GAA Handball are delighted to confirm that the 2024 World Wallball Championships will take place from August 18-23, 2024, at the University of Limerick (UL).
Due to the growth of the Wallball (formerly known as One-Wall) code both in Ireland and internationally, it has been decided to separate the World Championships into two separate events for the first time.
The Wallball event will take place next August, followed by the 4-Wall (40x20) World Championships later in the year in Dublin/Kilkenny/Laois and Carlow.
The World Handball Championships are a triennial event traditionally hosted in rotation by Ireland, the United States and Canada, with Australia also hosting the 1988 event. Ireland were due to host the 2021 World Championships but this was postponed due to pandemic-related restrictions, with only the Open Singles and Doubles grades going ahead in conjunction with the American national championships earlier this year.
In another new departure, the Wallball World Championships will take place in one central venue, with the provision of 10 newly-constructed courts at the UL Arena. The 3300sqm facility is one of the leading indoor venues in the country and has previously catered for many high-profile national and international sporting and corporate events.
GAA Handball will mark its centenary in 2024 and it is hoped that the Wallball and 4-Wall Worlds will be the centrepiece of the celebrations.
Wallball is the fastest-growing version of the sport of handball with a significant presence in mainland Europe and the UK as well as in the United States, where there are over 2,000 public courts in New York alone. Wallball is seen as the perfect crossover code for the various international versions of handball including Basque Pelota, Eton Fives and Frontball, which is very popular in South America and Mexico.
With the Wallball World Championships taking place during the summer holidays and with large-scale accommodation on site, GAA Handball hopes for a record-breaking entry for what should be an outstanding showcase for the sport, with Irish players taking on the best in the world in what will be a truly international event.
GAA Handball, which is one of the four core GAA games, is now under the remit of the GAA’s Coaching & Games department and is based at the brand-new National Handball Centre at Croke Park, which boasts seven handball courts including a 600-seater 4-wall show court.
Head of GAA Handball, David Britton, said: "GAA Handball are delighted to announce the dates of the August 18-23, 2024 for next year’s World/National Wallball Championship. GAA Handball are very excited, having secured the fantastic venue of the University of Limerick to host the event and are really looking forward to working with UL and the Munster Handball Council for what promises be an amazing platform to showcase the sport and GAA Handball."
President of GAA Handball, Conor McDonnell, said: "This is fantastic news for GAA Handball and the sport. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the members of the Munster Handball Council who put together the successful bid, with a special mention of thanks to Donal Hayes and Mike O’Connor. I would also like to thank all involved from the University of Limerick for their very professional approach. 2024 is our centenary and will no doubt be a very important year for GAA Handball, so to have the World Championships in Ireland in this year will make even more special."
President of the World Handball Council Dessie Keegan said: "We are thrilled to officially announce the much awaited Wallball Handball World Championships. These championships promise to showcase the finest Wallball talent from around the world and be
an event filled with excitement, inspiration, and a true sense of global camaraderie."
Further details on the World Wallball Championships to follow.
For further information on the sport and to find your nearest club or contact a Regional Development Officer in your area, log on to gaahandball.ie or email firstname.lastname@example.org.