At the 3rd Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires Beach Handball will make its debute along with Acrobatic Gymnastics, Breakdancing, Karate, Roller Skating, Bascketball 3×3, Field Hockey and Futsal. In Beach Handball Russia will be represented by the women’s team, consisting of athletes (under 18), who took 6th place at the 2018 European Championship in Montenegro.
Handball tournament draw was conducted on September 8, 2018, in Buenos Aires. IHF Beach Handball Working Group Chairman Giampiero Masi placed the Russian team into Group A. So Anna Sidoricheva’s team will play against the teams of Hungary, Croatia, Taipeh (China), Samoa (USA) and Mauritius. Group B consists of the teams of Holland, Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay, Hong Kong and Turkey. Thus 12 teams will start the tournaments on October 8.
The first three teams in each group will pass to the final phase where they will carry over the points obtained against the opponents that also make it to the group of six but will only face opponents from the other zone. The four first teams in the elimination stage will face one another to determine which teams will vie for the gold medal and the match for third place.
Main rules of the Beach Handball:
- the application must consist of 9 players;
- a maximum of 4 players may be at the playing court including the goalkeeper, who can participate in the attacks, acting as a “joker”;
- the goals scored by the goalkeeper, as well as the goals scored by a penalty throw or spectacular goals are worth 2 points, that is why the players usually make spin shots after a 360 degree turn;
- the game consists of 2 periods, 10 minutes each, the intermission lasts 5 minutes;
- the winner of each period is awarded one point, the difference between the missed shots and the scored goals does not matter;
- if atter 2 periods each team has one point, a “Shootout” is used.
Head Coach of the Rssian women’s Beach Handball team (U18) Anna Sidoricheva in an interview with the ROC Information Service said that the final composition of the team wil be defined at the training camp in Korolyov.
– The training sessions at the training camp in Moscow Oblast, will start on September 22. There will be an indoor sandy playground at our disposal. Equipping is scheduled for September 26 and will take place in Moscow. By this time the coaching staff will choose 9 players, that will go to Buenos Aires.
– Will there be many changes to the application, compared to the one at the 2018 European Championship?
– No. To my mind the team composition that performed in Montenegro was the strongest in the history of this team. We qualified from the group confidently, but in the quarterfinals we were defeated by the future European champions, the Hungarian team. In both periods we lost by 2 points. At that, in my opinion at the end of the first period there was a certain infraction on our joker, but the judges evaluated it differently. As a result, it was a bitter loss…
- Don’t you think that the rules of the Beach Handball are far from being perfect? The first period, won with a great score can be devaluated by a minimum loss in the second one. And then it’s a lottery…
- We also have to take into account the weather factor. We play outside under the sky. Rain or wind can seriously affect the game. But I think that if the team is confident and well prepared it will show good results in any conditions. In Montenegro the coaching staff and the players made some mistakes. Somebody just didn’t have enough trainings on the sand.
- Unfortunately in Russia Beach Handball is not very popular. It is good if ten teams will participate in the national championship, and still they all will be representing the same region – Krasnodar Krai. Sometimes teams from Togliatti come. As a matter of fact, our Beach Handball hinges on certain coaches and enthusiasts, such as for example Sergey Fomenko, Andrey Garkaviy, Anton Baskakov. I got involved into the Beach Handball by Vladimir Kiyashko. And since then I fell in love with this game!
- Who is the main favorite of the Youth Olympic Tournament in your opinion?
- Holland and Hungary. These teams met in the finals at this year’s European Championship. When it was announced that Beach Handball might be included into the Youth Olympic Games program, in Holland for example 23 teams applied for the national championship at once! I hope that after the Games in Buenos Aires in our country Beach Handball will also develop properly.
- Our team and the team of Hungary got into the same group. Why don’t we gain revenge at once?
- We do not have such thoughts. We have to correct mistakes made in the quarterfinals and then we will see. The stronger will take the victory.
- Are there dark horses in our group?
- For me the Samoa team is the one. Honestly, I know nothing about this team. I was told about the Mauritius team by my colleagues, who went to the last year’s World Championship (U17), that was held on that island. The team of Taipei (China) I saw myself at the adult World Championship in Kazan. Of course, the age is different, but at least it’s the same school.