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Date: 7/30/2017

Local handball players and coaches have been assisting with the organisation of the 2017 IHF Men’s Junior World Championships in Algeria which finishes with the final later tonight.

A large team of volunteers have been working with Longman Sportsoft recording all the statistics of every game using the PHMS (Pictorial Handball Match Statistics) system.

All these statistics add up to a wealth of information - click HERE to see everything you should ever want to know about each game – the ‘downloads’ section includes:

- FTR: Individual team match, pictorial match report and match shot spot
- MTR: Match statistic for media
- PBP: Play-by-Play
- OMR: Official Match Report

IHF.info spoke with statistic volunteers Zakaria Amra and Tassadit Hamil, who both live in Algiers, about their experiences of the competition.

24-year-old Amra plays club handball for El Biar and is currently undertaking a doctorate in statistics while 29-year-old Tassadit Hamel, is a former pivot who now coaches El CRBH U16s. 

They tell IHF.info what it has been like working as part of the statistics team in Algiers.

IHF.info: What is your daily role here at Algeria 2017?

Tassadit Hamel:
We produce all the match reports with Longman Sportsoft and the IHF match delegates. These are a record of the competition and everyone uses them; coaches use them to understand their teams and see what is good and what is bad about their team, and their opponents. Then there are the IHF officials, media and lots of other people who use them.

IHF.info: How does the process work?

Zakaria Amra:
Just behind the table officials we sit - there is someone on a computer inputting the data and another person, who is a handball specialist, watching the game and telling them who scored the goal, how they scored or if someone is fouled, for example.  A third person gives us the player changes and rotations by shirt number. 

Longman Sportsoft staff oversee us and supervise us, correcting any mistakes. After the end of the first half we give the report to the member of IHF staff responsible for it to check and correct.

IHF.info: The job must feel quite pressurised at times; do you feel under pressure to get everything correct?

Zakaria Amra:
Yesterday, the semi-final between Denmark and France was a very hard match for me because the noise was so loud in the Harcha Hacine.  There the fans are close so it was hard to focus and concentrate.

I was also working at La Coupole D’Alger Arena too, but it was different there as the distance between the fans and the table where we are working is further.

IHF.info: What is the experience of being so close to the court and the team benches?

Tassadit Hamel:
I am used to it a little as a player and a coach, but I can see it more clearly now. We are so close and our table is above the players so you can see the pressure on them, the coaches and even the referees. It gives you a different perspective. You hear everything down there.

IHF.info: How did you get involved and what training did you do?

Tassadit Hamel:
I graduated from Institut National de Formation Supérieure en Sciences et Technologie du Sport (INFS/STS) in Abdallah Fadhel, Benian, Alger and wrote a paper about statistics there as part of my course, so I am interested in them.

I have done this job before when Algeria hosted the 2014 CAHB African Men’s Championship and I was an observer, now I am a statistician. 

We started training about a month ago when we were selected and then around four-five days before the championship the staff from Longman Sportsoft came down and we did some workshops with them, we also worked at three or four friendly matches with the Algerian women’s U18 and U20 national teams.

IHF.info: What memories will you take with you after Algeria 2017 has finished?

Zakaria Amra: It’s been a good 12 days and we’ve met a lot of new friends and we have had lots of funny moments.

For the matches, I will remember Germany against Spain, Denmark against France, and Spain against Hungary. Also, the Algeria and Morocco match too.

I am a physical trainer and I’m in my first year of my Doctorate and after this I will do some physical and endurance testing with the U20 Algerian national teams U20.

Tassadit Hamel: I enjoyed Spain against Germany. Everyone told me Germany were going to win but I laughed last as I said Spain would win. I met the Algerian IHF referees here too so that was good.

The scouting teams at Algeria 2017 were organised by the Federation Algérienne de Handball (FAHB) under the guidance of Sabira Ferahtia Mahor Bacha (Salle Omnisport Harcha Hocine) and Abdi Ali (La Coupole D'Alger Arena).

Salle Omnisport Harcha Hocine scouting team: Tassadit Hamel, Aissa Guerfi, Mounir Halvarek, Walid Aissous Saad, Tarek Bouster, Zaabar Abd el Salale.

La Coupole D'Alger Arena scouting team: Nassima Amrani, Zakaria Amra, Khalil Ahmed Khebbeb, Hacene Arkoub, Yazid Aitmouafek , Hichem Boulmouh, Oussama Chergui, Mahieddine Goul.