the sand courts, understand different countries’ dress in what they are comfortable wearing. Most players internationally agree some rules may be necessary.
The disciplinary commission, in a joint statement with the International Handball Federation (IHF), officials said that “all efforts will be taken in order to further promote the sport. This includes the ideal presentation of the sport and, by that, includes the outfit of the players.” Uniforms will for sure be a central topic for the newly established Beach Handball Commission. Their first meeting is next month. The Norwegian team said, “We are overwhelmed by the attention and support from all over the world!” then added, “We really hope this will result in a change of this nonsense rule!”
ARTICLE: KRISTA DROOP
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SKY NEWS