28 Feb. 2023
As the world emerges from the winter, handball is also taking it up a notch, with plenty on display for the next month, both at club and national team levels, as there is plenty to watch over the next 30 days.
For the senior level, the men's national teams will be back in action after holding the flag high at the 2023 IHF Men's World Championship in January, with European powerhouses ready to fight for a place at the EHF EURO 2024. The Qualifiers will be on full fledge, while the top teams of the continent – Germany, Sweden, Spain and Denmark – will face off in the EHF EURO Cup.
Before the 2023 IHF Women's World Championship Qualifiers, the teams that have not yet sealed their berth for the world handball flagship competition will be on display in friendly tournaments, with Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic facing off in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Germany, Poland and Hungary will also feature in a three-team tournament, while Romania face Ukraine in a home double-header in Bistrița.
Another friendly tournament will take place in Portugal, with the hosts taking up Spain, Italy and Cape Verde before facing Romania in the 2023 IHF Women's World Championship Qualifiers.
The last place available for the 2023 IHF Men's Junior World Championship, due to take place in the summer in Germany and Greece, is up for grabs at the Intercontinental Phase of the Men's IHF Trophy, with Australia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Great Britain and Guinea facing off in San José, Costa Rica.
The Men's IHF Trophy will also be played for youth teams, with Georgia, Guadeloupe, Nicaragua, Nigeria and Tahiti facing off in Costa Rica between 7 and 11 March, the same dates as in the junior competition.
Pakistan will host the Women's IHF Trophy – Central Asia Zone III, which will take in Faisalabad between 2 and 6 March, with four teams – Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – taking part. The competition will take place in two age categories, junior and youth.
At club level, the Machineseeker EHF Champions League and the EHF European League Men will have their group phases finish in the first week of March, while the play-offs for the Champions League in both men's and women's competitions are due to be played in the last two weeks of March.
The knockout phases of the EHF European League Men and Women will also start in March, headlining the final straight before the FINAL4 of the top European competitions.
In Asia, Bahrain will host the 39th edition of the Gulf Clubs Men's Handball Championship, due to take place between 8 and 17 March, in the Khalifa Sports City Arena in Isa Town.
For beach handball, the AHF Men's and Women's Beach Handball Championships are set to take place in Bali, Indonesia, from 10 to 19 March. A beach handball tournament will also take place in Tunisia, with the hosts playing against Sweden and France on 11 and 12 March.
Photos: Jun Tanlayco for OCHF/IHF