The European Handball Federation
The European Handball Federation (EHF) is the umbrella organisation for 50 member federations and two associated federation (England and Scotland) – stretching to all corners of the European continent – with its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Since its foundation in November 1991, the EHF has taken on the role of ambassador to European handball, acting as a common voice for the European member federations and representing the entire European Handball Family on the international sporting stage.
Starting with the very conception of the European Handball Federation, the structure of the EHF has changed in line with its dynamic business philosophy and new and changing trends within the spheres of European handball. This change has brought with it new initiatives and indeed new challenges.
The EHF focuses its strengths and invests its resources on the development of the sport of handball in general with the overall objective to optimise product placement on the competitive sporting market, delivering the delights of handball in the form of high-profile branded events.
The Sport of Handball
The European Handball Federation – is the catalyst behind the developments in handball on the European stage. Handball is one of the fastest and most technical team sports in the world – with high-powered, dynamic, exciting, intense and passionate play. The athletes are the protagonists of the sport and are highly-trained, polished and shaped to perfection through complex training programmes which encompass the latest initiatives from the fields of sport science, nutrition and medicine and high standard equipment.
Handball has long since established a firm place on the European sporting market and is a sport enjoyed by many throughout Europe, both live in the arena and on television, radio and ever increasingly on the web. The sheer nature of this team sport strives for mutual support and tactical, target-driven, strategic planning – an intricate partnership of all members of the European Handball Family.
History of the EHF
On 17th November 2011, the European Handball Federation (EHF) will celebrate its 20 Year Anniversary. Over 20 years ago, the idea of a continental federation, serving the European Handball Family was just a vision, 20 years on and the vision has become a reality, with the EHF taking on the role of ambassador to the sport of handball in Europe, acting as a common voice for the, now, 50 Member Federations and one associated federation and representing the European Handball Family on an international stage, including clubs, players, referees, delegates and many more.
The headquarters of the EHF are in Vienna, Austria and have been since the Foundation Congress, which took place in 1991 in Berlin. The EHF has developed considerably since the initial 29 countries became signatory to the European Handball Charter of Partnership. At all times, the European governing body strives to serve the sport, innovate and develop handball. The EHF faces adversity in many areas, the sporting market is continuously changing, the political map has evolved considerably, challenges are overcome, successes are celebrated, yet the overall goal never disappears from view.
Wide Compendium of Activities
The EHF has a duty to guarantee the development of the sport in all areas and puts it name to a wide-spectrum of activities within its compendium, ranging from its top products at the apex of the scale, namely the Men’s and Women’s European Handball Championships and the EHF Champions League - which continue to break TV and media records, to development initiatives such as Beach Handball, Handball at School and Wheelchair Handball.
EHF EURO Events
The Men’s and Women’s European Championships have been carried out a total of 19 times (incl. 2010 Women’s European Handball Championship), in host countries all over Europe. Sixteen of the best national teams in the world take part in each of these events and they continue to reach new heights. Recently published figures show a continuous upwards spiral, with a cumulative audience in the 2008 men’s event of over 1 billion views and more than 1000 hours of programming.
EHF Champions League
The EHF Champions League has changed considerably over the past 15 years. The EHF is particularly proud of the product’s pro-active, new branding strategy, which was launched by the EHF sister company, EHF Marketing GmbH. The market has been presented with a "clean" and attractive package, which has taken EHF Champions League handball into a new dimension. On 29 June 2007, the start of the 15th EHF Champions League season was celebrated with a Champions League Gala on the occasion of the men’s and women’s draw for the group phase. A special edition compendium of the EHF Champions League History was published under the title "Celebrate the Passion".
EHF European Cup Competitions
Over 250 clubs take part in the EHF European Cup competitions, which include EHF Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and Challenge Cup. The EHF administers over 730 European club matches each year, which take place in all corners of our continent. The European Handball federation is also proud of the fact that all 50 member Federations and one associated federation are active within the organisation, which speaks for itself.
A considerable part of EHF business revolves around the further development of the sport itself and handball within the European Handball Family. Events and projects of 2006, which proved to be catalysts for this development, included the EHF Youth Handball Convention, a variety of referee and delegate courses, coaches’ course and, for example, the EHF Foster Project, where the "big brothers" of the European handball world guide and give a helping hand to developing handball nations.
Professional handball management has become a business like any other. Ever since the foundation of the EHF, the organisation has placed huge importance on its open and pro-active communication strategy and the exchange of information. The EHF is the voice of Europe on handball matters and is in permanent consultation with all its partners. Each year, many meetings, workshops, conferences, congresses and events take place to ensure that this communication process falls into place and that the key link between all handball protagonists from all fields of the sport is strengthened even further.
The EHF never loses sight of handball's unique passion and speed and strives to use these characteristics as the underlining statement in the development of the sport.