History of USA Team Handball Timeline


1936 - USA finished sixth in 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin in Men's Outdoor Handball. The team consisted largely of European immigrants and first generation athletes from the New York/New Jersey area.

1959 - The United States Team Handball Federation (USTHF) incorporates in New Jersey and the Metropolitan League was formed with clubs in New Jersey and New York.


1963 - The USA joins the International Handball Federation (IHF) and competed in its first Men's Outdoor World Championships. Dr. Peter Buehning, the third president of the USTHF, scored the first goal of the tournament in Switzerland against Germany. The USA finished in 8th place.


1964 - The USTHF participates in its first Men's Indoor "Modern Handball" World Championships in Czechoslovakia.


1967 - United States Olympic Committee (USOC) welcomes USTHF as a Group A member.


1970 - USA qualifies for the Men's World Championships in France.


1972 - In Munich, Germany, Men's Handball is re-introduced to the Olympic Games. USA finishes 14th out of 16 teams.


1973 - Dr. Peter Buehning of the Swim & Sport Club in Flanders, NJ founds the Pan American Team Handball Federation (PATHF) consisting of four nations: Canada (CAN), Mexico (MEX), Argentina (ARG) and the United States (USA).


1975 - USA fields their first ever team in the Women's World Championships in Kiev, U.S.S.R.


1976 - USA Men finish 10th out of 12 teams in the Olympic Games in Montreal.


1979 - USA Men earn a Bronze medal in the first Men's Pan American Championships in Mexico City, Mexico.


1984 - USA Women finish fifth (out of six teams) and USA Men finish 9th (out of 12) in the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.


1986 - USA Men earn a Silver Medal in the Goodwill Games in Moscow, USSR.


1987 - At the Pan American Games in Indianapolis, Team Handball was the only USA team sport to win Gold Medals in both the Women and Men's disciplines (along with direct qualification to the 1988 Olympic Games). 


1988 - USA Women finish seventh (out of 8) at the Olympic Games in Seoul.  USA Men finished last out of 12 teams.


1991 - USA Men win Bronze Medal in Pan Am Games in Cuba


1992 - USA Women finish sixth (out of 8) in Olympic Games in Barcelona.


1995 - USA Women win Gold Medal in Pan Am Games in Argentina


1995 - After 22 years, Dr. Buehning steps down as president of USTHF and is replaced by Dr. Thomas Rosandich, president of the U.S. Sports Academy.


1996 - USA Men finish 9th (out of 12) in the Olympic Games in Atlanta.  USA Women finish last out of eight teams.


2002 - At the IHF Congress, held in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dr. Buehning was awarded the IHF Gold Badge of Merit for his singular efforts to develop Team Handball within the USA and the Pan American region.


2003 - USA Men win Bronze Medal in Pan Am Games in Dominican Republic


2006 - USOC decertifies USTHF


2008 - USOC accepts a bid underwritten by businessman Dieter Esch and certifies USA Team Handball (USATH) as the new National Governing Body. 


2011 - Qualified and participated in the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. USA Men placed 7th while the USA Women finished 8th.