The 2019 IHF Women’s World Championships start tomorrow (Saturday, 30 November) in Japan. Here’s some info on how to watch, what the odds are, and a few predictions on who will in it all.
How to Watch
IMPORTANT NOTE: I’ve updated these instructions slightly. Click here for the latest instructions: Link
In the U.S., the NBC Olympic Channel will be your TV option. This channel is available on most cable and satellite lineups, but you may have to pay a little extra to add this channel. As previously reported, it looks like they will not be showing any matches until the Main Round which starts on Sunday, 8 December. And, due to the the time difference (Japan is 14 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast) all matches will be tape delayed until the afternoon.
Unfortunately, since the U.S. has a TV contract, the IHF web stream will not be available for U.S. residents. (The same is true for several other countries. This article lists which nations have a TV contract: Link If your nation is not listed, you should have access. Lucky for you Canada, Australia and UK)
IHF YouTube Page: Link
Note: It sometimes takes a day or two for completed matches to be visible on the YouTube page.
IHF 2019 WC Competition Page: Link (Be careful to avoid scores!; or go to the home page of this site for the daily “spoiler free” link)
Note to access match video follow these steps
1) Click Schedule
2) Click Date of Match
3) Click “View Details” for match you want to watch
4) Click “Live Steaming” in the menu at the top (Even though it says “live streaming” matches are also available on demand.)
Of course, there are other options available. As sure as the sun comes up tomorrow there will be dubious websites offering live streams of marginal quality. I wouldn’t recommend downloading anything from these sites or paying them anything.
One can also use a VPN service and login from a nation like Canada to access the IHF stream. I personally use VPN Nord, but there are multiple options. Hola VPN is even free, but you share bandwidth via peer to peer networks. I’ve used both and so far, so good. And, personally I don’t feel very guilty: Memo to Handball content owners: I will gladly pay for access to matches… should you decide to make that an option.
One final note on the time difference. Unless you are an insomniac or night owl it will be challenging to watch matches live. U.S. East Coast start times for the first week of preliminary matches will be 1:00 AM, 4:00 AM and 6:30 AM.
Odds for the Competition (And Links to Previews)
All odds are courtesy of SportingBet.
Tourney Format: The preliminary round consists of 4 groups of 6 nations. The top 3 of each preliminary group advances to the Main Round. Groups A and B form Main Round Group 1, while Groups C and D form Main Round Group 2. Matches from the Preliminary Round (among advancing nations) also count in the Main Round. The top 2 teams from each Main Round Group then advance to the semifinals.
France and Denmark to advance and then a projected dogfight between Germany, South Korea and Brazil for the 3rd spot.
Group B Preview: Link
When Groups A and B combine, Norway and France are projected to advance with Denmark and Serbia seen as outside possibilities.
This is projected to be the most competitive of the preliminary groups with 4 nations (Montenegro, Hungary, Spain and Romania) fighting for 3 spots.
Group C Preview: Link
Russia, Sweden and Japan projected to advance in what surely is the weakest of the four groups.
Group D Preview: Link
On paper, this looks to be a really interesting and competitive Main Round Group. Russia is heavily favored to advance, but the odds for the rest of the nations indicate that everybody else will have a legitimate shot at the 2nd spot.
Finally, the odds to win it all. On the (Un)Informed Handball podcast, the 3 Irishman (O’Reilly, Campion, and Kulesh) all pooh poohed Norway’s chances of winning it all. Too many players missing and disappointing results the past two tournaments. I must say there is some logic to that analysis, but they still have a lot of quality on their roster. And, the oddsmakers can’t be that wrong, can they?