With 18 teams and 325 participants competing to win a place at the IHF Trophy World Finals, it is the largest international sporting tournament ever hosted in the ASB Sports Centre.
While handball is relatively unknown in New Zealand, the sport is already played by 166 nations worldwide with 175,000 clubs and 19 million people.
“Handball is a fast-growing sport and we’re delighted to host this competition at the excellent ASB Sports Centre facilities,” says Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.
Councillor Paul Eagle, Chair, Wellington City Council Community Sport and Recreation Committee, says “It’s great to see this exciting, fast paced sport keeping people active.”
"Having the tournament in Wellington gives New Zealand Handball an opportunity to show the Oceania and worldwide handball communities that we have an incredible facility at ASB Sports Centre, and also the organisational capacity within the New Zealand Handball Federation (NZHF) to carry off a large tournament like this,” says Mornay Loubser, ASB Sports Centre Operations Team Leader.
Tournament Organiser, Claire Hammond: says “The final is going to be a must-watch with the New Zealand women’s team fighting for a place at the IHF Trophy World Final, while the New Zealand men are yet to endure a tough semi-final game this afternoon.”
Handball is a fast-paced contact sport that combines the techniques of soccer and basketball. Players can handle and throw the ball using their hands to score and block goals, but must not touch the ball with their feet.
Finals will be played on Saturday afternoon with the Women’s at 12.30pm and the Men’s at 2.30pm.
Tickets for the final are $10 for adults, $5 for students and donation for under-13s.
Games are being livestreamed on the NZHF website and other footage is being uploaded to the NZHF website over time.