The DKB Handball-Bundesliga is set for a reform, although a minor one, for the upcoming season. So far the goal difference decided who will finish ahead of a team which features the exact same point total at the end of a season. In the 2013/14 the THW Kiel took profit of the rule, as both the reigning champion and the Rhein-Neckar Löwen ended up with 59:9 points. Kiel, however, featured a goal difference of +236, two better than the vice-champion. The THW had won various games at the end of the season by a wide margin, which led to the idea of a rule change.
The reform is set to come this summer, when all clubs of the DKB Handball-Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga, the second division, will have a vote during the summer meetings, according to league CEO Frank Bohmann. He’s quite optimistic that the vote will go through. “I doubt that anybody will vote against the idea. I should also allow the top teams to rest their stars at the end of games in case the lead is high enough,” Bohmann said at the draw event of the German cup Final 4.
The idea was presented at the league meeting at the All-Star game in Nürnberg earlier this month. Bohmann added that extending the lineups from 14 to 16 players doesn’t make a lot of sense, “because most of the times even players 13 or 14 don’t get a lot of playing time.” It remains to be seen whether the rule will ever be changed, as prominent figures, like Flensburg’s coach Ljubomir Vranjes, keep fighting for it, in order to give the German teams better chances to go far in European competitions.