… not a peep from anyone "in-the-US-Team-Handball-know" regarding who (if anyone?) would be representing the United States of America at the IHF Congress about to start in Madrid in less than 10 days (April 27-29)… Should anyone like to take a “stab” at this, I’ll throw in a free t-shirt!
Oh yes, one more thing. Yesterday, I was the lucky recipient of en email informing me that the team I brought to the 2007 Nationals, (Houston Stars) was no longer eligible to receive back its performance bond.
Fifty dollars! Gone… Just like that!
Here is a copy of the email authored by Jan O'Shea and approved by the US Team Handball Competition Committee:
"Bogdan, because your team did not have numbers on the front of their jerseys as required by the rules of the tournament (IHF rules as well), the Competition Committee determined that you would not receive your performance bond back. This has been a rule now for several years and it is one that the Committee considers a major performance bond item."
What??? A major performance bond item? You mean like, uh… James Bond?
Let me get this right. I just spent two full months coercing, bribing, heck… even begging my players to participate to the 2007 Nationals Competition (announced on short notice and held over the Easter Weekend Holiday). Never mind the endless hours spent emailing, making lodging and airfare reservations, changing business and personal schedules and spending money none of us had! And, never mind the fact that I volunteered to update – LIVE on the web, mind you – the 2007 Nationals tournament scores, stats and standings, using my personal internet connection, on my personal spare time and laptop. All of this, set up on a folding table I had to personally find and drag around the Delaware Fieldhouse complex, despite prior written requests to the Competition Committee for a THN MEDIA courtesy table.
Oh… to hell with it.
Shame on me! Really. Shame on me, for going above and beyond what most gravy trainers would! I deserve what I got! I stand guilty as charged. Let’s be honest. My team, my players did not have those damn little numbers on their jerseys. And yes, I am also guilty as charged because I failed to read the fine print and disregard the IHF rules.
Did I just type IHF? Oh yes, I did!
You know, the International Handball Federation. The same federation which so happens to clearly state in its rules that, among others, the legal handball court size for adults is 40 meters +/- 1 by 20 meter +/-1) and that a full adult game should last 60 minutes (2 x 30 minutes halves) with 1 timeout per half, per team… I could go on and on… but you get the gist.
The moral of this story (ok, rant!), is this.
Beware of the USA Team Handball Competition Committee. It is comprised of a detailed and experienced former team handball players, coaches and international team handball veterans. This Committee has an intrinsic understanding of what it takes for a US team handball Nationals tournament to be successful: i.e. it SEES and GETS the big picture. Which is exactly why the Competition Committee is so exigent. Style over substance IS how they roll!
Take it from me folks.
Next time you pay four hundred of your hard earned dollars to cover the cost of your team’s jerseys, remember: it’s the small numbers that count!