USA Team Handball CEO, Barry Siff, Interview (USA Pro League, National Team Tryouts and more)

USA Team Handball CEO, Barry Siff

Yesterday, USA Team Handball CEO, Barry Siff, was interviewed on the “Off-Center Sports” Show, on KWMR radio in Point Reyes Station, California, just North of San Francisco.  The interview is an hour long and covered a lot of territory. 

Interview: Link

Many of the usual things one might expect to hear, but also quite a few tidbits of interest.  Here’s a sampling of topics with quotes I found particularly interesting:

Water Polo Talent Transfer (3:42)

“You know water polo players are probably a great talent transfer type opportunity to get in to handball. And, I’ve seen some of those people get into it.  They just…  You just got to make sure they got legs and that they can run because this sport is very fast, very physical.

Dropping the “Team” from Team Handball (4:58)

“In fact, this week I’ve been talking with a few people about one of my goals is to eventually get our sport known as handball in the United States because it’s a little bit unusual.  It’s kind of like soccer and football.  You know, soccer is known as football around the world except for here.”

2019 National Championship Demographics (10:18)

“But, most of those teams are populated by people who have moved here from Europe or other countries.  Played handball there and they joined the local club.  So, during that tournament which was in Myrtle Beach, the 2019 Championships someone said to me that 80% of the players were not born here in America.”  (You might be able to guess, who that “somebody” is.)

Big Sponsorship Announcement in the Near Future (15:42)

“We’re getting ready to announce our first big founding partner.  A big company that believes in our future and we’re talking to others.”

USA Pro League in 3 Years (22:15)

“And, then ultimately the goal in 3 years is to have a professional league here in the United States.  And, we’re working on that today.”

Bringing Team Handball Back to the Boys & Girls Clubs in Los Angeles (25:50)

“Right now I’m talking to the Los Angeles area and trying to get the Boys & Girls Clubs to start. Hopefully to do a pilot program down there in association with the growth towards the 2028 Olympics.”

More on the U.S. Pro League and a Major Objective for Staffan Olsson (47:10)

“Then ultimately, like I mentioned, we’ve got to plan to develop a professional league, but at the same time. I think it’s going to be easy, and I really do mean this.  I think it’s going to be easy to get a league, in concept, together.  We just got to have a couple hundred high level players here in the U.S.  And, that’s what Staffan Olsson’s major objective is as a High Performance Director is to figure out how we can develop a couple hundred great players, here in the United States to play professionally on television, on social media, on OTT networks, etc.”

National Team Tryouts in 3 to 6 Months (57:00)

“Staffan and I are talking about doing tryouts for our national team.  Open tryouts.  This will be both a marketing campaign, a media campaign, but also finding our amazing athletes out there and probably doing it, in I’m going to guess, probably southern California and New York.  I don’t know when.  Maybe it’s 3 months.  Maybe it’s 6 months.  But, find those diamonds in the rough who are amazing athletes.   Who we might be able to fine tune and give them the proper training, techniques, etc.  And, who knows they could be the next Olympian.”