Quantifiable Progress

Here are a few scores for you to consider:

2006 England – Faroe Islands 8 -54
2008 Great Britain – Faroe Islands 19-6

March 28, 2008 Japan – Romania 21 – 44
March 29, 2008 Japan – Poland 29-27

One of the most appealing aspects about sports is that it’s one of the few things in life where there is no real question or argument about where you stand. All you have to do is look at the scoreboard. It doesn’t usually lie and there’s no escaping that fact. That’s one of the reasons there are so many coaches that are fired and so many players that lose their contract. If you want to know where your nation stands in the Handball World all you have to do is look at how many times you win or lose. And further you can look at the final score and see how far you are behind.

That’s why these scores tell a pretty significant story.

First, look at the England/Great Britain vs. Faroe Island scores. Two years ago England got waxed by 46 goals. Now with a new focused program Great Britain has erased the memory of that defeat with a 3 goal victory. Sure, those aren’t exactly the same teams and the Faroe Islands are not a world power, but anytime you can turn things around 49 goals, you are making progress.

The Japanese result is also significant for a couple of reasons. First off, Japan showed tremendous resilience in their ability to shake off a 23 goal defeat against Romania one day and then score a victory over Poland the next day. Also, from a precursory check of the IHF database it look like it is the first ever victory for a Japanese side against a European team in a major competition.

But, while these sides have made progress, there’s still a long way to go. Great Britain lost their semifinal game against Finland and 3rd place game against Bosnia, meaning that they are a middle of the pack team in Europe’s lowest tier. Japan lost their final match against Hungary by 10 goals.

As is often the case, it’s 2 steps forward 1 step back. For Great Britain the next step will be to win the Challenge Cup the next go round and to play some competitive matches against the next tier of teams in Europe. For Japan, the next step would be to advance to the Main Round at a World

British Handball Article: Championship.http://britishhandball.worldhandball.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?menuid=1093&itemid=1948