News article

one year ago - 7/5/2019

EHF club ranking list changes for 2020/21

Before all handball fans fully focus on the upcoming club season it is a perfect time to use the summer break and get a first glimpse towards what happens when the 2019/20 season will be over as a major reform awaits the club competitions structure.

Although it is still over 12 months until the 2020/21 season will start, the preparation for all three competitions (EHF Champions League, European Handball League and EHF Cup) in each gender has already started with a creation of the EHF ranking list for the men's and women's clubs which has now been released.

EHF Ranking list for 2020/21 women's club competitions

EHF Ranking list for 2020/21 men's club competitions

The lines below offer an explanation of the most important topics regarding the EHF Ranking list as of the 2020/21 season. The EHF Ranking list defines the distribution of places for each federation to the different men’s and women’s EHF club competitions.

Before we drill down into the system it is vital to remind how the three different EHF club competitions will be called starting from the 2020/21 season:
•    The Champions League will keep its name and will still be called “EHF Champions League”
•    The current EHF Cup will have a new name and will be called “European Handball League”
•    The current Challenge Cup will have a new name and will be called “EHF Cup”

What is important to know in general about the EHF Club Competitions Ranking List?

There was a request from the side of the stakeholders to divide the ranking list between the different competitions in the future in order to avoid an influence from the Challenge Cup to the Champions League and also the other way around.

The new ranking list is therefore divided into two separate parts: The Champions League forms a package together with the European Handball League as one part and the future EHF Cup is for itself in a separate part.

As in the past the EHF Ranking List contains points for the performance of the clubs over a period of three seasons leaving out the most recent season. The ranking list for the 2020/21 season therefore is based on the results of the seasons 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.

The points of these seasons are then divided by the number of competitions played over those three years (six in the case of the Champions League/European Handball League and three in the case of the future EHF Cup) and these final points are then valid for the position in the ranking list.

This holds true for men and women’s competitions, the procedures are therefore exactly the same for both genders.

What are the most important issues regarding the place distribution for the men’s and women’s Champions League?

  • The top nine federations (ranking list positions 1 to 9) have one confirmed place each in the Champions League. For the Men's EHF Champions League 2020/21 this means that the following federations will get the places: FRA, GER, MKD, HUN, ESP, POL, DEN, CRO, POR), while for the DELO WOMEN'S EHF Champions League 2020/21 it is HUN, RUS, ROU, DEN, FRA, NOR, GER, MKD, MNE.


  • Place no. 10 in the Champions League is reserved for a team from the federation that is the best ranked federation of the European Handball League seeding list, which will be calculated from the performance in the European Handball League only. (Important to note is that the seeding always includes the most recent season while the ranking, as mentioned before, leaves away the most recent season. The seeding for the 2020/21 season therefore is based on the results of the seasons 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20. Based on that it is for example clear that in the Men's EHF Champions League this place will be claimed by Germany as their teams won the previous two editions of the EHF Cup and no matter what happens in 2019/20 Germany will remain on the top of the seeding list for 2020/21.)


  • Further six places (positions 11-16) will be awarded via the Criteria Catalogue to clubs that submit a request to participate in the Champions League. One request per federation can be submitted for the champion of a federation without a confirmed place (federations ranked 10 to 30); one request per federation can also be submitted for a second team of a federation that already has one confirmed place (federations ranked 1 to 9).

The above holds true for both men’s and women’s competitions.

What are the most important issues regarding the future European Handball League?

The number of places for the federations basically remain unchanged and vary from four places for the top two federations to one place for the federation on position 30.

There is no confirmed place in the future European Handball League for those federations ranked below 30, however, a minimum of three places will be reserved in Qualification Round 1 of the European Handball League for teams from exactly those federations in order to, in any case, offer them a possibility of a participation in the European Handball League.

What are the most important issues regarding the future EHF Cup?

There will be a separate ranking list calculated only on the basis of the performance in the future EHF Cup. For the first seasons, of course, this calculation is done on the basis of the current Challenge Cup and will then be changed season by season to the results of the future EHF Cup.

Currently the top seven federations have no right to participate in the Challenge Cup. Starting from the 2020/21 season this will hold true for the top nine federations. So, the clubs from all those federations that have a confirmed place in the Champions League will have no right to participate in the future EHF Cup.

Author: EHF