Handball action in Bahrain started in 1972 when the first board of directors was founded, paving the way for its nationals to accomplish various remarkable achievements.
The game of handball in Bahrain featured many diverse stops since its foundation, as the participation of teams from Muharraq and several villages had contributed to the formation of the association pillars.
And despite limited financial sources and sports facilities, competitions taking place at that time had resulted in the emergence of many handball talents, as well as a group of distinctive administrators and coaches who built a solid base of handball in the kingdom.
The brilliant record of Bahrain handball on the international level did not take long, as national clubs managed to leave its marks on the GCC arena and imposed absolute authority on the game as Ahli Club took the gold medal for a eight times, while compatriots Al Najma Club had their share of this regional competition, having won the title on five occasions.
Bahrain was also not far from the international arena, as the junior and youth teams broke into the Global Gateway by reaching the World Championship finals in the 1990s, before coming back to the 2007 Youth World Championship held on home soil, where the Bahrainis could finish eighth overall, which was the best result achieved by any regional team.
But Bahrain’s most impressive achievement was yet to come, as in 2009, the men’s senior team made their nation proud by booking their first-ever berth in the World Cup finals in 2011 in Sweden, having finished second overall in the 14th Asian Championship finals in Beirut.
The Bahrain Handball Association
Handball activities in the Kingdom of Bahrain started in the early 1970s, as the game made its debut in the 1972-73 season under the umbrella of the Bahrain Football Association, formerly known as a committee of the Sport Federation Committee.
This committee continued to function under the supervision of the BFA for two consecutive seasons, until the Bahrain Handball Association was finally declared in December 1974, together with the athletics, volleyball and basketball associations.
Handball competitions were first organised in the City of Manama at many stadiums, including the side grounds of the Higher Institute for Teachers, Al Nosoor, Al Yarmouk, Al Arabi and Al Ahli. The game then started to explore and cover larger areas in the kingdom with more handball facilities made available to host national and international championships.
Clubs that became affiliated to the association were distributed into two divisions in the inaugural handball season. Al Salmaniya, Al Yarmouk, Al Jazayer, Al Shoa’a and Muharraq were placed in Division One, while Division Two comprised West Riffa, Al Bilad Al Qadeem, Al Diraz, Al Arabi, Al Hidd, Busaiteen, Al Qadisia, Samaheej, Al Hala and Bahrain Club.
Former Bahrain Handball Association Presidents:
- Mr. Mohammed Ali Abul (1974 - 1980).
- Mr. Fawaz Al Zayani (1980 - 1984).
- Shaikh Daij bin Hamad Al Khalifa (1984 - 2002).
- Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa (2002 - 2004).
- Mr. Abdul Rahman Bu Ali (2004 - 2008).
- Mr. Ali Issa Isaaqi (2008 - 2012).
Handball Federation (2012 - 2016)
The present Board of Directors is being presided by Mr. Ali Issa Isaaqi, and includes Vice President Dr Abdul Ghani Al Shuwaikh, Secretary General Mr. Khalid Al Najem, Discipline Committee Chairman Mr. Nasser Al Hayki, Referees Committee Chairman Mr. Wahid Al Iskafi, Public Relations Committee Mr. Yousef Asfoor, Teams Committee Chairman Mr. Ismail Baqer, Teams Committee Deputy Chairman Mr. Fahad Khathlan, Competitions Committee Chairman Mr. Jassim Al Fardan, in addition to other members of the association.
Working Committees of the Union
1 - Appeals Committee.
2 – Discipline Committee.
3 - Competitions Committee.
4 - Teams Committee.
5 - Public Relations Committee.
6 - Referees Committee.
7 - Training Committee.
Bahrain Handball Academy
The present board of directors found the need to create a private academy for handball to push the game forward to a new level and is based on the community partnership for the development of handball in the kingdom.
At the beginning, handball activities were limited to a few governorates in Bahrain. Therefore, it become necessary to expand the base of the game as much as possible, while searching for the raw rising talents and enhance their skills through a number of training programs supervised by specialists in this area.
The other goal of the academy was to bride all gaps in the clubs, such as the shortage in certain players’ positions, which was something that the academy had worked on since its foundation by searching for these elements under long-term strategic framework.
The board of directors took into account the average of the players age in organising its competitions for different age categories, in accordance to the perception of the International Federation of Handball. There are six competitions organised by the Bahrain
- Festivals (under-12 years): Four festivals are held throughout the season.
- Assembly (under-14 years): League and Cup.
- Cubs (under-16 years): Monthly league rounds, featuring 4 stages throughout the season.
- Junior (under-18 years): League and Cup.
- Youth (under-20 years): League and Cup.
- First Division: Organizing League and Cup championships in one season.