Less than 10 miles from Argentina and Paraguay, tucked in the southwest corner of Brazil, 18 team handball national governing bodies convened in a small resort hotel in Foz du Iguassu Nov. 13 for the first day of the PATHF Congress.
The countries in attendance are:
The United States is being represented by Steve Pastorino, Dieter Esch and Brad Krassner. Puerto Rico is not in attendance because of an illness in Vice President Raphael Sepulveda's family.
Special guests included Dr. Hassan Mustafa, president of the International Handball Federation and Dr. Miguel Roca, IHF vice president who oversees PATHF.
The first day of meetings included general remarks and reports from various executive committee members. Successes of the past four years have been addressed, including the expansion of competition, development of the Division I/Challenge Trophy tournaments, and the improved quality of play within the region and international stage.
Some major shortcomings of the past four years were acknowledged as well, such as PATHF's inconsistency in managing a federation website, disciplinary inequities relative to incidents involving Brazil, Argentina and Canada, as well as the handling of issues of Greenland, Cuba, and Chile related to global competitions. More time will be spent on these topics in the following days.
Also in attendance from the United States is 1972 Olympian Dennis Berkholtz. He is concluding his several terms as vice president of the North this weekend. Elections for the next quadrennial cycle are expected to be held Saturday morning.