The National Sport of Bosnia and Herzegovina

August 25, 2023

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country rich in culture and traditions. One aspect that holds a significant place in the hearts of its people is sports. While football (soccer) is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the country, there is another sport that holds the official title of the national sport of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Handball: A Sport United the Nation

Handball, also known as "rukomet" in the local language, has been officially recognized as the national sport of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2005. This vibrant and exciting sport has gained widespread popularity in the country and has helped bring communities together.

A Brief History of Handball in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Handball was introduced to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 20th century by Austrian and Hungarian workers who came to the region. It quickly caught on and started to grow in popularity. Over the years, handball clubs were established across different cities and towns, and national competitions began to take place.

However, it was during the period of the former Yugoslavia that handball truly flourished in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The national team achieved great success, winning numerous medals in major international tournaments. This success helped fuel the passion for handball among the people and solidified its position as the national sport.

Handball's Popularity and Impact

Handball is played by people of all ages and both genders in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The sport is ingrained in the local culture, and its popularity extends beyond the professional level. Many communities have their own local handball clubs, where players gather to train and compete.

Handball has also played a significant role in promoting unity and fostering a sense of national pride. The national team's achievements have been a source of inspiration for the people, especially during challenging times. The sport has proven to be a unifying force and a way to transcend divisions.

Professional Handball in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina has several professional handball leagues, both for men and women. The top division, known as the Premier League, features some competitive clubs that regularly participate in European competitions.

Handball matches across the country attract enthusiastic crowds, creating an electric atmosphere in the arenas. The sport also enjoys extensive media coverage, with matches being broadcasted on television and radio.

International Success and Representation

Despite being a relatively small country, Bosnia and Herzegovina has achieved notable success in international handball competitions. The national team has participated in multiple European and World Championships, showcasing the skill and talent of Bosnian players to the world.

Several Bosnian handball players have also had successful careers abroad, playing for esteemed clubs in countries such as Germany, France, and Spain. Their achievements have not only brought recognition to the individuals but have also raised the profile of handball in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Future of Handball in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Handball continues to thrive in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with grassroots initiatives nurturing young talent and promoting the sport at a community level. The country's federation is dedicated to developing the sport further, with investments in infrastructure and training programs.

With the ongoing enthusiasm and passion for handball, the future looks promising for this national sport in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its ability to unite people, provide entertainment, and cultivate a sense of national identity makes handball an integral part of the country's sporting landscape.


Handball is more than just a game in Bosnia and Herzegovina; it is a symbol of unity, a medium for national pride, and a source of inspiration. The sport's continued growth and success over the years have cemented its position as the national sport, captivating the hearts of Bosnians and Herzegovinians across the country.

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