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Each year at the 5th Wednesday after the 30th of June the great handball match (the 'Franeker Kaatspartij') is held in Franeker (The Netherlands). In the match compete the 48 best male handball players; 16 teams consisting of 3 players. Of the more than 600 matches that are organized under the auspices of the Royal Dutch Handball Association (KNKB), "the PC", as this match is called, is the most appealing one. Winning the PC is for a handball player the highest achievement. From the winning team the best player is proclaimed as 'The King of the PC'; after this the president of the PC will put on him the old king's ball (since 1883).

The Franeker Kaatspartij, possibly 400 years old, was known as the 'balverkaatsersdag' for a long time. The new name ‘the PC’ came into being after the Permanent Committee (abbreviated 'PC') took on the organization and regulation of the match from 1853, when the decline occurred. The PC is not only the oldest yearly match in The Netherlands, but is also in worldwide perspective an event of a very high age.

Handball used to be the national sport in the Netherlands until approximately 1800. Hereafter it went downhill quickly, nationwide but also the ancient Franeker Kaatspartij. At the all-time low, in 1853, handball-enthusiasts established the Permanent Committee to save both the sport of handball and the yearly match. This turned out well and the Franeker Kaatspartij became a feast day again. In the year 2003, at its 150th anniversary, the Committee was warranted the designation 'Royal' by Her Majesty the Queen. 

                                     photo's: FOTOKOOPMANS©2005