International Amateur Handball Federation

The International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF) was the administrative and controlling body for handball and field handball. IAHF was responsible for the organisation of handball's major international tournaments, notably the World Men's Handball Championship, which commenced in 1938, and the World Men's Outdoor Handball Championship, which commenced in 1938. The organization was dissolved after World War II.[2]

International Amateur Handball Federation
PredecessorInternational Association of Athletics Federations
Formation4 August 1928; 92 years ago (1928-08-04); during the Summer Olympics
Founded atAmsterdam, Netherlands
Dissolved1946; 75 years ago (1946)
TypeInternational Sports Federation
HeadquartersMunich, Germany
Coordinates48.15597°N 11.5114813°E / 48.15597; 11.5114813[1]


On 13. September 1925 the first international field handball game between Germany and Austria happened. Because of this event, uniform rules and an international association were desired.

In 1926, the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) created a commission to govern all ball games played with the hands, such as field-handball, court-handball, volleyball and basketball.[3] In the same year the first international field handball rules were created in The Hague.[4]

Two years later during the 1928 Summer Olympics the IAAF invited national representatives to create an independent federation.[5] Representatives from 11 countries founded the International Amateur Handball Federation on 4th of August 1928 in Amsterdam.[3][6] The later IOC president Avery Brundage and Lauri Pihkala how invented Pesäpallo were founding members.[4][7]

The International Olympic Committee recognized handball as Olympic sport in 1933.[8] Three years later during the 1936 Summer Olympics field handball had its first and last appearance at the Summer Olympics. At this point IAHF had 23 members.[4]

In 1938 the first Outdoor and Indoor World Men's Handball Championship were organized by the IAHF.

In 1946 the successor the International Handball Federation was founded by Denmark and Sweden.[4]


In 1934 the oversight of Basketball was transfer to the Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBB).


The first (failed) attempt to create an independent volleyball federation at the 1934 IAHF congress in Stockholm. During a friendly match between the Czech and French national teams on 26 August 1946 the two nations and Poland created a document to create an international federation. The following year 14 nations founded the FIVB in Paris between 18 and 20 April.[9]


1.Franz-Paul Lang Germany19281931President of Deutschen Sportbehörde für Athletik
interimKarl Ritter von Halt Germany19311934IOC Member
2.Karl Ritter von Halt Germany19341938IOC Member
3.Richard Herrmann Germany19381941Head of the Handball and Basketball department of NSRL[10]


Founding members


In 1936 there were 23 members.[11]


  1. "Adresses des Fédérations Internationales Sportives" [Addresses of the international sport federations] (PDF; 13,4 MB). Bulletin officiel du Comité International Olympique (in French). Lausanne: International Olympic Committee (IOC). 9 (25): 5. April 1934. OCLC 313543287. Archived from the original on 4 May 2020. Retrieved 4 May 2020 via Olympic World Library.
  2. Krieger, Jörg; Duckworth, Austin (2021). "Annexation or fertile inclusion? The origins of handball's international organisational structures". Sport in History. doi:10.1080/17460263.2021.1927810. ISSN 1746-0263.
  3. "The History of FIBA and international Basketball". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  4. "Handball sport history?". Sports Comet. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  5. "Section 19 Handball". Handbook of the International Amateur Athletic Federation 1927-1928. Västerås: 51. October 1928. Retrieved 4 May 2020 via Issuu.
  6. "Handball-Bundesliga". Die Welt der 80er (in German). Archived from the original on 5 September 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  7. Backlund, Jens (11 August 2010). "11-Man Team handball in Finland". Archived from the original on 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  8. "Die Geschichte des Handballsports". Sportego (in German). Archived from the original on 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  9. "Chronological Highlights". Fédération Internationale de Volleyball. Archived from the original on 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  10. Eggers, Erik (2007). Handball – Eine deutsche Domäne. Verlag Die Werkstatt. pp. 70–71. ISBN 978-3-89533-558-7.
  11. d (17 March 1952). "Die Handball-Weltmeisterschaften 1952 in der Schweiz". Die Tat (in German). 17 (75): 6. Retrieved 1 May 2020 via
  12. h, h (2 May 1952). "Die Internationale Handball Federation". Oberländer Tagblatt (in German): 6. Retrieved 1 May 2020 via