History of USA Team Handball


1936 - The U.S. 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 eighth place.


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


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


1970 - The U.S. 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 - The U.S. fields their first-ever team at the Women's World Championships in Kiev, U.S.S.R.


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


1979 - The U.S. Men earn a bronze medal at the first Men's Pan American Championships in Mexico City, Mexico.


1984 - The U.S. Women finish fifth (out of six teams) and USA Men finish ninth (out of 12) at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.


1986 - The U.S. Men earn a silver medal at 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 - The U.S. Women finish seventh (out of eight) at the Olympic Games in Seoul.  USA Men finished last out of 12 teams.


1991 - The U.S. Men win bronze medal at the Pan American Games in Cuba


1992 - The U.S. Women finish sixth (out of eight) at the Olympic Games in Barcelona.


1995 - The U.S. Women win gold medal at the Pan American 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 - The U.S. Men finish ninth (out of 12) at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. The U.S. 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 - The U.S. 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. The U.S. Men placed seventh while the U.S. Women finished eighth.

2013 - Dr. Harvey Schiller is elected as President and Chairman of USA Team Handball.

 

2014 - Auburn University is named as home to the women's and men's national teams as part of the USA Team Handball Residency Program at Auburn University.

 

2014USA Team Handball announced the appointment of Mike Cavanaugh as its Chief Executive Officer. 

 

2015USA Team Handball officially starts a beach handball program under the direction of former Olympic USA Team Handball player and coach Dennis Berkholtz.

 

2015The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and Auburn University announced an agreement designating the College of Education's School of Kinesiology Building, Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum, and Watson Fieldhouse a U.S. Olympic Training Site. 

 

2016According to the Brazilian Globo Esporte, handball was the second-most ticketed sport at the Rio 2016 Olympics, coming only behind soccer in popularity. 

 

2018USA Team Handball Board of Directors President, Dr. Harvey Schiller, announced his departure from his position.

 

2018USA Beach Handball sent their women’s and men’s national teams to the World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

 

2019 The USA Team Handball Board of Directors appointed Barry Siff as chief executive officer of USA Team Handball. 

 

2019 - The United States Olympic Committee formally changed its name to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee – a change celebrating the athletes of Team USA and the Paralympic Movement in the United States. 

 

2019Both teams from the U.S. beach handball program earned gold at the NORCA Men’s and Women’s Beach Championships in Trinidad & Tobago this July, punching their tickets to the 2020 World Championships. The event marked the first time both American men and women have qualified for a world championship in U.S. handball history.

 

2019USA Team Handball’s director of operations and former CEO Michael D. Cavanaugh announced his professional retirement from the organization.

 

2019USATH announced the hiring of three-time Olympic medalist Staffan Olsson as high performance director.

 

2019 - USA Team Handball and the International Handball Federation opened the North American & Caribbean Handball Confederation headquarters in Colorado Springs. The office is the first Olympic sport confederation headquarters in Colorado Springs. 

 

2019Dennis Berkholtz, USA Team Handball’s director of beach handball, announced his retirement from the organization.

 

2020 - USA Team Handball announced its official partnership with Verizon.