Team Handball News

Michelle Mensing Elected to AAC

by USA Team Handball

*12-19-22 - Updated With Results - See below for details*


Here are the results from the recent AAC election:

There were a total of 269 eligible voters, 71 votes were cast, with the following totals:

Michelle Mensing - 45
Moa Svendsen - 26


The two candidates running for the open seat on the AAC are:

  • Michelle Mensing (SF CalHeat)
    • As a long time member of San Francisco Calheat I have been part of the US handball scene for over 7 years. At Calheat i served as border member and transformed the club to one of the champions for youth development and diversity, leading regularly 4 teams to Nationals (2 men, 2 women) and creating an environment for expats and American players to grow and play handball in the US and abroad. I advocated for equitable development of the playing experience for all athletes in the US and have most recently worked with USATH to put guidelines in place to protect the women tournaments against discrimination by the national referee committee. In addition to being active on the indoor circuit i have been the driving force behind growing the beach community, supporting new clubs to be established and create environments for beginners and advanced players to grow, increasing the playing opportunities for all athletes across the US.
  • Moa Svendsen (Chicago Inter)
    • Although I am a newer member of the association, I have seen so much love and dedication go into the Team Handball community. As a player of Chicago Inter, I have seen teams develop over just a few years. From starting off as a small club to now being one of the top ones both professionally and athletically. Most recently I have worked with IHF on the upcoming World Championship and their communications team. This has really helped me understand the international perspective of how to grow the sport. The USA has the greatest potential to run this sport. I advocate for creating an open environment for any (current or new) player and that we stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Any player should feel welcomed and be able to reach their full potential. I want the sport to be a place where we can all grow as players, individuals, and as a team no matter where we are from or who we are.

Please note that the vote will open on Thursday, December 15th at 8am ET and close on Friday, December 16th at 5pm ET. All eligible candidates (female members as of 12-2-22) will receive the ballot via email from ElectionRunner, so please check inboxes and spam filters on Thursday and Friday for details.


The complete election process is detailed below.

USA Team Handball’s Athlete Advisory Council currently has one open seat. The purpose of the AAC, the specific seat that needs to be filled, candidate eligibility, and voter qualification is outlined in Section 10 of the USATH Bylaws. For convenience, several excerpts from the bylaws are included at the end of this article.

This particular seat is designated for a female member of USATH, and is a USATH membership-voted representative. USATH will implement the process outlined below for filling the seat.

Requirements to Run for Open Membership-Voted Board Seat:

  • Qualifications for determining eligibility are outlined in section 10.2 of the USATH Bylaws. For convenience, relevant excerpts are listed at the end of this statement
  • All interested candidates must complete this form by Friday, December 2nd:
  • Once the online form is completed, the individual will then receive USATH’s Conflict of Interest Statement via DocuSign
  • After completing both the form and the Conflict of Interest Statement, USATH’s Nominating & Governance Committee will review the information and approve or deny a candidate’s eligibility based on the qualifications listed below

    The voting process:

  • The vote will be conducted through an online form on the platform, and all female members of USATH with current memberships as of Friday, December 2nd will be eligible to vote. Voters will be required to enter a unique, randomly generated voter ID and instructions will be sent to the email associated with each individual’s USATH membership. Any ineligible voters will have their votes dismissed.
  • The final list of candidates will be posted on the USATH website and distributed to USATH’s email list no later than Tuesday, December 13th
  • The vote will open on Thursday, December 15th at 8am ET and close on Friday, December 16th at 5pm ET. The link for the ballot along with the unique voter ID will be emailed to each eligible voter when the ballot opens.
  • Results from the election will be posted on the USATH website no later than Monday, December 19th
  • The term for the newly appointed AAC member will from the date of their installment through 12/31/2026

Should, for any reason, the election process need to be adjusted once the process has begun, USATH’s Nominating & Governance Committee will review any potential changes. Any approved changes will then be posted to this page.

*Election timeline was updated to allow the Nominating & Governance Committee with more time to review the potential candidates.

Section 10.1. Purpose

The USATH Athletes’ Advisory Council (the “THAAC”) shall be a forum to provide a comprehensive means of communication between athletes and USATH. The THAAC will lead, serve, and engage athletes to communicate the interests and protect the rights of athletes, and be a conduit to USATH. The THAAC shall:

  1. Serve as a vehicle for athlete engagement;
  2. Endeavor to protect the rights of athletes;
  3. Provide athlete feedback;
  4. Build and establish relationships among the disciplines of the sport of handball and the athletes of USATH;
  5. Advise the three (3) Athletes Directors of the USATH Board of Directors and advocate the interests of athletes in all areas of USATH influence and governance;
  6. Assist in identifying potential future Athlete Directors and Standing Committee and Ad Hoc Committee members;
  7. Educate athletes about USATH’s governance structure and applicable USATH rules, regulations and policies, USATH’s Bylaws, the USOPC Bylaws, the Sports Act, IHF Statutes and Bylaws and the IOC rules; and
  8. Serve as SafeSport, athlete safety and anti-doping ambassadors and advocates.

Section 10.2 (B) THAAC Positions

Two (2) positions must be held by one (1) male and one (1) female indoor Team Handball athlete. In order to serve in this position in this category, one must have finished in the top half of USATH’s Open National Championships (Elite or Division 1 or such future formatting that is equivalent to Elite or Division 1) within twenty-four (24) months* before the election. In order to vote for a candidate for election in this category, one must be a member of USATH at the time of voting.

*Since there was no Open Nationals in 2020 or 2021, USATH will use the 2019 and 2022 Open Nationals to determine candidate eligibility.

Section 10.2 (E) Candidate Eligibility and Voter Qualification:

In addition to the applicable requirements for each position category set forth in subsections (A), (B), (C), and (D) above, in order to serve in a position on the THAAC and to vote for any candidate for election to the THAAC, one (i) must be eighteen (18) years of age or older by December 31 of the year in which the election is held; (ii) must be registered as a member of USATH at the time of voting in the election or applying as a candidate for election, as the case may be; and (iii) must not have a record of a felony criminal conviction involving theft, financial improprieties and other crimes involving moral turpitude or SafeSport sanction or provisional suspension or a criminal conviction or other court sanction of similar nature. Further, each voter (i) will have only one (1) vote as to each candidate in a category for which the voter is qualified to vote in an election and (ii) will be allowed to vote only for a candidate of their own gender.

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