The 2018 Pan American Beach Championships start tomorrow in Oceanside, California. Eight Men’s and Women’s teams will be competing and this event will also serve as qualification for the 2018 Beach Handball World Championships to be held in Kazan, Russia in July,
Note: Game times are Local Pacific Time
Thurs, Fri, Sat: CET-9 Hours
Sunday: CET-8 Hours (Daylight Savings Time Starts)
The format for both the Men’s and Women’s Tournaments will consist of group play followed by a knockout tourney. All teams will advance to the knockout tourney, so group play will essentially be all about seeding for the knockout tourney. And, as 4 slots will be awarded for the World Championships every team participating will have an opportunity to qualify for the World Championships in their quarterfinal match on Saturday Morning.
Breaking down the schedule further, each team will play a group match in 3 consecutive sessions (Thursday afternoon, Friday morning and Friday afternoon). On Saturday morning the all important quarter finals will be played. Winners and losers will then play in their respective semifinals on Saturday afternoon. Final placing matchings will then take place on Sunday.
USA Men’s Bracket and Possible QF Opponents
The USA Men are grouped with Argentina, Mexico and Puerto Rico. On paper, the U.S Men should win this group. They are, after all the defending Pan American Champions. Mexico and Puerto Rico did not participate in the 2016 Championships and Argentina placed 4th. They should cruise to wins over Mexico and Puerto Rico and then face Argentina on Friday night for first place in the group. Should that come to pass their likely QF foe will be either Trinidad & Tobago or Paraguay, with debutantes Trinidad & Tobago likely being the easier foe.
USA Women’s Bracket and Possible QF Opponents
The USA Women are grouped with Brazil, Argentina and Chile. This group is no “walk in the park” for the U.S. as Brazil is one of the top teams in the world and Argentina is not far behind. Indeed, just last summer these two teams played in the Final of the Beach Handball Tourney at the World Games. In a Beach Handball match anything can happen, but the inexperienced U.S. Women will be hard pressed to knock off those two foes right out of the gate. In all likelihood, the U.S. Women will meet Chile on Friday night for 3rd place in the Group. Chile is also relatively new to the sport so one could anticipate this match being a tight one. The loser would likely face a relatively strong Uruguay side in the QF while the winner would likely face Paraguay, a solid, but beatable team for a ticket to the World Championships
Live streaming of matches should be available on the U.S. site at this link: USATH Live