The Straits Times:
Beach handball, International federation changes rules to allow women to wear shorts
November 1, 2021
The International Handball Federation (IHF) has changed its rules regarding women's uniforms to allow beach handball players to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms following complaints that the previous regulations were sexist.
Norway's beach handball team were fined €1,500 (S$2,300) by the European Handball Federation in July for being"improperly dressed" after the women wore shorts instead of bikini bottoms at the European Championship.
Norway's Sports Minister Abid Raja said the situation was"completely ridiculous" and that attitudes needed to change, while US singer Pink said she was proud of the team and also offered to pay the fines.
Ministers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden asked the IHF in September to review its uniform rules "in accordance with gender equality".
The section relating to women's uniforms in the IHF rulebook has ditched the reference to bikini bottoms and now reads:"Female athletes must wear short tight pants with a close fit"while they can also wear "body fit tank tops".
Male athletes are allowed to wear shorts that are "not too baggy" but must remain 10cm above the kneecap.
Life in limbo for some of Singapore's team sports
September 19, 2021
Singapore's handball players, who are currently in Jordan competing in the Sept 15-25 Asian Women's Handball Championship to qualify for December's World Women's Handball Championship in Spain, also had to make adjustments to their preparations.
As they were unable to travel overseas for training camps and competitions, they sparred against the men's team and increased court training sessions from thrice to up to five times a week.
Sharlene Chan, whose last competition was the Singapore Handball Open Tournament in December 2019, was glad to experience the "adrenaline and intensity" of competing again and to feature in more events, including the World Women's Handball Championship, as well as the SEA Games and Asian Games next year.
The 27-year-old said: "This year's Asian Championship was an important stepping stone that would give us a good gauge of our standard and also gain international game experience.
"It's going to be a very exciting timeline for handball in the upcoming year."
The Straits Times: For The Love Of The Game
January 15, 2021
Football may be Singapore's No. 1 sport but there are other sporting love affairs around the island. In this fortnightly series, The Straits Times seeks out new games and discovers that a country's passion for sport, even in this time of Covid, burns brightly.
The Straits Times: Handball medals up for grabs in Hanoi
December 31, 2020
The national handball team will look to make amends at next year's SEA Games in Vietnam, with the sport listed among the 40 approved for the biennial meet.
At last year's Games in the Philippines, Singapore were whitewashed, losing all their four men's group matches 2-0 to finish bottom of the inaugural beach handball event.
But Handball Federation of Singapore (HFS) president Hong Zhen You and the team are confident they can bounce back from the disappointment, especially when both the seven-a-side indoor and four-a-side beach events are included in the programme in Hanoi.
Beach Handball: Sand in Style
August 22, 2019
In an arena on uneven ground, Teo Kee Chong rises to meet a pass and unleashes a mid-air shot that ripples the back of the net. The left winger has just scored two points with one strike.
Goals like this, similar to "alley-hoops" in basketball, and from 360-degree spins count for double in beach handball, where stylish plays are rewarded.
"Thee game is intense and gives you more points for extra effort, so I constantly find myself trying to score these style points more," said Teo, 23, who also represents Singapore in indoor Handball.
Beach handball bears little resemblance to the indoor version, apart from requiring to throw the ball into the goal. The court is smaller, and its tight quarters and sandy base provide trickery obstacles.
"The footwork is different and the ground is unpredictable. Sometimes you won't know whether you can fully execute a jump or sprint because the sand isn't flat," explained Teo, who first played the sport in 2016.
Beach handball is expected to be hotly contested, with Thailand and Vietnam eyeing top spot. Singapore is aiming for podium finish. "The whole team is aiming committed to do our best and with our preparations, we can push for a medal," said the National University of Singapore undergraduate.
Beach handball rules:
The games is played on sand courts by two teams of four. A match consists of two 10-minutes halves that are scored independently, meaning a team has to win both halves to be victorious; a shootout will ensure if a tie occurs. To up the ante, players are rewarded for style. By scoring in a spectacular fashion, they can earn two points instead of one.