Americaâ€™s top team handball clubs to descend on Salt Palace from May 13-15, 2011
The 43rd USA Team Handball National Championships will feature an Olympic spirit when Salt Lake City, Utah hosts the competition for the first time ever, May 13-15, 2010.
The national tournament is expected to draw thousands of handball athletes and fans from around the United States to compete in the Men’s Elite, Men’s Open and Women’s Elite divisions.
Registration is now open for the competition which will feature more than 60 fast, furious matches at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace. All matches will take place on SnapSportsâ€™ state-of-the-art â€œShockTowerâ€ flooring.
“Salt Lake City established itself as the winter sports capital during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “That Olympic legacy continues to grow with Team Handball. We’re proud to be the home of Team USA and we’re looking forward to hosting the national championships this spring.”
Los Angeles Team Handball Club is the defending Menâ€™s Champion, while the Houston Firehawks are expected to defend their Womenâ€™s title. Salt Lake Handball Club, which participated in its first-ever National Championships in 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada, is considered a dark-horse favorite.
â€œSalt Lake City is one of the Westâ€™s best-kept secrets,â€ said USA Team Handball General Manager Steve Pastorino. â€œOur athletes and spectators will enjoy beautiful spring weather, a great downtown venue and an incredibly dynamic, action-packed sport.â€
Play will start on Friday morning, May 13, culminating with the Men’s and Women’s National Championships on Sunday afternoon. Single-day and three-day VIP spectator badges will be available soon at www.USATHNationals.com, where visitors can also book their reservations at the official hotels of the Championships.
“Having the Team Handball national governing body in Utah is a wonderful opportunity to grow the sport,â€ said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. â€œWe support their ambitions to bring home a summer Olympic medal.â€
“The entire Salt Lake hospitality community is extremely eager to host U.S.A. Team Handball,â€ said Mark White, VP of Sales and Marketing at the Salt Lake Convention and Visitor Bureau. â€œAs a city full of young, sports-minded citizens, this event is a wonderful fit for us. We look forward to showing the handball athletes and officials a great time in May.”
The event is presented by USA Team Handball in conjunction with its national sponsors Grundfos, BURRDA SPORT, SnapSports, United Airlines & Hilton. Nationals are produced and supported by PSA Sports, the Utah Sports Commission, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Salt Lake Handball Club.
The first National Championships were held in 1968 on Long Island, NY, with Adelphi University capturing the menâ€™s championship. In 1979, Nationals moved west of the Mississippi for the first time ever, when the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs hosted the events. Utah becomes the 17th state to host Nationals. A list of recent hosts and winners follows:
- Year Host City Menâ€™s Champions Womenâ€™s Champions
- 2002 Garden City, NY Knight Air (NY) n/a
- 2003 Reno, NV Atlanta Team Handball California Smurfs
- 2004 Houston, TX Atlanta Condors DC Diplomats
- 2005 Houston, TX New York Athletic Club DC Diplomats
- 2006 Houston, TX New York Athletic Club Smurfs
- 2007 Delaware, DE NYC Team Handball Club Chicago Inter
- 2009 Elgin, IL NYC Team Handball Club Chicago Inter
- 2010 Las Vegas, NV Los Angeles Team Handball Club Houston Firehawks
ABOUT USA TEAM HANDBALL
USA Team Handball is a 501-c-3 corporation headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and certified by the United States Olympic Committee as the sportâ€™s National Governing Body. Its jurisdiction includes development of grass roots programs, preparation of national teams and day-to-day oversight of the sport of handball throughout the USA. Visit the federation at www.usateamhandball.org.
ABOUT OLYMPIC HANDBALL
Handball, widely known as Team Handball in the United States, is played in 159 nations by 39 million people. Called “ripe for an American invasion” by TIME magazine, the sport includes elements of basketball, water polo and soccer – and it universally enjoyed for its fast, physical, exciting tempo. The USA Menâ€™s and Womenâ€™s National Teams are both in contention for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Qualifying continues at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in October 2011 â€“ with both teams seeking their first Olympic medals.