International Amateur Handball Federation

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International Amateur Handball Federation
Abbreviation IAHF
Predecessor International Association of Athletics Federations
Formation 4 August 1928; 91 years ago (1928-08-04); during the Summer Olympics
Founded at Amsterdam, Netherlands
Extinction 1946; 74 years ago (1946)
Type International Sports Federation
Headquarters Munich, Germany
Coordinates 48°09′21″N 11°30′41″E / 48.15597°N 11.5114813°E / 48.15597; 11.5114813Coordinates: 48°09′21″N 11°30′41″E / 48.15597°N 11.5114813°E / 48.15597; 11.5114813[1]

The International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF) was the administrative and controlling body for handball and field handball. IAHF was responsible for the organisation of handball's major international tournaments, notably the IHF World Men's Handball Championship, which commenced in 1938, and the IHF World Men's Outdoor Handball Championship, which commenced in 1938.


On 13. September 1925 the first international field handball game between Germany and Austria happened. Because of this event, uniform rules and an international association were desired.

The International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) was founded in 1926 as a commission to govern all ball games played with the hands, such as field-handball, court-handball, volleyball and basketball.[2] In the same year the first international field handball rules were created in The Hague.[3]

Two years later during the 1928 Summer Olympics the IAAF invited national representatives to create an independent federation.[4] Representatives from 11 countries founded the International Amateur Handball Federation on 4th of August 1928 in Amsterdam.[2][5] The later IOC president Avery Brundage and Lauri Pihkala how invented Pesäpallo were founding members.[3][6]

The International Olympic Committee recognized handball as Olympic sport in 1933.[7] Three years later during the 1936 Summer Olympics field handball had its first and last appearance at the Summer Olympics. At this point IAHF had 23 members.[3]

In 1938 the first Outdoor and Indoor World Men's Handball Championship were organized by the IAHF.

In 1946 the successor the International Handball Federation was founded by Denmark and Sweden.[3]


Between 30 August and 2 September 1934 the IAHF and the International Basketball Federation (FIBB) negotiated. Renato William Jones FIBB president called the negotiation "Battle of Stockholm".

The two parties agreed on a six-point contract on the first of September. Only the second, third and sixth points are recorded.

2 . "The IAHF disclaim their mandate for basketball and recognizes the general authority of FIBB provided that they only deal with the management and organization of basketball. The IAHF. and the FIBB will communicate this decision to the IOC and the Permanent Office of International Associations."

3. Every national basketball association has to join the FIBB.

6. Both federation will help the other and respect the interests of the other.[8]

The contract was signed on 1 September in Stockholm by IAHF president Karl Ritter von Halt and IAHF member Tadeusz Kuchar and FIBB president Renato William Jones and FIBB vice-president Giorgio di San Marzano. Observer were Dan J. Ferris (Amateur Athletic Union/USA) and Berthold Leo Werner (Australia).

On the same day Germany, Austria, Egypt, Estonia, Poland and the United States joined the FIBB.

On 19 October the International Olympic Committee recognized basketball as Olympic sport. The first international basketball rules were created at a meeting in Lyon on 10 and 11 February 1935.[9]


The first (failed) attempt to create an independent volleyball federation at the 1934 IAHF congress in Stockholm. During a friendly match between the Czech and French national teams on 26 August 1946 the two nations and Poland created a document to create an international federation. The following year 14 nations founded the FIVB in Paris between 18 and 20 April.[10]


Name Country Start End Comment
1. Franz-Paul Lang  Germany 1928 1931 President of Deutschen Sportbehörde für Athletik
interim Karl Ritter von Halt  Germany 1931 1934 IOC Member
2. Karl Ritter von Halt  Germany 1934 1938 IOC Member
3. Richard Herrmann  Germany 1938 1941 Head of the Handball and Basketball department of NSRL[11]
4. unknown


Founding members[edit]


In 1936 there were 23 members.[12]


  1. ^ "Adresses des Fédérations Internationales Sportives" [Addresses of the international sport federations] (PDF; 13,4 MB). Bulletin officiel du Comité International Olympique (in French). Lausanne: International Olympic Committee (IOC). 9 (25): 5. April 1934. OCLC 313543287. Archived from the original on 4 May 2020. Retrieved 4 May 2020 – via Olympic World Library.
  2. ^ a b "The History of FIBA and international Basketball". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "Handball sport history?". Sports Comet. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Section 19 Handball". Handbook of the International Amateur Atheltic Federation 1927-1928. Västerås: 51. October 1928. Retrieved 4 May 2020 – via Issuu.
  5. ^ "Handball-Bundesliga". Die Welt der 80er (in German). Archived from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  6. ^ Backlund, Jens (11 August 2010). "11-Man Team handball in Finland". Archived from the original on 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Die Geschichte des Handballsports". Sportego (in German). Archived from the original on 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Handball". L'Indépendance luxembourgeoise (lb). Luxembourg City. 64 (257 & 258): 4. 15 September 1934. Retrieved 1 May 2020 – via National Library of Luxembourg.
  9. ^ "Die Geschichte des Basketballs". Ramas Welt (in German). Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Chronological Highlights". Fédération Internationale de Volleyball. Archived from the original on 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  11. ^ Eggers, Erik (2007). Handball – Eine deutsche Domäne. Verlag Die Werkstatt. pp. 70–71. ISBN 978-3-89533-558-7.
  12. ^ d (17 March 1952). "Die Handball-Weltmeisterschaften 1952 in der Schweiz". Die Tat (in German). 17 (75): 6. Retrieved 1 May 2020 – via
  13. ^ h, h (2 May 1952). "Die Internationale Handball Federation". Oberländer Tagblatt (in German): 6. Retrieved 1 May 2020 – via