Sports

Bikini rule changed in beach handball after Norwegian player protest

Bikini-style uniforms will no longer be mandated for female beach handball players following protests by players and European lawmakers.

'Short tight pants' allowed but gender divide remains in updated IHF equipment rules

A new rule announced Monday by the International Handball Federation will allow women to wear "short tight pants" instead of bikinis. In July, Norwegian players wore shorts at the European Championship in protest of bikini-style uniforms being mandated. (Ilnar Tukhbatov/Epsilon/Getty Images/File)

Bikini-style uniforms will no longer be mandated for female beach handball players following protests by players and European lawmakers.

The new wording by the sport's governing body follows a campaign started by the Norwegian national team in July and now allows women to wear "short tight pants" instead of bikinis.

The Norwegian federation was fined because players wore "improper clothing" at the European Championship in July. They had worn shorts to protest the bikini rule.

Team handball's rules ahead of the Tokyo Olympics seemed out of line with an IOC directive to curb overly sexualized images of female athletes.

There is still a gender divide in the updated International Handball Federation equipment rules.

Female players are told to wear pants "with a close fit" while men's shorts can be "not too baggy."

The Switzerland-based IHF updated the rules in a document on its website dated Oct. 3. Days earlier, the sports ministers from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland urged the IHF and other international sports to let athletes "be dressed in a way that suits performance and comfort."

Pop singer Pink had supported the Norwegians and offered to pay the 1,500 euro ($1,700 US) fine, saying she was "very proud" of the team for challenging the rule.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now