Norway’s women’s handball team found themselves hit with a fine over their choice of clothing during a game with Spain, and many are saying it’s completely unwarranted.
The European Handball Federation acknowledged a $1,770 fine after the team wore shorts instead of bikini bottoms at the European Beach Handball Championships game against Spain. According to the official rulebook, bikini bottoms are required to be worn while the women are competing.
“The Disciplinary Commission at the Beach Handball EURO 2021 has dealt with a case of improper clothing,” the federation said in a statement acknowledging the incident. “In the bronze medal game against Spain on Sunday the team of Norway played with shorts that are not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game.”
In an Instagram post on the matter, Norway’s Handball Federation explained that it would pay the fine and would continue to fight alongside the women who would like to be able to wear more “comfortable” clothing while competing.
View this post on Instagram
“We are very proud of these girls who are at the European Championships in beach handball,” read a statement. “They raised their voice and told us that enough is enough. We are the Norwegian Handball Federation and we stand behind you and support you. We will continue to fight to change the international regulations for attire, so that players can play in the clothing they are comfortable with.”
Norwegian Handball Federation President Kare Geir Lio reiterated the group’s stance to Agence France-Presse, saying: “The most important thing is to have equipment that athletes are comfortable with.” According to reports, the IHF has been attempting to get the uniform rules changed since 2006. As it currently stands, female athletes must 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 ten centimeters on the sides.”
In 2012, the International Volleyball Federation updated the rules, and the 2021 Olympians can wear bikinis, one-piece bathing suits, shorts and T-shirts as they see fit.
Discussing the decision to buck the status quo and wear shorts, Norway’s Katinka Haltvik explained that it was “spontaneous” and the result of some competitors feeling “threatened by the regulations.” She lamented that the current rules are “exclusive.”
“People cheered on us for going in front of several teams and taking the brunt. Not all teams can afford to pay such fines,” she opined. “[Handball] should be an inclusive sport, not an exclusive one.”
Social media users expressed their opinions on the matter, and they were varied. Some argued that rules are meant to be followed, while others asserted that the regulations exploited women and treated athletes like sex objects:
Norway's Woman's beach volleyball team wanted to play in bike shorts, but was threatened with disqualification if they didn't play in bikini bottom. So basically the ones running the tournament admits they are in the softcore porn business, and not sports business.
— Norwegian nerd (@fjell_truls) July 13, 2021
Male volleyball players are allowed to wear shorts and tank tops, while female players are forced to wear bikinis.
Norway's women's volleyball team was fined 1,500 Euros by the International Handball Federation for wearing the equivalent to what male players wear.
Sexist much? https://t.co/sRwDha04hT
— JPShadowMan (@jpshadowman) July 21, 2021
Good, either play by the rules or pay the price. Simple answer put actual women on your team who are proud of their tight BEACH bods, or bow out of the sport.
— Truth-Detector (@TruthDetector2) July 21, 2021
So, if a man who identifies as a woman would make it onto a beach handball team, would she/he be required to wear tight bikini bottoms?
— Brian Hart (@indybman63) July 21, 2021
Why are they playing volleyball on a beach in the first place? The entire point of the sport is to admire the female form. I’m sorry if this is shocking to people, but its true.. If this is no longer considered a politically correct sport, then put them in shorts and play indoors
— I Am The Walrus (@Indagogogo) July 20, 2021
What the actual F ????
What’s a skimpy bathing got to do with handball exactly??
— Zarina Khan (@DeViouSDoLL82) July 20, 2021
though many of us will miss the Bikinis, but them fine sports ladies should be allowed to wear whatevah THEY WANT, not what we ‘prefer’. *Duh*
— LOVΞLACΞ LORΞNZO ☬ (@hecxtreme) July 20, 2021
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