PREVIEW: From 31 October to 2 November the Spanish island of Gran Canaria hosts the premiere edition of the most recent addition to the beach handball event calendar
20 national champions take to the court at inaugural EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup
Maspalomas on the southern tip of the island of Gran Canaria will be the site of a true premiere, with the inaugural EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup taking place from 31 October to 2 November.
It is the first beach handball event on the European stage which specifically targets the national champions from the EHF’s member federations.
"We initiated the Champions Cup to give the Europe’s beach handball players another event in a nice environment which then works as a kind of closing to the beach handball season," says Peter Fröschl, the responsible manager for beach handball at the EHF.*
"We have to make sure that we broaden the reach of handball. Beach handball is a sport that is already popular. It is prone to attract more people in the future and is in particular attractive for the younger generation.
"The risk to get injured is small due to its strong fair play element, its rules and the court."
ebt Final winners go for gold
For the tournament the participants have been placed in groups of five teams each with the two top-ranked teams from each group qualifying for the semi-finals following a round-robin group phase.
The tournament throws off at midday on 31 October with the men's matches Pallamano Grosseto vs. A.C. Kiklopes Alexandroupoli on Court 1 and V. Gaw / Café Rossio vs. "Ekaterinodar" Krasnodar on Court 2.
Both winners from this year’s European Beach Tour Finals, the men’s team from BHC Detono Zagreb and women’s competitor OVB, will also compete in the first Champions Cup.
Overall eight matches will be played on the first day on both courts. The remaining group matches take place on 1 November, semi-finals, final and placement matches take place on 2 November (the playing schedule can is available for download).
The organisers have announced that all matches on the main court will be streamed live via the event’s website: http://www.grancanariabhb.com/video/
Gathering the best ideas to move forward
The EHF Beach Handball Cup was preceded by an EHF Beach Handball Brainstorming Clinic which takes place on 30 October.
For a full day more than 30 participants gathered, discussing the rules of the game, marketing topics as well as techniques and tactics.
They were welcomed by EHF President Jean Brihault (left) who opened the brainstorming clinic.
* For all German-speaking users Peter Fröschl also appeared on the beach handball podcast which handball website www.handball-world.com featured on Thursday.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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