NEWS REPORT: 29 senior and 27 under 17 teams will take to the sandy courts at Jarun Lake when the Beach Handball EUROs come to Croatia in June. With 56 teams in total, it will be the biggest final tournament to date
Participants confirmed for Beach Handball EUROs 2017
Beach handball is getting more and more popular in Europe: Across the under 17 and the senior national team event, 56 teams have registered for the Beach Handball EURO 2017, turning the event into the biggest EURO since the first championship took place in 2000.
29 teams, 14 men's and 15 women's squads, will be part of the senior event, while 27 teams, 15 men's and 12 women's, will participate in the under 17 EURO.
The juniors take to the court from 16 to 18 June 2017, followed by the seniors from 20 to 25 June. Event location is the popular Jarun Lake in the south of Croatia's capital Zagreb.
The senior championship will be played with two groups of seven teams each in the men's event and three groups of five teams each in the women's event.
In both events the first four teams of each group qualify for the main round, meaning that this stage of the men's competition will be played with two groups of four teams, while it will be two groups with six teams each in the women's event.
The first four teams of each group qualify for the quarter-finals.
The group distribution for the juniors event is as follows.
In the men's under 17 event, the teams ranked first and second of each group as well as the two best third ranked teams qualify for the quarter-finals. In the women's under 17 competition, the first two teams of each group play the semi-finals against each other.
For the first time since 2004, the French Handball Federation has entered teams for the Beach Handball EURO, registering men's and women's teams for the senior event.
Croatia have been one of the most dominant nations in beach handball. The men's team are four-time consecutive European champions, having won the EURO events in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. The women's team won gold at the Beach Handball EURO 2011 in Umag.
Hungary are the defending champions in the women's event. Spain won the Men's U16 Beach Handball EURO in Nazare last year; the Netherlands topped the podium in the women's event.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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