Handball News Summary (28 November 2013)

Canadian Women in action against Bulgaria.

Canadian Women in action against Bulgaria.

1) The IHF Trophy (Intercontinental Phase) is taking place in Monterrey, Mexico.  The IHF Trophy is a development initiative of the IHF focused on providing youth competitions for developing nations.  This final phase has the continental champions in competition against each other.

Mexico Federation Webpage: Link (Currently has standings, score sheets and links to video (live and on demand)

2) Nikola Karabatic seeks to collect incentive pay from his former club.  Barcelona backcourt Nikola Karabatic is seeking payment of 58,000 Euro bonus that he is owed from his former club, Montpellier. Former players, Mladen Bojinovich and Mikael Robin are also seeking payment for bonuses as well.  Karabatic was at the center of a betting scandal which saw Montpellier lose the first half of a match versus Cesson in 2011.
Handball World: Link
Mundo Handball: Link

3) Qatar announces roster for Asian Championships.  Qatar has bolstered its roster with former French National, Bertrand Roine, Spaniard, Borja Fernández Vidal and Cuban Rafael Da Costa Capote Link


Handball News Summary (18 Nov 2013)

USA National Team athletes pose with Aubie, the Auburn University mascot.

USA National Team athletes pose with Aubie, the Auburn University mascot.

1) Austria’s Hypo eliminated from Champions League. This past weekend the Austrian women’s club, Hypo Niederösterreich lost to Germany’s Thüringer HC 34-25 and for the 2nd straight year failed to advance out of Group Play. The Hypo Club has 7 Brazilian National Team players on it’s roster and is coached by the Brazilian National Team Coach, Morten Soubak. This poor result calls into question the success and future of the unique relationship the club has with the Brazilian Federation.

Review of the Hypo-Brazil Relationship at Mundo Handball: Link
Christer Ahl assessment from 2011 on the Hypo-Brazil agreement: Link

2) Can the Cuban Men and Women qualify for 2016 Olympics? Ruben Gomez at Mundo Handball reviews their recent performance at the Caribbean Cup and assesses their chances for 2016.
Mundo Handball(Spanish) Link

3) USATH holds first Board Meeting since Dec 2012. The USA Team Handball Board of Directors met on October 14th and the minutes from the meeting have been posted on the Federation website. The minutes note that the Nominating and Governance Committee has selected 3 new independent Board Members. Further dialogue with CEO Matt Van Houten has indicated that they should be formally announced in the near future.
USATH October 14, 2013 Board Meeting Minutes: Link

4) Auburn holds welcome ceremony for USA Team Handball Residency Programs. Last Friday, the Auburn University Kinesiology Department and the Auburn Team Handball Club formally welcomed USA Team Handball and its Residency Programs to Auburn.
Auburn Team Handball Club Facebook photos of welcome event: Link


Handball News Summary (11 November 2013)

The Dominican Republic Men with the Caribbean Cup trophy.

The Dominican Republic Men with the Caribbean Cup trophy.

1) Caribbean Cup final results. This past weekend the Caribbean Cup ended with the Cuban women and Dominican Republic men taking first place. The Cuban women were particularly impressive with 2 wins over the host and World Championship bound Dominicans. The Cuban men were also competive, but lost to the hosts Dominicans 31-29.
Written summary at Handball-World: Link
Wiki page with results, match forms and video links (Mundo Handball): Link

2) Cuban player confirms desire to return to International Competition. In an interview on the Argentinian Handball podcast, Cuban Jorge Luis Pavan who currently plays for Naturhouse La Rioja in the Liga Asobal confirmed that Cuban players playing professionally in Europe who had previously defected are interested in again representing Cuba in international competition.
Handball de Primera (Spanish): Link

3) Cuban Rafael Capote to play in Qatar. Pavan’s club teammate, Rafael Capote, pending the results of a physical, will be transferred to Qatari club, El Jaish. Further speculation is that he may end up obtaining Qatari citizenship and playing for Qatar when that nation hosts the 2015 World Championship.
Mundo Handball (Spanish): Link


Handball News Summary (4 November 2013)

Luc Abalo shows his dance moves.

Luc Abalo shows his dance moves.

1) Friendly match results. This past weekend saw many national teams playing friendlies in preparation for the European Championship, Africa Cup and South American Games. Here’s a composite summary mostly taken from several match reports at Handball-World: Link

Super Cup in Hamburg, Germany (Germany, Sweden, Poland, Egypt): Germany won all 3 of its matches and Poland edged Sweden for second place. Egypt lost all 3 and only managed to play Poland close.

Golden League in Oslo, Norway (Norway, Denmark, France, Croatia): Denmark and France won 2 of 3 matches, while hosts Norway and Croatia finished 1-2. Norway surprised Denmark with a 32-26 victory.

Tournament in Hammamet, Tunisia (Tunisia, Russia, Belarus, Brazil): A closely matched tournament with no game being won by more than 4 goals. Tunisia won the tournament with wins over Russia and Belarus and a draw against Brazil. Brazil had draws against Egypt (23-23) and Belarus (30-30) and lost narrowly to Russia (26-25)

Hungary – Spain: Spain defeated Hungary twice in Hungary, by scores of 30-26 and 29-24

Czech Republic – Serbia. In two matches played in the Czech Republic, the first match was a 29-29 draw and the second one was a 30-25 Czech Republic victory

Austria – Iceland. These two nations played two closely contested matches in Austria. Iceland took the first match 29-28 and Austria won the second match 33-32

Macedonia – Montenegro.  Montenegro edged Macedonia 29-28 in the first match and Macedonia won the second, 26-21.

Algeria: 4 wins vs Czech Republic Clubs: Link

Argentina: Argentina defeated French club, Ivry (34-29) and had a draw against Creteil (26-26)

2) Will Cuban players that previously defected be allowed to play for Cuba? Cuba recently change their laws to allow athletes to play professionally in other countries. Ruben Gomez of Mundo Hanball assesses the impact if those players return to the Cuban National Team
Mundo Handball: Link

3) Luc Abalo “feels good”. In a video for the organization “Sports Without Borders” Luc Abalo does a James Brown impression..
Hand News: Link


Handball News Summary (31 October 2013)

President Obama encourage Ivano Balic to come to New York

President Obama encourage Ivano Balic to come to New York

1) President Obama invites Ivano Balic to attend this year’s New York City Big Apple Classic.  In an amusing and obviously doctored video President Obama encourages the Croatian star to attend the New Year’s Eve tournament.  Personally, I would give only about 25% chance as to whether the President is even familiar with the sport of team handball.  This might sound low, but as he’s more of a worldly sports fan it’s probably higher than the average American and significantly higher than any of our previous presidents.
Video:  Link
Big Apple Tournament Facebook Page: Link
THN Article on former Croatian Coach, Lino Cervar meeting then President George Bush:  Link
2) Brazil and Argentina Men’s National Teams with friendly matches and training.  Both Brazil and Argentina are taking advantage of the lull in European club competitions.  With several players playing in France, Argentina is training in Ivry, a suburb of Paris.  Brazil is in Tunisia for a tournament against Tunisia, Russia and Belarus .
Brazil Federation (Portugese): Link
Argentina Federation Page (contains video and written updates for the trip):  Link
3) Brazilian women sweep competition in friendly tournament.  Brazil defeated Croatia (32-23), Norway (28-24) and Hungary (28-26)  in a tournament last weekend in Hungary.  Based on those results they appear to be in top form for the upcoming the World Championships in Serbia this December.  Good news for Pan American nations as a top 9 finish will provide an extra slot for PATHF nations in 2015.
Brazilian Federation (Portugese): Link
4) Puerto Ricans ply their handball trade in Guadalupe.  The French overseas departments of Guadalupe and Martinique have developed several French national team players over the years.  Now their club leagues have become a nearby option for Puerto Ricans to play competitively. Hiraldo Hector Cepeda is the latest, joining his sister, Sheila and Ciris Garcia in Guadalupe
Mundo Handball (Spanish):  Link
5) Chilean is hired gun for Iranian Club.  Chile’s top scorer in many PATHF events, Rodrigos Salinas, is being loaned out by his Spanish Club team, Granollers to an Iranian club for a 10 day stint.  Apparently, he will boost the club’s lineup for an upcoming championship match.
Mundo Handball (Spanish): Link
6) New rules proposed for “over age 35” handball.  Dr. Juan L. Antón-García proposes that the court length be shortened, each team plays with one few player, no physical contact and 4 passes before every shot.  Coach Dale of Hickory High in Indiana would approve of the last concept.  I’m also guessing that defending U.S. National Champions, NYAC, are scoffing at the prospect of special rules for players over the age of 35.  Maybe at  age 55 they’ll consider them.
EHF Periodials: Link

LIVE VIDEO: Christer Ahl to highlight IHF governance issues at Play the Game Conference

Christer Ahl speaking at the 2009 Play The Game Conference

Christer Ahl speaking at the 2009 Play The Game Conference

Former IHF Rules and Referees Commission President and Team Handball News contributor, Christer Ahl, will be participating in the International “Play the Game” Conference this week in Aarhus, Denmark.  The Play the Game Conference is the premier conference addressing sports corruption issues such as doping and match fixing and more than 300 attendees from over 40 countries are expected to attend this year’s event.

Christer will be taking part in the Wednesday (30 October) Evening Plenary Session, “Sports Reform:  How to change the tone at the top.”  His presentation is titled “The Despotic Regime of the IHF Just Continues” and as the title implies it will highlight several IHF governance issues that have surfaced in the past few years.   Other speakers during the session will highlight issues with the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), the International Weightlifting Federation, Sponsor roles in sports Governance, the EU’s role and the International Sports Arbitration Council’s (CAS) role in sports reform.   The session starts at 7:45 PM (local time) and as the second speaker, Christer’s presentation will likely start around 7:55 PM (Local Time). The 1:45 session will also include questions for all speakers at the end of the session.  The session will also be live streamed around the world.


Live Stream:  Link 

(Important Note:  Daylight Savings Time ended this past Sunday in Europe, but doesn’t start in the U.S. until this Sunday, so Denmark is currently just 5 hours (vice, the normal 6 hours) ahead of U.S. Eastern Time.  I have also been informed that the Conference schedule is still subject to change so for up to the minute updates on his presentation time follow our Twitter and Facebook pages)

2013 Conference Program:  Link

Christer Ahl Profile Page at Play The Game:  Link


Handball News Summary (21 October 2013)

Rafael Capote scored 10 goals on Saturday against Flensburg.  Will he play for Cuba again?

Rafael Capote scored 10 goals on Saturday against Flensburg. Will he play for Cuba again?

1) Cuban player scores 10 and makes EHF CL weekly Best 7 player list. Rafael da Costa Capote who plays for Naturhouse La Rioja in Logrono, Spain was on fire this Saturday against Flensburg. The 26 year old Capote defected while in Brazil for the 2007 PANAM Games and has apparently bounced around a little, first playing in Italy and now Spain.

ehfTV: Video (Best 7 of week 4): Link
ehftTV: Video (Match Highlights): Link
THN article from 2007 on his defection: Link

2) New Danish head coach advocates a shot clock for handball. Gudmundur Gudmundsson, following a Rhein-Neckar 23-22 loss to Luebbecke expressed his frustration with handball’s “passive play” rule and its inconsistent application. Even going so far as to advocate an NBA style shot clock.
Handball-World: Link
Original article in Mannheimer Morgen (German): Link

3) Alex Dujshebaev called up to Spanish National Team. In what will likely be the first of many International Games, 20 year old Alex Dujshebaev will play next month for Spain in two friendlies against Hungary. (French): Link


Handball News Summary (16 October 2013)

With lots of recent developments here's an all Pan American update.

With lots of recent developments here’s an all Pan American update.

With several articles of interest from the Mundo Handball and Handball Deprimera websites here’s an all Pan-America edition.

1) NOR.CA Championships to be played in Mexico. Citing a Handball Deprimera interview with PATHF Executive Director, Miguel Zaworotny, Mundo Handball reports that the tournament will be held in Mexico the last part of January. Separately, USA Team Handball CEO Matt Van Houten has indicated via email that the latest information he had been provided was for 23 February to 1 March 2014 in Mexico City.  (Note:  Historically, dates, times and location for PATHF related events have often changed multiple times before being confirmed.)
Mundo Handball (Spanish): Link

2) Cuba to compete for 2016 Olympic Qualification. In the same Handball Deprimera interview, Zaworotny indicated that Cuba intends to compete for 2016 Olympic qualification. (Note: I’ve inquired as to whether Cuba will also participate in the upcoming NOR.CA Champioship, but I haven’t received any confirmation yet.)
Mundo Handball: Link

3) Haiti to begin participation in PATHF Competitions. Again, from the Zaworotny interview. Haiti has not participated any events in a long time, if ever.
Mundo Handball : Link

4) Peru Handball Federation reaction to Lima’s selection as the 2019 PANAM Games host city. Ruben Gomez recaps an interview on the Handball Deprimera website with the Peruvian Federation and compares Peru’s situation to GBR and the London Olympics.
Mundo Handball (Spanish): Link

5) Argentina requests nearly a 1 month release for professionals playing in Europe. The South American Games in March 2014 will serve as the qualification even for the 2015 PANAM Games and the 2014 Pan American Championships. This is a key event for the Argentinian national team, but it remains to be seen whether their clubs will release them for that length of time.
Mundo Handball (Spanish): Link


Handball News Summary (9 October 2013)

2014 African Championships Draw Results

2014 African Championships Draw Results

1) Draw results for African Nations Cup. Earlier today the draw for the 21st African Championships was held. Both the men’s and women’s tournaments will be in Algiers, Algeria from 15-26 January, 2014. The top 3 men’s teams and a TBD number of women’s teams will qualify for the 2015 World Championships.
Africa Top Sports (French): Link

Group A: Tunisia, Egypt, Cameroon, Gabon, Libya, Senegal
Group B: Algeria, Morocco, Congo, DRC, Angola, Nigeria

Group A: Algeria, Congo, Senegal, Cameroon
Group B: Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Tunisia

2) Speculation is rampant that Talant Dujshebaev will soon be the coach at Vardar Skopje.  Vardar abruptly dismissed coach Zoran Kastratovic earlier this week and with Dujshebaev’s son Alex playing with the club many are thinking he will be the next coach. (Spanish): Link
Video: EHF Google Hangout: Link  (Talant Dujshebaev’s future is debated for several minutes at the start of the discussion.)

3) Gudmundur Gudmundsson to be named new coach of Denmark. Gudmundsson who previously coached his native Iceland to the 2008 silver medal is expected to be announced as the designated successor to current coach Ulrik Wilbek. It’s also widely speculated that he will end his coaching duties with Rhein-Neckar at the end of the season.
Handball-World: Link

4) Lar Christiansen supplements his retirement income. Following in the tradition of Jim Palmer and Michael Jordan Christiansen is pitching men’s underwear.
Handball World :  Link

5) Diego Simonet on Canal+. French Channel Canal+ has a short video feature on the Argentine finding a home with French club, Montpellier. (French): Link


Handball News Summary (4 October 13)



1) The percentage of non-German players in the HBL is most pronounced at Center Back.  Handball Time magazine in Germany provides a detailed analysis of foreign participation in the HBL. Additionally, it’s noted that the percentage of foreign players in the HBL isn’t that different from other sports.
Handball World (German): Link

2) Barca with bargain season ticket plan. 73 Euros is all that is required to get a seat for every home Liga ASOBAL and Champions League match. For roughly the same price you can get tickets to 2 matches at Flensburg. If it wasn’t obvious before it’s totally self evident now that only a tiny fraction of Barca’s payroll is paid with handball related revenue.
Diario ASOBAL (Spanish) : Link

3) Arab Gulf nations stage first ever Women’s International Tournament.  Kuwait is hosting Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates in a 6 day long tournament.
Arab Times: Link
Kuwait Times: Link

4) Nikola Karabatic supplements his income. The Stade Francais Rugby Calendar has a guest handballer gracing it this year. It’s the 3rd time Karabatic has posed for the promotional calendar. (French):  Link 


Handball News Summary (1 October 2013)

Kathy Darling on attack for French club, Le Pouzin

Kathy Darling on attack for French club, Le Pouzin

1) IHF to pay all travel costs for upcoming Women’s World Championships.  As Ruben Gomez at Mundo Handball noted this will enable non European teams to take that cost savings and apply it to additional prep matches in Europe prior to the World Championships :
IHF website: Link
2) Brazil wins Wheelchair Handball Championships
Mundo Handball (Spanish): Link
Official website: Link
3) Paris St-Germain star Mikkel Hansen won’t participate in a Danish National Team training camp.  Apparently, his club want him to rest a knee injury. (French):  Link
4) Pan American Team Handball Federation (PATHF) website upgrade.  The PATHF website has a new look and design with separate sections for North, Central and South America.
PATHF Website: Link 
5) German National Team coach suggests that HBL require clubs to have a minimum number of German players.  The complaint is that in addition to top level outside talent, mid-level non-German players are taking spots that would go to developing young German players.
Handball-World (German): Link
6) American Kathy Darling makes debut with French Club, Le Pouzin.  Darling scored 3 goals helping Le Pouzin to a 28-27 victory over Coach Latulippe’s former club, La Motte Servolex.
Le Pouzin website: Link
Pictures from match:  Link

Handball News Summary (26 September 2013)

1) Interview with Wisla Plock’s Marcin Lijewski. ehfTV’s Tom Ó Brannagáin sat down with Lijewski prior to the match and touches on a number of topics: Playing with Hamburg, moving to Poland and who’s a better player: Marcin or is his brother Krzysztof.
EHF article: Link
Link (30 minutes: Worth a listen)

2) AG Copenhagen to return in 2014? Owner Jesper Nielsen is signalling on social media that the short lived Danish powerhouse club could return next season
TV2.DK: Link
Christer Ahl commentary from 2012 on Copenhagen: Link

3) Fiji looks to introduce handball. If they can duplicate the success they’ve had with Rugby 7s perhaps another nation besides Australia could make the World Championships
Fiji Broadcasting Corp: Link



Handball News Summary (23 September 2013)

Required attire for French Club, Handbal Cercle Nimes

Required attire for French Club, Handbal Cercle Nimes

1) Week 1 of Champions League Group Play with some suprisingly close matches
EHF Champions League:  Link

2) Russian Women’s coach, Evgeny Trefilov,  returns.  He was dumped last year due to poor performances at the WC and Olympics.  His successor, however, didn’t even worse in failing to qualify for the 2013 WC due to a shocking 12 goal defeat to the Netherlands in Russia.
EFH Website:  Link
3) German club, Wetzlar, struggles.  The addition of Balic and Hombrados to the roster hasn’t paid huge dividends for this German club with aspirations.
Hand News (French): Link
4) The EHF considers potential changes to its European Championships format.  A task force is investigating a number of possibilities including the expansion from 16 to 20 or 24 teams
EHF Website: Link
5) Handball in Buenos Aires hits 10,000 registered players:
Mundo Handball: Link
6) Nimes women’s handball club players are now required to wear skirts.   Apparently management thinks this will boost attendance
Midi Libre newspaper Link
(Thanks to Mundo Handball for the initial tip: Link)