USA vs. Venezuela for Ticket to Pan American Championships

The USA women are currently in Havana, Cuba for the Women’s Pan American Team Handball Federation (PATHF) Div 1 Championship. This mini-tournament has 3 nations, USA, Cuba and Venezuela competing for 2 spots in next year’s PATHF Elite Championships. As expected, Cuba has already easily dispatched Venezuela (36-17 on Tuesday) and Team USA (40-10 on Wednesday). This means Team USA and Venezuela will meet Thursday at 3:30 PM (East Coast Time) to decide which of those two teams will advance.

USA participation in this event was not originally planned and player selection was heavily influenced by athlete availability and willingness to pay their way. Accordingly, Team USA is missing several key players and the roster is a mixture of veterans and young newcomers who have not played much together. Venezuela, however, is a brand new Handball nation and their side is very inexperienced with little, if any, international experience. The outcomes of the matches against Cuba might indicate a slight edge to Venezuela since they kept their score more respectable.

A short note on the Pan American Handball Championships and the Pan American Games. These are two separate events with separate qualification events.

Pan American Handball Championships
– Frequency: Played every 2 years in June timeframe
– Qualification: Previous top 6 finishers, top 2 from Div 1- Played in previous Nov/Dec
– Top 3 (or more) qualify for the next World Championships
– Greenland can participate

Pan American Games
– Frequency: Played every 4 years in summer/fall preceding Olympics (2007,2011, etc)
– Qualification: Separate North, Central and South American qualification
– Winner qualifies for the Olympics
– Greenland cannot participate

USATH (26 Oct 10): Women's Select Team Roster for Pan Am Championships Qualifier:
Women's Select Team in Havana: