Beach Handball

Short History

     At the end of the 1980s the Italian coach Simonetta Montagni was the first to begin developing handball on the beach. In 1990, the newly elected president of the Italian federation, Ralf Dejaco, recognised the attractiveness of the sport and asked the Italian coach, Luciano Bartolini, to begin work on the first set of rules for the game. In 1992, a first demonstration match was carried out in Misano Adriatico, some months later, Ponza was the place for the first ever official beach handball tournament, where the new rules were presented. Steered by Dejaco, who was at the time a member of the IHF propaganda and development commission, the sport then began to make progress towards becoming a recognised sport.
     The wave of success had reached South America, where beach handball became more and more popular. In 1995, the EHF Beach Handball Working Group was founded, some months later, an IHF working group was established too. The original rules were adapted, tested and modified constantly while the general popularity of beach handball increased all over Europe, proved by the first ever European-wide calendar of beach handball events in 1997. Three years later, the first EHF Beach Handball European Championship was held in Gaeta, Italy, and the European Beach Handball Tour started in 2003. The first World Championship was held in 2004. in Egypt, and the installation of the EHF Beach Handball Commission was in 2007.