On November 5th SF CalHeat Team Handball Club hosted the first Youth Team Handball tournament in the history of the Bay Area. At the Centerville Junior High Gym, in Fremont, Sterne School, Stanbridge Academy, Lycée Français de San Francisco, and Bayhill High School competed in 2 x 20 min. games against each other with Sterne taking the cup by winning all their games.
In preparation for the youth tournament all schools participated in a clinic lead by several SF CalHeat players in learning the basics of the game and coaching techniques. Up until that point the average participant only knew the sport from the Olympics. Taking the lessons back to their schools the coaches implemented after school classes and formed their teams, some assisted in their coaching effort by SF CalHeat volunteers.
In addition to their school practices all teams competed in the Bay Area Youth Team Handball League playing each other to prepare for the season’s highlight, the 2016 Youth California Cup. Because of the non existence of regular team handball courts, each school got creative and transformed indoor as well as outdoor basketball courts into team handball courts.
Then the day of the tournament finally arrived and players, coaches and SF CalHeat volunteers were nervous but excited knowing they would write history that day. Martin Bilello, manager of the event welcomed everybody and soon the first game was starting. The games were characterized by fair play, competitive spirits and player involvement. Many SF CalHeat team members came to watch and help with refereeing, table duty, and concessions, shaping this event to become the success it was in the end.
We want to thank all the volunteers, the coaches for taking team handball to their schools, and the players for making the event a unique experience for everyone. Special thanks goes to USATH for supporting the school’s effort by giving each of them a handball as well as the book “Team Handball: Steps to Success” enabling them to continue their learning journey of mastering team handball.
SF CalHeat is always looking for other schools to join the Youth Team Handball League. Contact us if you think your school should pick up this Olympic sport. SF CalHeat is happy to assist you with clinics, practice assistants, and all other team handball related questions.
By Michelle Mensing