Uruguayan beach handball season ends on a high
03 Apr. 2020
From December to March, the Uruguayan Handball Federation (FUH) organised the 2019/20 Uruguay ‘Circuito Federal De Beach Handball 2020’ (Federal Beach Handball Circuit), which saw a total of 57 teams compete across five age categories in both men’s and women’s competitions.
The circuit comprised of seven stages, with some age categories competing in all of them, and others in some of them. The total points gained by each team across all the stages saw them win their respective category.
The women’s senior competition featured 11 different teams across the seven stages, with Club Malvin coming out on top to claim the national title after winning four stages in total.
In the U19 women’s competition, a total of seven teams took part, with Club Atletico Bohemios taking the title, winning five stages in total. Nine teams competed in the women’s U17 championship with Bohemios also winning the overall prize in a dominant performance which saw them win six stages in a row.
Six teams competed in the U15 championship, which was played over five stages and in a tight finish, I. Arnold Gesell took the title, winning four of the five stages, ahead of Club Malvin, after both teams finished on the same points.
Over in the men’s competition, Costa Beach BMP won the senior competition, taking two of the seven stages to finish above Club Malvin – in total, 17 teams played across the whole circuit.
In the U19 men’s competition, Malvin won two of the five stages the category played, pipping Parque Cubano to the title.
A number of teams in the men’s and women’s junior categories named ‘Dakar’ featured players who are part of the Youth Olympic Games cycle, as the FUH prepare players for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games, which will be held in Dakar, Senegal. A smaller U17 men’s competition also ran in parallel with the main circuit for the final three stages.
As well as the next generation of players, a number of current Uruguayan men’s and women’s national team players competed in both the senior and junior level circuit stages, as well as national team coaches too.
Uruguayan men’s player Santy Rodriguez, who splits his time in the South American beach handball season between clubs at home and in Argentina, brought his Argentinean team IFES Fly over as a guest team for matches as well as playing for the Uruguayan side Costa Beach BMP and one of his national teammates was impressed with the success of the circuit this season.
“In recent years, interest in beach handball in Uruguay has grown a lot,” said Matias Oholeguy, who played for club side No Se Pica Beach Handball, who finished fifth overall.
“For example, in the senior men's category 10 years ago there were maybe just four or five teams participating in tournaments, but now there have been up to 10 teams playing in each stage.
“The professionalism of the tournament organisation itself and the players in them has also grown,” he added. “Nowadays, most of the teams train regularly during the summer season – this would have been unthinkable years ago.”
Despite the growth in the sport in the small South American country of just 3.5 million people, Oholeguy, like all of those involved in the sport in Uruguay, wants to keep pushing the development forward.
“Despite the growth, the sport and players are not spread out across Uruguay,” said the player, who finished 10th with his country at the 2019 ANOC Beach World Games in Qatar last year.
“All the teams belong to the Montevideo and Canelones departments of Uruguay, and, taking into account that we have a total of 19 departments and many kilometres of beach in our country, much more work remains to be done.
“But everyone connected with the sport is working as hard as they can to continue pushing it forward in what are exciting times for the sport not only in our country, or our continent, but the whole world.”
OVERALL FINAL RANKINGS
1 – Club Malvin (76 points)
2 – Club Atletico Bohemios (66)
3 – Costa Beach BMP (53)
Junior – U19
1 – Club Atletico Bohemios (80)
2 – Club Malvin (74)
3 – C. Pontevedres Syd (35)
Youth – U17
1 – Club Atletico Bohemios (79)
2 – Club Malvin (64)
3 – Union La Paz (61)
Minors – U15
1 – I. Arnold Gesell (48)
2 – Club Malvin (48)
3 – Club Atletico Bohemios (28)
1 – Costa Beach BMP (67)
2 – Club Malvin (60)
3 – C. Pontevedres Syd (56)
1 – Club Malvin (42)
2 – Parque Cubano (38)
3 – Costa Beach BMP (37)
Stage 1: Malvin Beach, Montevideo – Saturday 21/Sunday 22 December 2019
Stage 2: Pocitos Beach, Montevideo – Saturday 18/Sunday 19 January 2020
Stage 3: Parque del Plata, Canelones – Saturday 25/Sunday 26 January 2020
Stage 4: Malvin Beach, Montevideo – Saturday 1/Sunday 2 February 2020
Stage 5: Malvin Beach, Montevideo – Saturday 8/Sunday 9 February 2020
Stage 6: Pocitos Beach, Montevideo – Saturday 15/Sunday 16 February 2020
Stage 7: Malvin Beach, Montevideo – Saturday 7/Sunday 8 March 2020
PHOTO: Lucia Perez Fotografia/Uruguay Handball Federation