EHF launches 'Player of the Year' project
The European Handball Federation enters 2022/23, the 30th season of its club competitions, with a new project which puts the players’ performances throughout the season in the spotlight and sees the European handball family selecting their best.
A 'Player of the Year' award has been launched which – following a vote – will honour the best goalkeeper, left wing, left back, centre back, right back, right wing, line player, best defender and rookie of the season.
Out of the players named in the standard playing positions and including the best defender, the season’s MVP will be chosen. Furthermore, the European Handball Federation capitalises on the occasion by introducing a ‘Hall of Fame’ of European handball to which the first legendary players will be introduced at the end of the 2022/23 season.
The project is rolled out in equal fashion for male and female players and will also include a separate award for beach handball.
The awards will culminate in a gala event with the first edition being celebrated in Vienna’s town hall on 26 June 2023.
How the players will be selected
One key element of the new awards is that a player’s performance across the entire season has a decisive impact on the nomination.
In the EHF Champions League, a 'Team of the Round' will be named at the end of every week in which matches are played. The top 3 players in each position, who by the end of the quarter-finals have received the most nominations, will make the candidate list for the 'Player of the Year'.
The same procedure applies for the EHF EUROs. Every member of the championship’s All-star Team is a 'Player of the Year' candidate. To cover both genders every season, this also holds true for the European players nominated to the All-star Teams of IHF World Championships.
Additional players will be retrieved from the EHF European League (one per position) as well as from EHF EURO Qualifiers and national team matches (max. 3 per position) played throughout the respective season.
Per position there is the possibility for one wildcard entry. The maximum number of candidates per position is nine.
How the vote works
Once the list of candidates has been finalised, the four following stakeholder groups will be able to vote: Players and coaches registered in the EHF’s club competitions, selected journalists representing the current media landscape in European handball as well as fans.
Every stakeholder group’s votes count for a combined 25% of the overall vote. Players, coaches and media representatives will be contacted and receive dedicated access to the vote. The fans’ vote will be public via the EHF’s ‘Home of Handball’ app.
The season’s MVP, the best rookie as well as the legends of European handball which will be inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame’ will be selected by an expert group which will be nominated by the EHF Executive Committee.
Beach handball included
In parallel to the 'Player of the Year' the best beach handball players are being sought, and the best female and the best male athlete in beach handball will also be awarded at the gala event on 26 June 2023 in Vienna.
The players eventually nominated for the season’s beach handball MVP award will be selected based on the All-star Teams at the EHF Champions Cup 2022, the ebt Finals 2023 and the EHF Beach Handball EURO 2023.
Player, coaches, media and fans can participate in the vote which will start once the EHF Beach Handball EURO (24 to 28 May 2023) has been played.
The list of candidates will be finalised once the quarter-finals in the Machineseeker EHF Champions League and the EHF Champions League Women have been played by the middle of May.
Voting then commences immediately for all four stakeholder groups and will run until the end of the TruckScout24 EHF FINAL4 2023 on 17/18 June.
Europe’s first “Players of the Year” as well as the first legends to be inducted to the Hall of Fame will then be announced at the gala in Vienna’s town hall.