EHF introduces coach’s challenge at EHF FINAL4 Women

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European Handball Federation

For the first time in the history of its club competitions, the European Handball Federation introduces a coach’s challenge in a move aimed at increasing the fairness and integrity of handball.

The new regulation will be implemented at the EHF FINAL4 Women which is played in Budapest on 3 and 4 June 2023.

All four participating clubs – Györi Audi ETO KC, Vipers Kristiansand, FTC Rail-Cargo Hungaria and Team Esbjerg – have been informed in the lead-up to the event and dedicated explanatory sessions have been held with their coaching staff.

The challenge allows a team to challenge a call made by a match official, triggering a video replay of the action. Subsequently, it will only be used in matches with video replay and the electronic team timeout buzzers in use.

Under the regulation, each team is allowed one challenge per game, regardless of whether the challenge is successful.

Team official A will be able to challenge a referees’ decision (or the absence of a call) involving only their team. Taking up a challenge costs a team timeout, although if the challenge is successful, the team will receive the timeout back. A team can only use the challenge if it has not used up its three timeouts.

The challenge must take place immediately after the call being challenged, and it can only be used in relation to situations where video replay can be used – including whether a goal is allowed or not, disqualifications, faulty substitutions, whether players are attempting to mislead referees, fights on court, and game-changing situations in the last 30 seconds of the match.  

To overturn a challenged event or to change the outcome of a reviewable matter via a challenge, there must be “clear and conclusive visual evidence” that the initial adjudication of that aspect of the play was incorrect.

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