(San Francisco CalHeat waits to see who will join them in the Elite Division this year)
With five of the six Wild-Card USATH sanctioned events in the book, let’s take a quick look at where we stand going into the 2020 USATH Club National Championships in Detroit, MI.
(Specific details can be found at: https://www.northeasthandball.com/wild-card-standings/)
With Chicago Inter the expected winner of the 2019-20 MTHL Season, and San Francisco CalHeat our defending champions, the four qualifying wild-card participants seem pretty clear at first glance. Michael Lipov Champion New York Athletic Club, Michael Lipov and CalCup XIV runner-up Alberta, Blue Cup champion Carolina Team Handball, and Valley of the Sun winner Los Angeles THC appear to be your four wild-card teams.
However… Alberta has an in-province event during the 9th and 10th of May. Add onto that piece of information that UNC-Chapel Hill’s graduation day in Sunday, May 10th, and suddenly we have two teams which may not make it to the Motor City.
Next up: Army West Point Gold. That’s right, Gold. Not Black. Their 2nd place finish in the Blue Cup gives them more wild-card points than the 1st team from the United States Military Academy @ West Point. That said… They have final exams.
You have a three-way tie after that between US Air Force Academy, surprise Texas Cup outfit Dallas Team Handball, and Saskatchewan Jr. Men. If USAFA can’t attend as well (final exams), then the teams from Dallas and Regina are potentially looking at the Elite Division in their sights.
You’ll notice we’ve only covered six spots here. With NYC set to clinch yet another NTHL title this Saturday in Boston, MA (if they can get a win), they’ll be joined by the 2nd place team in the NTHL who isn’t Army West Point Black. That could be NYC2, last year’s 8th place team. That could be Boston, last year’s 5th place team, or that could be West Virginia University, last season D2 Champions.
This picture becomes much clearer in the next two weeks.