Norway’s girls’s seaside handball group was fined by the European Handball Federation on Monday, after gamers wore shorts, as an alternative of the required bikini bottoms, throughout a sport over the weekend.
The Worldwide Handball Federation requires girls to put on bikini bottoms “with a detailed match and minimize on an upward angle towards the highest of the leg.” The perimeters of the bikini bottoms have to be not more than 4 inches. Males, however, can put on shorts so long as 4 inches above their knees so long as they’re “not too dishevelled.”
A spokeswoman for the Worldwide Handball Federation, Jessica Rockstroh, stated on Tuesday that she didn’t know the rationale for the foundations. “We’re trying into it internally,” she stated.
Ms. Rockstroh stated that the group’s focus for the time being was on the Olympics, not uniforms, and that the group had not acquired official complaints beforehand. She later stated Norway was the one nation that had formally complained. “Globally we all know that different nations wish to play in bikinis, for instance, particularly in South America,” she stated.
Norway’s group had been planning for weeks to flout the foundations to level out the double commonplace for feminine athletes. The gamers wore shorts for Sunday’s bronze medal sport towards Spain on the European Seaside Handball Championships in Varna, Bulgaria.
“I don’t see why we are able to’t play in shorts,” stated Martine Welfler, one of many Norwegian gamers. “With a lot physique shaming and stuff like that lately, you must have the ability to put on a bit bit extra if you play.”
Every Norwegian participant was fined 150 euros (about $177), for a complete nice of €1,500.
Kare Geir Lio, the pinnacle of the Norwegian Handball Federation, stated the group would pay the nice. He stated Norway had repeatedly complained in regards to the bikini backside requirement to the worldwide federation since 2006. “Nothing has occurred,” he stated.
Feminine athletes have spoken out towards the double requirements for his or her uniforms many instances in current a long time. Ladies are required to put on extra revealing outfits in a number of sports activities, together with observe and discipline, seaside volleyball and tennis. In 2011, the Badminton World Federation decreed that ladies should put on skirts or attire to play on the elite stage with the intention to assist revive flagging curiosity in girls’s badminton.
In some instances, girls have been fined for his or her uniforms being too lengthy. In others, the uniforms have been too brief.
In the course of the English observe championships over the weekend, the Paralympian sprinter and long-jumper Olivia Breen stated she was instructed by an official that the working briefs she was carrying had been inappropriate.
“I used to be simply chatting with my teammate, actually joyful, and this official got here as much as me and she or he was like, ‘Can I converse to you Olivia?’” Ms. Breen stated in an interview Tuesday. “She was identical to, ‘I feel your briefs are too revealing and I feel you must think about shopping for a brand new pair of shorts.’”
Ms. Breen stated she was greatly surprised: “My first response was ‘are you joking?” And he or she simply stated ‘No, I’m not. And I feel you must actually think about shopping for a pair of shorts.’”
The alternate left Ms. Breen and her teammate speechless, she added. “It simply made me so indignant,” she stated. “We shouldn’t be instructed what we are able to put on and what we are able to’t put on. Why would you make a remark like that?”
Mr. Lio, of the Norwegian Handball Federation, stated there was no motive girls needs to be required to put on bikini bottoms in video games. “Ladies ought to have the suitable to have a uniform they assume is appropriate for performing of their sport,” he stated.
In a 2006 letter to the Worldwide Handball Federation, Norway’s handball federation stated the requirement for ladies to put on bikini bottoms was insensitive to some nations’ cultural norms and might be embarrassing for individuals who didn’t need a lot of their our bodies uncovered, in line with a replica seen by The New York Occasions. In handball, a sport that mixes parts of soccer and basketball, goalkeepers needs to be allowed to put on less-revealing uniforms as a result of they use all components of their our bodies to dam photographs, the letter argued.
Thomas Schoeneich, spokesman for the European Handball Federation, stated on Tuesday that the group was merely imposing guidelines set by the worldwide federation. “Change can solely occur on an Worldwide Handball Federation stage,” he stated.
The Norwegian Handball Federation advised altering the uniform necessities for feminine athletes throughout a gathering of the European Handball Federation in April. The movement was anticipated to be mentioned by the Worldwide Handball Federation in November, Mr. Schoeneich stated.
Ms. Welfler, the Norwegian handball participant, stated there have been gamers in Norway who didn’t wish to compete at a world stage due to uniform necessities. (In home tournaments, Norwegian gamers can put on shorts.)
“That’s actually unhappy as a result of perhaps the perfect gamers received’t take part,” she stated. She additionally stated feminine gamers had been uninterested in being scrutinized in skimpy apparel. The main target needs to be on the sport, she stated.
Janice Forsyth, an affiliate professor of sociology at Western College in Canada and the previous director of the college’s Worldwide Middle for Olympic Research, stated that sure uniforms, particularly in observe and discipline and swimming, may give athletes an edge. However within the case of seaside handball, carrying shorts as an alternative of bikinis wouldn’t enable athletes to leap larger or transfer quicker within the sand.
“I don’t see how that argument holds any weight,” she stated. “To say that carrying much less clothes, as the ladies are required to do, permits them to be higher athletes is simply foolish.”
Amanda Morris contributed reporting.