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Handball in Brazil – ever since the opening game of the world-championships earlier this year, people have revised their view of the Brazilian game. The 27-22 defeat showed the world how close Brazil has come to the top. Now you can see for yourself just how good Brazil really is: come and play for us at the [link=]Itajai Handball Cup[/link] in Brazil! We're looking for players from all over Europe to join us for this adventure. Have a look at all the detailed information and then let us know if you're interested.

If football/soccer is religion, what is handball?

In most places in the world, football/soccer is at least king, if not religion. So it is in Germany. The whole country, politics and all, goes into a dormant state over the summer break of soccer season. Soccer is what peple talk about on the weekends and what fills the tabloids and newspapers. The world is good as long as your team is playing. And if you think this can't be potentiated any more, you should've been in Germany during the soccer world cup. That was soccer 24/7 pushing [i]any[/i] other news on the back-burner, no matter what. This is what soccer is in Germany – it's what most peoples' lives run on and the motor that keeps the society running.

Last night, a few friends and I went to a sports bar to watch the handball WC final Germany-Poland. The bar, mind you, was the club bar of a local football club. The bar took about 50 visitors and it was smack full with people lining up on the outside. We even had two TV crews in there, one national and one regional station, shooting and interviewing people. Germany won and all hell broke loose of course. But after the game came what struck me the most: the bar owner switched to the ongoing soccer game conference broadcast and the crowd started booing! And it booed until the host would switch back to the medal ceremony! And the crowd was pleased and cheered. This is something I would've never thought possible! A handball medal ceremony beating out a live soccer broadcast! And many of the people in the bar had not even been handball fans before the WCs but had caught the enthusiasm that had built in the course of the tournament.

I later heard that at most soccer stadiums yesterday, giant screens had been set up, showing the handball final and that even in half-time, people spoke more about handball, than the ongoing soccer game. My dad, who's a PE teacher told me that all his kids now wanted to play handball, "even the 9th graders who only ever wanted to play basketball". And my dad lives in the home-town of NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, the greatest sports star the city has ever produced.

This is what one tournament and a spectacular home-team can do to a country.

Interview with USA Womens Coach Latulippe (Post USA Cup)

The USA Cup recently ended with GOconnectIT from the Netherlands winning the tournament, USA taking second and Canada taking 3rd. John Ryan interviewes USA Women's National Team Coach Christian Latulippe and gets his thoughts on the tournament and what's ahead for the team. Podcast length: 16 Minutes.

[file=request.php?17]USACUP interview with Christian Latulippe[/file]

USA Cup results, statistics and news stories can be found at the USA Cup website:

College Nationals results

The final standings for the women are:
[blockquote]GOLD MEDAL: West Point Black
BRONZE MEDAL: West Point Gold
FIFTH PLACE: Furman[/blockquote]
and the finsal standings for the men:
[blockquote]GOLD MEDAL: Carolina
SILVER MEDAL: West Point Black
FOURTH PLACE: West Point Gold
SEVENTH PLACE: Carolina Rams[/blockquote]
Congratulations everyone!

You can get all the results and statistics here:
[file=request.php?11]2006 College Nationals[/file]

US handball star Darrick Heath featured in university paper

Darrick Heath is the personification of what US handball could be: athletic, with a vibrant personality, a passion for the sport and a dedication that dwarfs everything not handball.
One of his students at prestigious [link=]Emory University[/link] in Atlanta, Georgia has written an [link=]awesome article[/link] about him.
I feel privileged to have played with and under Darrick, a true professional and a worthy ambassador of our sport.

Itajaí Handball Cup Brazil

I've just returned from the 2006 version of the [link=]international handball tournament in Itajaí[/link], Brazil. This fantastic tournament is, to my knowledge, the only week-long, one-game-a-day tournament for club teams. For all other competitions like that, you need to be member of a National Team.
It was a fantastic tournament with 78 teams of all age groups (male & female). Despite our small and very diverse roster, we managed to secure bronze, in an unexpected and outstanding team effort!
The tournament takes place in the Brazilian summer and sports not only indoor handball but also a very well-organized beach handball tournament. The level of play varies quite a bit as most teams do not field their standard roster from the preceding season. A good estimat is that the level of play is about 4th division in Germany, with a variation of one level up or down. Individual players may have a much lower or higher level, though. In total, the level is significantly higher than that of, e.g. US Nationals.
There are more pictures of this and the previous tournaments on [link=]my image gallery[/link].

The first two games were against the later finalists, the home team of Itajaí (9th of the past Brazilian div. 1 season) and the team from Unisuam, Rio de Janeiro (second Brasilian division), each of the teams sporting former and current Brazilian National Team members. Each of the games were 2x20min. Expectedly, we lost to both teams by significant margins. The game against Itajaí ended 21-14 and the one against Unisuam was lost also by 7 goals, 15-8). The final group game against Sao Paulo would decide if we had a shot at the semi-finals or play for 7th place. We beat the physically stronger team by only one goal 19-18 and went on to the cross-over game against Florianópolis (2nd of the other bracket). A young, fast-running team with their strongest player in a junior NT left back. However, the team apparently underestimated us, saving their best player for the anticipated semi-finals until about 10-15 minutes before the end of the game. By that time, we had a firm grip on the game and went to the semi-finals. The game ended 16-12.
The semi-finals were on the same day as the cross-over game and against the number one team from our group, Unisuam, who had beaten Itajaí in the group games. Even rested, we probably wouldn't have a chance against this team and with the cross-over game just 2-3h behind us, the match was no match at all. Notable in this game was a series of dubious referee calls in the last minutes against us, leading to Unisuam intentionally missing all their last shots in rejection of what even they saw as unfair calls in their favor. Unisuam was by far the most sympathetic team, on and off the court, not only because of this demonstration of fair-play!
In the bronze medal game, we faced the second team from Rio de Janeiro. They had won the other bracket and lost to Itajaí by one goal in overtime in the semi-finals – despite being one man short because of work commitment of some of their players! So we were warned that this would be a hard team to beat, even one man down. Their consistent 1.95m backcourt surely was physically impressive!
However, the team seemed to still be tired from th semi-final. After 4 successive post-shots from their backcourt players, only the goalie kept fighting. Past-season's Most Valuable Goalie of Brazil elminated one wing shot after the other from our 17-year-old wing players, even from very good angles. However, in the end, even he resigned and we won the bronze by a safe margin.
The successful team. Upper row from left: Diana Pauly (PT), Björn Brembs, Olaf Degen (both VfL Lichtenrade, Germany), Alexander Schmidt and coach Horia Markel (both HSC Bad Neustadt, Germany).
Lower row from the left: Arthur Tenorio Bibeiro Clark, (17-year-old Brazilian player who helped us out), Michael Deller, Florian Kirchner, Florian Demling (all HSC Bad Neustadt, Germany) and Silvio Alvin Soares de Laureano (Sao Caetano, Brazil).

Confidentiality Issues Related to Ongoing Legal Actions

As of this hour, neither party within USATH has released any information on whether they have filed a response to the USOC complaint by the deadline this past Friday, January 6. Neither has the USOC released any information on whether they have received any response. We have received some notes citing confidentiality, possibly explaining the lack of information. understands that confidentiality issues may limit full disclosure at this time, but we hope to be informed soon, as a minimum, on the current status of the process. Any Board Member who wishes to inform the USA membership should feel free to post either an informal update in the chatbox/comments sections or to contact us directly.