Handball is the first sport ever organised as a FISU World University Championship – in 1963 in the Swedish city of Lund. Since then the discipline has grown until it became one of the most important sports in the Championship programme.
FISU Technical Committee Chairs
The History of Handball in FISU
In 1963 in Lund, seven countries showed up, making it a good start. Then, in 1971, 1973 and 1987, 16 teams took part and this is still today’s record. Originally from Germany, this sport is hugely popular in schools and universities. This is why the technical performance level has been high from the very first edition. The public also tends to be very present at these tournaments. The 1998 edition in Novi Sad, Serbia, as well as the 2006 one in Gdansk, Poland, were of a very high level. In Serbia the arena was sold out for the final. The former Yugoslavian team played before a public of 7,000 spectators, with live TV broadcasting. In Poland both men’s and women’s finals were sold out, both of them recording an attendance of 3,000 spectators. It was striking to see how friendly the atmosphere was throughout the matches, despite the high level of competitors – many of them from their national A team.
In 1994, the sport was opened to women, with a first World University Championship staged in Bratislava. Notable for the presence of the Asian teams, this championship was won by the local team. In 2006 in Gdansk, Poland, the World University Handball Championship included both men’s and women’s tournaments. The 2012 edition was held in Blumenau, Brazil, the first one to be staged away from the European continent.