The South African Handball Federation president, Ally Pole, is excited about the inclusion of this growing sport at this year’s Royal St Andrews Hotel Amanzi Challenge.
“We appreciate the inclusion [of beach handball] into the 2019 Amanzi Challenge. The interactive and adrenaline pumping nature of beach handball shall certainly be on display as we expect clubs from Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Northern Cape and Gauteng [to attend] based on the current conversation we are having within the Federation,” Pole said.
“We aim to use the event as a launching pad towards popularising beach handball and making it the main contributor to sport tourism in the country. Appreciating the fact that handball is played by boys and girls under 16 years of age will also boost our prospects of dominating this format of the game going forward.
“Hence we shall simultaneously be selecting our national teams for U16 boys and girls who will do duty at the inaugural Africa Beach Games, scheduled for Cape Verde in June 2019. Handball should certainly be rated among the crowd pullers within the April 19 to 21 in Port Alfred,” he said.
As Pole alluded, beach handball is a fast, action-packed sport where teams of seven players pass and bounce or roll a ball, trying to throw it in the goal of the opposing team. As it is played on sand instead of in a sports hall as in conventional handball the ball loses most of its bounce on sand there is little to no dribbling, and players instead perform more passing as the rule of travelling still applies.
Matches are played in two or, if both sides have won a set, three sets. If teams are tied at the end of a regular set then the teams will play for a golden goal. The teams will try to win a jump ball and the first goal wins the set. If the teams are tied at the end of two sets then the teams will participate in a tiebreaker involving a goalie throwing the ball to his or her own player while that player attempts to score one-on-one with the opposing goalie.
During regular play, if the goalkeeper scores a goal this counts as two points, compared to a normal goal scored by an outfield player which counts as one point. Creative or spectacular goals, such as 360-degree jumps and alley-oops, are awarded two points, as well as in-flights and six metre throws.
Get to see all the action of beach handball at this year’s Royal St Andrews Hotel Amanzi Challenge.