The national competitions for season 2020-21 organised by the Malta Handball Association will commence this weekend.
Following the abrupt disruption due to COVID-19 back in March, the new MHA management board has, together with its member clubs, planned out a new league format to kick off the official handball season.
A rigorous “Back to Handball Covid protocol” was put in place for the safety of all concerned based on guidelines from the local Health Authorities, SportMalta and the International/European Handball Federations.
“Since the game in itself is an indoor contact sport it was very important for us to put together a strict protocol and follow a cautious approach due to the COVID situation,” MHA president Paul Zammit said.
“The MHA and the clubs are collaborating fully to these guidelines so that we can all enjoy the game in a safe environment.
“Now it’s time to get back to playing handball and get the competitions underway. The players and coaches have been preparing for the new season for quite some time.
“Hopefully we can start and finish because we are aware of the possibility that we could have one or more positive cases as we go along but precautions have been put in place to minimize such.”
Over the past two weekends, the MHA organised friendlies for all the clubs under the ‘Back to Handball protocol” as a means of a trial period to make sure all guidelines are adhered to and to sort out any minor concerns and details before starting the official competitions.
Saturday will be the first day for the national senior leagues which will go on until end February with a two-round league for men and four rounds for the women.
All other age group competitions will initiate over the next few months accordingly.
In the senior men’s league, an U-24 national team selection will be also participating in preparation for international commitments in April 2021.
Also, one of the clubs’ ladies team is due to play in a European competition next month and so it was also essential for them that the leagues commence as soon as possible.
The MHA has also made arrangements with a local company to live stream one game every weekend to help increase in viewership.
The management board is also working on an outreach programme to promote the game through all sorts of networks to increase popularity and exposure, such as live streaming, social media and school programmes.
In collaboration with the Sports Promotion Unit of SportMalta, handball will be given its due importance for children to practice in most schools.
In addition to this Handball was also included as one of the sport disciplines in the ‘On the move’ schedule organised by SportMalta, held every Saturday morning at the Cottonera Sports Xomplex.
Furthermore, for the first time the National Sports School has included Handball as one of its sport disciplines.
Three children have been chosen and will start getting individual training throughout this scholastic year by a qualified handball coach.
For more details and info about handball in Malta please follow the Malta Handball Association facebook page and for any queries please send on [email protected].
Saturday: Women’s Division One 1pm Aloysians Prominent vs La Salle. Men’s Division One 3pm Aloysians Sixt vs Kavallieri RS2; 5pm Valletta vs Swieqi Yobetit Phoenix.
Sunday: Women’s Division One 9am Kavallieri RS2 vs Swieqi Yobetit Phoenix. Men’s Division One 11am La Salle vs Ħamrun Oil Vibra.