State of the Handball Union Address

May 28, 2012, 10:26 p.m. (ET)

Dear handballers,

I'd like to thank everyone for a fun and well organized US Team Handball Nationals in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Everyone involved poured in their heart and soul to organize this event.

Craig's (Craig W Rot) team, along with Mariusz's (Wartalowicz) tireless approach and diligence - made for a great event.

Congratulations are in order to our three new champions, as well as to all the teams who participated in our event. And let's not forget our dedicated officials and referees who made this tournament a success.

I hope all of you had fun and are healing from the physical play and/or the after hours festivities!

In an effort to be transparent (and to keep the lines of communication open to and from our federation), I wanted to reach out to everyone through this "State of the Handball Union" address.

I hope you found the General Assembly informative and not too wordy. It is my full intent to put substance behind my promises and commitments. We - as a handball community - have failed many times in the past to put our sport on the map here in the US.

I don't want to add the current opportunity to that list of failures.

We have many great people with many great handball ideas. I continue to encourage you to bring your ideas forward in the "committee format" that I discussed/mentioned during the General Assembly.

Not everything in the past has been a failure. Which is why I am encouraging the people who have guided team handball in the past to get or stay involved. I urge you to share your experiences and your vision. It will help shape our sport and move it forward.

Combined with the heart and the desire of so many people who eat/sleep/live team handball - and alongside our young handballers' desire to be successful - I am certain that together we can build a strong foundation for this federation and for the sport of team handball.

So many of you have come forward with great ideas on how we can move this federation/sport forward.

I am grateful for your input and I will ask that you continue to stay involved by joining the committees that will be posted on our website.

If you'd like to have a voice and input on the direction of the USATH, then please join a committee. Or two.

Your input will be instrumental in the development of our Strategic Plan, which will feed directly from these active committees, to be approved by the BOD.

This Strategic Plan will not only be our future roadmap but will also serve as our guide for future sponsors. Without quality, dedicated sponsors and a solid fundraising foundation, our Strategic Plan will only be words and ideas.

As many of you know, we are currently searching for a GM/CEO who will take our federation to the next level. Towards a growing community of handball players, coaches and referees - as well as international competition success of our national teams.

Finding the right individual (or individuals) for these tasks will not be easy. Ultimately we need people who can lead the organization, raise the money needed for our active committees and have a strong understanding of the handball community, both nationally and around the world.

A job description of the GM/CEO position will soon be posted by the Federation on our website.

We must be fluid and creative in finding a viable solution, as we have not yet identified anyone who possesses all the skills required for this leadership position.

We have many people with great handball knowledge, with great ideas and vision for the future. We also have people with the fundraising skills to help. Combining all these needs of USA Team Handball in this key developmental stage are critical for our success.

Hence, it is imperative that our BOD - with the assistance of our Search Committee - T Ebuwei, Dan Wollman and Heins Kart Pederson - can make an informed decision for the future of our organization.

We understand that our often opinionated and very passionate community will - sometimes - second guess our decisions.
We're OK with that. It's part of the process.

However, we ask you to be patient as the search for a new GM/CEO is conducted and decided upon.

We also ask that you respect whatever decision is made and offer your support to those selected to lead.

Too many times in the past, we've had people rowing in opposite directions.

We are a small but tight knit community who must stay united if we are to have the kind of future success we envisioned.

Please sign up for the committees and let's begin developing our Strategic Plan together.

Once the Strategic Plan is developed, combined with a leadership structure that's soon to be determined, we can then begin raising money and develop the business of the sport of team handball.

I am excited to have the opportunity to be associated with so many people who love and care about the future of our sport.

Thank you again for your ideas and for willing to get involved and making a difference in our future.


Jeffrey Utz
Chairman of the Board
USA Team Handball