Beach HandballTeams from around the world descended on Weymouth over the weekend for the resort's third beach handball tournament.
"Players from as far as Brazil and Spain made the trip to Dorset this weekend for the town's Beach Handball tournament. Fifteen teams from around the world entered the competition, including the existing champions Don Bosco from Ghent in Belgium.
Although they put on a great display in their final match against Spanish newcomers Bilbao, the champions were unable to defend their title, losing 2-0.
Weymouth Beach Handball finalists
Indoor English champions, Ruislip Eagles, retained the women’s title and Dutch team, Halo, beat Liverpool Hope in the men’s Plate competition final. Southampton University beat off seven other teams to take the title in the mixed tournament.
Local interests were also well represented in the fun mixed competition on Sunday morning by Real Weymouth, a team of young players from the town who played as juniors back in 2003. They even managed a win against more experienced competition in the form of Liverpool Hope, finalists in the men’s plate competition.
Beach Handball is a new outdoor version of the Olympic team sport. The rules of beach handball are slightly different to indoor team handball - teams are made up of four players and a rubber ball is used. Play takes place on a smaller sand court with extra points given for spectacular goals.
Success in the Weymouth tournament meant claiming valuable points as part of the European Handball Federation's European Beach Handball Tour.
Beach Handball was first played in England in the summer of 2000 when England Handball organised the very first tournament in Ashford, Kent, some twenty miles from the nearest beach!
The event was jointly organised with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council who will also be hosting the annual Beach Volleyball tournament later in the summer. The organisers are hoping to run another beach handball tournament next summer."