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USA Team Handball Open Championships Return to York County This Month

Published: 05/02/2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Andrew Staub
Communications Specialist
York County Convention & Visitors Bureau
717-852-9675, ext. 103 or astaub@yorkpa.org

Louise Heine
Destination Marketing Director
York County Convention & Visitors Bureau
717-852-9675, ext. 109 or louise@yorkpa.org

YORK, PA - Our nation's largest domestic team handball tournament, with 1,500 athletes, spectators and coaches, will return to York County this spring. The York Expo Center will host the 2016 USA Team Handball Open Championships from May 13-15, providing a $387,111 economic jolt to York County and a chance for local residents to see an Olympic sport played in their backyard.

York County also hosted the prestigious championship event in 2015.

"USA Team Handball is delighted to be returning for the second year in a row to host our 2016 Open Championships," said Michael D. Cavanaugh, Chief Executive Officer of USA Team Handball. "We remain very impressed with the reception we have received. We are bringing our largest event of the year, and we are experiencing excellent hospitality making our athletes, coaches, officials and their families feel welcomed and appreciated."

"We are excited to be returning to York, which did a superb job last year in all aspects of hosting our annual Open Championships," added James Thome, Tournament Director for the 2016 USATH Open Championships. "York's close proximity to team handball hubs such as New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., makes it an ideal location for the national tournament."

Thirty-one teams are expected to converge upon the York Expo Center for this year's competition.

Traveling from as far away as Chicago, California and even Europe, teams will compete across the Men's Elite, Men's Open and Women's Open divisions. All three 2015 champions will return to defend their titles. Teams from the United States Military Academy at West Point and the United States Air Force Academy will also participate.

The tournament will have a distinctly international flair, with a men's and women's team from Canada, a women's team from Germany, plus referees hailing from Egypt, Austria and Denmark.

"USA Team Handball is exactly the type of sporting event that solidifies our position as Pennsylvania's Premier Sports Destination," said Anne Druck, President of the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The payoff for the entire community is immense. We expect a total economic impact of nearly $900,000 over the two years as athletes and their families stay in our hotels, dine in our restaurants and explore all that York offers."

The public is invited to come discover this high-scoring, fast-paced and semi-contact Olympic sport, which combines elements of soccer, basketball, water polo and hockey.

USA Team Handball also invites all athletes ages 10-17 to try Team Handball from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at the Utz Arena at the York Expo Center. The clinic will be led by USA Youth, Junior and Deaf Adult National Team Coach Craig Rot. Topics covered at the event will include passing and catching, shooting, defensive techniques and basic tactical game play of the Olympic sport, all of which will be taught using a variety of fun and exciting station drills, mini-games and scrimmages. Additional instructors will include Men's National Team players.

The cost of the clinic is $20 per athlete. Participants will need to wear athletic apparel and court shoes, and please bring water. All money raised will go directly to the Men's National Team to cover trip expenses related to attending the Pan American Team Handball Championships in Argentina this June.

Local physical education teachers are encouraged to attend the event. The $20 fee for the event will cover practical instruction and include a copy of the curriculum used at the clinic. Teachers, parents and families of athletes will be granted free access to the USATH Open Championships. To register please go to http://usateamhandball.usetopscore.com/e/2016-national-championships-youth-clinic. If you have any questions please contact Chris Morgan at ccm@usateamhandball.org.

Anybody else wishing to get a closer look at team handball can also volunteer. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, please contact Joe Bleacher, Special Events Coordinator at the York County CVB, at jbleacher@yorkpa.org.

USA Team Handball is the National Governing Body for the Olympic sport of Team Handball, which has been an Olympic sport since 1972 for men and 1976 for women. Learn more about USA Team Handball by visiting www.USATeamHandball.org.

The York County Convention & Visitors Bureau's Sport York program is designed to recruit events and generate additional economic impact in York County. Sport York positions York County as Pennsylvania's Premier Sports Destination, highlighting the area's dynamic facilities and central location on the East Coast. For further information about Sport York, visit www.yorkpa.org/sports.

The York County Convention & Visitors Bureau's mission is to maximize tourism expenditures and their economic impact in York County, PA, through comprehensive tourism sales and marketing programs. The York County CVB's Vision is for a York County where tourism is recognized for the value of its economic impact and its role in raising the profile of York County as a sought-after destination. For more information on the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau, call 1-888-858-9675 or visit www.yorkpa.org.

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