Thursday, May 19

The International Handball Federation changes the rule on the women’s beach uniform after an intense debate over sexism

The controversy over the uniforms has raged for months.

Photo: Marcelo Endelli / Getty Images

This weekend it was known that the International Handball Federation (IFH, for its acronym in English) has changed the regulations on clothing for women in beach competition.

Now, in rule number 4 on “Equipment, substitutions and uniform”, it can be read: “The uniform of the women’s team consists of a tight-fitting tank top, tight shorts and permitted accessories”.

The decision is a consequence of what happened in the middle of this year when the European Handball Federation was in the sports headlines for a decision that had nothing to do with sport: they had fined the Norwegian women’s beach handball team for not using a bikini as the bottom of the uniform, as stated in the official regulations.

The athletes had come out to play a match of the European tournament dressed in shorts or short, very similar to that used by men in the same sport.

The players complained at the time that the narrower shorts (panties, panties, panties, in different countries of Latin America) that they were told to use in the previous competition were too restrictive and uncomfortable, in addition to fueling the sexualization of their bodies.

“Together we will continue to fight to change the rules of clothing, so that the players can play with the clothes they feel comfortable in“, Said the team in a statement after learning the decision to punish them for wearing shorts.

The debate had international scope: the American singer Pink offered to pay the fine imposed on the athletes.


This is how the new regulations for women in beach handball are indicated.

The fine for the Norwegian team had also triggered a campaign by various organizations to change the rules on mandatory clothing for women’s teams.

And the IFH’s decision has been welcomed by some of these groups.

“I hope this is the beginning of the end of sexism and the objectification of women and girls in sport,” Talitha Stone, who was one of the leaders who organized the demands to modify the regulations, told the British newspaper The Guardian.

Stone had also led the campaign for Collective Shout en 2012 against the Lingerie Football League (a side of American football where women play in bikini).

“And that in the future all women and girls are free to participate in sport without fear of costume failures and sexual harassment,” she added.

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