Podcast (Episode 67): Great Lakes Challenge Cup and the U.S. Competition Structure: Time for Some Changes?

Joey Williams (Detroit Handball Club) and Ryan Peterson (Milwaukee United) join the podcast to discuss the Great Lakes Challenge Cup, a new competition for clubs in the Great Lakes region.

As envisioned, this new competition would be similar in format to cup tournaments that are played in Europe and would be open to club teams from Canada and the U.S. that border the Great Lakes.

Competition Format: Link

The discussion then segued to a broader discussion on handball competition in the U.S. and whether it might be time for some reform. Topics and questions addressed include:

  • The “weekend tournament”: Is it detrimental to handball’s growth in the U.S.?
  • Should steps be taken to encourage the splitting of clubs to foster more local competition? What combination of carrots and sticks could be used to facilitate that happening? Should club rosters have limitations on non U.S. citizens?
  • Should steps be taken to encourage league play over weekend tournaments?
  • Should the U.S. National Championship transition to a cup style tournament with a Final Four?
  • What can be done from an entrepreneurial stand point to encourage handball growth? Can handball copy the club growth of Volleyball? What about the opportunity of becoming a pro handball player as a selling point?
  • Should club rosters have tighter controls to prevent the perception/reality of mercenary players?
  • The challenges of starting a new club. Would the Detroit and Milwaukee clubs survive the “hit by a bus” question?

Also, at around 12:40 we get into a tangential discussion on the status of the 2020 National Championships originally scheduled for Detroit this May. Could the Championships be rescheduled for this summer? Assuming safety concerns can be met, could the championships even draw national attention thanks to an uncrowded sports calendar?

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