The Pan American Team Handball Federation (PATHF) met this past week in Argentina and the North American Zone was able to secure 3 major championships for 2017 and 2018. Link
Canada will host the Women’s Sr. Pan American Championships from June 15-26, 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta. Canada’s hosting of this tournament will be a major opportunity to showcase the sport’s growth in Alberta. The top 3 teams from this tournament will also punch tickets to the 2017 Women’s World Championships in Germany. (Commentary on Handball’s growth in Alberta: Link)
Greenland will get the opportunity to host its first major tournament when it hosts the Men’s Pan American Championships in 2018 in the nation’s capital, Nuuk. Air travel has always been an issue in the past with commercial flights to Greenland being expensive and only available via Denmark. The tournament will likely be played in June and the top 3 teams (or more pending 2017 WC results) will qualify for the 2019 Men’s World Championships that will be cohosted by Denmark and Germany.
Finally, the USA will host the 2018 Pan American Beach Handball Championships. The tournament will be staged in either Miami or Southern Californian in the March timeframe. Both Men’s and Women’s tournaments will be played with a TBD number of places to be awarded spots at the 2018 Championships in Sochi, Russia. The USA Men are the defending PATHF Champions.
Commentary: I’ve commented on more than one occasion about South American dominance in PATHF affairs. Canada was once denied participation in a PATHF Championship, despite having qualified for the previous WC (Link) and Greenland was even unceremoniously voted out of PATHF not to long ago: Link. A decade or so ago it was pretty bleak. Now 3 major tourneys all awarded to North America. Brazilians and Argentinians getting the opportunity to get a lot of frequent flier miles. No complaints from me. It’s time to sing Kumbaya around the PATHF Congress table!
Now we’ll see if the North American sides can take advantage of these opportunities to get some World Championships berth. In particular, it should be interesting to see how Greenland will fare with what surely will be a loud and boisterous crowd backing them.