Hands up if you're flying for flag for Chichester at the nationals

The University of Chichester handball team travelled to Medway, Kent, for the annual British University Handball Championships.

The WSIHE team at the nationals
The WSIHE team at the nationals

For a number of years the university side, affectionately known as WSIHE along with all other University of Chichester sport teams, have been able to field male and female teams to compete on the national stage.

The club have enjoyed great success in recent years at the tournaments with the women’s side last year winning the national plate, as well as the men’s first team reaching the cup quarter-final in 2017.

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Although the sport is growing in profile and now many teams exist up and down the country, the rules and regulations of the game are still not widely known by those outside the sport.

Handball action at the University of Chichester

Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven pass the ball using their hands with the aim of throwing it into the goal of the other team.

The modern version of the sport was founded at the end of the 19th century in northern Europe, primarily in Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

This year’s university event was the first under the new restructured tournament system from England Handball and Chichester fielded two sides; one male and one female, competing in the men’s shield and women’s plate competitions respectively.

For the men’s side, a thunderous start against the University of Birmingham in an 18-2 win was followed by a tough 19-4 loss to an incredibly strong Lincoln University side, who would go on to win it.

Handball action at the University of Chichester

On the tournament’s second day the men’s side endured further misfortune with narrow losses to Warwick and Heriot Watt universities, followed by a narrow 15-13 loss to Leeds Beckett University in their final seventh/eighth place play-off game.

For the women’s side, mainly made up of players new to the sport, there was an impressive showing, with wins against Kent University and LJMU, before losses to very strong sides from Birmingham and Oxford University.

These two losses were followed by an exhilarating play-off fixture against University College London in which the women’s side lost in the dying stages 13-12.

All in all, taking into account the adjustments needing to be made to the new tournament format as well as the introduction of a number of new players to both sides, the university’s teams performed well over the tournament with the men’s side finishing eighth overall and the women’s side sixth.

Both teams are analysing their performances and are eager to get back to playing the sport they love in the future.

by JACK VANCE

University of Chichester Handball Club vice-president

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