The International Handball Federation (IHF) is the administrative and controlling body for handball, beach handball and wheelchair handball. The first international handball game was played between Germany and Belgium by men in 1925. Because of this event, uniform rules and an international association were desired. In 1926, the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) created a commission to govern all ball games played with the hands. Two years later during the 1928 Summer Olympics the IAAF invited national representatives to create an independent federation, and representatives from eleven countries founded the International Amateur Handball Federation on 4th of August 1928 in Amsterdam. The IAHF was the administrative and controlling body for handball and field handball.
The IAHF was responsible for the organisation of handball's major international tournaments. During the 1936 Summer Olympics field handball had its first and last appearance at the Summer Olympics, and in 1938 the first Outdoor and Indoor World Men's Handball Championship were organized. At this point IAHF had 23 members. However, on 11 July 1946 in Copenhagen, representatives of eight European National Federations, Denmark, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland, plus a further six by proxy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland, Uruguay and the United States decide that the former IAHF should be dissolved and that the tasks and duties should be undertaken by the newly-founded International Handball Federation. On 12 July the IHF was officially certified.
In 1948, the second, and the first one organised by the IHF men’s Field Handball World Championship was played, while the first Women’s Field Handball World Championship was played in 1949. In 1954, the second and the first IHF Men's World Championship, was conducted under the aegis of the IHF, and the first IHF World Women's Handball Championship was held in 1957. Handball was included in the Olympic Games for the first time under the auspices of IHF in Munich 1972 for men, and Montreal 1976 for women. Until 1966 both forms of handball were played at separate World Championships, however, in 1969, the end of field handball was confirmed. The first IHF Men’s and Women’s Beach Handball World Championships took place in 2004.
The IHF today comprises 209 national federations. Each member country must each also be a member of one of the six regional confederations: African Handball Confederation, Asian Handball Federation, European Handball Federation, North America and the Caribbean Handball Confederation, Oceania Continent Handball Federation, and South and Central America Handball Confederation. Until 2017, there were five continental confederations. On 14 January 2018, the IHF Council divided the Pan-American Confederation into the North America and the Caribbean Handball Confederation and the South and Central America Handball Confederation. Each of them, as well as the IHF, holds several different tournaments for men and women of different age categories.
Formation - 12 July 1946
Founded at - Copenhagen, Denmark
Headquarters - Basel, Switzerland
Region served - Worldwide
Membership - 209 national associations
Official language - English, French, German
President - Hassan Moustafa
Affiliations - International Olympic Committee
Website - www.ihf.info