The calendar for the 2022-2023 French Women’s Championship was approved on Thursday during the Women’s League (LFH) conference. One big change: There will be no play-offs or finals between first and second in spring 2023. LFH thus finds a regular champion: the club that finishes first at the end of 26 days will be crowned champions France. The statement said the decision was passed on the recommendation of a working group that brought together “all players in professional women’s handball”.
The play-offs were introduced in the 2011-2012 season. And it was controversial every year until 2019. The health crisis then led to the end of the 2020 championship and pushed the women’s league to a back-and-forth final between No. 1 and No. 2 last spring. For the first time in eleven years, the tournament thus returns to classic mode.
A big supporter of the playoffs, Mace handball is the formula’s “sole defender” this season. “I have four arguments. This has given the clubs in the Euros the ability to focus on those games and have the right to make mistakes during the season. Then the playoffs offer a festive event that might be of interest to TV because today we Almost no longer on the air. Then, for the first two players in the final, it represented a big tip that we will miss. Finally, but this is for Metz handball, and we wanted to say goodbye to the players who left , to celebrate for them. It was very frustrating for everyone not to be able to do that,” explained Metz president Thierry Weizmann.
Thierry Weizmann “strongly opposed” the announced changes, saying it publicly “every time” and abstaining in the vote. “There are too many games with play-off rules”, they argue, referring to the escaping schedule that players face. The Association of Professional Players (AJPH) also welcomes “great collaborative work” in the interests of players.
The tournament will start on the weekend of September 3-4, interrupted a month earlier than usual because the European Women’s Championship will be held in November instead of December (due to the Women’s World Cup).