- The Norwegian women’s beach handball team is upset with regulation uniform.
- They are forced to wear bikini bottoms, which make them unnecessarily sexualized.
- Norway’s women chose to boycott the attire and received punishment for wearing shorts.
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Norway’s beach handball team has been fined €1,500 for wearing ‘inappropriate attire’ because they chose to wear boy shorts instead of bikini bottoms. The ruling is not only abhorrently ironic, but outdated.
According to official International Handball Federation rules:
“Women should wear a bikini where the top should be a tight-fitting sports bra with deep openings at the arms.”
“The bottom must not be more than 10 centimeters on the sides.”
The Norwegian women’s team decided to stand up to the rules at the European Championships. Believing that the bikini bottoms were too revealing, they wanted to wear shorts at the competition instead.
Norwegian Handball Federation
Players reportedly said that the bottoms make them feel unnecessarily sexualized and uncomfortable when they are dealing with their menstruation periods. Their thoughts make sense, and they are ultimately the ones who are competing, so their voices should be heard.
French national team manager Valérie Nicolas backed Norway’s sentiments:
“We have lost players due to the suits. The players tell me they are uncomfortable, feel naked, and watched. It is a sport with a lot of movement and you are hindered by the bikini,” she said. “There is also discomfort associated with menstruation and not least religion.”
Trying to get out in front.
However, ahead of their arrival in Varnia, Bulgaria, they were told that they could be barred from competition if they didn’t wear the bikini bottoms. The team was prepared to pay fines, but did not want to sit out of the Championships.
“So then we are forced to play with panties. It is so embarrassing,” said Norway’s Katinka Haltvik to national broadcasting company NRK.
“First we were told about a fine of €50 ($58) per person per match, something that would have landed us a fine of about €4,850 ($5,700). We accepted that.”
“However, just before the match we were told that we will be disqualified if we play like that. So we had to go with the bikini bottoms.”
After being denied their request to play in shorts, the Norwegian team played its way into the Bronze Medal Match.
With just the one game left, and the threat of disqualification unable to ruin their chances of advancing in the tournament, the team decided to defy the IHF’s arbitrary and outdated rules.
Facing Spain in the medal round, the Norwegian women took to the court wearing their spandex shorts.
Although Norway lost to Spain, the message was sent. The women do not want to play in bikini bottoms and they should not have to.
Watch these insane highlights (some of these goals are BONKERS!!) and try to make a case that their shorts hindered their play. You can’t.
After their completely justified and reasonable rebellion, Norway was fined €1,500 by the International Handball Federation for breaking the rules.
The Norwegian Beach Handball Association has long been pushing for international regulation on team attire be amended, if not abolished. Even after being fined, Norwegian Handball Federation president Kare Geir Lio is right behind the players.
“Of course we would pay any fine,” he said. “We are all in the same boat. The most important thing is to have equipment that athletes are comfortable with.”
“It should be a free choice within a standardized framework.”
Along with the fine, Norway’s shorts — which cover significantly more than the bikini bottoms — were deemed “inappropriate attire.”
Does the IHF not see the irony?! It’s time to get with it.