International Handball Federation
Other sports
Preceding organisationsInternational Amateur Athletic Federation
International Amateur Handball Federation
Year of formationJuly 12, 1946; 77 years ago (1946-07-12)
Membership size209 members
Other affiliation(s)
PresidentHassan Moustafa
Honorary president
  • Peter Merian-Strasse 23, P.O. Box CH-4002, Basel
General directorAmal Khalifa
Official language(s)English, French and German
Main organIHF Congress
IHF Council
Company statusActive
Operating incomeIncrease CHF 7.24 million or US$ 7.84 million (in 2022)
Increase CHF 2.10 million or US$ 2.28 million (in 2023)
Hummel International
Molten Corporation

The International Handball Federation (IHF) is the administrative and controlling body for handball and beach handball.[1] IHF is 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 Women's Handball Championship, which commenced in 1957.

IHF was founded in 1946 to oversee international competitions. Headquartered in Basel, its membership now comprises 209 national federations. Each member country must each also be a member of one of the six regional confederations: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Caribbean, Oceania, and South and Central America. Hassan Moustafa from Egypt has been President of the IHF since 26 November 2000.


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The IHF was founded on 11 July 1946, in Copenhagen (Denmark) by representatives of eight national federations. The founding members were Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland. The first president of IHF was Gösta Björk from Sweden. Björk was replaced in 1950 by Hans Baumann from Switzerland. In 1954, the first IHF Men's World Championship, was conducted under the aegis of the IHF, in Sweden with the participation of six national teams. In 1957, the first IHF World Women's Handball Championship was held in SFR Yugoslavia with the participation of nine national teams. Handball was included in the Olympic Games for the first time under the auspices of IHF in Munich 1972 (men's tournament) and Montreal 1976 (women's tournament).


Laws and governance

IHF is headquartered in Basel, and is a federation established under the Law of Switzerland. IHF's supreme body is the IHF Congress, an assembly made up of representatives from each affiliated member association. Each national handball association has one vote, regardless of its size or handballing strength. The Congress assembles in ordinary session once in two years (odd years) after the IHF World Men's Handball Championship. The congress makes decisions relating to IHF's governing statutes and their method of implementation and application. Only the Congress can pass changes to IHF's statutes. The congress approves the annual report, and decides on the acceptance of new national associations and holds elections. Congress elects the President of IHF, its General Secretary, and the other members of the IHF Council. IHF's Council, chaired by the President, is the main decision-making body of the organisation in the intervals of Congress. The Council is composed of 18 people: the President, 5 Vice Presidents, and 12 members. The Council is the body that decides which country will host the World Championship. The President and General Secretary are the main officeholders of IHF, and are in charge of its daily administration, carried out by the General Secretariat. Hassan Moustafa is the current president, appointed in the year 2000 at the 28th Ordinary IHF Congress.

Six confederations and 209 national associations

The IHF is composed of six continental federations which organize continental championships held every other second year: African Handball Confederation, Asian Handball Federation, European Handball Federation, North America and the Caribbean Handball Confederation, Oceania Continent Handball Federation, and South and Central America Handball Confederation. In addition to continental competitions between national teams, the federations arrange international tournaments between club teams.[2]

Until 2017, there were five continental confederations. On 14 January 2018, the IHF Council divided the Pan-American Confederation into the North America and the Caribbean Handball Confederation and the South and Central America Handball Confederation. The authority to divide a continental confederation was assigned to the IHF Congress, but the 36th IHF Congress in 2017 authorized the IHF Council to divide the Pan-American Team Handball Federation.[3]

IHF presidents

No. Name Country Term
1. Gösta Björk  Sweden 11 July 1946 – 9 September 1950
2. Hans Baumann   Switzerland 9 September 1950 – 9 February 1971
Interim Paul Högberg  Sweden 9 February 1971 – 23 August 1972
3. Paul Högberg  Sweden 23 August 1972 – 25 July 1984
4. Erwin Lanc  Austria 25 July 1984 – 26 November 2000
5. Hassan Moustafa  Egypt 26 November 2000 – present

† Hans Baumann died in office on 9 February 1971 due to illness.

IHF Executive committee

The following is the IHF Executive Committee for the term 2021 — 2025.

Designation Name
President Egypt Hassan Moustafa
1st Vice-president France Joël Delplanque
Treasurer Sweden Anna Rapp
Executive members Romania Narcisa Lecușanu
Czech Republic František Táborský
Managing director Egypt Amal Khalifa

IHF Council

Main article: IHF Council

The IHF Council is the IHF's main decision-making body between meetings of the IHF Congress. It is currently serving a 2021—2025 term.

IHF commissions

Commission Chairperson
IHF Commission of Organising and Competitions Denmark Per Bertelsen
IHF Playing Rules and Referees Commission Norway Per Morten Sødal
IHF Commission of Coaching and Methods Germany Dietrich Späte
IHF Medical Commission TBD
IHF Commission for Development Croatia Tomislav Grahovac
IHF Athletes' Commission Poland Karolina Kudłacz-Gloc
IHF Arbitration Commission Croatia Lovro Badzim
IHF Arbitration Tribunal Montenegro Zoran Radojičić
IHF Ethics Commission Egypt Hussein Moustafa Fathy

IHF tournaments

Beach handball
Wheelchair handball
Club handball
Multi-sport events

Title holders

International title holders

Competition Men's Champion Women's Champion
World Cup  Denmark (2023) (3)  France (2023) (3)
Handball Olympic Tournament  France (2020) (3*)  France (2020) (1)
Emerging Nations Championship  Cuba (2023) (1)
Junior World Championship  Germany (2023) (3)  Norway (2022) (2)
Youth World Championship  Spain (2023) (1)  South Korea (2022) (1)
Handball Youth Olympic Tournament  Slovenia (2014) (1*)  South Korea (2014) (1*)
IHF Inter-Continental Trophy  Cuba (2023) (1*)  Bulgaria (2017) (2)
Club World Cup Germany SC Magdeburg (2023) (3) Angola 1º de Agosto (2019) (1*)
Beach Handball World Championship  Croatia (2022) (3)  Germany (2022) (1)
Youth Beach Handball World Championship  Croatia (2022) (1*)  Spain (2022) (1*)

Continental title holders

Africa Asia Europe Oceania Pan-America
Senior Men's  Egypt (2022) (8)  Qatar (2022) (5)  Sweden (2022) (5*)  Australia (2014) (8*)  Argentina (2018) (7)
Senior Women's  Angola (2022) (15*)  South Korea (2022) (16*)  Norway (2022) (9*)  Australia (2016) (7*)  Brazil (2017) (10*)
Men's Continental Games  Angola (2019) (1)  Qatar (2022) (3)  Australia (2006) (2*)  Argentina (2023) (3*)
Women's Continental Games  Angola (2019) (7*)  Japan (2022) (1)  New Caledonia (2007) (1*)  Brazil (2023) (7*)
Junior Men's  Egypt (2022) (13*)  Japan (2022) (1)  Spain (2022) (3)  Australia (2022) (5*)  Brazil (2017) (6*)
Junior Women's  Angola (2023) (11*)  South Korea (2023) (16*)  Hungary (2023) (3)  New Caledonia (2023) (2*)  Brazil (2018) (9*)
Youth Boys  Egypt (2022) (7*)  South Korea (2022) (3*)  Spain (2022) (2)  French Polynesia (2022) (2*)  Argentina (2017) (8*)
Youth Girls  Egypt (2023) (5*)  Japan (2023) (1)  France (2023) (2)  New Caledonia (2023) (3*)  Brazil (2018) (12*)
Boys' Continental Youth Games  Qatar (2013) (1*)  Germany (2023) (3*)
Girls' Continental Youth Games  South Korea (2013) (1*)  France (2023) (2)
Men's Club Egypt Al-Zamalek SC (2019) (12*) Kuwait Al-Kuwait SC (2022) (1) Germany SC Magdeburg (2022–23) (4) Australia University of Queensland (2023) (1) Brazil H. Taubaté (2018) (5*)
Women's Club Angola 1º de Agosto (2019) (6) Kazakhstan Kaysar Club (2019) (2*) Norway Vipers Kristiansand (2022–23) (3) Australia University of Technology Sydney (2023) (1) Brazil EC Pinheiros (2017) (1*)
Men's Beach Handball  Iran (2022) (1)  Hungary (2023) (1)  New Zealand (2022) (1)  Brazil (2018) (7*)
Women's Beach Handball  Vietnam (2022) (1)  Germany (2023) (3*)  Australia (2022) (5*)  Brazil (2018) (4*)
Men's Youth Beach Handball  Iran (2022) (1*)  Sweden (2021)  Australia (2017) (1*)  Brazil (2017) (1*)
Women's Youth Beach Handball  Thailand (2022) (1*)  Hungary (2021)  American Samoa (2017) (1*)  Argentina (2017) (1*)

Member federations

Category A[definition needed]
Category B
Category C

Associated members

Regional members

IHF Awards

The IHF issues awards to organisations and individuals in recognition of their particular contribution to developing the sport of handball and the IHF.

These awards are:

IHF partners

Type Partner
Official sportswear Hummel International
Host broadcaster Sportfive
Official ball supplier Molten Corporation
Official floor supplier Gerflor


  1. ^ Krieger, Jörg; Duckworth, Austin (2021). "Annexation or fertile inclusion? The origins of handball's international organisational structures". Sport in History. 42 (2): 235–256. doi:10.1080/17460263.2021.1927810. ISSN 1746-0263. S2CID 236363980.
  2. ^ "Bylaws" (PDF). International Handball Federation. September 2007. p. 7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 August 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  3. ^ "IHF statement related to Pan-American continent". IHF. 19 January 2018.