XVII Women's World Handball Championship
Russia, Saint-Petersburg 2005
about championship
championship schedule
team participants
championship history
handball in russia
for press
main page



St. Petersburg hosts the XVII Handball Women’s Championship 2005 for the first time

 The fact that St. Petersburg hosts the XVII Handball Women’s Championship in December might help the Russian team to finally start winning again.

Playing at the Croatian World Championship in 2003, the Russian team went no further than the 7 th place; as a result it was not included in the Olympic Games in Athens a year later.

In Zagreb the four strongest teams were from France, Hungary, Southern Korea and Ukraine. In Greece the Dutch team got ahead and took over the Southern Korean team in the finals. Then the Ukrainian and French teams competed for the third place. The former Soviet Republic sportsmen won.

During the draw for the St. Petersburg Championship the Russian team head coach Evgeny Trofimov used his right, as a host to chose the participants. He didn’t chose the strongest teams explaining that among sportsmen from Japan, Holland, China, Croatia and Uruguay, the Russian team must get the first place, even if everybody in the team played with covered eyes.

It’s an interesting fact, that both countries that produced the most award winning female handball teams have left already the geographical world map. Both the USSR and GDR (German Democratic Republic) teams won world championships three times each.

The modern game of handball grew out of the Danish game that replaced soccer in the wintertime. Although the haandbold became popular at the end of the 19th century in Denmark, a game with a ball played with hands was known already in the ancient Greece. Homer mentions it in his Odysseys.

Nowadays, handball is played by two teams 7 players each. Players advance the ball by batting and throwing it to the gates that are a little smaller than the football gates.

The official handball birth date is 1898 when Holger Nilsen, sports teacher from the Dannish town of Ordrup, introduced the game of haandbold as physical training classes for female-students.

In 1925 the Gernam and Austrian teams met to play at the first international handball championship. Germany lost 5:6.After handball was classified as the international sport in 1926 its popularity started to grow throughout Europe. In 1936 handball was included in the Х I Olympic games program in Germany. The latter won.

After the World War II it took several years for the game to recover. World Championship renewed in 1954 and handball was back to the Olympic program by 1972. Female teams entered the Olympics four years later. The Soviet team successful performance in Montreal followed by winning the Olympic gold in Moscow made the Soviet handball school one of the strongest in the world.

When handball was introduced to Russia in the early 1900s, it started with Kharkov, Ukraine, and soon gained many followers as gymnastics exercise.

Doctor Maly who developed it into effective and highly energetic exercise, invented a number of rules for the Ukrainian handball. According to those rules two teams 7 players each competed on the 45 X 25 meters ground. The ground was divided into three zones: defense, central and attack zone. The gates were 2 meters wide and 2,25 meters high. The game consisted of two games 30 minutes each. 20 years later almost all his rules were adopted by the international handball code of laws.

The Ukrainian handball is considered the first complete sports game in the history.

As soon as handball was included in the Olympic program, its popularity started to grow. The International Handball Federation changed some rules. For example, in Atlanta they introduced the long awaited break between the games. After the first half an hour teams got a minute long break, whereas before they were given time only to switch the gates.

The XVII World Women’s Handball Championship will take place in St. Petersburg 5 - 18 December 2005. We wish all participants success and hope that it will bring much joy and excitement to the fans.


Международная федерация гандбола   Общественная организация "Союз гандболистов России"   Общественная организация по проведению спортивных мероприятий "Открытый Санкт-Петербург"   webmaster: info@spbopen.ru
web design, Mir Design