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Norway beach handball team fined for wearing shorts, not bikini bottoms – Global News

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Norway‘s women’s beach handball team has been fined for wearing athletic shorts instead of bikini bottoms in a bronze-medal match against Spain after officials deemed the shorts to be “improper clothing.”

The Norwegians wore regulation-sized black bikini bottoms through most of the Beach Handball Euro 2021 tournament, but they pulled a last-minute switch ahead of their final match. The women walked out in tight-fitting blue athletic shorts, drawing cheers from the crowd and anger from the European Handball Federation (EHF), which fined all 10 players for a total penalty of 1,500 euros.


Norway’s women’s beach handball team is shown wearing shorts at their bronze medal game on July 18, 2021.


Norwegian Handball Federation

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The Norwegian women had asked for permission to swap out the bikini bottoms for shorts ahead of the tournament, citing the players’ preference to wear something less revealing and more comfortable. The women also pointed out that the outfits make it hard to attract new players to the sport in Norway and abroad.

The governing EHF denied the request and warned the team that there would be penalties for violating the dress code, the Washington Post reports.

Team captain Katinka Haltvik says it was a “spontaneous” decision to switch it up for that last game.

“Now we just do it, then we will see what happens,” she told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

She added that the team felt that they’d been “threatened” with disqualification over their idea for a wardrobe change.

“It should be an inclusive sport, not an exclusive sport,” she said, citing the discomfort that some players feel with the bikini bottoms.

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Norway lost the game to Spain but received a rousing cheer when they hit the sand in their outfits.

The Norwegian Handball Federation says it will pay the fines for all 10 women involved. The federation also plans to continue pushing for changes to the international uniform dress code for women.

“I hope we get a breakthrough for this and that next summer we play in what we want,” Haltvik told NRK.


In this file photo, the Norway team lines up during the 2018 Women’s Beach Handball World Cup final against Greece on July 29, 2018 in Kazan, Russia.


Ilnar Tukhbatov/Epsilon/Getty Images

Women “must wear bikini bottoms,” according to the International Handball Federation rules. The bottoms must have “a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg,” the rules say, while the side width “must be of a maximum of 10 centimetres.”

Men are allowed to wear shorts that are “not too baggy,” as long as they remain 10 centimetres above the kneecap.

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The Norwegians did not say what they’ll wear to their next match, but they do hope there will be changes before then that will allow them to wear what they want.

“We are very proud of these girls who … raised their voice and told us that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” the Norwegian Handball Federation said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

“We at the Norwegian Handball Federation stand behind you and support you. Together we will continue to fight to change the international regulations for attire, so that players can play in the clothes they are comfortable with!”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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More people watched Seattle NHL expansion draft on ESPN2 than Cubs-Cards on ESPN – Awful Announcing

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In the grand scheme of things, 637,000 viewers nationally is not a huge number for a cable channel with any level of significant distribution. Most things on broadcast TV not only beat that, but beat it by quite a bit, and that kind of number isn’t usually even amongst the top cable broadcasts. However, the news that ESPN2 pulled that number in for its (NHL-produced, but featuring ESPN figures) coverage of the NHL expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken Wednesday night was certainly interesting, especially as so much of the actual news around that draft was reported in advance, and also given that their main-network coverage of the MLB game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals drew fewer viewers. Here’s a comparison of Wednesday night sporting events from John Ourand of Sports Business Journal:

On the negative side, that draft didn’t even draw the numbers of studio show Pardon The Interruption (however, that airs on ESPN rather than ESPN2; they’re similar in distribution, but many people turn on main ESPN first). It also didn’t draw the numbers of early Olympic programming from NBCSN. On the positive side, it outdrew a national MLB game. And it drew more than the Vegas Golden Knights’ expansion draft five years ago (595,000 on NBCSN for a combined broadcast of that draft and the NHL Awards). And it’s a good sign for ESPN, as this is their first big NHL event they aired under their new deal.

And yes, as Ourand noted in a follow-up tweet, that Cubs-Cards game didn’t have regional sports network blackouts, so Cubs and Cardinals fans could still watch it on their local RSNs. And most probably did, so it likely primarily pulled the national audience that didn’t have those RSNs. But it’s still interesting to see an ESPN2 event outdraw an ESPN event, especially when the ESPN event is a live game and the ESPN2 event is a one-team expansion draft (and one where most of the information was previously available to the public).

If ESPN versus ESPN2 programming decisions were made strictly from a standpoint of what they thought would draw more viewers, this result would go against that. That’s not entirely the case here, as the MLB on ESPN package comes with some restrictions on where games can air. But it’s still interesting to see the NHL expansion draft on ESPN2 outdraw a live MLB game between two prominent teams.

That is also perhaps further evidence that draft “spoilers” don’t always damage the ratings that much. That’s long been a debate, from the NFL’s heavy pushes against pick-tipping to the NBA’s more moderate approach (which sees pick-tipping still happen with some different language, and which hasn’t really led to obvious ratings losses).

In the case of this draft, figures who don’t work for expansion draft rightsholders Sportsnet (Canada) and ESPN (U.S.) reported many of the picks early, with Frank Seravalli (formerly of TSN, now of Daily Faceoff) and Pierre LeBrun (TSN/The Athletic) getting many of those, other national figures getting some more, and local reporters getting some others. So a mostly-full picture was available before the broadcast for those who wanted to find it. But that didn’t stop a significant amount of people from watching this, and that maybe shows that the league pushes against pick-tipping aren’t always that impactful.

[John Ourand on Twitter]

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Cleveland changes MLB team nickname to Guardians after months of discussion – CBC.ca

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Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians.

The ball club announced the name change Friday with a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks, ending months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names that are considered racist.

The choice of Guardians will undoubtedly be criticized by many of the club’s die-hard fans.

The organization spent most of the past year whittling down a list of potential names that was at nearly 1,200 just over a month ago. But the process quickly accelerated and the club landed on Guardians.

Social unrest spurred name change

Team owner Paul Dolan said last summer’s social unrest, touched off by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, spurred his intention to change the name.

Dolan is expected to provide more details on the choice and background on the change at a news conference at Progressive Field before Cleveland hosts the Tampa Bay Rays.

Dolan said the new name mirrors the city and its people.

“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity,” he said in a statement. “Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. ‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us.”

In 2018, the team stopped wearing the contentious Chief Wahoo logo on their jerseys and caps. However, the team continues to sell merchandise bearing the smiling, red-faced caricature that was protested for decades by Native American groups.

The name change has sparked lively debate among the city’s passionate sports fans. Other names, including the Spiders, which is what the team was once called, were pushed by supporters on social media platforms.

But Guardians does seem to fit the team’s objective to find a name that embodies Cleveland’s ethos while preserving the team’s history and uniting the community.

Not far from the downtown ballpark, there are two large landmark stone edifices — referred to as guardians — on the Hope Memorial Bridge over the Cuyahoga River.

The team’s colours will remain the same, and the new Guardians’ new logos will incorporate some of the architectural features of the bridge.

The change comes as the Washington Football Team continues to work toward a similar makeover. The franchise dropped its name before the 2020 season and said it will reveal a new name and logo in 2022.

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LIVE BLOG: Opening ceremony kicks off 2020 Olympics in Tokyo – Global News

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After being postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has officially kicked off.

The Olympic Games opening ceremony is typically a chance for competing countries and athletes to show off their pride and culture, but this year will be a little different.

Normally held in a stadium full of ecstatic fans, this year’s ceremony will have international athletes parade around a near-empty venue after it was announced fans would not be allowed to attend because of rising COVID-19 cases in Japan.

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Athletes from around the world, including Canada, are taking part in the ceremony for the Summer Games, which will run until Aug. 8.

Canada has sent 370 athletes to the Olympics, the nation’s largest delegation since 1984.


Click to play video: 'Team Canada names flag-bearers for Tokyo Olympic Games'



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Team Canada names flag-bearers for Tokyo Olympic Games


Team Canada names flag-bearers for Tokyo Olympic Games

But only 30 to 40 athletes are marching into the Olympic Stadium, the Canadian Olympic Committee has previously said, saying athletes aren’t allowed into the Olympic Village until five days before they compete.

Many of them will be too close to the start of their competition to join flagbearers Miranda Ayim of the women’s basketball team and men’s rugby sevens co-captain Nathan Hirayama.

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The ceremony’s theme is “United by Emotion,” as officials are aspiring to reaffirm the role of sport and the value of the Olympic Games, express gratitude and admiration for the efforts made over the past year, and also bring a sense of hope for the future, the Olympics website says.

Despite all the difficulties the International Olympic Committee has faced to stage the Games amid a global pandemic, president Thomas Bach previously said he believes the ceremonies will be a moment of “joy and relief.”

The event runs from 7 a.m. ET to 11 a.m. ET

You can follow along here.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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