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It’s like water polo – without the water

23 May 2017

They call it the ‘Australian’ National Championships, but it also features teams from New Zealand…

Yes, beach handball is the latest outlet for venting that age-old trans-Tasman rivalry!

The indoor version of handball is an extremely popular sport in Europe – and it is catching on in Australia, and the beach version is certainly growing in popularity.

Earlier this year, more than 200 athletes from 29 Australian and Kiwi beach handball teams converged on Glenelg Beach to vie for glory.

Much like water polo – except on sand - teams of players manoeuvred and threw themselves all over the Glenelg courts, hurling balls at small goals in a bid to post a winning score.

In the end the East Melbourne Spartans won the Men’s comp, the Maroubra Bluebottles took out the Women’s title, and in the Mixed comp our cousins from across the Ditch, the Wellington Parrots, were the victors.

Apart from the exhilaration of competition, and the chance for spectators to taste this fledgling sport, the best news is that SA will host the National Championships for the next two years as well.

ORS (the Office for Recreation and Sport) contributed $2,000 to help South Australia host the 2017 championships.

The long-term aim is not just continual improvement in player skills, but bringing this fast-paced, exhilarating sport to a much wider audience. For more (including videos), go to

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