U.S. National Championships in Miami: Just Make it So

The French Coupe de la Ligue final four will be staged at the American Airlines Arena in Miami from 10-12 April. Outside of the Olympics in 1984 and 1996 this is without question the biggest Handball event to ever take place in the United States. With the exception of the 1997 Men’s World Championships in Japan, it is probably the biggest event ever to take place in a country without a significant Handball fan base. Without question it is the biggest professional club event to take place outside of a club’s home country. I guess what I’m saying with all this hyperbole is that this tournament is a really big deal and the French League and Cristian Zaharia should be commended for the vision and follow through to make it a reality.

But looming on the horizon for American handball fans could be some tough financial choices next spring. Namely, fans will have to ask themselves how many plane tickets and hotel stays can I afford to support my handball hobby? Or in simpler terms, many will have to choose between attending the National Championship Tournament or attending the first professional handball matches every played on U.S. soil. Of course, individuals could choose to do both, but with the stock market dropping like a rock and Miami being on the far Southeastern tip of the USA the cost of doing so will likely be prohibitive for many.

But, there is a simple solution to this dilemma. Namely, the National Championships should be placed in Miami the same weekend. Which Championship though? Collegiate or Club you ask? I say both and heck, why not throw in an invitation for Canadian Clubs to come down south while we’re at it. Let’s not stop there, get the Caribbean nations there and especially the French outposts of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Yes, why don’t we turn 8-12 April, 2009 into the biggest handball festival North America has ever seen.

OK, maybe the festival is asking too much. The USA Federation has also already put a marker out for the club championships to take place on a different weekend (1-3 May). But let’s at least look at putting the collegiate nationals there the same weekend. And let’s also consider staging an elite club tournament the same weekend as a National Championship tuneup. Perhaps, 4 top USA Clubs, 2 Canadian Clubs, and the Guadeloupe and Martinique club champions. Maybe we could have a Canada-USA friendly and play it also at the American Airlines Arena.

Bottom Line: Something should be done to supplement the French Club Final Four—It just makes too much sense.

9 thoughts on “U.S. National Championships in Miami: Just Make it So

  1. I don't know if we should mixt the real handball, with the situation of handball in this country .I think first we should corect our problems here and to improve the sport in the right ways.

  2. I don't think the US Handball Federation will let that happen… Not a lot of faith in the Fed!

  3. Truth is, the Federation will be lucky to even attend this event… They will have to buy tickets to get in. And bring a notepad to take notes… Learn how things get done at the higher level…

    It could turn out to be a good thing for them… Prepare them for the college nationals and stuff….

  4. It will be a good thing for them. They need to LEARN A LOT!!! We, the real handball lovers want the sport to spread all over the US, but I think these people in the Federation don't know what they are doing. Events, and a "Professional League", are the options to difuse the sport here in the US.

  5. That's way a big event like this doesn't need to be mixed with our handball level .First we need good people with knowledge about the sport to make it grow in the right way .We don't even have a national team .I think we can dream to be part of that but will not going to be reality maybe in ten years from now if will have more teams with the right people in the right places.

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