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Federation will no longer require women's beach handball players to wear bikinis following backlash

Beach handball
Posted at 12:50 PM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 12:59:19-04

Women's beach handball players will no longer be required to wear bikinis while competing, according to new standards set by the International Handball Federation.

The change comes after Norway's women's beach handball team was fined in July after they chose to wear tight-fitting shorts and tank tops instead of bikinis during a match on July 18.

The fine prompted international backlash from critics who said the bikini requirements "sexualized" female athletes. Others pointed out that men's uniforms include shorts and tank tops and called the difference between men's and women's uniforms a "double standard."

The new uniform regulations indicate that female beach handballers will wear tank top jerseys and tight-fitting shorts — a standard that more closely resembles the men's uniforms.

According to the new regulations, both men's and women's tank tops are "sleeveless and close fitting." Neither men nor women are permitted to wear T-shirts under their jerseys.

Players' shorts must be cut at least 10 centimeters above a player's kneecap. Women are required to wear "short tight pants with a close fit" — a standard that does not apply to men.

During cold weather matches, players are permitted to wear a "tight shirt" and "long tight pants (down to the ankle and not to the knees)."

According to NBC News, the IHF adopted the new standards on Oct. 3. The changes will go into effect in January 2022.