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USA Handball Talk (Episode 8) The British are Coming. The British are Coming

Stephen Neilson, the Chair of British Handball joins the podcast to discuss the Great Britain – Kosovo Euro 2026 Qualification match played in Derby, England on 13 January.

We take a deep dive into what was probably the best ever handball match atmosphere and presentation in a “non-traditional” handball nation. We discuss the crowd, venue, organization, logistics, finances and British Handball’s future plans to stage matches like that again.

Watch on YouTube or listen/download the mp3 file at the top of the page

If you have any suggestions for future topics, a title for our podcast or have some intro music you would like us to consider please let us know on social media.


Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion goi

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USA Handball Talk (Episode 7): The Standard is the Standard

On this week’s episode we discuss what standards USA Team Handball athletes, administrators and board members are required or perhaps, should be obliged to follow. What’s appropriate in one’s private life and what’s appropriate in an official capacity? And, is it possible to entirely separate the two in a world where one’s thoughts and actions are amplified by social media? Here’s a rundown of the show and some links to the topics we discussed.

  • Pittsburgh Steeler’s Head Coach, Mike Tomlin’s “The Standard is the Standard” philosophy: Link
  • San Antonio Spurs Head Coach, Gregg Poppovich on standing during the national anthem: Link
  • USA Team Handball’s Code of Conduct Policy: Link (Note: I think there was once a separate, more athlete specific code that had to be signed as part of team selection, but I could be wrong.)
  • Towards the end we discuss a potpourri of topics to include:
    • Discussing handball outside our handball sphere and the “shade” often thrown our way
    • Relatives never really fully understanding what handball we play
    • My discussion with CalHeat’s Martin Bilello on youth handball challenges
    • The need to define objectives and establish metrics for handball initiatives… so one can then better assess what consitutes success or failure

Watch on YouTube or listen/download the mp3 file at the top of the page

If you have any suggestions for future topics, a title for our podcast or have some intro music you would like us to consider please let us know on social media.


Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link

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USA Handball Talk (Episode 6): Far, Far, Faraway Island

On this week’s episode we discuss two handball miracles: The remarkable showing of the Faroe Islands (population 52K) at the European Championships and the great handball atmosphere at the Great Britain-Kosovo Euro 2026 qualification match in Derby, England. Here’s a rundown of the show and some links to the topics we discussed.

  • Faroe Island’s Men’s National Team (Wikipedia): Link
  • John’s “Iceland Strategy” commentaries: (Part 1Part 2)
  • (Un)Informed Handball Hour podcast on the Faroe Islands: Link
  • John’s commentary that compares the Faroe Island’s challenges with the current US team (which is sort of like a geographically dispersed Faroe Islands): Link
  • The Final Season (a movie about Norway, Iowa’s baseball team): Link
  • Jóhan Hansen: Right Wing from the the Faroe Islands that now plays Denmark: Link
  • ehfTV video of the Great Britain – Kosovo match: Link
  • Daily Oklahoman article about Chris Havlicek trying out for handball mentions the USA – Brazil match and the USA women playing Iceland in 1996: Link
  • Article on the USA – Drammen match that was part of the USA Men’s training camp in Norway: Link
Watch on YouTube or listen/download the mp3 file at the top of the page

If you have any suggestions for future topics, a title for our podcast or have some intro music you would like us to consider please let us know on social media.

Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link

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USA Handball Talk (Episode 5): Handball Tryout… or Try Out Handball?

On this week’s episode we discuss handball tryouts and the complications that result from two very different cohorts: Stateside and and Overseas athletes. The catalyst for the discussion was this USA Team Handball Tweet and the reply it elicited from former USA Jr National Team athlete, Aaron Hamm:

Here’s a summary of the topics we discussed:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for handball. For what it’s worth my most recent Google search has the USA Team Handball website ranking 3rd for “team handball and 12th for “handball”
  • Here’s a 3 part series that John wrote in 2019 on handball dual citizens:
    • Part 1:  What is a handball American Expat and Philosophically, What is an American?:  Link
    • Part 2:  Understanding this 51st state and its handball demographics: Link
    • Part 3: Can a small, but determined handball nation be competitive against larger nations? Can they win a title?: Link (Note: this commentary contains some discussion on the Faroe Islands)
  • USA Team Handball Facebook post on the recently conducted tryout in Los Angeles: Link
  • The MLB “all comers” tryout scene from the movie, The Rookie: LInk
  • JD’s Jr National Team tryout and John’s Olympic Festival tryout in 1987
  • The lack of an intermediate stepping stone between clubs and the national team and how the good deals from the IHF might unintentionally be hindering such a development
  • How the U.S. handball development “pyramid” is actually a “tower”

And, here’s a couple of bonus commentaries on youth development

  • A commentary on the Tower/Pyramid: Link
  • Analysis of 2017 Youth and Jr teams (you’ll see some familiar names and some names that have moved on…): Link

Watch or listen/download the mp3 file at the top of the page

If you have any suggestions for future topics, a title for our podcast or have some intro music you would like us to consider please let us know on social media.


Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link

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USA Handball Talk (Episode 4): New Year… and Same Old Handball

It’s a New Year and the more things change… the more they stay the same. Here’s a rundown of the topics discussed:

  • The upcoming Men’s European Championships and the record setting crowd planned for the opening matches in Düsseldorf. It was Andy Schmid who was not a fan of handball in football stadiums: Link
  • How Ohio State’s starting QB’s transferring to Syracuse might correlate contextually to the U.S. Women’s national team (News article on the topic: Link)
  • The USA Team Handball Board Meeting Minutes drop: Link
    • The minutes from September reference a dialogue with the Handball Development Center in Dallas: “Mr. Branick had started to establish a dialogue with the Texas project leadership to determine how a partnership may evolve and impact the efforts to develop the women’s National team.
  • Why handball promotion is important and the USA Team Handball Working Group that will address ways to better promote Handball during the 2024 Olympics
  • The podcast with Joey Williams of Detroit where we discussed handball promotion: Link
  • The possibility of a handball demonstration in conjunction with the NBA All Star Game in Indianapolis
  • The EHF promotion process and the video that was shared in real time:
  • The Samala Cup played this past December and John’s view that it’s high time to rethink the concept of the “weekend tournament.” (Tentatively, the topic for our next podcast)

Watch or listen/download the mp3 file at the top of the page

If you have any suggestions for future topics, a title for our podcast or have some intro music you would like us to consider please let us know on social media.


Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link

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USA Handball Talk (Episode 3): Boxing Around the Handball Drama

It’s a Boxing Day edition of USA Handball Talk and we take a deeper dive into the challenges the U.S. Women’s program faces. Discussion points include:

  • Why it will be tough for the U.S. Women to duplicate the success of the current U.S. Men’s team
  • Why there isn’t time now for a grass roots solution
  • Three different paths forward for the U.S. Women
  • The need for USA Team Handball to make a decision on the path forward
  • Why a decision to focus on transfer talent athletes will require a lot of planning
  • Why a transfer talent focus will need credibility and quality to successfully recruit athletes
  • Could a reality show documentary simultaneously fund a talent transfer program and provide great promotion?

We didn’t solve anything, but there was lots of great discussion and we addressed a lot of issues. Let us know if we missed any key issues that you would like to see us address.

Watch or listen/download the mp3 file at the top of the page

If you have any suggestions for future topics, a title for our podcast or have some intro music you would like us to consider please let us know on social media.


Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link

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USA Handball Talk (Episode 2): John… I think I’m having a moment

This week’s topics:

  • 1996 Handball Olympian, Denny Fercho suffered a massive stroke a year ago and is making great progress with his recovery. Please consider a donation to help with his medical and therapy bills at this Go Fund Me Campaign: Link
  • A very brief recap of this past weekend’s IHandball Tryout and the Samala Cup
  • A review of the 2023 Jr Women IHF Trophy/NORCA Championship
    • Video of the USA-Mexico Match: Link
  • A recap of the 2023 IHF Women’s Handball Championships
  • A discussion on the current state of the USA Women talent pool, how it will likely change as we get closer to the 2028 Olympics, and the apparent lack of a plan to take that future fully into consideration

Watch or listen/download the mp3 file at the top of the page

If you have any suggestions for future topics, a title for our podcast or have some intro music you would like us to consider please let us know on social media.


Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link

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USA Handball Talk (Episode 1): I Handball, U Handball, We All Handball

Ohio State Handball Coach, JD Orr and I are introducing a new podcast focused on handball in the U.S. In our first episode we cover the following topics:

  • The IHandball initiative in Columbus, Ohio which includes weekly matches and a U24 Developmental Team
    • USA Team Handball article on IHandball: Link
    • U-24 Developmental Team Tryouts: Link
  • The USA Jr Women’s National Team and the upcoming IHF Trophy/NORCA Championship in Mexico
    • USA Roster Announcement: Link
    • IHF Trophy Competition Page: Link
  • Commentary on the San Francisco CalHeat SuperGlobe roster: Link
Watch or listen/download the mp3 file at the top of the page

If you have any suggestions for future topics, a title for our podcast or have some intro music you would like us to consider please let us know on social media.


Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link

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Podcast (Episode 81e): USA Team Handball Board Member, Ebiye Jeremy Udo-Udoma (AKA: The Handball Ninja)

At the Southern California Beach Handball Championships I interviewed National Team athlete and USA Team Handball Board Member, Ebiye, Udo-Udoma. Ebiye, who has adopted the moniker, the Handball Ninja is well known in the beach community, both domestically and internationally.

We discussed the tournament, the state of beach handball and the challenges of getting beach handball on the Olympic Program given the IOC’s athlete quota that limits a summer games to no more than 10,500 athletes. I then throw him a bit of a curveball question, in that given this quota and the greater chances a USA beach team would have to medal: Should USA Team Handball consider the possibility of taking actions that could lead to an IOC/LA 2028/USOPC/IHF decision to swap beach for the traditional indoor game at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles?

The Handball Ninja on social media: IG FB Twitter TikTok

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Podcast (Episode 81a): Alex Browne of the San Diego Sea Dragons Beach Handball Club

I attended the 2023 Southern California Beach Handball Championships this past weekend and while there I had the opportunity to interview several athletes and coaches. In this interview I caught up with Alex Browne. Alex has played for the U.S. Men’s National team and he and wife Missy (a Women’s National Team athlete) have led the effort to start the Sea Dragons Beach Handball Club in San Diego. And, arguably the Sea Dragons are a model club that other newcomers might be wise to emulate. We discuss how the club got started and, of course, also talk a little Quidditch (urr… Quadball) (And, FYI, he’s represented the U.S. in Quadball, too)

San Diego Sea Dragons: Website Instagram Facebook

Interview with Alex from 2019: Link


Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link

Podcast (Episode 79): Colton Strickler of Colorado XO Rugby (Part 1): Has this Rugby Club Cracked the Code for Successful Talent Transfer?

Colton Strickler is a media representative for DNVR Rugby. The Colorado XO Rugby Club is a rugby club located in Glendale, Colorado that is focused on rugby training for crossover or “talent transfer” athletes from other sports. In just 2 years time this program has had 6 athletes sign pro rugby contracts with Major League Rugby, the relatively new pro rugby competition started in the U.S.

On the podcast we discuss:

  • Why Rugby’s experience is applicable to handball
    • The XO athlete that triggered this whole podcast: Link
  • Colton’s rugby background
  • Rugby talent transfer: Rugby 7s vs Rugby 15s
  • How the Colorado XOs got started
  • Colorado XO Recruiting Strategies
  • Sports the XOs target
  • The limited post collegiate options for American athletes
  • Colorado XO finances (generalities, not specifics)
  • How the Colorado XO schedule is a bit like Notre Dame football
  • The program’s connection with USA Rugby
  • Coaching and training regimen

  • Colorado XO Website: Link
  • Colorado XO Rugby on Social Media
  • DNVR Rugby Website: Link
  • DNVR Twitter: Link
  • Colton Strickler on Twitter: Link

Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link

Podcast (Episode 78): Detroit Handball’s Joey Williams (Part 2)


Joey Williams is the President of the Detroit Handball Club. In Part 2 of our two part conversation we cover several topics to include:

  • European vs American club naming conventions
  • Handball social media: Attention for attention’s sake? (3:30)
    • Rodger Sherman of the Ringer hyping Mvumbi on Twitter: Link (an earlier more viral tweet got taken down)
    • The need to back up the social media image
    • Detroit’s 3 on 3 handball league: Link (Clearly, not handball, but there was a point to it)
  • Detroit Handball Club’s future in 1 year… 5 years (21:00)
  • Mercenary club teams in the U.S. (26:30)
  • Detroit Handball Club training with Sporting Handball in Portugal (38:00): Link
  • Josh Forsthoefel questions sent in on Twitter (47:00): Link
  • What does success look like for handball in the U.S.? (52:30)
  • Detroit Handball Documentary (1:01:50) : Link
  • Detroit Handball Club on Social Media

Part 1 of our interview: Link


Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link

Podcast (Episode 77): Detroit Handball’s Joey Williams (Part 1)

Joey Williams is the President of the Detroit Handball Club. In Part 1 of our two part conversation we discuss the trials and tribulations of his efforts to start the Detroit Club. For the most part he’s been very successful getting the Detroit Club started in the middle of a pandemic, no less.

Here are some links related to our discussion

  • Joey’s 2016 experience at a European GK Camp: Link
  • Joey’s 2019 experience at the ISI Sports Academy in Denmark: Link
  • 2019 Commentary which discussed the hurdles of starting a new club: Link
  • Detroit Masonic Temple (Where Detroit practices): Official Site Wikipedia
  • Detroit Handball Club on Social Media

In Part 2 will delve into a pot pourri of topics including Detroit’s effective use of social media.


Don’t miss an episode:

  • Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link
  • Follow the Team Handball News podcast on Spotify: Link
  • Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link

And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link