The inaugural edition of the Premier Handball League (PHL) is all set to begin on 24th December, 2020. As announced by the Handball Federation of India (HFI), the tournament is to continue till 10th January, 2021. All the matches will be held at the Sawan Mansingh Indoor Stadium in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Six teams representing the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Telengana will be competing to win the coveted title. The inaugural season is going to be an 18-day men’s event consisting of 30 league matches and 3 knockout game.

The official license holder of the league is The PHL India Sports Private Limited. The broadcasting rights for this competition has been secured by Sony Pictures Sports Network. The matches will be streamed online by FanCode.

On Saturday at the launch of the PHL in Jaipur, HFI President Arshnapally Jagan Mohan said,

“This is going to be a significant moment in the Indian handball history as the Premier Handball League will infuse fresh breath to the sport which has immense potential at grassroot level.”

The six teams are:

  • UP Icons
  • Punjab Pitbulls
  • Bengal Blues
  • Maharashtra Handball Hustlers
  • KingHawks Rajasthan
  • Telengana Tigers.

Each team will be consisting 14 players and over 80 players will be taking part in the league. Initially, the organizers planned to have two Asians and one European player in each squad. But due to the travelling restrictions because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the franchises will be able to sign only Indian players this season.

The HFI President said, “We have close to 80,000 registered players playing the game in India. This is a huge number considering the presence of the sport in India. Handball is an Olympic sport and India is looked as the next big thing by international federations in terms of talent and opportunities. I feel PHL has come at the right time which will help us in our mission for Olympics and build impact of the sport in India.”

Taking handball to the next level is the primary goal of PHL. International Handball Federation, Asian Handball Federation and Handball Federation of India (HFL) are all associated in this competition to develop Indian handball team which has a world ranking of No. 32.