International Handball Federation finally update sexist uniform rules

The International Handball Federation (IHF) has changed its uniform rules after being criticised for requiring female beach players to wear bikinis.

Yes, that’s right, it is 2021 and the IHF has only just allowed female beach handball players to dress comfortably after a controversy blew up at the European Championships in July.

Norway’s female team were fined €1,500 ($2,324.44 AUD) when players chose to wear shorts for their game instead of bikini bottoms.

Norwegian Handball Federation/Instagram

The IHF was publicly branded as sexist and outdated, which was only made more public when US singer P!nk offered to pay the team’s fine. Norway’s Handball Federation (NHF) announced it would pay the fines but would continue to fight to change the rules so that players could be comfortable.

An Australian activist based in Norway, Talitha Stone, petitioned for the uniform rules to be reformed.

In September, government ministers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden asked the IHF to reconsider the uniform rules, hoping for a review that is in accordance with gender equality.

Stone told her supporters over the weekend that she was successful in her campaigning after receiving 61,000 signatures on the petition.

Talitha Stone

The IHF has not yet made a statement however, in the latest beach handball rule book, dated the 3rd of October, there was no mention of bikinis.

The updated rules say female beach handball players can now wear body fit tank tops and short tight pants.