The debate has raged in Handball circles for many years: Which league is better? The German Bundesliga (HBL) or the Spanish Liga Asobal? Now the two leagues have decided to take the debate out of parlor halls and onto the court with their joint announcement of the first ever HBL-Liga Asobal shootout.
Over 10 straight days all 16 Liga Asobal and the top 16 HBL clubs will play each other in a head to head competition to start the 2009-10 season. The teams will be paired by their final placement in each league at the end of this season and half the games will be played in each country. The tournament will start with a double header on Friday, August 28th in Barcelona with matches featuring the 2nd place and 6th place teams from both countries. It will culminate on Sunday, September 6th at Cologne Arena with matches between the league champions and the 5th place clubs.
The winner of the competition will be based on the overall W-L-T record of each league and will be awarded the Toyota trophy (Toyota is the sponsor of the event). In addition to bragging rights, both leagues have also agreed that any additional slot for Champions League play will be awarded to the winning country.
As an added bonus and marketing move the HBL has indicated that all matches will be available for viewing on their web-streaming platform HBL.tv www.hbl.tv free of charge. HBL General Manager, Frank Bohmann, indicated that this is the HBL’s way of saying thanks to their fans and also an opportunity for fans world-wide to experience the 1.5 Mbs quality of hbl.tv. And he also acknowledged an ulterior motive by saying, “We’re convinced that once people experience hbl.tv they will be willing to pay for the season ticket package.”
Link to the Official Press Release: press release
Other groundbreaking stories previously uncovered at Team Handball News
From 2008: IHF, EHF and National Leagues Form Major TV Partnership: http://teamhandballnews.com/2008/04/ihf-ehf-and-national-leagues-form-major-tv-partnership/
From 2007: Kretzschmar Signs Contract to Play Handball in the United States: http://teamhandballnews.com/2007/04/kretzschmar-signs-contract-to-play-handball-in-the-united-states/