>>> BREAKING NEWS <<< NGB certification delayed!

The USOC's eagearly and long awaited NGB certification announcement will have to wait a little longer. As the October 15th announcement deadline approached and then passed, the US handball community became understandably restless. Emails and phone calls abounded.

Earlier today, I was able to talk by phone with USOC's [link=http://www.usocpressbox.org/usoc/pressbox.nsf]Eric Parthen[/link]. You may recall that Mr. Parthen, Director, USOC NGB Organizational Development, chaired the two NGB team handball public hearings held in Colorado Springs, CO in late August and mid September 2007 respectively.

According to him, more time was needed for due dilligence. Letters were mailed to the principals of the two NGB applicants. Dieter Esch (Utah NGB) and Mariusz Wartalowicz (Chicago NGB) were informed that a background check will be perfomed on each individual.

"This is nothing more than standard procedure. The NGB Committee must be very thorough in its assesment of each candidate(s) and organization(s). When the time comes and an official recommendation is made to the USOC Board of Directors, we want to be fully prepared and able to answer any questions, and address any concerns, which may arise," said Parthen.

"Furthermore, [link=http://www.usocpressbox.org/usoc/pressbox.nsf]a new press realease[/link] will be forthcoming, outlining the reasons for this brief delay and what the new timetable is," Parthen continued.

When asked when the next USOC Board of Directors meeting will take place, Parthen said "December 13th."

Eric sympathizes with the US team handball community. He understands the urgency of the issue but made it very clear to me that this is not an easy task.

"The NGB certification process is very tedious. The last thing we want is to find oursleves and the team handball community, in the same place two years from now. It is unfortunate that the due dilligence process has extended past the initial deadline but we are ver confident that an announcement will be made at the December USOC BOD meeting," concluded Parthen.

More details as they become available.