When you go exercising or doing some kind of sport, you decide for yourself what you want to wear and what you would be comfortable with. But for professional athletes, it’s different, as they have uniforms that are appropriate for the sport they do, representing their country and oftentimes displaying sponsors’ logos.
However, the national women’s handball team of Norway has had enough of their uniforms as they thought they were too revealing, and in protest, they wore shorts instead of bikini bottoms. Now the team is facing a fine of €1,500 ($1,766) for breaking uniform regulations.
Norway’s women’s beach handball team is being fined €1,500 for appearing at a match wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms
Image credits: Expressen
According to the International Handball Federation’s rule book, “Athletes’ uniforms and accessories contribute to helping athletes increase their performance as well as remain coherent with the sportive and attractive image of the sport.”
When describing what the bottom part of women’s uniforms should look like, it is said, “Female athletes must wear bikini bottoms that are with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg. The side width must be of a maximum of 10 centimetres.” Meanwhile, men’s shorts “if not too baggy, can be longer but must remain 10 centimetres above the kneecap.”
The International Handball Federation’s rules state that women “must wear bikini bottoms” but men are allowed longer shorts
Image credits: handballandslagene
The Norwegian players spoke up that they feel these uniforms are too revealing, making them feel uncomfortable and unnecessarily sexualized.
Before the championship started, Norway approached the European Handball Federation asking to let their team play in shorts; however, they were not allowed to and were reminded that breaching of the rules would be punished by fines or disqualification.
Women on the Norwegian beach handball team felt uncomfortable wearing them, so they wore shorts despite knowing that they would get fined
Image credits: norwaybeachhandballwomen
The Norwegian team complied with regulations until the game with Spain for the bronze medal in Varna, Bulgaria, where they wore shorts.
On Monday, the European Handball Association’s Disciplinary Commission concluded that the Norwegian team violated the athlete uniform regulations and each member was fined €150 ($176), for a total of €1,500 ($1,766).
The Norwegian Handball Federation was in full support of their country’s team and will continue to fight these unnecessary clothing rules
Image credits: The Home of Handball
The Norwegian Handball Federation president Kare Geir Lio was completely on the country’s players’ side and said, “Of course we would pay any fine. We are all in the same boat.”
His view on the uniforms was that “The most important thing is to have equipment that athletes are comfortable with.”
Image credits: The Home of Handball
Although Norway didn’t win a medal, the Norwegian Handball Federation wrote in an Instagram post, “We are very proud of these girls who, during the European Championships in Beach Handball, raised their voices and announced that enough is enough! We, the Norwegian Handball Federation, stand behind you and support you. Together we will continue to fight to change the international regulations for clothing, so that players can play in the clothes they are comfortable with!”
Image credits: LeneWestgaard
Social media has reacted in support of the Norwegian athletes and even politicians such as Lane Westgaard-Halle voiced their opinions.
People were surprised that the athletes were forced to wear bikini bottoms by the International Handball Federation’s rules and considered it to be unfair and discriminatory.
How do you feel about the women being fined and the Federation saying it is because they were not wearing the proper uniform? Do you support the Norwegian team or do you think it’s not that big of a deal? We would like to hear your thoughts!