Qualification for the Pan American Championships just got a little easier for Team USA and other competitors participating in the North American and Caribbean (NorCa) Championships in March. This is because, according to the Mundo Handball website Mexico is reportedly dropping out of the tournament leaving only four nations (Puerto Rico, USA, Greenland and the Dominican Republic) competing for three qualification spots.
Mundo Handball did not give a reason for Mexico’s withdrawal, but did speculate that some falling dominoes may result in Mexico qualifying for final tournament anyway as a sort of wild card. This is because Cuba, which has already qualified for the final tournament by virtue of their 2nd place finish in 2015 may choose not to participate. Mexico, which finished 8th in 2015 could then be in line to take Cuba’s spot assuming that places 1st through 7th have already qualified.
The NorCa is scheduled for March 30 – April 3 in Puerto Rico. The four teams will play a round robin and then will be seeded for semifinals and finals. The top 3 teams will qualify for the Pan American Championships which will take place in Toronto from 16 – 25 June. The top 3 teams at that tournament will then qualify for the World Championships in Germany from 1 – 17 December
NorCa Tournament Schedule: Link