What is the IHF Trophy competition and what Nations are Eligible to Participate in them?

The IHF Trophy is a world-wide competition organized for developing handball nations. As currently structured the competition is conducted in phases with competition taking place in sub-continent, continent and inter-continent phases. The competition is also age based with separate competitions for Youth (U19) Men, Jr (U21) Men, Youth (U18) Women, and Jr (U20) Women. The timing of the competition is structured to parallel the existing Youth and Jr competitions with the Inter-Continental Jr Champion qualifying for the Jr World Championships.

  • IHF Inter-Continental Trophy Results (Wikipedia): Link

Note: The North American & Caribbean Handball Confederation (CACHC) is is currently using the IHF Trophy as its Youth and Jr Championships. The winner of the NACHC IHF Trophy (Continental Phase) also qualifies for the World Championships.

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What are the age requirements for Youth and Jr National Team competitions?

The IHF organizes aged based World Championships for both men and women every 2 years. The Men’s Youth (U19) and Men’s Jr (U21) World Championships are held in odd years and the Women’s Youth (U18) and Women’s Jr (U20) World Championships are held in even years. These championships take place in the summer and the timing of these events factor into age based requirements.

  • Age Requirements for World Championships: Calendar years are used to determine the maximum age of participants. In principle an athlete can’t turn (UXX +1) in the calendar year of the tournament. As an example, for the Men’s Youth (U19) World Championships held in 2019, all athletes had to be born in the year 2000 or later. If an athlete had been born in 1999, they would turn 20 years old in 2019 and therefore would be ineligible. Because of this athletes are often identified and grouped by their birth year (e.g. 2000, 2001, etc)
  • Age Requirements for World Championship Qualification: Most continental federations have continental championships that serve as qualification for the World Championships. Depending on the timing for these events the age requirement may shift a year younger. This is intended to make the rosters consistent from qualification to the World Championships. As an example, Europe typically hosts their Men’s European Youth Championship is even years and the event is classified as a (U18) tournament. The nations that qualify then play in the World Championship (U19) event in the following year. The same principle also applies for IHF trophy events that serve as qualification for the World Championships.
  • Specific Age Requirements for Upcoming World Championships
    • 2022 Women’s Youth (U18) WC: Born in 2004 or later
    • 2022 Women’s Jr (U20) WC: Born in 2002 or later
    • 2023 Men’s Youth (U19) WC: Born in 2004 or later
    • 2023 Men’s Jr (U21) WC: Born in 2002 or later
  • Specific Age Requirements for Upcoming IHF Trophy Competitions
    • To be updated when the tournaments are scheduled

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How is handball organized in Asia

Asian Handball has been rife with division between the Persian Gulf region and Japan/Korea. This most notably came to a head with the Olympic Qualification for the 2008 Olympics being adjudicated in court. In terms of Men’s programs, the Gulf states are probably the most organized with several nations having organized club leagues.
Asian Olympic Qualification Dispute Article: http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.535

How is handball organized in Africa

Africa is organized much like Europe, but there is a significant split in the level of organization between the North African Arabic nations and the Sub-Saharan nations. For men’s Handball, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria have National programs and club competitions that are comparable to Europe. With the exception of Angola, handball is less developed in Sub-Saharan Africa. As such Men’s competition is principally dominated by the North African countries. For women’s handball, the North African nations are not as structured and the dominant nation recently has been Angola.

How is Handball organized in Europe?

Without question, Europe is the continent where the sport is most popular and best organized. This previous article addresses Handball organization in Europe: http://teamhandballnews.com/content12.html Although, well organized, handball in Europe is not without it’s problems. These articles assess some of its shortcomings:
What’s wrong with European Handball (part 1): http://teamhandballnews.com/news134.html
What’s wrong with European Handball (part 2): http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.207

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How is Handball organized world-wide?

Handball has a world-wide structure very similar to soccer’s FIFA and other international sports. The world-wide governing body is the International Handball Federation (IHF). The IHF is responsible for organizing the Olympic Handball tournament and World Championship competitions. Membership consists of 147 nations. The IHF’s administrative office is located in Basel, Switzerland. Regionally, Continental Federations have been established in Europe, Africa, Asia, Pan America and Oceania. These Continental Federations are independent of the IHF and are responsible for organizing regional competitions. Apart from National Team competitions, club leagues have been organized usually on a National Level. Many of these club leagues are professional/semi-professional, particularly in Europe. The IHF, Continental Federations, and club leagues are all independent of each other and this has resulted in conflicting interests from time to time over player availability and revenue streams for national team competitions.