New competition start date

Arnhem, August 13, 2020 – The Supervisory Board of the BENE-League and the Manager of the BENE-League, after consultation, have decided to start the 2020/2021 BENE-League championship on the weekend of 10 / October 11, 2020.
In order to determine a new championship start date for the BENE-League of Handball, the Supervisory Board of the BENE-League had asked the national federations to formulate various possible scenarios taking into account both health and the possibility of playing. the BENE-League.
On the basis of the various proposals, the managers of the BENE-League of Handball have decided as follows:

  1. Different scenarios will apply. If the first scenario is not applicable depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 situation, the next scenario will automatically be taken into account, unless the circumstances do not allow it.
  2. The BENE-League will start on the weekend of 10/11 October. This corresponds to the Belgian request for postponement of matches and allows the Netherlands to launch a national championship if they wish.
  3. If the current situation in Belgium is not sufficiently normalized (a formal Go-No-Go meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 2, 2020), the start of the BENE-League will be postponed to a weekend in the second fortnight. of the month of November. In this case, the Netherlands can, if they wish, finish their national championship. It is also possible to play in a league in Belgium (for example, for the Belgian Cup).
  4. If it turns out that the situation on November 1 of COVID-19 is such that the BENE-League cannot start in November, a scenario with a start in January will be taken into account. An exact date will not yet be determined, as the international calendar will probably also be adapted.
  5. Currently, the Final Four is still on the program and will determine the champion. If this is not possible, the officials of the BENE-League will decide later.
  6. Considering the current situation around COVID-19 with all its uncertainties, it is nevertheless possible that other decisions should be taken in the future for the BENE-League of Handball.


The start of handball competitions is postponed to early October

During an exceptional crisis meeting with representatives of the Royal Belgian Handball Union, the Vlaamse Handbal Vereniging and the Francophone Handball League, it was decided that the start of all national and regional competitions for seniors and young people would be postponed to the beginning of October. Depending on the evolution of the health crisis, an additional postponement is not excluded. Friendly matches (under the jurisdiction of the leagues) cannot be played before the beginning of September.
Regarding the BENE-League, the cross-border handball competition with six Belgian teams and five Dutch teams, the supervisory board will meet later this week to make a joint decision.
Regarding the organization of training sessions, the different federations are not competent. It is up to the clubs to decide whether or not to train, taking into account, in particular, the regulations set by the local authorities.
For training, the U.R.B.H., V.H.V. And L.F.H. advise doing them outdoors as much as possible, trying to avoid contact, obeying social distancing rules, and always ensuring good hand hygiene.
In view of the above decisions and actions, all selection activities, from regional to national level, will also be postponed to October.


Sara Marteleur & Serge Spooren

Sara Marteleur and Serge Spooren have been chosen by their fellow players and the members of the sports staff as Player of the past season. The two also received the press award. Bart Lenders was voted best coach of a men’s team for the fourth consecutive time. As for the women’s teams, this honor went to Richard Curfs, women’s coach of Handbal Sint-Truiden. Players and staff were able to take part in a two-round vote in the different categories, halfway through the season and halfway through the play-offs.

Due to Covid-19, the usual Player of the Year Gala has been replaced by an online show, broadcast by the newspaper Het Belang van Limburg. As during a real Gala evening, Internet users could enjoy a mix of action images and trophy presentations. Eric Dupain, media consultant to the URHB, and a team of cameramen were able to parade all the winners in order to award them the various prizes.

Sofie Nouwen, goalkeeper of DHW Antwerpen (who played last year under the colors of Hubo Initia Hasselt) has been named goalkeeper of the year. She took the best out of Edith Cochici (Handbal Sint-Truiden). Among the gentlemen, Clem Leroy (Achilles Bocholt) succeeded himself. Leroy won with a big advantage over Kevin Siraut (HC Visé BM).

At the Gala, it was not only about sport at the highest level. Leagues were also affected. Jolien Van Gompel in the women’s and Wout Bodvin in the men’s La Liga player and player of the year awards. Both evolve under the colors of Sporting Pelt. For Bodvin, this is a consecration after a long playing career.

The fight for the women’s coach of the year title was particularly close. Richard Curfs (Handbal Sint-Truiden) won fairly well at the end of the first round for his debut in Belgian handball, preceding Rik Stryckers, who easily won the second round. In the end, the two coaches were only separated by a tiny point. Curfs therefore won the Coach of the Year trophy for women from the start in Belgian competition.

In men’s, Bart Lenders and Korneel Douven competed for the most prestigious trophy. As in the past three years, Bart Lenders has been named Coach of the Year. Douven must therefore be content for the third straight time in second place.

The categories of promising referees and referees of the year were introduced by a short film with music by Benjamin Ceyssens. A video showing how the arbitrators were forced to stop everything overnight due to the coronavirus crisis.

The West Flanders duo Simon Depoortere – Wim Verschaeve has been awarded the title of most promising referees. Stéphane Cappa and Eric Schreder won, as last year, the title of Referees of the Year.

The Flemish handball association has also awarded its stars this year to teams that stand out in terms of youth preparation. HV Uilenspiegel and HC Schoten thus received a five-star label, while Achilles Bocholt, Hubo Initia Hasselt, Apoloon Kortrijk, Hestia Bilzen and Sporting Nelo left with a four-star label. Honors and three-star label for Thor, Don Bosco Gent, Handbal Tongeren, HBC Izegem, Pentagoon Kortessem, HC Eecklo and GBSK Groot-Bijgaarden. The Francophone Hanball League has decided not to award a reward for action in favor of young players this year, a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Council of Elders decided to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to the head of referees François Mulleners. In 1970, he was behind the birth of Elckerlyc Tongeren, the current Handbal Tongeren. In the 1980s, he won two titles and two cups with the ladies’s team before becoming a referee, joining the refereeing committee and ultimately becoming the referee. A Special Jury Mention was awarded to the former international referee André Praillet, who devoted his whole life to Handball Villers 59.

The show, which lasted just over an hour, ended with the press awards and the election of the Player of the Year. Both journalists and voters were unanimous, presenting Sara Hammerer with the Press Award and the Player of the Year award. Marteleur beat Celine Clermont (Fémina Visé) and Edel Robyns (Hubo Initia Hasselt), last year’s winner.