The Vancouver Handball Cup took place on Remembrance Day Weekend at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Photo by Matthew TW Huang
Vancouver Handball Cup
Published 2:27 PST, Fri November 17, 2023
On Remembrance Day weekend, the Vancouver Handball Club hosted their fourth ever Vancouver Handball Cup. The tournament took place at the Richmond Olympic Oval featuring men’s and women’s competitions; with a total of fourth women’s teams and six men’s teams participating. The event was a huge success according to Benjamin Schwartzmann, coach of the men’s senior team and player.
“Overall the 2023 Vancouver Handball Cup was a great success with every team enjoying their time on and off the court.”, said Schwartzmann.”
The event featured approximately 120 players from 10 different teams and around 30 people in the staff, referees, and families of players category, totalling to around 150 people. The event played host to handball teams from all around North America from Saskatchewan, Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver.
The Vancouver Handball Club first started off known as the BC Handball Club but decided to break away from the BC Handball Federation and become the Vancouver Handball Club. They’ve held Handball Cup events every year in the time span of 2010 to 2016. The club has grown from just a handful of players to approximately 50 members all varying in age. “Handball’s popularity is on the rise across North America, we’re aiming to reach out to the younger generation, encouraging them to join in on the excitement of this amazing sport,” said Schwartzmann.
Like all businesses the COVID-19 pandemic caused many hardships for the Vancouver Handball Cup, the organization was not able to keep the event going but that didn’t deter the organization who slowly made their comeback in their 2021-2022 season thanks to the Via Sport BC’s financial support.
The tournament came to an end with the San Francisco CalHeat team winning the men’s competition, beating Seattle by a score of 29 to 14 in the finals. In the women’s competition, a team from Alberta that regularly plays beach handball defeated the Vancouver women’s team by a score of 18 to 15.
Moving forward the team is reflecting on this year’s event and preparing for the 2024 Vancouver Handball Cup next spring.
“It is challenging to coordinate everything for our board members as we have to juggle between playing, coaching, and making sure that the event runs smoothly. Going forward, we’re exploring the possibility of having dedicated volunteers to help throughout the weekend. We will start planning the 2024 Vancouver Handball Cup in the spring. Our objective is to get more teams joining the tournament: eight men’s teams and six women’s teams would be fantastic. Ultimately we want handball to have more visibility in Canada and attract new players to this amazing sport,” said Scwartzmann.