• Kyodo


The Japan Handball League revealed a plan Monday to launch a professional league in February 2024, with a mutually beneficial model of the league administering all ticket and sponsorship revenues and redistributing them to each team.

The corporate teams that currently make up most of the Japan Handball League would continue to operate if they have 11 or more players on pro contracts, possess home venues with capacities of over 1,500 and their club names incorporate the names of their regions.

The application process will begin in March with the outcome to be announced in July.

“It’s extremely important that we turn the league into one with an organizational structure that generates money through professional management,” said JHL board member Kazumasa Ashihara, who served as the first executive director of the basketball B-League.

“It might be the first case in the world of trying to introduce a model of a league that entirely administers and manages (revenues).”

Japan men’s Tokyo Olympic captain Remi Anri Doi, who plays for Zeekstar Tokyo, is looking ahead to the new chapter in Japanese handball.

“I hope that by establishing this league, children who become professional in the future will feel happy they continued playing the sport,” he said.

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