The 7th edition of the EHF Scientific Conference took place in Porto on 23/24 November 2024.

A total of 39 presentations were given by speakers from 12 different nationalities as more than 100 participants from all over Europe either gathered at the Porto University or followed the conference online to share knowledge and learn from each other.

Central theme of the conference this time was “Sustainability in Handball – Circle of a Handball Life” – with the topic of sustainability being the focus of the opening words by EHF Methods Commission Chairman Pedro Sequeira and EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner.

Four keynote speakers then put the spotlight on different aspects of the sport.

“It is important to know what you ask, because the game offers the answers,” was the insight offered by Jose Antonio Silva as he concluded his talk on the contribution of research in handball match analysis to the work of coaches.

Susana Povoas, EHF expert and professor at the University of Maia in Portugal presented findings of the ‘Handball 4 Health’ project.

Hans Holdhaus, Head of the EHF Anti-Doping Unit, laid out a strong mission statement that “Our goal is clean handball – we want handball without doping.” He went on to explain that doping mainly occurs unintentionally in handball and that the aim of this mission needs to be education.

Niels Rossing, associate professor at the Aalborg University in Denmark, provided a riveting speech on the lessons that can be learned from the Happy League – an international handball community of children and youngsters with cognitive disabilities.

On the final day, Norwegian professor Tina Pill Torabi offering a talk on the 'Closed Kinetic Chain Upper Extremity Stability Test' (CKCUEST) and its relevance to performance in elite team handball players with shoulder pain, previous pain or without shoulder pain.

The topic of preventing and understanding injuries was also addressed by Danish academic Jesper Bencke at a pre-conference workshop on acute knee injuries in handball educating many.

The topic of children’s sports was underlined by the head of development in the Danish Handball Federation, Lars Møller, who elaborated on the development of the game and rules for children’s handball.

Dr. Fernando Gomes, from the University of Lisbon, spoke about the effects of Small-sided Games (SSGs) formats on the technical performance of young handball players under 11 years of age.

Delving into the elite levels of handball, Dr. Lars Michalsik, from the Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanices, showed evidence that anaerobic training is proven to be crucial for players at the top level.

A study on throwing load in handball was presented by Linda Coppens, from the Dutch handball federation. She analysed the impacting weight of repetitive throws on the physical integrity and capability to perform.

Shoulder injuries, largely being non-contact injuries, tendon/muscle injuries, are often load related and therefore the monitoring of throwing load is key for handball.

Another insightful EHF Scientific Conference concluded with all these, plus many more topics addressed.