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June 2009

Volume 59, No. 3

USHA Mission Statement: To Organize, Promote and Spread the Joy of HANDBALL: The Perfect Game June features 4. Dr. John Aronen enters the USHA Hall of Fame as a contributor. 5. Florida organizer Pete Overeem captures USHA Kendler Award. 5. One-wall champion Cesar Sala earns respect on and off the court. 11. Door is wide open at nationals: Who will step through and win? 28. It's a sin not to follow these Ten Commandments of court etiquette. 32. Ben Thum interviews one-wall commissioner Howie Eisenberg. 36. Who are the best one-wallers of all time? Dan Flickstein lists his. 54. The roots of player development are in local organizations. 58. Oregon uses rebate program to benefit state association, USHA. 59. Josh Reese brings passion, talent to his role as USHA volunteer. 63. Changes will ensure continuation of top-notch hospitality in Toledo. 64. Questions and answers about the Portland World Championships.

71. Paul Brady is interviewed after his Irish nationals victory. Departments


2. USHA president Mike Steele on getting involved in handball. 12. Men's pro four-wall rankings. 13. Women's pro four-wall rankings. 26. Carom shots. 40. USHA contributors. 56. Women's commissioner LeaAnn Martin on a unique tournament. 56. State membership list. 68. Obituaries. 70. Mailbag. 71. International report.

21. Eddie Morales fires off the back wall in his victory over Armando Ortiz at the Hall of Fame pro qualifier.

57. A look at scientific evidence regarding protein and exercise. 60. There are lots of ways to keep the pressure on your opponent. 66. Emphasizing fundamentals clears the path to victory. Tournament results 14. 21. 42. 52.

National Masters Singles. Hall of Fame/pro qualifier. Regional Report. Anchorage, New Orleans Pro Entries

31. 35. 53. 55. 62. 64.

National one-wall. National one-wall big ball. National juniors one-wall. National juniors three-wall. National three-wall. World championships. On the cover

„ David Chapman racks up a victory over Sean Lenning at the Concord pro stop. Coverage begins on Page 6. Next issue Material for the August issue of Handball should be submitted by June 15.

The USHA staff

The magazine

Publisher: Mike Steele Advertising: Vern Roberts, Naty Alvarado Executive Director: Vern Roberts Development Coordinator: Matt Krueger Accounting: Karen Potter Marketing: Matt Stamp Customer Service: Sonya Lammers

Handball (ISSN 0046-6778) is published bimonthly by the USHA, 2333 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716. Memberships are $45/year ($120 for three years). Foreign members include $15/year additional for postage. Periodicals postage paid at Tucson, Ariz., and additional mailing offices. Canadian Post Publications Mail Agreement #40065056.

Canadian Return Address: DP Global Mail, 4960-2 Walker Rd., Windsor, Ontario N9A6J3. Postmaster: Send address changes to Handball at 2333 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716. Editorial communication: Send to Editor, 2333 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716. Phone: 520-795-0434 Fax: 520-795-0465 E-mail: USHA Web site: HANDBALL 1



5/12/2009, 3:56 PM


No time for American idle: Get involved


don’t watch much television programming that involves things like “American Idol” or the like. It often devolves into silliness and damaged psyches. Give me a good handball game instead. But something has recently gripped our British cousins, and it merits attention. I am referring to the recent starburst known as Susan Boyle. If you haven’t checked out her performance on the UK program called “Britain’s Got Talent,” you’ve missed something. It’s available on YouTube. Simon Cowell is there, at first his usual sneering, scowling self. Boy, is he in for a big surprise. He arches his eyebrows as the next contestant walks out — a middle-aged woman, a bit on the frumpy side, with frazzled hair and thick, dark eyebrows that match her equally thick Scottish accent. We learn that she has a cat. She’s unemployed. She wants to be a professional singer, but no one has given her a chance. The panel sort of pokes fun at her. She fires back. The woman has spine. Cheeky. Then she sings ... “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Miserables.” Words cannot do justice to her performance. She is confident, firm and blessed with a stunning voice that has suffered in total obscurity in a small town in Scotland. Do yourself a favor and watch her performance. It may not beat a good handball game, but it’s impressive, soul-stirring. Perhaps you’re wondering why I’m discussing Susan Boyle. Well, if an unemployed cat lover with a divine voice can come out of total oblivion to suddenly garner 18,900,000 Google hits in a matter of weeks — anything’s possible. Do we really know where breathtaking talent comes from? If we did, it would be an easy matter of just dialing it up. “Let me have one order of world-class talent, right over here! Come and get it!” My guess is that most people, like Susan Boyle, hide their talents, or never have an opportunity, or no one appreciates what’s right there under their nose ... or some combination of these. Susan Boyle has probably never seen a handball game. But she is instructive for us nevertheless because we should not be so quick, like Simon Cowell, to dismiss or ig-

Steele, addressing the crowd at the banquet during the national juniors championships, believes that handball players can learn a valuable lesson from the once-obscure Susan Boyle. nore the potential for talent that any person may have. With his first glance, he saw an aging, plain woman with a thick accent. In spite of that snub, Susan Boyle seized her opportunity. May she be blessed for the rest of her life. Where are the Susan Boyles of the handball world? What small American city harbors a hidden talent, someone who can teach the game to the future stars of the sport? Someone who can lead a municipal effort to build one-wall or three-wall courts? Someone to take the baton from a retiring handball community leader in order to maintain continuity? Someone to help coach a new college team? Susan Boyle was surely nervous. But she also had nothing to lose. She looked to her left and gave a signal to the musicians. And with that little gesture, she controlled her own fate. That’s the point for the handball community. Take that first step. Don’t fear failure. Ignore the critics. Be cheeky. What have you got to lose? We live in a world where the naysayers

and critics seem to have all the advantages. It’s easy to snipe from the sidelines. It’s really easy to pontificate when you don’t have all the facts. I see it all the time. And it does nothing whatsoever to advance the game of handball. The Simon Cowells of the world have it easy — putting people down, acting superior, dismissing people with a mere flick of the wrist. For the long-term health of the game, it’s not the Simon Cowells we need. No, indeed. We need the heroic Susan Boyles to emerge from obscurity, to have faith in their own talents, to take the deep breath and plunge into any of those many activities that serve to promote the good health of handball. Doing so may entail some hard work, but it’s mostly fun. And there’s the great sensation of “the helper’s high.” The USHA will be glad to assist in the effort. We are constantly on the lookout for the handball equivalent of Susan Boyle. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is that surprise when someone not known to me writes and offers help. As the governing body of the game, the USHA not only sponsors or sanctions hundreds of tournaments, from juniors to octogenarians, from Maine to Hawaii and all points in between. Its committees also establish the rules, set the specs for the balls and the various courts, vet Hall of Fame nominees as well as those for other national and regional awards ... and do many other things. With your crucial support, we maintain the Hall of Fame and its many exhibits and keep the archives that record, in words, pictures and moving images, the amazing achievements of the legends of the past. Handball’s Susan Boyle doesn’t have to sing. There are so many other ways to get involved. The key is to move out of an observer status and become a giver. Help with a donation to the First Ace fundraiser program. Support a kids program at your club or in the local school district. Run a tournament. Become a distributor. Handle the membership program for your state (see Josh Reese’s article on Page 58). Who knows? Maybe even Simon Cowell will come over from the dark side.

2 JUNE 2009



5/12/2009, 4:23 PM


The gorgeous Tennessee River was the backdrop for some of the entertainment at the USHA National Masters Singles in Chattanooga.

A beer-tasting event featured live music, with Art Avalos helping out, and the Saturday night party was staged at a Chattanooga Lookouts baseball game.

A perfect Ten(nessee)

Peter Service and Vance McInnis were honored as the most recent Grand Masters for having won at least 10 national agegroup titles. Left, Rob Pearse and Herb Hooper welcome everyone to town.

Masters Singles coverage begins on Page 14 HANDBALL 3



5/13/2009, 9:08 AM


The right medicine: Dr. John in Hall of Fame


he founder of the USHA’s sports medicine team in 1984 and official handball medical consultant over the last 25 years, Dr. John Aronen will join the game’s other great contributors in the USHA Hall of Fame at the banquet at this month’s four-wall nationals. As former USHA president Bob Hickman has noted, “There are four things a contributor must demonstrate” for induction: „ A mission or purpose that will further the game of handball. „ A strong impact and effect from that mission or purpose. „ Unselfish dedication to the mission or purpose. „ Longevity and dedication in achieving the mission or purpose. As the founder of the USHA’s sports med team and the medical consultant and contributor to Handball magazine for nearly a quarter-century, Dr. John, as he’s affectionately known, has earned the highest recognition the USHA can offer on a national level. Dr. John’s mission and purpose has been to educate handball players about sports injuries, their prevention and proper treatment. In addition to the articles Dr. John authors, he is proud to provide his House Call service. In that program, members are invited to call him for advice and opinions on proper treatment. The only cost to the member is Dr. John’s request that a donation be made to the Development Fund. First and foremost, all of his patients learn that they need to be fit before returning to the court or a relapse or re-injury will likely occur. His advice and work has helped the game’s best players compete to the best of their ability at the national championships, but he has also helped keep players on the court and helped them return without injury during the course of the year. To give you an idea of the trickle-down effect Dr. John has had on our community, take a look around at the various clubs where handball is played and take note of

In 2006, Ray Chronister, Dr. John Aronen and Kevin Regan receive the USHA's first Carl Porter Award from (who else?) Carl Porter. He'll be joining the giants Dr. John Aronen will become the 23rd individual inducted into the USHA Hall of Fame as a contributor. Here is the list: 1955: Frank Garbutt 1957: Bob Kendler 1957: Charles O’Connell 1959: Al Schaufelberger 1961: Les Shumate 1963: Joe Shane 1964: Hyman Goldstein 1965: George Lee

1969: George Brotemarkle 1973: Bob Davidson 1976: Mort Leve 1979: Joe Ardito 1985: Steve Subak 1987: Pete Tyson 1988: Mike Dau 1989: Ken Konkol

Dr. John Aronen gets together with USHA stalwarts Norm Young and Jud Heathcote. the number of incline boards that have been assembled on Dr. John’s advice for calfstretching. While Dr. John credits Ray Chronister and Kevin Regan for keeping players on the court during nationals week, Dr. John has been at the forefront of the miracles being conducted each June and has done more to change handball players’ outlooks on physical fitness than anyone in the game.

1995: Carl Porter 1995: Alvis Grant 1995: Ron Emberg 1997: Bob Peters 2001: Joe McDonald 2005: Tommy Burnett 2009: John Aronen

The efforts of the team members were recognized in 2006 with the first Carl Porter Award. And now Dr. John takes his place along with the giants of the game in the Hall of Fame. Having served as the team physician for numerous varsity sports at the U.S. Naval Academy, Dr. John knew that handball players could benefit from the same type of care the Midshipmen received during competition. Many handball players agree, including Naty Alvarado Sr., who credits Dr. John and the trainers for a few of his titles, as do many age-group titlists. For Dr. John, it has been an opportunity to stay involved with the people and game he has loved for most of his life. While he has served his many friends in the sport and gained many new ones, it’s the players who can now show their love by helping celebrate his induction this June.

Dr. John’s mission and purpose has been to educate handball players about sports injuries, their prevention and proper treatment. 4 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 9:07 AM


Deservedly, Overeem wins Kendler Award


f you’re a handball player in Florida, and it’s springtime, you’re thinking Memorial Day weekend at the three-wall championships in Ormond Beach. For the last 32 years, it has become a tradition — one that has involved great competition, camaraderie and food at Pete and Dottie Overeem’s home Saturday night. If you’ve ever been to the event, you know what the fuss is about. For many, it’s like an annual family reunion, thanks to Pete. Once a player comes to one of Overeem’s events, he’s hooked for life. So it should be no surprise that Pete Overeem is this year’s winner of the USHA Robert W. Kendler Award, presented in recognition of outstanding, unselfish service to handball on a regional level. Overeem started playing handball at 12 in New York. When his family relocated to Florida, Overeem took time away from the game because he couldn’t find any courts. When he finally did hear of handball courts, he had to go check them out. But he didn’t recognize what he saw. He had never seen anything but one-wall courts, and

Florida’s Pete Overeem and wife Dottie. Kendler Award winners 1991: Morris Levitsky 1992: Don Quinlan 1993: Tony Huante 1994: Mickey Blechman 1994: Jack Gordon 1994: Ralph Weil 1996: Charles Mazzone 1998: Tom Sove 1999: Marty Singer 2001: Tom Easterling 2004: Charlie and Joan Wicker 2005: Sol Aber 2009: Pete Overeem these had three walls. But when Overeem walked around the corner and saw a sign reading “For Hand-

ball Use Only,” he knew he had to be in the right place. The rest was history. When those courts were torn down, Overeem and a group of other local players persuaded the local recreation department to build new ones at the Nova Recreation Complex, where the tournament began and is still held today. Overeem has been playing handball for 58 years and has been the go-to guy for Florida handball ever since he took charge of the Daytona/Ormond Handball Association. That leadership has also led to Overeem hosting several USHA national championships, from juniors to masters and from Ormond Beach to Orlando. When praised for his untiring efforts to promote handball, Overeem is quick to respond, “I do it because I want to.” Never one to grab the glory, Overeem praises wife Dottie and his friends who pitch in to make the events a huge success. The Overeems met in high school, and she has been supportive of his handball habit ever since. “Dottie didn’t like me much when we first met, but after 47 years, she’s gotten used to me,” Pete jokes. From all the people who have come to enjoy the great Memorial Day tradition in Ormond Beach as well as the other tremendous events Overeem has hosted, thanks for the wonderful memories and keep up the good work!

Sala: Quiet but respected leader By Ben Brighton


As the defending champion, Sala will be the top seed at this summer’s nationals. Cesar Sala’s titles USHA national singles: 2001, 2008 USHA national doubles: 2000, 2006, 2007 World Championships singles: 2000 YMCA national singles: 2003

here is an expression about a person entering a room whose presence lights up the area. Whether it is their smile, personality or accomplishments, they are noticed and command attention and respect. Handball certainly has had its share of charismatic figures, such as Joe Durso and Rookie Wright. But while these stars are brash, bold and outspoken, current USHA national one-wall singles champion Cesar Sala commands the same respect and admiration with his quiet, understated and humble nature. He has already built an impressive resume, including two national singles titles and three doubles titles with longtime partner Joe Kaplan. He has also represented the U.S. in competitions around the world

and is a great ambassador for the sport. Sala also has a world singles championship. Natural athleticism, supreme skills and great work ethic have him at the top of his game. Entering his prime years, a string of titles is within his grasp. That would cement him as one of the all-time greats. But more than his caliber of play, it is his approachable demeanor, friendly attitude and innate goodness that make him a fan favorite. At his home courts on Coney Island, he elevates the status of routine games by his participation, as other players are inspired by his presence. When not playing, he can be found coaching the next generation of young players who come down to Coney Island. As a member of the New York Police Department, he is one of New York’s finest — on and off the court. HANDBALL 5



5/13/2009, 9:10 AM



Lenning pounds the ball from the back court, but he didn’t have enough in his arsenal to overcome Chapman in the Concord final. Courtney Peixoto shocked Anna Engele for the women’s title. See Page 10. When it was all over, Chapman indeed had the Big C court all to himself. His performance boosted his confidence going into the nationals.

6 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 9:11 AM


down young guns Newly re-energized veteran Chapman rips pro field, nails Lenning in final By Matt Krueger


ver since David Chapman stepped away from handball in 2004, speculation has raged about his succes-

sor. Some of the game’s youngest and brightest stars have risen meteorically during Chapman’s time off. Sean Lenning, Luis Moreno and Emmett Peixoto have won pro stops and national championships. But for one April weekend at the Big C Athletic Club in Concord, Calif., elder statesman Chapman went through them all, finishing with a 21-13, 21-13 victory over Lenning. While Chapman regained his swagger and championship form, he gave fans a glimpse of why he holds eight national fourwall singles titles and numerous other wins. Chapman, currently the active leader in open championship titles, was facing the same question he had dealt with late in his career: Could he keep pace with better-conditioned players? But conditioning never appeared to be a problem, as Chapman dictated the pace to any player who wanted to speed things up inside the court. For the final, Chapman wanted to slow things down and keep Lenning out of the front court, where the Pacific Northwest star possesses lethal rally-ending abilities. Chapman was able to neutralize Lenning’s power early on. And, as in so many of Chapman’s pro stop finals, he jumped to a large lead, leaving no doubt to the first game’s outcome. At 17-6, Chapman was searching for his final four points to finish out the first game, but Lenning started a run that kept the gallery glued to its seats. Lenning flattened a ball from deep in the back court to end a rally and draw a gasp from the crowd. The

Among the young players Chapman put away was Peixoto in their semifinal match. next six points were all Lenning’s, as he picked up the intensity and speed of the match and narrowed Chapman’s lead 1713. Not wanting to let the first game slip from his grip, Chapman called a timeout after a Lenning kill shot. A shirt change on top of the timeout gave Chapman more time to regroup. More importantly, it cooled the hot-shooting Lenning from his offensive spree. Both players re-entered the court, and Chapman abandoned his easy lob serve to the left and started putting the ball down more, since Lenning had jumped on every

Thanks for making the big event happen


he USHA pro stop was held in conjunction with the Northern California regionals. Players enjoyed the beautiful Big C Athletic Club’s accommodations and an outstanding banquet Saturday. The USHA extends a big thank you to Tom Sove, Chris Tico, the NCHA, the Big C’s Dave Ruybalid and staff, and all the pro sponsors. HANDBALL 7



5/13/2009, 9:11 AM


Lenning drives the ball (above) and shoots the corner against Chapman. But he was limited to 13 points in each game of the championship match in Concord. ball offered his way. The strategy allowed Chapman to finish the last four points and take Game 1. Still, many wondered if Chapman’s momentum would hold in the second game or whether Lenning would be able to force a tiebreaker. “Sean’s a great player,” Chapman said at the end of the first game. “He’s going to make his shots, and that’s what he started to do.” In the second game, it became a battle of wills: Would Lenning be able to increase the pace and intensity, or could Chapman maintain his steady, methodical run? Chapman came out in the second game

the way he had started the first — pushing the ball deep into the left corner to force Lenning into offering setup returns. “He wasn’t doing well with the backwall shots at all, so I kept putting the ball back there and taking advantage of my setups,” Chapman said. “[Sean] has to play in a rhythm and fast-paced, so anytime he started getting anything, I was able to stop his momentum.” Lenning agreed. “My timing stunk!” he said. “My backwall game was not happening, and when that part of your game is off, it will hurt you.” Since Lenning couldn’t quite get into a

Chapman and Lenning receive their pro stop checks from NCHA President Roy Bukstein and Dave Ruybalid, respectively, after the championship match at the Big C.

rhythm, Chapman finished the match with a duplicate second-game score of 21-13. Chapman was very complimentary of his adversary and knew the two would face each other soon. “I don’t think we’ve played each other at our best yet,” Chapman said. “Going into the nationals, he’s definitely my toughest challenge.” Lenning repaid the compliment. “[Chapman’s] a confident guy,” he said. “He can bring out your worst. People just crumble when they play him.” On their road to the championship match, Chapman avenged an earlier pro stop semifinal defeat as he outdueled his doubles partner, Emmett Peixoto, in the semis. Lenning turned away Armando Ortiz in two games. Ortiz earned his spot opposite Lenning with a thrilling upset of Allan Garner in the quarterfinals, and Chapman ousted Dallas pro stop winner Moreno in two games. In the drop-down bracket, Dan Armijo cruised into the final. But there he paid the price, being unable to play because of a combination of a shoulder injury and a flu bug. As a result, Tyler Hamel collected the consolation victory as well as the extra ranking points. Not wanting the handball fans who showed up to get shortchanged, David Fink agreed to play an exhibition match with

8 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 9:11 AM


Kass takes open in NorCal regionals


he Northern California Handball Association Regional Championships were held in conjunction with the pro stop at the Big C Athletic Club. Sam Kass of San Jose, who was the runner-up in his last year of eligibility for the 19-and-under singles at the USHA National Juniors Championships last winter, defeated Raul Jasso to walk away with the NorCal open crown. Kass rallied from a 21-14 loss to Jasso in Game 1 and won the second and third games 21-5, 11-5. Mike McDonald/Shane Goyt beat Luis Diaz/Jesse Harris to capture the open doubles championship.

Open: Sam Kass d. Raul Jasso (14), 5, 5. A: Juan Lopes d. Albert Negrete 15, 15. B: Mauricio Lopez d. Steve Contreras 12, 20. C: Eoin Lehane d. Dylan Raintree (10), 10, 0. Novice: Phillip Brenner. 40+: Mike Linnik d. Ray Graham 12, (19), 7. 50+: Roy Bukstein d. Geoff Smyth 17, 18. 60+: Roberto Chavez d. Peter Wong 9, 1. 70+: Mike Miller. Juniors: Boris Lillge d. Tony Perez 12, 15. Juniors drop-down: Tyler Fibbs. Open doubles: Mike McDonald/Shane Goyt d. Luis Diaz/Jesse Harris. A doubles: Dave Kennedy/Tom Parkinson. B doubles: Adam Coronado/Leo Havener. 50/60+ doubles: Roberto Chavez/Rich Polson.

The Ken Hofmann Handball Trophy graces the entrance to the club at the Big C.

John Bike was back on the court in the pro field, but young Allan Garner dispatched him in two games in the opening round.

Getting low for a kill shot was a staple of Chapman’s all weekend as he rolled through four rounds of pro competition without losing a single game. Hamel in place of the drop-down final. But as people filed out of the Big C Athletic Club, all the talk was about Chapman. Most fans thought he looked like he had captured his old form, and many were making him the clear-cut favorite for the nationals. When asked to give his prediction of what would happen at Los Caballeros in June, Chapman didn’t hesitate. “Yeah,” he said, “I’m gonna win it.” Round of 16: Sean Lenning (Shoreline,

Wash.) d. Chris Tico (Berkeley, Calif.) 6, 9; David Fink (Pittsburgh) d. Eddie Morales (Springfield, Mo.) 19, 13; Armando Ortiz (Springfield, Mo.) d. Tyler Hamel (Kingwood, Texas) 13, 7; Allan Garner (San Antonio) d. John Bike (Hesperia, Calif.) 16, 4; Luis Moreno (Tucson) d. Dan Armijo (Albuquerque) 9, 12; David Chapman (Weldon Spring, Mo.) d. Ricardo Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) 3, 6; Marcos Chavez (Yorba Linda, Calif.) d. Tommy Little (Mound City, Kan.) 14, 12; Emmett Peixoto (Berkeley, Calif.) d. Abraham Montijo (Tucson) 6, 4.

Quarters: Lenning d. Fink 8, 11; Ortiz d. Garner (20), 9, 8; Chapman d. Moreno 16, 9; Peixoto d. Chavez 13, 19. Semis: Lenning d. Ortiz 16, 13; Chapman d. Peixoto 6, 16. Final: Chapman d. Lenning 13, 13. Drop-down Quarters: Morales d. Tico (13), 9, 8; Hamel d. Bike 0, 5; Armijo d. Diaz 12, 12; Montijo d. Little, inj. def. Semis: Hamel d. Morales 3, 4; Armijo d. Montijo (2), 13, 2. Final: Hamel d. Armijo, inj. def. HANDBALL 9



5/13/2009, 9:11 AM


Peixoto pulls off final-day turnaround By Matt Krueger


ith the outcome of the women’s round robin seemingly decided early, two matches on the last day completely reversed the fortunes of all four players involved. Courtney Peixoto shook off an openingday loss to Tracy Davis, rallying to defeat Anna Engele in a tiebreaker to claim first place 21-8, 20-21, 11-6. Peixoto was looking at third place with a loss and needed the win against the undefeated Engele. As soon as the first ball was served, Peixoto came out playing with a sense of urgency. Peixoto jumped on the board early, building a large lead that she maintained for a surprising first-game victory. In the second game, Peixoto’s torrid pace continued as she jumped to another big lead, making the outcome seem anti-

Engele sets up for a back-wall shot in her loss to Peixoto on the last day.

Peixoto winds up for a shot against Engele, then joins her opponent outside the club for a Kodak moment. climactic. At 20-13, Peixoto had match point and was about to close it out with a setup off the back wall. But she misjudged a bounce, giving Engele the serve and some new life. The error energized Engele, who amped up her play and intensity. Regaining her form and confidence, Engele scored eight unanswered points to force a tiebreaker. But in Game 3, Peixoto re-established her early dominance, while Engele forced shots that didn’t end rallies as they had at the end of the second game. In the other match, Jennifer Hinman stepped up big to defeat Davis in two games 21-19, 21-19. The win vaulted Hinman into third place. This off-the-wall finish to the round robin wouldn’t have been a story had there not been some opening-day drama. In the first match of the event, Peixoto was gasping for air. It wasn’t from a lack of conditioning. Trailing Davis in the second game, Peixoto called a timeout and tried to take a breath. But her lungs didn’t answer. Peixoto was suffering from an asthma attack. Worse yet, she realized she had forgotten her inhaler. “I had an attack and was about to pass out,” she said. “I couldn’t feel my hands, and I couldn’t stop hyperventilating.” While Peixoto took an injury timeout to try to catch her breath, her dad Jim looked for her inhaler. The medical gear arrived before the tiebreaker, and Peixoto was able

to settle her asthma down, but it seemed to affect her for the rest of the tournament. “I was really tired the whole weekend,” Peixoto said. “I had to take all my timeouts, which I usually don’t do unless I’m frustrated. I definitely did not forget my inhaler again.” Matters didn’t immediately improve for Peixoto, since Davis was playing well. Davis continually exploited her up-front power to pass Peixoto consistently, making her run for anything she didn’t kill. Davis went on to rout Peixoto in the tiebreaker 7-21, 21-18, 11-2. 1: Courtney Peixoto (Tucson) d. Anna Engele (St. Paul) 8, (20), 6; d. Jennifer Hinman (Hood River, Ore.) 16, 3; lost to Tracy Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.) (7), 18, 2. 2: Engele d. Hinman 7, 12; d. Davis 11, 3. 3: Hinman d. Davis 19, 19.

10 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 9:11 AM


With the pro season marked by the emergence of several young stars and the comeback of an older one, it’s shaping up as ...


A pick-’em nationals

t has been almost 40 years since the advent of the pro tour, and this year’s USHA National Four-Wall Championships will be the most wide-open affair since the inaugural year of pro handball. Back then, any one of eight players were touted to win the national championship. Not only did six players win stops on the first tour, but two more made for eight different players to make the finals in the ’7374 season. Since last year’s nationals, where Paul Brady continued his string of titles by winning his fourth with a thrilling 11-9 decision over Tony Healy, the pro events have become as tightly contested as that tiebreaker. When you win title after title by such a close margin, sooner or later someone different has to come up with the final shot. And that has been happening a lot lately. This season has produced the same kind of variety for Sunday pro finals across the country — and Ireland, for that matter. Let’s back up to the biggest prize-money event of the season, the Simple Green U.S. Open. There, Healy made his big breakthrough with his first pro victory on U.S. soil. When Luis Moreno upset defending champ Brady, the door was left open. And Healy made the most of it, defeating Sean Lenning in the title match. Semifinalists were Moreno and Emmett Peixoto.

Among notable early season upsets were Moreno (left) winning the Tucson event and Brady taking the Simple Green U.S. Open. Just a week later, a number of the U.S. pros headed to Idaho for Jake Plummer’s Halloween Bash. Naty Alvarado Jr. came out on top with a final victory over Allan Garner. Peixoto and David Chapman were the semifinalists. A week after that, Moreno made his mark again, defeating Chapman in the final of the Yes 2 Kids event in Tucson, which marked Chapman’s first pro event final since 2004. Peixoto and Lenning were the semifinalists. After a break for the holidays, the pros were back at it in St. Joseph, Mo., for the Jon Symon event. Local favorite Chapman moved up to his first victory in a prize-

money tournament since his return, defeating Garner in the final. Moreno and Peixoto were semifinalists. Paul Williams and the Inner City Handball Association offered comparable prize money for the men in conjunction with the Women’s Classic, and Peixoto earned the top prize with a final victory over Moreno. Peixoto’s weekend was especially impressive, considering he added the doubles title as well with Chapman. Singles semifinalists were Garner and Lenning. At the February USHA pro event in Dallas in conjunction with the George Lee Invitational, Moreno earned the title with a tiebreaker victory over Peixoto. Charley

The skinny „ What: USHA National Four-Wall Championships „ When: June 8-14 „ Where: Los Caballeros Racquet and Sports Club, Fountain Valley, Calif. „ Banquet: Thursday, June 11 „ Defending men’s champ: Paul Brady (right) „ Defending women’s champ: Megan Mehilos (left) „ More information: 520-795-0434 or HANDBALL 11



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Sean Lenning goes to Los Cab rated No. 1. USHA men’s 4-wall rankings Number in parentheses represents the number of events played among the last six. 1. Sean Lenning (Shoreline, Wash.) (6) 2. Paul Brady (County Cavan, Ireland) (3) 3. Emmett Peixoto (Berkeley, Calif.) (6) 4. Tony Healy (County Cork, Ireland) (3) 5. David Chapman (Weldon Spring, Mo.) (4) 6. Luis Moreno (Tucson) (5) 7. Allan Garner (San Antonio) (6) 8. Naty Alvarado Jr. (Spring Valley Lake, Calif.) (3) 9. Tyler Hamel (Kingwood, Texas) (5) 10. Tommy Little III (Mound City, Kan.) (5) 11. David Fink (Pittsburgh) (6) 12. Charlie Shanks (Co. Armagh, Ireland) (4) 13. Marcos Chavez (Yorba Linda, Calif.) (2) 14. Armando Ortiz (Springfield, Mo.) (2) 15. Dan Armijo (Albuquerque) (3) 16. Nelson Quintero (Miami) (3) 17. Jonathan Iglesias (Aventura, Fla.) (3) 18. Ricardo Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) (3) 18. Chris Tico (Berkeley, Calif.) (4) 18. Octavio Silveyra (Glendale, Calif.) (1) 21. Eddie Morales (Springfield, Mo.) (2) 22. Tyree Bastidas (Brooklyn, N.Y.) (2) 23. Joe Hagen (Minneapolis) (2) 24. Dane Szatkowski (West Chicago, Ill.) (1) 25. Abraham Montijo (Tucson) (1) 25. Vince Munoz (La Habra, Calif.) (1) 27. Danny Bell (Quebec) (1) 27. Ricky McCann (Belfast, N. Ireland) (1) 27. Billy O’Donnell (Bayside, N.Y.) (1) 27. Miles Paine (Santa Barbara, Calif.) (1) 31. John Bike (Hesperia, Calif.) (1) 31. Matt Hiber (Roseville, Minn.) (1) 31. Tony Krocak (Wauwatosa, Wis.) (1) 31. Suhn Lee (Lake Forest, Ill.) (1) 31. Bill Mehilos (Chicago) (1) 31. David Munson (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) (1)

Shanks made the trip from Ireland, upsetting Lenning and joining Chapman in the semifinals. The Irish don’t make it across to the U.S. as often as we’d like, and the events over there will have meaning in the nationals draw, as the successes of Brady, Healy and Shanks have assured. The Irish seniors were held in February, with Brady defeating Eion Kennedy in the final. Michael Gregan and Shanks were semifinalists. The U.S. pros made a big trip to Alaska at the beginning of March. Alvarado Jr. came out of his earlier announced semi-retirement to beat Chapman in the final, while Lenning and Moreno were semifinalists in the eight-man field. Chapman continued his comeback with a win at the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, defeating Garner in the final. Peixoto and Moreno were semifinalists. Just when you think you have the likely candidates for this year’s title and a trend with Chapman emerging, David Fink joined the fray at the top of the pro heap with a win at the New York Athletic Club, defeating Chapman in the final. Lenning and Moreno were the semifinalists. When the larger prize purse was up for grabs at the USHA pro stop in Concord, Calif., another up-and-comer worked his

No. 3 Emmett Peixoto slammed in the pro events run with the Women’s Classic.

Though semi-retired, Naty Alvarado Jr. won the Plummer and Alaska events. way into the semifinals. But it was Chapman who was back on top with a final win over Lenning. Missouri State’s collegiate champ, Armando Ortiz, and Peixoto were the semifinalists. With training time running out — as well as events to make their marks — Lenning took the top prize at the Boston Open by beating Chapman in the final. Fink and yet another up-and-comer, Tyree Bastidas, were the semifinalists. In case anyone is wondering, each of these events is offering at least a $1,000 difference between first and second places —and in handball terms, that’s a lot. No one is taking the final lightly. As the nationals near, Brady has proved he’s still the one to fear. He took the Irish nationals over Kennedy, who posted a semifinal win over new first-time father Healy. Dessie Keegan was the other semifinalist, and we’re expecting Brady and Healy to be in Orange County, while the rest of the Irish travelers were uncertain at press time. No doubt, Kennedy and a few others will make their marks if they can travel. With just the Canadian nationals in Winnipeg and the Rodney Fink Classic yet to be played, it looked doubtful that a big favorite who doesn’t plan to compete at these two could emerge from the field. While the men’s title is up for grabs, the women’s field has seen a similar splitting

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THE PRO CORNER USHA women’s 4-wall rankings 1. Lisa Gilmore (Winnipeg) 2. Anna Engele (St. Paul) 3. Megan Mehilos (Lombard, Ill.) 4. Jennifer Schmitt (New Braunfels, Texas) 5. Jessica Gawley (Regina, Saskatchewan) 6. Courtney Peixoto (Tucson) 7. Samantha England (Rochester, N.Y.) 8. Tracy Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 9. Jennifer Hinman (Hood River, Ore.) 10. Ashley Prendiville (County Kerry, Ireland) 11. Theresa McCourt (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 12. Allison Roberts (St. Augustine, Fla.) 13. Pauline Gallagher (County Mayo, Ireland) 13. Sydell Lewis (Charlotte) 15. Maria Daly (County Kerry, Ireland) 16. Jean Kasamoto (Hillsboro, Ore.) 17. Emer Coyle (Co. Roscommon, Ireland) 17. Niamh Egan (County Westmeath, Ireland) 17. Kristen Steele (Beaverton, Ore.) 17. Sabrina Zamora (Fontana, Calif.) Although Megan Mehilos is the defending women’s champion, she won’t find the going easy at Los Caballeros. Among her top competitors will be four women who — like this year — are always near the top of the rankings: (clockwise from top left) Anna Engele, Courtney Peixoto, Jennifer Schmitt and Lisa Gilmore. How will it all turn out? We’ll know the answers before the middle of June.

David Fink won in New York and figures to be in the mix for the pro championship.

Back with a flourish, David Chapman will look to win his ninth pro singles title.

of victories. Defending champion Megan Mehilos, Anna Engele, Lisa Gilmore and Courtney Peixoto all have won an event or two through the year. Add former two-time

champ Jennifer Schmitt, and we’ll see how the youngsters do against the veterans again this year. With such varying results over the

course of the season, the handball world will enjoy the most unpredictable nationals since the beginning of the pro tour. If you’ve made your plans to attend, be certain to buy a seat to watch the action up close on the Los Caballeros exhibition court. For those of you who can’t make it, be sure to join the poll at to cast your vote on who will win and pick your top eight finishers for a chance at the Team USA handball shirt we’re giving away to the winner. In addition, plans are still being finalized to Webcast the event, so you can follow along from home. Your help in buying a raffle ticket for the beachfront vacation home will go a long way toward supporting the national tournament. Buy one online or call 520-7950434 to purchase one today. HANDBALL 13



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In Chattanooga, ‘a good time’ all the time


Chattanooga’s mayor, Ron Littlefield, addresses the players with Pearse nearby.

ob Pearse and the Chattanooga group put out the red carpet for the handball players and their families who attended this year’s edition of the USHA National Masters Singles the last weekend of April at the SportsBarn. “That’s why players come back,” said Ed Ellett, a veteran bulwark of Chattanooga handball. “We show ’em a good time. “Rob is something else and can do anything when he puts his mind to it. And don’t forget the club owner and manager, David Brock, who makes us feel at home. We sure make the club look busy.” Janet Wasetis and friends served food non-stop at the club, where players could watch handball videos or photos on DVD from the weekend’s events on the big

screen in the courtside lounge. A steak fry, beer tasting on the footbridge over the Tennessee River and tournament banquet at the Chattanooga Lookouts stadium before Saturday night’s baseball game made for a special weekend. And even if you weren’t fortunate enough to win a framed photograph of the Chattanooga skyline as the tournament prize, all the players will have great golf jackets to commemorate their beautiful spring weekend in Tennessee. “We’ll start working on the next one,” said Brock, though Pearse said he might need some time off before planning the next big event in Chattanooga. Anyone who made this one will certainly be back.

Snoozing early, Lewis awakens to storm back and take 35+ title


endell Lewis got off to a slow start before rallying to defeat Chris Watkins for the fiercely contested 35-plus title. “My legs felt like concrete at the beginning,” Lewis said. “Then they loosened up, and I was able to slow him down by moving him around and keeping the ball in play.” Lewis had reason to be a little stiff on the morning of the final. He had finished off a late tiebreaker against Nelson Quintero the day before and agreed to play early so Watkins could make his flight back to the West Coast. At 8:30 a.m., Watkins was ready to go, and Lewis was having trouble keeping the ball in play. But once he got loose, Lewis’ uncanny power from awkward positions had Watkins reeling and off balance the rest of the match. Rallying from a 17-4 deficit in the first game to tally 14, Lewis had his game plan, working the left glass on his lob serve and powering the ball from side to side to take the steam out of Watkins’ shots. Dejected after his second finals loss in two years, Watkins had a new plan. “Two seconds in a row,” he said. “Guess I’ll have to come back next year and hope the third time’s a charm.”

The final wasn’t the first time Lewis’ power had worn down an opponent. He took Quintero out of his game after the Miami star had shot his way to a first-game victory. “Kendell just kept coming,” Quintero said. The plan to slow down Watkins was the same plan that tournament host Rob Pearse tried in the semis, but he couldn’t pull it off. “Watkins isn’t just good,” Pearse said after getting taken out in two games. “He’s darn good.” Todd Bargman made the trip down from Ontario, Canada — where Pearse grew up — with a group of friends for golf and handball. Bargman made the most of it with a win in the drop down over Matt Jorgensen. First round: Brian Clarke (Chattanooga) d. Keith Thrower (Columbia, S.C.) 7, 7; Jason Morgan (New York) d. Todd Bargman (Toronto) 20, 14; Oliver Boyd (Memphis) d. Bret Moldenaur (Chattanooga) 1, 1. Quarters: Chris Watkins (Hesperia, Calif.) d. Clarke 9, 0; Rob Pearse (Chattanooga) d. Morgan 12, 6; Kendell Lewis (Charlotte) d. Boyd 15 ,13; Nelson Quintero (Miami) d. Matt Jorgensen (Chattanooga) 7, 8.

Rob Pearse presents very cool awards to winner Lewis and runner-up Watkins.

Canada’s Bargman ventured south and won the drop-down over Jorgensen. Semis: Watkins d. Pearse 12, 4; Lewis d. Quintero (13), 17, 7. Final: Lewis d. Watkins (14), 15, 3. Drop-down Semifinals: Bargman d. Thrower; Jorgensen d. Moldenaur. Final: Bargman d. Jorgensen 8, 13.

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3-wall standout Frank exhibits 4-wall expertise


hough they both live near the nation’s capital, Alan Frank and Jay Miller don’t meet much in singles play. However, they do get together on the three-wall court in the summer. “That’s to my advantage outside,” said Frank before the 45-plus final. “Jay’s been playing with the hard-hitting Anderson boys and works as hard on his game as anyone, so I’m not sure what to expect.” Miller’s game has made big strides the last few years. The effort to travel and compete has paid off for the fit masters player. But Frank’s solid two-handed attack was too much for Miller, as he won with a pair of 21-9 outcomes. “I’m not used to playing so hard for three days in a row,” Miller said. “I’ve got blisters on my feet that are bleeding, and I was just flat-footed in there.” Former champs Steve Dykes and Steve Tilles lost in the semifinals to Miller and Frank, respectively. Pointing to a strong field, the final from the last National Masters Singles in Chattanooga between Dykes and Cary Gibson was replayed in the quarters this time, and with the same close result in two games. For Miller, it was the same experience as Chris Watkins experienced in the 35-plus — two straight finals losses that he’ll be trying to rectify next year. Bruce Frankenfield took the drop-down title over Steve McTaggert. First round: Tom Benton (Chattanooga) d. Miguel Chavez (Atlanta) 13, 12; Cary Gibson (Chattanooga) d. Steve McTaggert (Charlotte) 13, 9; Steve Dykes (Columbus, Ohio) d. Pat Boyd (Atlanta) 8, 13; Steve Tilles (High Point, N.C.) d. Donna Coleman (Chattanooga) 8, 13;

Known more for his three-wall game, Frank had it working indoors against Miller. Bruce Frankenfield (Cleveland) d. Robert Pullen (Nashville) 4, 9; Shawn Massey (Memphis) d. Jim Wohl (Cincinnati) 14, 9. Quarters: Jay Miller (Washington, D.C.) d. Benton 9, 2; Dykes d. Gibson 18, 18; Tilles d. Frankenfield 20, (9), 8; Alan Frank (Ellicott City, Md.) Massey 9, 6. Semis: Miller d. Dykes 4, 8; Frank d. Tilles 9, 17. Final: Frank d. Miller 9, 9. Drop-down Semis: McTaggert d. Pullen 5, 10; Frankenfield d. Chavez. Final: Frankenfeld d. McTaggert 14, 6.

Rob Birrell congratulates drop-down finalists Frankenfield and McTaggert.

50+ champ Kelley makes hometown fans happy


cott Kelley “hung in there,” in his words, to defeat Canadian kingpin Peter Service in the final of the very tough 50-plus singles event. Kelley enjoyed a bit of a home-court ad-

vantage on the rugged left-side glass wall, but Service adapted well and had plenty of time on it over the weekend. The court time may have been another factor in the tiebreaker, which was close

from start to finish before Kelley pulled it out 11-8. While Kelley had the hometown fans on his side, Service had the partying Canadians behind him. The most competitive HANDBALL 15



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Brickell gets past fellow Tennessean for 55+ title

T Chattanooga was the perfect place to promote the 2009 World Championships in Portland, Ore., and that’s what Peter Service, David Steinberg and Rob Pearse did. match of the weekend also drew the most fan interest. In a grueling three-gamer, Kelley laid down the back-wall shots when he needed them to pull it out. Getting the serve back against Service is key, and Kelley did that after the first game, pushing Service deeper in the court and forcing the rallies. While Kelley escaped with a 21-20 second-game victory in the semis over defending champ Dan Acosta, Service had to expend a lot of energy to knock off another former champ in David Steinberg in three games. No win over Steinberg is easy, and these two went at it for two hours before Service emerged the victor. In a very strong draw, three-wall star Phil Kirk drew Kelley in his opener and was relegated to the drop-down. There he advanced over last year’s runner-up, Karl Stundins, and Dave deLeon. First round: Art Avalos (Toronto) d. Dave deLeon (Atlanta) 13, 12; Leo Havener (Elk Grove, Calif.) d. Bill Bullock (Memphis) 11, 14. Quarters: Dan Acosta (Houston) d. Avalos 9, 2; Scott Kelley (Chattanooga) d. Phil Kirk (Toledo) 8, 12; Peter Service (Toronto) d. Karl Stundins (Dallas) 8, 5; David Steinberg

ennessee handball is clearly as strong as any state’s, when you consider how well the state’s players performed on National Masters Singles weekend. In fact, the 55-plus came down to an allTennessee final, with Jim Brickell facing off against Mac Husband. The hard-charging pair have a long history, with Brickell’s serving holding an edge over Husband’s aggressive offense. With Husband enjoying regular workouts against young powerhouse Nick Mattioni, many thought the edge would go to Husband. And when he took the first game, his conditioning would also seem to be a stron-

McInnis stays perfect in 60+


ance McInnis is acting his age these days, at least in the way he enters tournaments. Long known for playing down a division or two, McInnis has entered two 60-plus events since becoming eligible this year ... and now he’s 2-for-2 after a solid victory over defending champ Greg Raya. Both are newcomers to the Grand Masters club of players who have won 10 national age-group titles. And McInnis withKelley lines up a left-handed drive against stood a late rally by Raya to win this final in Service in the 50-plus championship match. two games. (Portland, Ore.) d. Havener 5, 9. “If it had gone three, it was looking to Semis: Kelley be in Raya’s favor,” said Charlie Wicker d. Acosta 7, 20; Service after the final. “Raya was running Vance d. Steinberg 9, (15), 5. all over the court.” Final: Kelley d. Service McInnis was devastating through the (13), 13, 8. first game of the final, holding everyone, Drop-down including Raya in that game, to 11 or fewer. Semis: Kirk d. Stundins; “He looks like a machine, a robot,” said deLeon d. Bullock. Tom Benton as he watched McInnis drop Final: Kirk in kills from every angle and height with d. deLeon 14, 10. Kirk numerous strokes and swings against

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USHA NATIONAL MASTERS SINGLES nal win over Mike Kavkewitz and a 21-6, 21-16 final victory over Dwight Parker — both of whom are Chattanoogans.

Brickell follows the ball around the corner in preparation to shoot in his 55-plus championship victory over Husband. Brickell rebounded from a Game 1 loss to win the match. ger weapon than the big-hooking serves of Brickell. But Brickell rallied in the first game after falling behind and held that momentum through the next two to take the final with a strong 11-5 win in the deciding game. “He brought out the big serve and took it to me,” Husband said. Semifinalist Tim Murray said Brickell

“did the same thing to Husband that Mac did to me yesterday. Jim just overpowered him.” Brickell also overpowered his semifinal opponent, Bob Lohmueller of Cincinnati. “I just couldn’t get him out of the front after the serve,” Lohmueller said. Jim Delanis worked his way through the drop-down field, finishing with a semifi-

The topseeded Raya trains his eye on the ball, but it was McInnis who won the championship.

Round of 16: Jim Brickell (Memphis) d. Jim London (St. Louis) 11, 13; Lee Ratner (St. Louis) d. Mike Kavkewitz (Chattanooga) 12, 14; Ron Guevara (Roseville, Calif.) d. C.W. Stewart (Cullowhee, N.C.) 8, (11), 2; Bob Lohmueller (Cincinnati) d. Jim Delanis (Nashville) 5, 17; Tim Murray (Coral Gables, Fla.) d. Dwight Parker (Chattanooga) 5, 5; Greg Resler (Chattanooga) d. Jeff Metzger (Cincinnati) (2), 15, 6; Art Hemmerlein (Maryville, Tenn.) d. Rob Birrell (Atlanta) 6, 9; Mac Husband (Nashville) d. Dave Hixson (Chattanooga) 2, 1. Quarters: Brickell d. Ratner 7, 2; Lohmueller d. Guevara 9, 7; Murray d. Resler 17, 16; Husband d. Hemmerlein 8, 7. Semis: Brickell d. Lohmueller 10, 14; Husband d. Murray 5, 9. Final: Brickell d. Husband (18), 10, 5. Drop-down Semis: Parker d. Stewart; Delanis d. Kavkewitz. Final: Delanis d. Parker. Delanis

Smith and Snyder after their 60-plus drop-down final went in Snyder’s favor.

Chattanooga’s Al Wasetis in the semis. Defending champs never go down easily, and Raya is known for his ability to rally with his great control and stamina. The other half of McInnis’ recent national doubles championship team, Ed Campbell, was the first to test that stamina, winning the first game over Raya before succumbing to the tour of the court that Raya is known to offer his opponents. Lefty Bob Snyder earned the drop-down title over one of the players Mayor Ron Littlefield cited in his address to the play-

ers. Gary Smith is a recent transplant to Chattanooga, enjoying the great weather, scenery and many things to do, including handball. First round: Ted Pritchard (Toronto) d. Gary Smith (Chattanooga) 9, 2; Chris Diminico (Chelmsford, Mass.) d. Bob Snyder (Newport News, Va.) 7, 3; Ed Campbell (Auburn, Calif.) d. Tom Robertson (Creve Coeur, Ill.) 8, 8; Joe Milligan (Atlanta) d. Johnny Walker (Simpsonville, S.C.) 9, 16; Al Wasetis (Chattanooga) d. Rich Seal (Cincinnati) 14, 17;

Mike Tindell (Chattanooga) d. Mike Thrower (Nashville) 11, 15; Vance McInnis (Dunlap, Ill.) d. Jerry Kuhn (Chattanooga) 3, 2. Quarters: Greg Raya (Delray Beach, Fla.) d. Pritchard 16, 9; Campbell d. Diminico 5, 11; Wasetis d. Milligan 16, 10; McInnis d. Tindell 6, 5. Semis: Raya d. Campbell (11), 12, 7; McInnis d. Wasetis 11, 4. Final: McInnis d. Raya 2, 18. Drop-down Semis: Snyder d. Thrower; Smith d. Kuhn. Final: Snyder d. Smith 16, 9. HANDBALL 17



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65+ champion Scott remains untouchable

local player Les Dawson. “He’s an awfully good player, and it’s hard to imagine the other guys being better,” Dawson said after their quarterfinal. Steve Kraft earned the drop-down title and was pleasantly surprised with his play and the great artwork that came as the prize. Kraft beat Ted Kuhn and then Dick Barry.


arry Scott has been on a roll in the 65-plus events, winning his third consecutive title in Chattanooga. A smooth two-handed shooter, Scott has been on a tear. He won the invitational and four-wall nationals last year and didn’t drop a game en route to this year’s 21-10, 21-15 championship win over Jim Smith. “Scott’s amazing,” Charlie Wicker said. “And to think he turns 70 next year is even more amazing.” Considering most players are losing the edge at the end of the five-year age category, Scott’s play is remarkable. “Staying healthy is key,” Scott said. Being the guy to beat also has its advantages, as Scott’s court demeanor has become more confident as the winning comes more easily. Nothing got him excited in Chattanooga. He shrugged off any misses, perceived bad calls or hinders with a smile. While Smith credited “watching the ball better” for his mild 11-10 tiebreaker upset of Wayne Neumann in the semifinals, he had no answer for Scott’s shooting in the

Shawn Massey with Scott and Smith.

Drop-down finalists Kraft and Barry. championship match. “I couldn’t get him out of the front court,” Smith said. Scott defeated another smooth hitter in his semifinal in Jim Crews. Coming back from an arm injury, Crews got the No. 5 seed, which surprised strong

First round: Ted Kuhn (Shelbyville, Ky.) d. Charlie Pruett (Chattanooga) 10, 2. Round of 16: Harry Scott (Dallas) d. Dick Barry (Merrimack, N.H.) 2, 9; Doug Clark (Tucson) d. Steve Kraft (Grand Forks, N.D.) 5, 5; Jim Crews (Riverside, Calif.) d. John Lenoir (Knoxville, Tenn.) 0, 9; Les Dawson (Huntsville, Ala.) d. Don Henson (Springfield, Ill.) 2, 9; Jim Smith (Watsonville, Calif.) d. Bill Nye (Wilmington, N.C.) 4, 2; Dennis Uffer (Syracuse, N.Y.) d. Gene Hubbuch (Chattanooga) 11, 11; Vince San Angelo (Tucson) d. Mike McAfee (Chattanooga) 12, 7; Wayne Neumann (Houston) d. Kuhn 9, (17), 1. Quarters: Scott d. Clark 16, 10; Crews d. Dawson 17, 10; Smith d. Uffer 14, 9; Neumann d. San Angelo 15, 16. Semis: Scott d. Crews 10, 12; Smith d. Neumann (12), 19, 10. Final: Scott d. Smith 10, 15. Drop-down Semis: Kraft d. Kuhn 8, 10; Barry d. Hubbuch. Final: Kraft d. Barry 16, 13.

Young saves his best for last in 70+


orm Young was devastating when he needed it the most in the 70-plus final against Mike Driscoll. “I didn’t know what would happen,” said Young. “I was tired from the semifinal with Jon Charneskey but not sore.” Young had to be pleased with his 21-1, 21-6 rout of Driscoll. “I haven’t had a game like that in a long time,” Young said. “I’m not sure why I played so well. I thought Mike was a bit stiff, but he didn’t make any excuses, saying he felt fine.” Uncanny with his entire repertoire of shots in the championship match, Young noted that his left-handed shot to the right corner was spot on for the quarters and final but he “only made one of those in the entire match against Charneskey.” What made Young’s performance even more impressive was the turnaround from the day before. In age-group play, the player

with a grueling semifinal goes into the final with a huge disadvantage. Such was the case for Young, who saw an 11-8 advantage in the first game disappear against Charneskey. “He just kept cracking the serve out in the first game, but it came out to my left fist in the second,” Young said of the split in the first two games. In the tiebreaker, Young grabbed a 9-4 advantage. But that nearly disappeared, and Young survived 11-9. The quarters also brought on a case of the nerves for Young. “I had never beaten [Jim] McKee in singles before,” Young said. But McKee had undergone heart, knee and prostate setbacks in recent years. Said McKee: “I’m happy to be playing. My knee’s been bad for a while, but I didn’t bother having it taken care of until I was confident I was going to live for a while.”

Driscoll and Young after the 70-plus final. Terry Comina is one of the fittest players in the event and proved that in the dropdown, beating local Mike White in the final. First round: Bill Bohr (Mohnton, Pa.) d. Ken Sheets (Chattanooga) 7, (20), 1; Herb Hooper (Chattanooga) d. Derrell Jones (Washington, Ill.) 10, 7; Tom Kezlan (Kansas City, Mo.) d. Mike White (Chattanooga) 2, 9; George Kelley (Miami) d. Bruce Mock (Wilm-

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Newly repaired DelGrande relies on mobility in 75+


cing down in various places after each match in the 75-plus, Kevan DelGrande knew he was rusty after recent foot surgery that had kept him off the courts for most of the year. Deciding to compete in Chattanooga at the last minute, DelGrande had played just a handful of times. And despite the foot surgery, his mobility is what brought home another title. “He wasn’t moving as well as last year,” Charlie Wicker said. “But who is?” DelGrande made a believer of three-wall star Ben Marguglio in the quarters. “I don’t see any other 75-year-old guys who can move like that,” Marguglio said after their match. In the semis, DelGrande and Lew Buckingham played even in both games up to a certain point, when DelGrande’s athleticism took over. In the first game, the turning point came at 9-9; in the second, it was at 15-15. In the final, DelGrande kept sharp-serving Jack Cherrington off balance in Game 1 but found out why the newcomer had bested former champ Bill Strawn in the semis. “When [Cherrington] gets that low, hard serve to the left going, there’s not much you can do,” DelGrande said. With his serve cranking in the second game, Cherrington went back and forth with DelGrande before DelGrande earned the title with a 21-17 decision. Walking stiffly to his gate at the airport, DelGrande said he was happy with the win and that the soreness was no worse than normal despite the short time to train for this one. Marguglio, who was in his first national four-wall event and

Semifinalist Bill Strawn and club owner David Brock flank 75-plus runner-up Cherrington and champion DelGrande. knew they couldn’t all be this good, won the drop-down title over Mike Baggetta and Bill Myers. First round: Ben Marguglio (Cold Spring, N.Y.) d. Ed Ellett (Chattanooga) 6, 12; Ed Fisher (Chattanooga) d. Bob Maletich (Johnson City, Tenn.) 0, 6; Ralph Weil (Cincinnati) d. Bill Myers (Cape Point, N.J.) 17, 9. Quarters: Kevan DelGrande (Los Gatos, Calif.) d. Marguglio 12, 9; Lew Buckingham (Greencastle, Pa.) d. Mike Baggetta (Huntington Beach, Calif.) 7, 13; Jack Cherrington (Redmond, Wash.) d. Fisher 5, 10; Bill Strawn (Leawood, Kan.) d. Weil 5, 12. Semis: DelGrande d. Buckingham 9, 15; Cherrington d. Strawn 8, 18. Final: DelGrande d. Cherrington 9, 17. Drop-down Semis: Myers d. Maletich; Marguglio d. Baggetta. Final: Marguglio d. Myers, 14, 6. Marguglio

Mattioni’s fastball too hot to handle


Drop-down finalists Comina and White. ington, N.C.) 2, 4; Jim McKee (Memphis) d. Terry Comina (Des Plaines, Ill.) 9, (20), 2. Quarters: Mike Driscoll (Dallas) d. Bohr 4, 9; Kezlan d. Hooper 14, 7; Jon Charneskey (Elgin, Ill.) d. Kelley 9, 5; Norm Young (Lansing, Mich.) d. McKee 10, 15. Semis: Driscoll d. Kezlan 4, 11; Young d. Charneskey (11), 9, 9. Final: Young d. Driscoll 1, 6. Drop-down Final: Comina d. White 12, 12.

ournament director Rob Pearse wanted to give anyone and everyone a chance to play in the Southeast’s big event of the year, so he offered a Contenders event for players of any age. Nick Mattioni made the trip with Mac Husband, and when the event took shape, Vern Roberts entered to see if he could still hang with the young guns. Mattioni, a former juniors champ who went on play professional baseball, has talent galore. “But I need to play some new people,” Mattioni said after the final, when he rallied from a 20-16 deficit to win the first game and cruised in Game 2. “This is great.” Roberts did enjoy a couple of moral victories when Mattioni called all four of the timeouts during the match and used his maximum of three in the first game. “Those were strategic timeouts,” the two-handed powerhouse claimed.

Champ Mattioni and runner-up Roberts. First round: Sergio Arroyo (Atlanta) d. Ross Padgett (Sewanee, Tenn.) 2, 2; Jacob Kavkewitz (Knoxville, Tenn.) d. Jim London (St. Louis) 3, 2; Vern Roberts (Tucson) d. Todd Bargman (Toronto) 10, 10. Semis: Nick Mattioni (Franklin, Tenn.) d. Arroyo 6, 4; Roberts d. Kavkewitz 7, 10. Final: Mattioni d. Roberts 20, 8. Drop-down: Bargman d. Padgett, def. HANDBALL 19



5/12/2009, 4:41 PM

USHA Handball Aces Brian Poffenroth: The Pacific Northwest’s Regional Commissioner and Club Green Meadows

Brian Poffenroth continues to promote Handball in the Pacific Northwest by hosting tournaments and mentoring new players.

hosted the 2009 Regional Championships the first weekend in May. Tournament control was operated by Brian’s wife Bonny and his sister-in-law Jan who kept things under control and running smoothly. Club Green Meadows is an excellent venue for a tournament partly because of Brian’s efforts. After being a member of Green Meadows for some time, Brian went to the club management and expressed that it would be an excellent place to host tournaments, with some work. Brian spent time doing research to find out the best way to resurface the courts, what finish to use, and how to prep the walls for the proper paint. Working with the management and their excellent maintenance staff they brought the courts up to first-rate condition, and since then they have hosted several tournaments. However, readying the club for handball competition was not enough. Brian then took on the responsibility of teaching new junior players who competed in last year’s junior nationals. One of his junior players, Jordan Taylor, was a fair player for the amount of time he’d been on the court. But, due to Brian’s excellent tutelage Jordan has improved tenfold from December until this year’s regionals. Brian is truly one of our unsung heroes and deserves recognition from the handball community.

Nominated by Ken Starcher Rob Pearse: Hosting the National Masters singles will be a tough act to follow as Rob Pearse rolled out the red carpet for players who traveled to Chattanooga in April. Everyone agreed that this is one of their favorite venues, considering the great club, small town feel and hospitality and and the extra-curricular activiies Rob organizes. From golf outings to beer tasting to ball games, this is one spot that draws everyone back. Thanks, Rob!

Nominated by USHA Rob Pearse, the Sports Barn, and the Chattanooga players put on another great show for the Masters Invitational.

Tom Sove and Chris Tico: The USHA was looking for another great venue for a pro host for the current season and board members Tom Sove and Chris Tico stepped up to the plate and went to work. In conjunction with the Northern California regionals held at the beautiful Big C in Concord, Calif., the second USHA pro event of the year offered $20,000 in prize money, thanks to Tom and Chris. “Chris (Tico) said if we were going to be asking for money, we’d want to be able to say we were in,” Sove said, as he and Tico kicked off the fundraising. Chris Tico and Tom Sove spearheaded fundraising efforts to host a Pro Stop with the NCHA Regional Championships in Concord, Calif..

Nominated by USHA

Do you know someone who is a Super Ace? Do you know a someone that deserves recognition in Handball Magazine for volunteering, supporting, community building, teaching and/or playing the game at an exceptional level? Let us know about it. Tell us the who, what, where, when, why and how and we’ll consider featuring them in this space. Don’t forget the pics! 20 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 9:34 AM


Winning formula: Morales makes preparation pay off By Matt Krueger


he sun hadn’t quite hit the Catalina Mountains as Eddie “Chip” Morales awoke to prepare for the final of the Tucson pro qualifier in March. Before Charlie Wicker was setting up the tournament desk and the fans’ chairs for the Hall of Fame final, Morales had begun his warmup and stretching. The extra preparation paid off as Morales stayed loose and played sharp in a 21-13, 21-20 victory over Armando Ortiz. The two players from Missouri via California put on one of the best qualifier final matches in recent memory. With the pressure of qualifying for the Concord pro stop out of his mind, Morales simply wanted to close out his great tournament by beating his sparring partner and Missouri State teammate. No doubt Morales overheard the talk of bystanders and fans, thinking Ortiz —who had slammed at the national collegiates the month before — would easily walk over Morales. To answer his doubters, Morales made certain he was prepared, but he kept his head strong. “I had to get up early and be ready,” he

said. “He’s strong. I knew what I was up against. I wanted to go for broke, but I also didn’t want to think too much, just have fun and get a good workout.” Both players started fast, crowding the middle court and trading close-range shots. Ortiz jumped on the board first, throwing down a winner down the right side, but he followed with a hand error, giving Morales the serve. Early on, Morales pushed the ball to the ceiling, executing defensive shots to move Ortiz, a player who loves to fly-kill and shoot, to the back of the court. The strategy worked, as Morales sprang on a deep Ortiz left-front kill attempt to rekill the ball on the right. But Morales couldn’t convert his good reflexes and good fortune to points or any kind of a lead. Ortiz enjoyed a 4-1 advantage and looked ready to pull away, but Morales didn’t let that happen by heating up his service game. An ace to Ortiz’s left followed by a reverse for another winner tied the score 44. With the momentum swinging his direction, Morales worked his game plan. “I wanted to move [Ortiz] side to side and play steady,” Morales said.

Morales gets ready to lay one down against Montijo in the semifinals of the qualifier.

Ortiz gets aggressive in his semifinal victory over the veteran Bike. The two played dangerously close in the front court, and Morales was able to push Ortiz toward the walls with defensive counters. The tactic kept Ortiz running down the side for returns and minimized his offensive firepower. “We were both fighting for position in the front court,” Morales said. Said Ortiz: “You have to own the front court to win the match.” Countered Morales: “I wanted to get around him as quick as I could and pass down the sides.” For the most part, Morales was able to execute this strategy, and he started to build a small lead. A Morales rekill to get an 114 lead prompted Ortiz to burn a timeout, and that was enough to settle Ortiz down, as he scored his first point in nearly 10 minutes to cut the gap to 12-5. Two Ortiz passes down opposite walls made it 12-7 before Morales killed the ball in the right corner for the sideout and called a timeout. Like Ortiz after his timeout, Morales seemed to benefit from the short rest. He passed Ortiz down the right and followed that with another right kill, giving him a 14-7 lead. The next rally was ended by Morales with another kill in the right front. The frustration began to mount for Ortiz, who yelled to himself, “Are you serious? Losing a game like this?” Ortiz motivated himself for two quick points, the second being a Morales shot into HANDBALL 21



5/13/2009, 9:19 AM

USHA HALL OF FAME TOURNAMENT/PRO QUALIFIER the floor. While Morales positioned for the return, Ortiz shouted, “Let’s go!” and clapped to motivate himself. The ensuing exchange summed up the rest of Game 1, as a long rally ended with Morales diving to make an incredible get and Ortiz shooting the ball into the floor. Although Ortiz killed a ball from 38 feet, those gems were too few to make a serious run. Morales continued to match Ortiz’s shots, maintaining his lead and closing the first game 21-13. Ortiz knew he had to come up big in the second game to force a tiebreaker, but Morales answered the bell first and stormed to a 9-0 lead. An ace down the right side gave Morales a 10-0 advantage, and it looked as if he would roll to an easy victory. But Ortiz quelled his opponent’s energy with a pass down the left wall and followed with a left-front kill just out of Morales’ reach for his first point. Ortiz seemed to find some liveliness from just getting on the scoreboard. At this point, both players clearly raised their intensity but for different reasons. Ortiz wanted to claw his way back into the match. Morales knew he was only 11 points from victory. With three kills followed by a Morales error, Ortiz cut his deficit to 10-5. As the court temperature raised and the sweat started pouring, both players began to show signs of tiring, drawing three consecutive hinder calls. At this point, Ortiz resigned himself to the fact that Morales was going to get to his shots for rekills, so he knew he had to switch up his game. “Even though I felt good from the beginning, Chip got hot and stayed hot,” Ortiz said. “I couldn’t get going to slow him down. My kills were popping up, and he was there to rekill them.” Ortiz started to use his power game with passes to score points and get back into the match by tying the score 12-12, and at this point, Ortiz started to look more confident with his shot selection. Ortiz built a 17-15 lead. However, Morales remained steady, while Ortiz committed untimely hand errors, giving Morales match point at 20-17. Morales couldn’t quite close the deal as Ortiz scratched out three more points to tie the score at 20. Neither player wanted to

The qualifiers: Bike, winner Morales, Ortiz and Montijo. concede game or match point to the other, as they traded sideouts an exhausting five times. On the fifth try, Morales placed a hugger along the right wall that Ortiz couldn’t return. The two dog-tired teammates exchanged a handshake and hug as the crowd cheered in appreciation. Ironically, Morales credits his opponent with advice that helped him qualify and win the tournament. “Throughout the tourney, my finesse was off,” Morales said. “I was trying to hit the ball too hard. “Armando kept telling me, ‘Let the ball drop. These are fast courts.’ So I tried to remember that.” The two enjoy a camaraderie that’s common among handball players, but that didn’t stop them from entertaining the gallery with an exceptional final. Morales earned his spot in the final with an equally tough win over Tucson’s Abraham Montijo. Last year’s Hall of Fame open singles winner and home-crowd favorite, Montijo brought down the house with an intense comeback win over Dan Armijo to qualify. It seemed Montijo was well on his way to a Game 1 win, holding an 18-13 lead. But Armijo showed he still has a dangerous repertoire, scoring eight unanswered points to steal Game 1. Armijo jumped to a big lead in the second game, as Montijo still looked to shake his first-game collapse. Down 10-2, Montijo found his groove and climbed back into contention. The two played evenly throughout the rest of the game, neither yielding more than a two-point lead. But Montijo, smelling the tiebreaker, closed out the win to force Game 3. In the tiebreaker it was all Montijo, as his home crowd supporters carried him to an 11-3 win.

Two-time national singles champ John Bike earned one of the qualifying spots by defeating Tucsonans Rick Hatcher and Daniel Perez. Bike showed he still possesses awesome power and can cover the court well. Bike drew the attention of many fans who had never had the chance to see him play. “Wow, I never realized how big he was!” said one fan who had not seen Bike play in person before. “Thank you, that’s my son!” Maureen Bike said proudly. Bike eventually lost to Ortiz in the semis, and the younger man was appreciative of the opportunity to play Bike in a tournament and approached Bike as they left the court. “Thank you,” Ortiz said. “It’s an honor to be on the court with you.” First round: Raul Felix (Tucson) d. Edgar Medina (Phoenix) (14), 10, 3; Alex Pastor (Phoenix) d. Victor Espinosa (Tucson) 1, 9; Rick Hatcher (Tucson) d. Armando Nevarez (Phoenix) 19, 10; Luis Estrella (Tucson) d. Lupe Marquez (El Paso, Texas) 18, 6. Round of 16: Dan Armijo (Albuquerque) d. Felix 5, 5; Abraham Montijo (Tucson) d. Steven Caro (Phoenix) 13, 12; Jim Karner (Albuquerque) d. Omar Felix (Tucson) 7, 12; Eddie Morales (Springfield, Mo.) d. Pastor 12, 5; John Bike (Hesperia, Calif.) d. Hatcher 3, 5; Daniel Perez (Tucson) d. Sam Kass (Davis, Calif.) 19, (15), 5; James Bardwell (El Paso, Texas) d. Nick Tovar (Tucson) (19), 16, 7; Armando Ortiz (Springfield, Mo.) d. Estrella 7, 5. Quarters (qualifying round): Montijo d. Armijo (18), 19, 3; Morales d. Karner 19, 8; Bike d. Perez 13, 5; Ortiz d. Bardwell 2, 4. Semis: Morales d. Montijo 17, 20; Ortiz d. Bike 6, 12. Final: Morales d. Ortiz 13, 20. Drop-down: Kass.

22 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 9:19 AM


Success4Kids brings success to these kids By Matt Krueger

against Carrillo.


wo of Phoenix Handball’s Success4Kids products battled it out for three games before Ruben Caro finished Jonathan Carrillo in an 18-21, 21-7, 11-0 tiebreaker to win the A singles at the Hall of Fame Tournament. Caro and Carrillo played closely the entire first game, but Carrillo was able to close out a three-point victory. Game 2 showed a warmed-up Caro starting to get into the flow of the game. Caro looked more comfortable putting the ball away and started converting on his offensive setups. It was enough for a big win to force the third game. Caro’s energy from Game 2 transformed into an avalanche in the tiebreaker. Although Carrillo overcame a tiebreaker in the semifinals over David Munoz, he couldn’t mount a serious threat to Caro af-

Vince San Angelo presents the awards to A division champion Caro and runner-up Carrillo after the final. ter the first game. Caro himself overcame a tiebreaker in the quarterfinals against Gary Eisenbooth before defeating Tedd Neff in the semifinals. Playing his three-game contest one round earlier might have made for a fresher Caro as he rolled to the 11-0 tiebreaker win

Round of 16: Harry Scott (Dallas) d. Raul Hernandez (Phoenix) (13), 6, 10; Tedd Neff (Flagstaff, Ariz.) d. Ken Hartnett (Tucson) 15, (19), 5; Ruben Caro (Phoenix) d. Raymond Ortiz (Tucson) 11, (12), 7; Gary Eisenbooth (San Diego) d. John Sanchez (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), def.; Gerardo Martinez (El Paso, Texas) d. Victor Trujillo (Tucson), def.; David Munoz (Phoenix) d. Edgar Pacheco (Gilroy, Calif.) 9, 15; Jonathan Carrillo (Phoenix) d. Martin Felix (Tucson) 20, 13; Sam Ortega (Goodyear, Ariz.) d. Moises Avila (Gilroy, Calif.) 15, 17. Quarters: Neff d. Scott 19, (17), 2; Caro d. Eisenbooth 18, (18), 3; Munoz d. Martinez 15, 1; Carrillo d. Ortega 12, 15. Semis: Caro d. Neff 18, 5; Carrillo d. Munoz (6), 20, 1. Final: Caro d. Carrillo (18), 7, 0. Drop-down: Avila.

Lots of impressive youngsters, but Bardwell’s savvy is too much By Matt Krueger

B Vince San Angelo gets together with champion Bardwell and runner-up Heylinger after the B championship.

Cara Arsenault receives the 2009 Marty Decatur Sportsmanship Award from Vern Roberts. The effervescent Arsenault also advanced to the quarters of the B event.

ob Bardwell had circled the dates he would be in Tucson and knew he wanted to play in the USHA’s Hall of Fame Tournament. However, he might not have expected the long weekend of play, as he pounded through three rounds of competitors to win the Hall of Fame B singles in a 21-14, 217 decision over Steven Heylinger. At first, Bardwell wasn’t sure which division to even sign up for, since this year’s Hall of Fame included only skill divisions. Once he saw some of the kids playing, he wasn’t sure how he’d fare. “So I get some points because of my age, right?” Bardwell joked. “Look at some of these kids play!” But the former national three-wall super masters champion didn’t need any points. He just employed his court savvy against all the “youngsters.” In the final, Bardwell kept Heylinger on the run and picked his scoring opportunities. The young Heylinger, playing in his

first tournament final, couldn’t mount a serious threat to Bardwell’s leads in either game. After a 21-18, 21-15 triumph over Frank Hernandez in his opener, Barwell dropped the hard-hitting Kevin Tallis in the semis 21-19, 21-15. On the other side, Heylinger stopped Dave Coulie 21-17, 21-4. First round: Frank Hernandez (El Paso, Texas) d. Brian Stinar (Albuquerque) 0, 1; Don Northcraft (Auburn, Kan.) d. Richie Estrella (Tucson), def.; Kevin Tallis (Tucson) d. Chris Le (Phoenix) 5, 0; Cara Arsenault (Springfield, Mo.) d. Angel Estrella (Tucson), def.; Steven Heylinger (Phoenix) d. Ron Kroll (Tucson) 16, 9; Chuy Manuel (Tucson) d. Mario Castillo (El Paso, Texas) 11, 11. Quarters: Bob Bardwell (Downington, Pa.) d. Hernandez 18, 15; Tallis d. Northcraft 18, 9; Heylinger d. Arsenault 2, 7; Dave Coulie (Albuquerque) d. Manuel (11), 6, 10. Semis: Bardwell d. Tallis 9, 15; Heylinger d. Coulie 17, 4. Final: Bardwell d. Heylinger 14, 7. Drop-down: Kroll. HANDBALL 23



5/13/2009, 9:19 AM


Maximizing her highway miles By Matt Krueger


shley Moler and Ward Anderson might have logged the most miles to the Hall of Fame event — a combined 7,456 round-trip, via MapQuest — and they made sure they logged the most time on the court in their C final. Moler made a remarkable comeback, defeating Anderson 21-10, 19-21, 11-9. Moler started fast and played well for the entire first game. Anderson was steady but couldn’t mount points on his serves. “I think I got more fired up than I’ve ever played before,” Moler said. That fire almost went out in the second game, as Anderson discovered he could score by keeping the ball along the walls.

That strategy forced a tiebreaker. Anderson built a seemingly insurmountable 8-1 lead. But after a timeout, Moler started amping up her play by settling down. “He sent the ball down the right side, where I couldn’t get it,” Moler said. “I just tried to slow down my swing and take smarter shots.” Moler credited Fred Lewis as the one who helped her strategy during the match. “Having a Hall of Famer give me advice doesn’t happen every day!” she said. “And I told myself I wasn’t going to lose.” The advice and determination worked as Moler’s deliberate strokes helped her make a 10-1 run to snag the victory. First round: Ashley Moler (Burlington, Iowa) d. Allen Gast (Gila, N.M.) 14, 9; Ward Anderson

Charlie Wicker with Moler and Anderson. (Lakewood, N.Y.) d. Humberto Lara (Phoenix) 9, 4; Michael Park (Pinetop, Ariz.) d. Luis Lara (Phoenix) 8, 12. Semis: Moler d. Angel Marquez (El Paso, Texas) 15, 5; Anderson d. Park (9), 7, 9. Final: Moler d. Anderson 10, (19), 9. Drop-down: Marquez.

Runner runs away with D crown By Matt Krueger


ike many players in the D division, Ivan Lugo hasn’t been playing handball long. But he’s a quick study, and he ran the table without dropping a game. His 21-0, 21-5 victory over Colleen Stinar in the final was an early birthday present, as Lugo won his first handball trophy one day before he turned 17. “I love the running in handball,” Lugo said. “I play soccer, and I love to be able to run down each ball.” Lugo also mentioned his love of other aspects of the game: He loves to serve, and he loves to attack opponents’ weaknesses by hitting to their off hands. Lugo was never seriously threatened.

Stinar shook off a first-game shutout to make a small run in the second. But Lugo was simply too good and cruised to the win. Lugo learned handball at the new Freedom Park three-wall court. He has been coached by Abraham Montijo, who started a program there through Tucson Parks and Recreation. And Lugo was quick to give credit to his coach. Handball has given Lugo another sport, as it is great for cross-training. First round: Reynaldo Centero (Tucson) d. Rachel Fleming (Phoenix) 0, 2. Quarters: Ivan Lugo (Tucson) d. Centero 2, 2; John Miranda (Tucson) d. Lorenzo Tovar (Gilroy, Calif.) 8, 6; Eddie Zermeno (Tucson) d. Roberto Miranda (Phoenix) 3, 0; Colleen

Charlie Wicker with Lugo and Stinar. Stinar (Silver City, N.M.) d. Mikey Moya (El Paso, Texas) 7, 4. Semis: Lugo d. Miranda 5, 9; Stinar d. Zermeno, def. Final: Lugo d. Stinar 0, 5. Drop-down: Maleyna Moriel.

Youth coach sums up juniors: ‘It


very year, the Hall of Fame Tournament showcases junior players with a special event. Players are paired and placed in unique brackets so they get the best experience for their young handball careers. Youth handball coach John Ross does an exceptional job of running this event each year. “We were very pleased with the turnLeft, John Ross with Lauren and Stephen.

out,” Ross said. “It was a nice surprise. It was a great division this year.” Lauren Guerra of El Paso Youth Handball took the Junior A division with great form and steadiness, while Stephen Larson and Carlos Espinoza finished second and third, respectively. In what might aptly be called the Camera/Press Row Division, since many parents and relatives are recording their kids’ first handball match, the Junior B players

24 HANDBALL 2009



5/13/2009, 9:19 AM


Clark/San Angelo snare doubles title By Matt Krueger


oug Clark and Vince San Angelo are a proven doubles team at many National Masters events. They continued their success in the Hall of Fame doubles as they defeated Paul Flasch/Doyle Arnett by default. The disappointed Clark/San Angelo claimed their trophies and took their picture at the club. “You hate to win like this, but we’ll take it,” San Angelo said. Both teams performed well in their semifinals and appeared to be primed for a great final. Clark/San Angelo disposed of the Texas team of Carlos Santos/Jonathan Chavez 21-7, 21-3. Flasch/Doyle defeated a team from Silver City, N.M, in Don Stinar/Ryan Coleman 21-8, 21-11. Flasch and Arnett concerned many at the tournament desk by phoning in that they couldn’t make the final. Fortunately, both were spotted later in the day, upstairs at the Club Restaurant and Bar, in good condition and fully recovered! First round: Carlos Santos/Jonathan Chavez d. Mike Gardner/Phil Butler 12, 17. Semis: Doug Clark/Vince San Angelo d. Santos/Chavez 7, 3; Paul Flasch/Doyle Arnett d. Don Stinar/Ryan Coleman 8, 11. Final: Clark/San Angelo d. Flasch/Arnett, def. Joan Wicker joins doubles champions San Angelo and Clark.

Charlie Wicker congratulates legends doubles runners-up Bonnell and Jorgensen and champions Banfield and Roberts.

Banfield/Roberts emerge in balanced legends field


red Banfield and Vern Roberts survived, though not unscathed, from a competitive round-robin field to take the legends doubles at the Hall of Fame Tournament. It was the second successive Tucson doubles vicory for Banfield/ Roberts, but it didn’t come easily. The champions opened with a close two-game triumph over eventual runners-up Mike Bonnell/Pete Jorgensen and followed that with a 21-19, 21-20 victory over third-place finishers Mark Thomson/Andy Wills. When Jeff Healam hurt his back the first night, Dennis Healy stepped in to team with Tom Daniels. Even though they were winless to that point, Daniels/Healy took the final match of the event over Banfield/ Roberts. While it didn’t matter in the results, it clearly mattered on the court, as not one of the four players wanted to go out with a loss. Bonnell/Jorgensen took second with a big effort in their tiebreaker win over Thomson/Wills. 1: Fred Banfield/Vern Roberts d. Mike Bonnell/Pete Jorgensen 14, 18; d. Mark Thomson/Andy Wills 19, 20. 2: Bonnell/Jorgensen d. Thomson/ Wills (15), 11, 6; d. Jeff Healam/Tom Daniels 10, (14), 1. 3: Thomson/Wills d. Healam/Daniels (18), 8, 3.

was a great division this year’ battled while playing two-bounce (or more!) handball. As the more talented players advanced through more “rounds,” they converted to the one-bounce game. Products of Abraham Montijo’s Freedom Park program in Tucson were two of the best players at day’s end. Pedro Murillo outlasted Barront Quintero to take first. Paxton Ortega and Otto Krueger, the two youngest at 6 and 7, tied for third. It was clear the young handballers en-

joyed the experience. As video cameras followed both players off the courts, the first question they delivered to John Ross was: “When’s the next handball tournament?” Juniors A 1: Lauren Guerra. 2: Stephen Larson. 3: Carlos Espinoza. Juniors B 1: Pedro Murillo.

John Ross with Pedro and Barront. 2: Barront Quintero. 3 (tie): Paxton Ortega and Otto Krueger. HANDBALL 25



5/13/2009, 9:19 AM


Plummer’s newest pursuit: Coaching football


o what does a retired NFL quarterback do to stay busy — besides play handball, that is? In the case of Jake Plummer, he takes over as the quarterbacks coach at Sandpoint High School in Idaho. The former Denver Broncos and Arizona

Cardinals QB threw for more than 29,000 yards in a 10-year pro career. He has become a fixture at handball tournaments in the Northwest. But now he is heading back to work as an assistant on the staff of head coach Mike Mitchell. Mitchell told “We

Diaz, Trowbridge selected to run PSAL handball

Appeal of this special award will never decay


ew Jersey handball player Al Schneiderman used to work in enamel and floss as a dentist. But since his retirement, he has been working in stone and marble as a sculptor. He has entered some of his work in local competitions and has won several first prizes. When he works in stone or marble, it takes hours of labor with a chisel, plus sanding and polishing. But he stepped out of his comfort zone and made a special plaque for fellow handball player Alan Greenzweig. Schneiderman’s creative effort, called Handball Ace, is made of USHA handballs mounted on a plaque. The unique creation is shown below. This will look great long past its sixmonth checkup.

have acquired the services of Jake Plummer to add to our football staff. We are excited to have him join us.” Mitchell joked that Plummer probably wouldn’t earn as much as he did in the NFL. Plummer, 34, is a native of Boise, Idaho, and now lives in Sandpoint.

T Honor for Joffe Milt Joffe receives a watch from USHA executive director Vern Roberts for his efforts in running the Roadrunner Tournament in Palm Springs, Calif. Joffe has retired after 18 years as tournament director.

Suburban Chicago club makes way for homes


facility in west suburban Chicago that hosted many handball events over the last 30 years is gone. Killshot Ltd., which later became the Athletic Club of Bloomingdale, was demolished over the winter. In its place is to rise a 28-unit town home development, according to the Business Ledger of Suburban Chicago. Handball player Gary Danno, an equity stakeholder of the building, is the developer of the town home project. With the handball facility falling into disuse, Danno told the publication that transforming it to town homes was “very bittersweet. But we do have to look to the future.” The original Killshot was built by the late Frank Szatkowski, whose sons Dane, Adam and Frank became top players. Besides indoor courts, the building had two three-wall courts.

he New York Public Schools Athletic League has named its new handball commissioners. George A. Diaz will oversee the boys program, and Michael Trowbridge will be in charge of the girls. Diaz was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where he received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Puerto Rico–Mayaguez. Over the last six years, Diaz has been working as a health and physical educator for the New York City Department of Education. He is also a certified PSAL coach with experience in bowling, basketball and baseball besides handball, and he has worked as a site supervisor for the New York City Big Apple Games. Diaz obtained a master’s degree in movement sciences with a specialization in applied physiology from Teachers College at Columbia University. He is now pursuing a doctorate in curriculum and teaching of physical education at the same institution. Trowbridge, a teacher for 19 years, works at Leon M. Goldstein High School for Sciences at Kingsborough Community College. He is assistant athletic director and volunteer assistant handball coach there. Previously he taught English as a second language at PS 90 in Coney Island and spent his afternoons playing handball or chess at the nearby West 5th Street handball courts. He played and practiced with individuals such as Joe Durso, Joe Kaplan, Tracy Davis, Ken Ginty and Cesar Sala. Trowbridge, who loved playing singles with the Red Ace, has endured three knee operations. He has played three-wall in Ohio and four-wall at the Yonkers YMCA. HANDBALL 27



5/13/2009, 9:31 AM


Something new: Frontwall hits N.Y.


The Irish Open gang honors Hall of Fame inductees (seated) Schoendorf, Virgili and Neveau.

Wisconsin Hall of Fame inducts Neveau, Virgili, Schoendorf By Ron Roberts


he Wisconsin Handball Hall of Fame has inducted its inaugural class, consisting of Ray Neveau of Oshkosh, Tom Schoendorf of Milwaukee and Ernie Virgili of Racine. The event was held March 17 at the Wisconsin Athletic Club in Milwaukee. The presentation came before the start of the annual Irish Open tournament, and dinner followed. It was an extra-special day for the Neveaus. Ray’s son Brian and doubles partner Sean Doyle defeated pro qualifier Tony Krocak and Tony McCudden in the open doubles final. Schoendorf and Virgili are USHA Grand Masters by virtue of having won at least 10 national age-group championships. Schoen-

dorf has won 21 and Virgili 15. Neveau won four national titles, including two open doubles championships, and was a finalist in open singles. He also won the Canadian open doubles title and was a finalist in the world open doubles. In addition, Neveau captured 27 Wisconsin open division titles — 13 in singles and 14 in doubles — along with 20 state YMCA open titles — 10 singles and 10 doubles. Neveau, Schoendorf and Virgili are now voting members of the Wisconsin Handball Hall of Fame. They will be introduced annually and sit alongside each year’s new inductees. Next year’s Hall of Fame ceremony will also be held at the Wisconsin Athletic Club, perhaps in conjunction with the state singles or doubles.

Carrillo, Hulick, Kogan honored


he Southern California Handball Hall of Fame inducted three new members — Danny Carrillo, Jack Hulick and Mike Kogan — in a recent ceremony at the Main Dining Room of the Los Angeles Athletic Club. About 120 friends of handball gathered to honor Carrillo, Hulick and Kogan, who are welcomed into the Hall of Fame by Gabe Enriquez in the photo at left. Before the induction ceremony, all joined in a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to foreveryoung Wafe Risner, who turned 97 the day before the event. Gary Cruz

he first stop on the pro frontwall tour will be held June 6 in Central Park in New York. The competition will include 24 players from several countries, including Willie Polanco and Rookie Wright from the U.S. The game is billed as a combination of different ball games such as handball, pelota and other games. The leather ball is called very fast, and hand protection is unnecessary. Matches are two games to 10 points, with a five-point tiebreaker if necessary.

Maher winners Patton and Aviles.

3 scholarship winners selected


ome important handball scholarship winners have been named. Chris Patton of Texas A&M and Anabel Aviles of Southwestern University have won 2009 Charles R. Maher Scholarships from the Houston Handball Club. And Leo Cullen has won a Sabo Scholarship.

Leo Cullen gets his Sabo Scholarship check from Bill Kennedy.

26 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 9:31 AM


Ten Commandments of sportsmanship: It IV. Thou shalt contribute a new ball to a game — at least occasionally

By Dan Flickstein


ecoming 65 on my next birthday has added much to my life: considerably more gray hair, increasingly visible scalp, more noticeable sagging flesh than I’d care to admit, occasional lapses in memory and, just perhaps, a tad more wisdom. It is this last characteristic of aging that I need to address, for at least a moment, while I still remember the message of the paragraphs to follow. This “wisdom” gained through thousands of handball games played and observed has emboldened me to create on paper, not stone, my Ten Commandments of Court Etiquette. While the Lord did not have to justify his Commandments, lest some may think I am creating a sacrilege, I had better justify mine. These rules came to me after many years of dealing with poor court etiquette and, earlier in my life, providing a considerable amount of it. I. Thou shalt wear eye protection while playing I have floaters in each of my eyes from having been hit by line drives off powerful hands. Both men who struck me felt awful about the suffering they caused me. But had I been wearing eye protection — which we all know is required by USHA rules — I would have experienced mere bruising where the goggles would have pressed to my skin from the force of the ball instead of massive swelling, intense pain and longlasting contusions far down my face to reach below the neck line. I have also been struck in the eye when wearing goggles, feeling only temporary shock and minimal effect. I was, in each case, able to complete my handball activities for the day. Refusal to wear eye protection in an era when tournaments mandate it not only places you in jeopardy (I was fortunate to have escaped with only floaters as longterm residue of having been struck). But in a modern world, it also inhibits opponents from playing with abandon and at their best.

An unspoken Commandment is to choose a great partner, which author Flickstein (center) did when pairing with Al Torres to win the national 60-plus doubles in 2007. Dick David congratulates the winners. II.Thou shalt change thy uniform and/or equipment when they affect play I have played both supervised and unsupervised matches during which opponents did not change perspiration-soaked gloves. They earned several points on skids before it was brought to their attention. On a more devious note, some changed gloves but retained a wet T-shirt or headband before serving. Tsk! Winning by any sort of cheating is not winning.

There was a time in my life when money was scarce. Using the same ball for a dozen games was common. I recognize that not everyone can donate handballs with regularity. Occasionally, however, each player involved in a group that plays frequently should contribute a ball, even if it’s every three or four months. Often enough it’s not the person with empty pockets who doesn’t contribute. Too often it’s the one who can best afford a can of balls who sponges off the others. V. Thou shalt not overstay thy time on a court, even though thou continue to win When only one court is available and several players are waiting to challenge, it is reasonable for a winner to stay on for a maximum of two games. This avoids players waiting many hours to play only one match. In the 1960s and early ’70s, challengers would arrive at Coney Island as early as 6:30 a.m. to “punch in.” Arriving at 7 would mean a wait of at least an hour and a half. To arrive at 7:30 might mean a three- to four-hour wait. On several occa-

III. Thou shalt be willing to replay when disputes arise Growing older has helped me realize that playing is better than not playing. When people spend time disputing a call, they are not playing. Moreover, winning is not as important as maintaining friendships and enjoying the exercise of a fierce handball match. Of course, if a player continues to argue and you must always give in, it might be best to find someone else to play. In the last few years I’ve actually argued bad calls some of my opponents have made on themselves. For example, when an opponent calls his own shot out and I see it good, I will insist the play be redone. Most of my opponents reciprocate. I guess an aging player can’t trust his vision. And none of the guys I play with wants a false win.

If it’s a close call, just agree to play it over.

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shalt behoove you to behave at all times sions I managed to begin at 6:30 and finish at noon thanks to three different partners I remember well: Julie Stack, Ron Berkowitz and Marc Goldberg. What I once considered glory, however, I now recognize as poor court etiquette.

heavals to yourself. If someone asks how you are, minimize your distress. Then get out on the court and do your best — and suffer like the rest of us. Only do it in silence. VIII. Thou shalt not intentionally hurt an opponent

VI. Thou shalt not challenge on a court with competition that is too superior or too inferior to thine ability When protocol allows any player to challenge on any court, one should use common sense and courtesy. It is poor etiquette for players to insert themselves in games above or beneath their skills levels — unless they are invited. While the former occurs with greater frequency (people overestimate their abilities), the latter does exist. I knew a couple of fellows in the ’70s who never lost a game because they never played anyone they couldn’t beat. Moreover, they’d decline when asked to join games with more skilled players. But more often in my experience are the players with egos much greater than their abilities. I have witnessed the disappointed looks on the faces of four strong players when a lesser competitor joins the challenge just to see how well he’ll fare. Never mind that it lowers the level and enjoyment for the two guys who just won the previous game, and the two guys who just lost, who now have to play with this fool and the partner of the fool. Never mind that the court is not the only one running, and two courts down there is a game where the guy fits in perfectly and the other players would be happy to have his competition, if not his personality. To be reasonable, I am aware that there have been some good players without elitist attitudes, willing to take on all challengers. The legendary Obert brothers at Orchard Beach in the Bronx were that way. I have also heard that Satish Jagnandan, the top-ranked one-wall singles player, will play the best opponent or the worst with the same intensity. From my point of view, that offers no fun for either player. I remain firm that this Commandment be honored.

Perennial national champion Satish Jagnandan is known for his willingness to play with competitors of any ability level. VII. Thou shalt not discuss disadvantages thou suffer before, during or after a game All people suffer physical and emotional stress. It is part of the human condition. Discuss yours with your handball compadres only in a polite exchange of information. I hate hearing from my opponent before a game that his arm hurts, he hasn’t practiced in weeks or that he was up all night because his girlfriend just broke up with him. You know what? Last night I was up half the night because my car broke down and I had to push it a mile to a garage. This caused me, in addition to the aggravation, a sprained back. If I show up to a tournament, I don’t reveal excuses. First, it gives me a rationale to lose, and I don’t want to do that. Second, it undermines my opponent’s victory if he should prove better than me on our day of competition. Therefore, keep your injuries or your lack of practice time or your emotional up-

In the early ’80’s while playing the right side, I was in a constant struggle for frontcourt position against the late Marc Goldberg. When Marc became frustrated from being unable to gain an advantage, he intentionally roundhoused me, close-fisted, in the middle of the back. Quietly I walked off the court, not in terrible pain but with the message that my best friend might do anything to win. While taking off my gloves, I was approached by Marc, who feigned shock while asking me what I was doing. “I quit,” I succinctly responded. “Why, because I hit you?” he asked again in overly dramatic mode. “No,” I said, “because that shot was a warning — and, by the way, we’re not play-

Even superior three-wall referee Jim Smith would likely have encountered trouble dealing with certain obstinate players. HANDBALL 29



5/13/2009, 9:40 AM

COURT ETIQUETTE ing football out there.” “You’re right,” Marc cleverly retorted, “but it ain’t golf either.” We did finish the match after Marc swore to limit the rough stuff. In another instance, once frustrated in my inability to get in front of 6-foot-5-inch, 275-pound Paul Williams, I swung with all my might at a ball that narrowly passed his left hip. I returned the ball to the wall while at the same time blasting him in the back with my right forearm. (This was while I was still undergoing a maturation process.) Paul never said a word, not even “ouch.” But it put me out of commission for a week! I do not deny that handball, especially one-wall, can make for some nasty injuries. Some roughness is part of our sport. But it should not occur with intent to hurt. Some players, Goldberg among them, were known for rough play. The best examples from the past are former masters champs Al and John Austin. These brothers did not have gifted hands, nor did either hit with power. They made up for those shortcomings with hustle and maintaining front-court position, swinging wildly and frequently bumping opponents. A referee had his hands full calling their games, which always lasted several hours because of the many blocks and hinders created. Nevertheless, I liked and respected them and knew that neither meant to hurt anyone intentionally. There are some, I believe, who literally enjoy mixing it up with opponents, and that is the key word — enjoy! We are there for the workout, the excitement, the challenge and the enjoyment. I doubt that many, aside from sadists or masochists, enjoy being struck on purpose or striking someone with intent. Keep your anger for the ball. Maim it, not your opponent. IX. Thou shalt not disparage an opponent’s win over thee I learned long ago that no one wins every game. Part of the purpose of sports is to attain victory over a worthy opponent, someone good enough to beat you if you are not at your very best, someone who may beat you even if you are at your best. There is surely no glory in defeating someone who is not in your class. After many years of playing handball, I became comfortable in my belief that I was

and remain a very good player — not among the very best, but assuredly very good. If a man beat me in a fair game, I knew that, at least on that day, he had to be better. He had to be to beat me! Commandment No. 7 precludes one from making excuses. And the comment “You got lucky” is equally gratuitous and even illogical. Can a player have gotten lucky for all 21 points? And if an opponent did get lucky for a few points, don’t you count the few points you made by luck? If you lose, congratulate your opponent. You’re a good player. If he beat you, he had to be better ... at least on that day. X.Thou shalt not take more than a reasonable number of rest periods

Put your handball gear down and leave those courtside chairs empty! Stay out on the court and play. Don’t take overly long rest breaks and irritate your opponent.

A tournament match is different from a game in the park, despite opponents who try to re-create tournament conditions in unsanctioned games. The simple fact is that even when you have to chase a ball that gets away, it becomes a rest period for the players. I have never been troubled by opponents who need many rest periods, perhaps because there have been occasions when I have needed more timeouts than tournament rules permit. Or maybe I would just rather win on the court. I do not want my opponent losing on the technicality of abusing the timeout rule. Yet I can understand players who would be upset. Early in his Hall of Fame career, before becoming a superb offensive player, Steve Sandler won most of his matches by wearing down opponents with brilliant volleying and relentless retrieving. Without rules for rest periods, Sandler might have lost several championships to another Hall of Famer, Howie Eisenberg, by Sandler’s own admission a more talented player but with only adequate endurance. Once, when Sandler was at his peak, he boasted that he could beat my partner, Marc Goldberg, and me by himself. We had already been national semifinalists, ultimately finalists in 1983. On the day we played him in 95-degree heat, he catapulted to a nine-point lead in a 25-point game. He shot well and caused us to miss in his typical fashion. But we caught him at 20. Although both Marc and I were very aggressive players,

we had become aware that we didn’t have to shoot anymore. Long volleys alone would net us the win. Then, between the 20th and 25th point, Steve sat down at least a dozen times, and for at least a minute each occurrence. It was absurd. Not only did it give him added strength, it irritated both of us and affected our play. He mustered up enough strength to win by a single point and thoroughly embarrass us. Part of any handball match involves stamina. Maintaining fitness and pacing oneself during competition have often made the difference between winning and losing. What is the point of fitness training if an opponent can take 10 rest periods? Why not 20? In fact, why not say, after 10 points, that you need a rest and will return tomorrow to try to finish? Otherwise you’ll be back the day after tomorrow and finish then? I do feel that allowances beyond the rules should be tolerated. Yet they must be reasonable. Of course, “reasonable” is a very tricky word. The savvy player, however, knows how to gain extra rest time: wiping the face and eyes, equipment changes, getting up slowly from a spill, a timely dispute with a ref, utilizing all 10 seconds before serving. In a friendly game between tough competitors, leniency should be provided. It is, after all, the workout and the fun — not the win — that remain paramount. But if your pal takes too many rests and throws his win in your face, mention what it’s like to play under tournament conditions.

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U.S. Handball Association National One-Wall Championships Aug. 5-9 (Wed.-Sun.) in Brooklyn, N.Y. Deadline is July 20 Site: Entry fee:

Deadline: Mail entry: Awards: Eligibility: Check-in: Start times: Hotel: Attractions: Hospitality: Information: Note:

Surf Avenue and West 5th Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. In the event of rain, tournament matches will be held indoors at the Hebrew Educational Society, but go to outdoor courts first. New this year: $10 refund when referee duty completed. Men's open: $72 per person for first event. Women's open: $62 for first event, $35 for second event. All other events: $57 per person for first event, $20 for second event. Special $40 entry fee for juniors and college students under age 23 ($20 for second event). Special entry fee not applicable for prize-money events. Maximum of two events and non-refundable after deadline. Entry must be in our possession by midnight Monday, July 20. Entry with credit card available for additional $10 by calling 520-795-0434. Make check payable and mail to USHA One-Wall, 2333 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716. There will be $9,400 in prize money. Open events will have cash prizes (see list on Web site). Awards to first two places in other championship categories. Open to all current USHA members who meet age and skill requirements. Current USHA one-wall rules and regulations will apply. Players entered in two events must be prepared to play back-to-back matches. Losers must referee next available match. Eye protection is mandatory. Players should plan to arrive in plenty of time before their match to allow for travel and parking delays. Call the USHA one week before tournament. Times will also be posted at • Golden Gate Inn, at Knapp Street and Shore Parkway, Brooklyn. Phone: 718-743-4000. • Comfort Suites, 3218 Emmons Ave., Brooklyn (Sheepshead Bay). Phone: 718-368-3334. Brighton Beach, New York Aquarium, Coney Island Partial prize list amusement parks, Brooklyn Cyclones baseball. Men's open Women's open Meal ticket, tournament shirts, etc. First: $2,000 First: $800 Second: $1,200 Second: $400 Matches may be shortened at director's discretion.

Name _______________________________________________ Age ______ Phone ________________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________________ State _____________ Zip ___________________ Partner’s name _______________________________________ Age ______ Phone ________________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________________ State _____________ Zip ___________________ ( ( ( ( ( ( (

) Open singles ($) ) Open doubles ($) ) Women's open singles ($) ) Women's B singles ) Women's open doubles ($) ) A singles ) A doubles

( ( ( ( ( ( ( (

) B singles ) B doubles ) C singles ) C doubles ) Seniors singles (35+) ) Seniors doubles (35+) ) Masters singles (40+) ) Masters doubles (40+)

( ( ( ( ( ( ( (

) Golden singles (50+) ) Golden doubles (50+) ) Super singles (60+) ) Super doubles (60+) ) Veteran super singles (65+) ) Veteran super doubles (65+) ) Diamond singles (70+) ) Diamond doubles (70+)

( ) If my event is combined with a younger or higher-skilled division, I still want to play. ( ) If my event is combined with a younger or higher-skilled division, I want my entry refunded. Waiver and release: In consideration of the acceptance of my entry into the 2009 National One-Wall Championships to be held at the Surf Avenue and West 5th Street Courts, and/or indoor facilities used, I hereby for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators, waive and release any and all rights for claims for damages against the USHA, the one-wall committee, any indoor facility used and the City of New York, their agents, successors or assignees, for any and all injuries I may incur during said tournament. Signature ______________________________________________________________ Date ___________________ HANDBALL 31



5/13/2009, 9:44 AM


A past of excellence, a future of promise By Ben Thum

A note of thanks from the 1-wall commissioner


owie Eisenberg is a true handball legend and one of the game’s great players. He is the USHA’s onewall commissioner and an articulate spokesman for the game he has been playing for more than 60 years. Here are excerpts from a recent interview.


appreciate the opportunity to present my views and reminisce about memorable players and moments. With the first combined national one-wall Challengers and Masters invitational completed, and with one-wall tournaments in North and South America, Europe and Australia, our game is growing in popularity and stature. I hope and expect that the upcoming Big Ball Team Championships at the World Championships in Portland, Ore., will be another major step in our game’s progression. Howie Eisenberg

Who taught you the game? My brother-in-law, Arty Niederhoffer, who joined the New York Police Department after passing the bar in 1941 because there weren’t many positions open for attorneys in the Depression. Many policemen and firemen played handball in those days and for years afterward. Arty was just one level below the top players. Starting in 1945, when I was 6, he would play with me against another cop, Marty “Ace” Rosenfeld, and his son Jeffrey, who was about my age. Arty was an excellent athlete whose right arm was damaged blocking for quarterback Allie Sherman, later coach of the New York Giants, on the Brooklyn College football team. Niederhoffer, adapting to his inability to swing freely, developed an Irish whip serve that gave me fits until he taught me to read hooks, including those of Carl Obert, whose huge hooks used to decimate me. Once Arty’s analysis of slow-motion films of Carl revealed the “tell” in Carl’s motion, I never lost to him again. This tutelage continued until Arty’s death in 1981. After his serve would elicit a weak return, Niederhoffer would go off the wall and fly-kill that return whenever he could. That also became an integral part of my game. Arty’s support and coaching at every important match I played — starting with my first 12-and-under Brighton Beach championship at age 10 through my New York Parks Department 17-and-under juniors win over Marty Decatur to my last two national USHA open titles in 1979 and ’80 with Joel Wisotsky — contributed greatly to whatever success I enjoyed. What role does handball play in your life now as opposed to in your prime champion years? In my competitive years, there was a

Coach Arty Niederhoffer advises Eisenberg at a competition in 1962. single-minded motivation: to win. Finishing second was abject failure. The internal pressure to always win precluded my truly enjoying the game. It may even have sapped some of my limited stamina. I tended to regard my opponents as the enemy, especially my primary opponents early on, the Obert brothers. In retrospect, I can now appreciate that it was an accomplishment to be No. 2. If not for those 21 second-place finishes in national open tournaments, I probably wouldn’t have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. When I came out west, I started playing four-wall with Dick Cias, Wayne Nordlund and Danny Ane, guys who also tried to win but for whom winning was secondary. Enjoying the game and joking and the camaraderie was what it was all about. This was infectious, and after 40 years of my winning-is-the-only-thing attitude, I truly started to enjoy playing the game. Now in addition to the camaraderie that handball affords, I recognize its exercise value. Apart from some light swimming, handball is the only exercise I get, so even with my two hips that are bone on bone, I still play three times a week when I can, even though it means that I limp around the days following. Also, with my election to the USHA board of directors and my reincarnation as one-wall commissioner, I have renewed in-

terest in propagating the game. Playing a part in far greater national and especially international exposure of handball via television and Webcasting and through expansion of pro events leading to inclusion of our game as an Olympic sport is a driving passion of mine. Who was your first handball hero? Vic Hershkowitz. Watching him play and dominate his opponents, many of whom were great handball players, and being told that he was the best player in the world, I wanted to be national AAU champion like him before I knew the difference between an A and a U. One notable exception to that domination was Moey Orenstein, who many felt was better than Vic in doubles, especially with money on the line. But it was Vic’s power, speed, ambidexterity, serve and shotmaking that captured the imagination. Who had the most handball ability of any player you have ever seen or played against? Tati Silveyra. He was exceedingly fast, agile, hit just about as hard with both hands as anyone who ever played and was physically stronger than any of the other greats. Tati would sometimes fade 15 feet beyond the long line on a three-wall court and hit

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5/13/2009, 9:55 AM

Q&A WITH HOWIE EISENBERG kill shots with his off hand 6 inches off the ground. His great agility and athletic ability was demonstrated in a one-wall match playing with me in the 1996 nationals against twotime defending doubles champs Eddie Maisonet and Paul Williams. Paul was sprawled lengthwise on the ground in front of Silveyra, having just returned a kill shot with a diving rekill. Silveyra dove over the 6foot-4-inch Williams, whose outstretched arms added another couple of feet for Tati to dive over as he rekilled the ball. That shot was the most fantastic return that I have ever seen. We lost 21-20, but Silveyra, whose totality of previous onewall experience was a few practice games on a makeshift court, almost succeeded in dethroning Maisonet and Williams playing with a 57-year-old Eisenberg who was more than a quarter-century past his prime. How can the USHA best grow the game of one-wall? One-wall is truly a great form of the game, requiring physical skills that are valuable but not as essential in four-wall. I believe that recognition is gradually taking hold in the handball community. The programs the USHA has to teach the game begin with one-wall, so that’s a good thing. However, I believe the entrenched attitude has been that one-wall is a means to an end — namely, a way to introduce four-wall. Big ball is the game that is growing in popularity not only in New York but wherever courts exist. A greater proportion of the limited funds available to the USHA need to be committed to the promotion of onewall and to one-wall clinics, exhibitions and pro prize money. Some other things to be done are enhanced support of major one-wall tournaments, junior events, more exposure in Handball magazine and on the USHA Web site and international one-wall events. Creation and distribution of videos of one-wall tournaments to schools and other junior programs would stimulate interest. Promotion of interscholastic and intercollegiate handball competition should be pursued. The answer to growing all forms of the game is money. There needs to be far more effective ways of publicizing the game and securing sponsorship. What Dave Vincent and Jeff Kastner are accomplishing in

Eisenberg lunges for a shot with big Paul Williams already having hit the deck. webcasts accessible on home computers and reportedly broadcast on cable to millions, creating wide exposure of the game to both the uninitiated and devotees alike, is a tremendous step in that direction.

articles and photos in Handball magazine and on Web sites. „ Provide college scholarships. „ Proliferate exposure by Webcasting and televising pro events and other pro athletes playing handball.

Is one-wall the future of the game, even though it’s mainly a New York phenomenon?

You have been a part of this game for well over half a century. Talk about the great players you have witnessed and played against.

No question, and it’s no longer just a New York phenomenon. It is being played in various parts of this country, from Pennsylvania to Florida to Texas to California, and is really breaking out internationally. There were 17 countries playing big ball along with other forms of handball in an event in Ecuador last year, and a different set of nine additional countries — plus Belgium, which played in both — competing at the Federation Cup in Italy. One-wall is now being played on five continents. What can be done to improve the fate of four-wall? Though its numbers have declined, there are some promising developments in fourwall these days, namely re-creation of the pro tour, Webcasting to millions, more than 350 entries in the national collegiates and growing numbers in junior events. All of the following apply to promotion of fourwall as well as one- and three-wall: „ Continue and expand the youth development programs of the USHA and other organizations like the ICHA. „ Supply equipment and training for instructors and players. „ Provide free or subsidized club memberships for kids. „ Hold exhibitions and clinics by the pros. „ Conduct more youth tournaments, with

It has been my consuming passion for 67 years. The best I ever saw, in order: „ One-wall singles: Vic Hershkowitz, Ken Davidoff, Moey Orenstein, Steve Sandler, Oscar Obert, Howie Eisenberg, Satish Jagnandan, Marty Decatur, Carl Obert, Al Torres, Joe Durso, Cesar Sala, Albert Apuzzi. I never saw many of the greats of the ’30s and ’40s play singles, but Joe Garber, Morty Alexander, Harry Goldstein, Solly Goldman and others all could possibly have been better than many if not all of the players I just named. „ One-wall doubles: Orenstein, Hershkowitz, Morty Alexander, Oscar Obert, Wally Ulbrich, Eisenberg, Davidoff, Joel Wisotsky, Irving Kirzner, Davy Small, Marvin Hecht, George Baskin, Ruby Obert, Decatur. „ Three-wall singles: Hershkowitz, Vince Munoz, Silveyra, Marty Decatur, Naty Alvarado Sr., Fred Lewis, Lou Russo, John Bike, Jim Jacobs, David Chapman, Vern Roberts, Steve August, Paul Haber, Oscar Obert, Jaime Paredes, Carl Obert. I haven’t seen Sean Lenning or Emmett Peixoto play three-wall, but judging from their four-wall games, they might fall between Oscar Obert and Paredes. „ Three-wall doubles: Munoz, Decatur, Alvarado Sr., Oscar Obert, Bike, Roberts, HANDBALL 33



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Q&A WITH HOWIE EISENBERG Chapman, Dave Dohman, Wisotsky, Ruby Obert, Haber, Russo, Richard Lopez Valenzuela, Billy Archival, Marcos Chavez, August, Ulbrich, Davidoff, Eisenberg. „ Four-wall singles: Alvarado Sr., Jacobs, Chapman, Haber, Silveyra, Paul Brady, Lewis, Johnny Sloan, Tony Healy, Hershkowitz, Stuffy Singer, Naty Alvarado Jr., Lenning, Peixoto, Dennis Hofflander, Bob Brady, Pat Kirby, Decatur, Buzz Shumate. „ Four-wall doubles: Jacobs-Decatur, Alvarado-Roberts, Sloan-Phil Collins, Lewis-Gordie Pfeiffer, Chapman-Munoz, Silveyra-Bike, Oscar and Ruby Obert, Wisotsky-Eisenberg. There were other great players who, if paired with any number of players, would have been among the best doubles teams. They include Haber, Hershkowitz, Singer, Russo and Alvarado Jr. One-wall appears to be taking root in Europe. Is this a new development? It dates to 1994, when Tom O’Connor of Ireland, though never having seen onewall, postulated that as the most elemental form it would be easiest to adapt to for people playing disparate forms of the game in different countries and therefore was the best medium for international competition. He arranged for a one-wall demonstration at the ’94 worlds, laying out a 20-by34-foot one-wall court in Dublin. Tom had not decided what ball to use when on a visit to Ireland I suggested using racquetballs because they were the easiest to adapt to. The demonstration featuring Paul Williams and protégés Kendell Lewis and Joe Kaplan was well received. The Irish, Welsh, Basques and others started playing onewall big ball, and other countries followed suit. You attended the 2008 onewall championships in Italy. Was it a success? Does it bode well for one-wall’s future as an international game? No question. The relatively low cost of construction of one-wall courts and the basic simplicity of the game — requiring great athletic abilities together with its exercise value — has made it attractive to governments promoting exercise as well as handball organizations. The success of the tournaments in Nizza

Eisenberg (hitting) with Frankie Pallazola facing off against Joe and Charlie Danilczyk at the 1961 three-wall tournament — clearly, before eyeguards were mandatory! and Ecuador are dramatic examples of where this game can go. The USHA board has voted to recommend that men’s and women’s team championships be held at the upcoming World Championships in Portland, adopting a Davis Cup format: two singles, one doubles. I believe that as many as 20 countries will participate in this event as well as in individual one-wall events. With more and more countries playing one-wall big ball, the minimum 40 countries needed for consideration as an Olympic sport probably will be attained within a few years. And it is within the realm of possibility that handball will become an Olympic event in the foreseeable future. Does the USHA plan to embrace and promote one-wall as a way to also help four-wall? The USHA has certainly not come to the conclusion that one-wall is the only avenue toward sustaining handball, but it has made definite strides over the years in recognizing one-wall as a valid form of the game and acknowledging its best players. With the induction into the Hall of Fame of Artie Reyer, Wisotsky, Torres, Davidoff, Ulbrich, Joe Danilczyk, Apuzzi and me, the USHA

has made that acknowledgment. The coverage of one-wall in Handball magazine has gone from just a few pages on the nationals once a year to many pages not only on the nationals but on many other tournaments throughout the year. Increasing numbers of stories by and about onewall players are printed. National junior tournaments are held on a continuing basis, and the first national big ball championships were held last year and will be a fixture going forward. The board recently approved the national 21-and-under and 23-and-under Challengers and Masters Invitational. My feeling is that one-wall is the best hope for promulgating awareness of the game. The USHA is devoting more resources to one-wall than it had previously. As long as the preponderance of USHA members and contributors are four-wall players, the primary emphasis will be on four-wall. As one-wall is propagated, the USHA constituency will change, and thus the emphasis will go in that direction. Four-wall and three-wall are great games, each with its own inherent attraction. These games can also coexist and even flourish if promoted properly.

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2nd USHA One-Wall Big Ball Championships Aug. 20-23 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Deadline is Aug. 4 Site: Entry fee:

Deadline: Mail entry: Awards:


Check-in: Start times: Hotels: Attractions: Hospitality: Information: Note:

Surf Avenue and West 5th Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. In the event of rain, tournament matches will be held indoors at the Hebrew Educational Society, but go to outdoor courts first. Men’s pro: $50 per person for first event. Women’s pro: $50 for first event, $25 for second pro event. All other events: $32 per person for first event, $15 for second event. Special $25 entry fee for juniors and college students ($10 for second event) under 23. Special entry fee not applicable to prize-money events. Maximum of two events; non-refundable after deadline. Entry must be in our possession by midnight Tuesday, Aug. 4. Entry with credit card available for additional $10 by calling 520-795-0434. Make check payable and mail to USHA One-Wall, 2333 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716. Prize money in men’s and women’s pro events, dependent on the number of entries and any sponsorship garnered. Awards to first two places in other championship events. Invites to the World Championships in Portland and other international events will come from the top finishers in the pro and juniors events. Trips can include free room, some meals and Team USA uniforms. Open to all current USHA members who meet age and skill requirements. Junior memberships are $15. Current USHA one-wall rules and regulations will apply. Players entered in two events must be prepared to play back-to-back matches. Losers must referee next available match. Eye protection is mandatory. Plan to arrive in plenty of time before matches to allow for travel and parking delays. Call the USHA one week before tournament. Times will also be posted at • Golden Gate Inn, Knapp Street at Shore Parkway, Brooklyn (718-743-4000). • Comfort Suites, 3218 Emmons Ave., Brooklyn/Sheepshead Bay. (718-368-3334). Brighton Beach, New York Aquarium, Coney Island amusement parks and Brooklyn Cyclones. Tournament shirts, Gatorade, fruit, bagels. or e-mail Matches will be one game to 25 points.

Name _______________________________________________ Age ______ Phone ____________________ Address _________________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________________ State _____________ Zip _______________ Partner’s name _______________________________________ Age ______ Phone ____________________ Address _________________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________________ State _____________ Zip _______________ ( ) Men’s pro singles ($) ( ) Men’s pro doubles ($) ( ) Women’s pro singles ($) ( ) Women’s pro doubles ($) ( ) Men’s open/A drop-down singles ( ) Men’s B/C drop-down singles ( ) Women’s A/B drop-down singles

( ) Men’s B/C drop-down doubles ( ) Men’s 45+ singles ( ) Men’s 55+ singles ( ) Boys 19-and-under ( ) Boys 17-and-under ( ) Boys 15-and-under ( ) Boys 13-and-under

( ) Girls 19-and-under ( ) Girls 17-and-under ( ) Girls 15-and-under ( ) Girls 13-and-under

( ) If my event is combined with a younger or higher-skilled division, I still want to play. ( ) If my event is combined with a younger or higher-skilled division, I want my entry refunded. Waiver and release: In consideration of the acceptance of my entry into the 2009 National Big Ball Championships to be held at the Surf Avenue and West 5th Street Courts and/or indoor facilities used, I hereby for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators, waive and release any and all rights for claims for damages against the USHA, the one-wall committee, any indoor facility used and the City of New York, their agents, successors or assignees, for any and all injuries I may incur during said tournament. Signature _________________________________________________________ Date ___________________ HANDBALL 35



5/13/2009, 9:56 AM


Best 1-wallers ever: Let the argument start By Dan Flickstein


t was 35 years ago that Handball magazine published my list of the 10 best one-wall singles players I had ever seen. I made no claims back then that those players were the best ever, only the best I had witnessed. Now, in 2009, my views have changed. Today I have more concrete criteria in mind than in ’74. I realize that there have been other top-of-the-line players since I have been playing and observing one-wall. But I do believe that the 10 on the present list would have defeated, most of the time, all of them. In ’74, my criteria were only subjective — even, in fact, nebulous. This time, however, I’ve been a bit more thoughtful in my judgments. For example, I have considered each player only at the top of his game. Longevity in the sport was not a criterion. I have made notable exceptions for two players regarding “at the top of his game” because I never witnessed either one in his prime. I added their names based on opinions of many other one-wall pundits, and I extrapolated what I believe they might have been when they were at their best. I did not consider, although I will touch on, which of these men might have won had they played one another in a head-on match. I did consider skills and weaknesses each brought with him to the court. I also considered only sanctioned tournament play and three-game matches, not park play where rules are often disregarded. It is essential that I mention the current one-wall commissioner, whom I had ranked No. 7 on my list in 1974. I am placing him a quarter of a notch below my new list, or No. 11. Not to mention Hall of Famer Howie Eisenberg among great singles players would be a gross oversight and an injustice to the man. On a given swing, Eisenberg hit the ball harder than anyone I have ever seen. He also hit with unusual action, not unlike a bowler hooking the ball into the pocket. Howie’s serve might also have been the best I’ve ever seen. Struck with ferocious power, it hooked either way, and he disguised his serves to make the weird bounces even

proach to the court. With his left, he can drive or kill with a natural swing from anywhere on the court to anywhere on the court. He has marvelous speed and does not fatigue. A weakness I see in his style includes failure to shoot fly kills, which seems a forgotten ploy of all of today’s best players. Moreover, his total game seems somewhat one-dimensional, with efforts to flatten everything in sight. When he is at his best, however, he seems to do just that. Satish is a treat to watch because of his great serve and two amazing hands.

Way back then ... How Dan Flickstein saw the top 10 in 1974: 1. Steve Sandler 2. Ken Davidoff 3. Vic Hershkowitz 4. Moey Orenstein 5. Oscar Obert 6. Winfield Ballance Sandler 7. Howie Eisenberg was rated 8. Marty Decatur No. 1 in the 9. Carl Obert original list. 10. Ruby Obert

9. Winfield Ballance

more deceptive. If a player managed to return an Eisenberg serve, Howie would draw back his right arm and blast a bottom-board kill seemingly a mile from an opponent. But Eisenberg had obvious weaknesses. Too often he got himself out by serving off the court or hitting a shotmaking opportunity well off the court. Howie was erratic, and for so great a player had only a fair opposite hand. But Howie’s most glaring fault was lack of endurance, of which he was well aware. His keen mind must have known that none of his toughest opponents had stamina issues. This is not to suggest that Howie never won a three-game singles match. But the fact is he didn’t win many. Nonetheless, Howie Eisenberg is among the greatest singles players I have ever seen and a fabulous one-waller to watch because of the tremendous power and grace in his long swing. If my criteria included one-game matches, he might be as high as No. 2 or even No. 1 on my list. 10. Satish Jagnandan I have added to my new list, even in front of Eisenberg, a sure future Hall of Famer, Satish Jagnandan. His four straight championships from 2004-07 tab him as the best singles player of his generation. Satish has, without doubt, the best serve of his day. He is capable of striking the ball 2 feet high on the wall. Yet this serve might sail over the long line at that same height. He brings a totally ambidextrous ap-

Experiencing perhaps only five years as a tournament player, with a couple of those in the junior division, Winfield Ballance was without doubt the fastest man I ever saw on a one-wall court. His reflexes were as quick as his feet. Not only did he seem to catch up to nearly everything, even some of Eisenberg’s offerings, he short-hopped his returns for kills with regularity. Winfield was not around long enough to learn to read hooks, which was one of his weaknesses. His major flaw, however, was his own serve. Ballance seemed content merely to put the ball in play, then accept the challenge of retrieving every ball in sight until an opponent missed or he short-hopped a bottom-boarder. His style frustrated many of the strongest players of his day. He was an incredible talent, faster, I think, than the lens of a camera. He was also a great crowd-pleaser and lots of fun to watch. 8. Mark Levine There may be some who will balk at my choice of Mark Levine as one of the best I’ve ever seen. The reason is that Levine, unlike Jagnandan or Ballance or Eisenberg, was not spectacular to watch. He did not hit hard. His stiff-armed opposite hand was used mainly for defense. He did not serve aces. Yet no spectator could know what it was like being on a singles court with Levine. Mark was one of the rare players “as

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ONE-WALL for the wiry lefty was very aggressive and very smart. Score didn’t seem to concern Carl. He was as sharp at 20-20 as he was at the game’s beginning. He simply didn’t rattle. Carl also had a tremendous will to win, an important intangible for a champion. He was and needed to be exceptionally fast to cover for a barely adequate opposite hand, well below the level of the rest of his fabulous skills. He was a great performer, a bundle of excitement and energy, with incredible hooking serves. 6. Joe Durso

Oscar Obert, ranked fourth, with his brother Carl Obert, ranked seventh. good in the outfield as in the infield,” an expression Steve Sandler used about himself. It was difficult to score on him. The fact is that Levine did not have to hit hard. His innate understanding of the game and amazing reflexes enabled him to be in position to select shots that were good enough for point makers. While his kills may not have been spectacular, they were effective. Levine had fine endurance, and he did not ruffle in tight games. He is among the smartest of the players on this list, the single quality that makes up for what seems to be less natural talent than others. Mark compensated for what seemed like weakness by standing in the right spots and adjusting to how others played him. Make no mistake. Levine could wear down an opponent, frustrate him and obliterate him! 7. Carl Obert Though Levine might have defeated Carl Obert in a head-on clash because of his ability to read hooks, I believe Carl retains a slight edge on Mark in the total analysis of a player, mainly because of his amazing hook serves. Those huge hops often enabled Carl to establish 10-point leads without much work because opponents could barely return a ball to the wall. This could force an opponent to play the rest of a game less aggressively for fear of relinquishing more points on unforced errors and poor shot choices. Playing cautiously with Carl was a sure way to lose,

The self-proclaimed “greatest” had a virtually complete array of handball skills. Durso dominated the singles scene for about a decade. That is not an easy task for a player who does not make points with a single swing. But Joe brought an abundance of other skills to a match, which more than compensated for a shortage of aces. He was the hardest hitter of his day, with possibly the greatest variety of shots I’ve ever seen, ranging from an overhand spike that could rise 10 feet above an opponent’s outstretched hand to numerous underhanded tapped rolling kills with either hand. Durso chased his opponents not only from side to side but also from front to back. He could blast kills from way behind the long line. Joe was also the best volleyer of his era,

capable of keeping the ball high on the wall and driving it past opponents. His defense was fabulous. He had terrific loft with either hand on serves hit hard and shallow or hard and deep. He did, however, have difficulty with hooks. His several losses to Hall of Famer Al Torres are evidence of that. It may be true that at Durso’s best the competition was not particularly challenging, with few talented singles players on the scene. Like boxer Rocky Marciano, Joe had to battle many top players who had passed their primes. Durso acknowledges this but adds that if he had had more and better competition, he would have risen to the occasion and improved his game to an even higher level. This observer agrees. Joe Durso may very well have been the single most naturally talented player of all. Returning hook serves aside, Joe’s main weakness was lack of focus. On more than one occasion his emotional tirades might have proven his downfall. This negative characteristic would affect him if he had to face any of the other men on this list. How well Joe would actually have done under the intense pressure all the guys could apply, no one will ever know. I believe he’d have been unable to defeat several of the men on this list, including all of those to follow. Joe Durso was an incredible player to witness, unless he was making a fool of himself with gratuitous outbursts consisting of absurdities and expletives. When attending to the business of beating up on an opponent, however, he was totally awesome. 5. Moey Orenstein

I saw Moey Orenstein play singles only once. He was over 40 — and overweight. He spotted newly crowned AAU champion Steve Sandler three points and first serve in front of a huge crowd. Then he proceeded to trounce the younger man 21-10. But they played only the one game, and it was not under tournament conditions. Moey was famous for his expertise in blocking opponents both legally and illegally. Watching him play that afternoon, I became aware that he did not hit hard. Nor did he make any effort to ace the serve. But The flashy, one-of-a-kind Durso, rated sixth. he was nearly perfect in shooting, with few HANDBALL 37



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ONE-WALL if any unforced errors. Both of his hands seemed like stone. He brought everything back to the wall, especially shots that seemed about to roll. And he placed all his shots in front of his wide, immovable body. Hall of Famer Ken Davidoff said of Moey, “At Lincoln Terrace Park, Moey was considered a god.” But Ken’s reference was to Orenstein’s ability to play doubles. The late Marty Cushman, a fine singles competitor, once told me that Moey was the best singles player he ever saw because Moey knew where to position himself and had the instinct to sense where his opponent was going to hit the ball. In 1949, Moey won his only national singles tournament, defeating defending champ Morty Alexander. I don’t believe Moey entered many other singles events. I’ve seen photographs of him in his prime. His thick arms were matched by equally huge calves. His limbs were not complemented by a 45-inch (or larger) waist back then. But even past 40, when toting a big belly, Moey remained a serious challenge for anyone in one park game. I can only imagine that he was faster and had more endurance when he was at his best. For these reasons, I place him high on my list. I marveled at how super strong Orenstein was and how fabulous his hands were, but his illegal maneuvers made him physically intimidating to opponents during park games in which gambling was involved. I was grateful for this when Moey opposed mean-spirited competitors. It was not enjoyable to witness when he engaged in a real athletic contest pitting his skills against a formidable challenger.

between his legs or behind his back. But in a tough match, he was strictly business, and his business was to hit hard and flatten kills. On one given shot, Howie Eisenberg hit harder than Oscar. But Oscar hit everything hard and with either hand. He could take a ball on the fly near the long line and drive it past an opponent or bury it in an area where his opponent was not waiting. Fly killing was his specialty, which he accomplished righty and lefty and at any time. Nothing seemed to upset him or break his concentration. He put enormous pressure on all challengers. If an opponent hit anything easy to Oscar, the next shot was going to roll. I don’t remember if Oscar was fast. He seemed always to be making his opponents run. On a shooting streak, Oscar appeared invincible, but he did make occasional unforced errors. He is not at the top of my list because he lacked an ace serve. Most of his points were scored after blasting a serve between midcourt and the long line, somewhat like Durso, then either on a bounce or a fly burying the return into the sector of the court where his opponent was not running. Perhaps Oscar didn’t need to serve aces, which could have helped conserve some of his energy. It was irrelevant. Oscar was the most tireless competitor I’ve ever seen. When his strongest of opponents would call for a rest period, Oscar would stay warm throwing the ball against the wall until his opponent returned to play. Of all the great players to watch, Oscar Obert remains my favorite: super talented, all business.

4. Oscar Obert

Undisputed best all-around handball great, the late Vic Hershkowitz, Mr. Handball and a Hall of Famer, was, perhaps the most ambidextrous champion of all handball players. (Those who have marveled at Jagnandan’s approach might debate that.) Like Moey Orenstein, Vic became known to me after he was past 40. The first time I watched him flash his wares, he defeated AAU singles champ Steve Sandler 25-23 in one game. Immediately following, Vic accepted the challenge of Howie Eisenberg. Howie won the coin toss and, in his inimitable way, earned six quick tallies. Less than 10 min-

Ruby Obert, the youngest of the three sensational Hall of Fame Obert brothers, once told me of Oscar: “He has all the strength and aggression of a completely focused animal on the court.” Ruby used the term “animal” with the best of intentions, to suggest someone stronger, better equipped than a typical human. Oscar was like boxers Roberto Duran and Joe Frazier, all aggression. It wasn’t that Oscar didn’t have good hands and amazing reflexes. When in a less than difficult challenge, Oscar shot kills

3. Vic Hershkowitz

Hershkowitz is ranked third in one-wall, though the best in all-around handball. utes later, however, the match was over, and Eisenberg still had six. I think Vic ran all 21 points on his first service. It was a phenomenal performance. Vic’s serve was hit almost as hard as Howie’s, with hooks just as big, and both ways. Each was placed deep in the court, most to Eisenberg’s weak hand, with a few deep to the right. Eisenberg firmly believes that Vic was the best singles player to ever play one-wall. Many would agree. It may be because I saw Vic past his prime that causes me to rank two players higher than him. I place him a notch above Oscar for the simple reason that he had a better serve. Vic hit hard and with deadly accuracy. The late Irv Rosenblatt told me that when Vic was young, his nickname was “the Cat” because of his great speed. To analyze Vic’s game in his prime, I obviously need to use my imagination. I can see him defeating all the other men on this list most of the time, and the two remaining some of the time, maybe even half the time. His ambidexterity made him an awesome spectacle to observe. 2. Steve Sandler “I’m not as good as all those other guys, Howie, Kenny, Oscar, Vic, so I have to make up for it with super effort,” Steve Sandler once told me. It was that super effort that has caused me to regard Hall of Famer Sandler as the second-best one-wall singles player. Like Levine, Sandler was not easy to

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ONE-WALL spot by the spectator as a champion, except perhaps for his retrieving. He never hit especially hard, and it wasn’t until about 10 years into his career that he developed a great serve. Before that his serve was nearly ineffective. No one else, with the possible exception of Winfield Ballance, could have competed successfully against so formidable a group of champions with so meager a serve. He was once called by the late Sam Silvers “the kid who has nothing … he just wins.” Being on a singles court with Sandler was much different from watching him as a spectator. A typical Sandler opponent, who seemed to have more physical equipment, would shortly be rendered helpless. Shocked that his best attempts were being returned and ultimately tapped in for kills, such a competitor would generally wind up frustrated, striking shots out of bounds and thoroughly exhausted. Somehow those dinky stiff-armed lefthanded shots Sandler made tended to be in front of his small but compact, barrelchested body. Like the Oberts, Sandler never rested despite being involved in so many long rallies. Even early in his career, his volley game was top-notch. Like Durso, he used the entire wall, not just the bottom few inches. He never needed to be on a shooting streak because his game was not solely about aggression, like Oscar or Vic. But his shooting was remarkably accurate. When Sandler bent to kill, he didn’t miss. Somehow he managed to get to the ball early, which preserved for him an additional second to shoot in an area of the court where his opponent was not running: “Hit ’em where they ain’t!” And when he chose to drive the ball at his opponent, without the intimidating power of Eisenberg or Oscar Obert or other strong players of his era, his ball rose, most of the time winding up near that opponent’s solar plexus. I can’t think of anyone who can return a ball arriving in that area of his body. By 1969, Sandler had added an ace serve to his arsenal. Formerly best in the outfield, with his new serve he became even better in the infield. The new offering was not struck with great pace. Nor did it hop or hook in any way. But it was placed with pinpoint accu-

racy. The man stood near the short line, 2 feet or less from the left line, then served the ball behind him between his body and the left line consistently. If an opponent cheated to the left, Sandler, with the same motion, would serve deep in the right corner. By 1970 the field of strong singles players approached 40 men, but Carl, Oscar and Howie were not the same men. Oscar was all but retired from tournament play, sidelined with a bad back. Carl was concentrating on doubles, partnered with Ruby. Howie had begun to experience defeats at the hands of men previously not considered in his class. Sandler, with his new serve, catapulted himself way beyond the best of the early ’70s. Yet even without that fabulous weapon, Sandler had been among the best of the early and middle ’60s. With mainly an incredible will to win, he had defeated Eisenberg. And in ’61 he won the AAU championship by beating Ruby in the quarters, Oscar in the semis and Carl in the final. What would he have done to the oneworld world back then had he had that precision serve he ultimately was able to execute? It is for this reason I see Steve Sandler as nearly invincible. He knew how to find a way to win. 1. Ken Davidoff As great as Sandler’s serve became, Hall of Famer Ken Davidoff’s serve was even better. In one-wall the serve is believed by many to be 70 percent of the game. Davidoff’s was placed with the same kind of accuracy as Sandler’s, with a two-way hook and much more velocity. In a match using only opposite hands, no one was Steve’s equal because he could make plays with his backhand that many could not make with their strong hands. But in an even-up singles game, the left-handed Ken’s right was as good as Sandler’s left. He could drop in stiff-armed shots or angle kills and drives with a natural swing. Like Sandler, he could loft service returns high on the wall. He did not relinquish front-court position once he attained it, and with his powerful bullwhip of a left, he could drive past anyone and kill to any sector of the court. His greatest victory was a 21-9, 21-6

Davidoff, rated first, in Alvis Grant’s Hall of Fame portrait of him. annihilation of Oscar in the championship round of the ’63 AAU nationals. Obert was in his prime. I can imagine no other player beating Ken more often than Ken would beat him. The man had no weaknesses. I can’t imagine that even Sandler at his peak would have frustrated Davidoff with superior retrieving. Like Sandler, Davidoff was patient and did not rattle. At his best, Ken Davidoff was the best one-wall singles player I have ever seen. Postscript Invincibility is not attributed to any of the men on this list. Surely, on given days, any could have beaten any of the others. Davidoff had plenty of trouble with Ballance, though he never lost to him. Ballance was trounced by Carl in the only faceoff they had. At Sandler’s peak he lost a championship match to Marty Decatur. In that same event Marty also beat Carl Obert. Mark Levine came within three points in the third game of defeating Sandler in a championship match in ’71. In a one-game match, Al Torres once held Sandler to a single point. And in ’73, 17year-old Joel Davidson knocked Sandler out in the semis. Levine, as smart as he was, lost matches to men not in his league. Durso lost in a semi to Ed Golden and in a final to Al Apuzzi. The top guys, as I see it, are at the top because they won most of the time and because each brought a level of play both unique and brilliant to one-wall singles. HANDBALL 39



5/13/2009, 9:57 AM

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REGIONAL REPORT USHA BOARD OF DIRECTORS President: Mike Steele At-Large (2011) 2936 Watercrest Rd. (2011) Forest Grove, Ore. 97116 503-352-2806 Vice President: LeaAnn Martin Women's Commissioner (2010) 237 Terrace Pl. Bellingham, Wash. 98225 360-650-3054 Secretary: Joe Hagen Central Region (2011) 4529 Nokomis Ave. Minneapolis, Minn. 55406 206-920-3392 Treasurer: Mike Driscoll Southwest Region (2011) 2013 Dublin Rd. Parker, Texas 75094 972-235-9547 Directors Pat Boyd Southeast Region (2009) 6625 Hiway 53 E, No. 410-7 Dawsonville, Ga. 30534 404-819-7282 Stan Dunlavy Rocky Mountain Region (2011) 2979 S. Olympia Circle Evergreen, Colo. 80439 303-670-0363 Steve Dykes Mid-America Region (2011) 130 Beech Ridge Drive Powell, Ohio 43065 614-430-0430 Howie Eisenberg At-Large (2009) 24300 Caris St. Woodland Hills, Calif. 91367 949-689-9444 Steve Grow At-Large (2010) 2843 NE 51st Ave. Portland, Ore. 97213 503-416-8313 Ray Leidich Northwest Region (2009) 7010 NW Cardinal Dr. Corvallis, Ore. 97330 541-745-5937

Victor LoPierre Northeast Region (2011) 78-11 Kew Forest Ln., Apt. 3 EA Forest Hills, N.Y. 11375 718-807-8151 John Nottingham Southern California (2011) 22805 MacFarland Dr. Woodland Hills, Ca. 91364 818-225-0636 Carl Porter Jr. At-Large (2010) 2523 Dustin Rd. Okemos, Mich. 48864 517-364-8801 Tom Sove Northern California Region (2009) 3008 Highgate Rd. Modesto, Calif. 95350 209-575-2758 Chris Tico At-Large (2011) 1716 Stuart St. Berkeley, Calif. 94703 415-793-3967 Rod Watterson At-Large (2009) 186 High St. Hampton, N.H. 03842 603-926-1926 USHA Commissioners Executive director: Vern Roberts 2334 N. Tucson Blvd. Tucson, AZ. 85716 520-795-0434 Hall of Fame: Mike Dau 1176 Lynette Ave. Lake Forest, Ill. 60045 847-615-1958 Juniors: Don Quinlan 300 E. Northwest Hwy. Des Plaines, Ill. 60016 847-296-3376 Rules and Referees: Pete Tyson University of Texas Gregory Gym Austin, Texas 78712 512-471-8587 Collegiate: vacant

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Cecil Delcher presents awards to open winner Nelson Quintero and runner-up Kyle Greenhalgh at the Florida Four-Wall Championships. For full coverage, see Page 51. No excuses: Get on the court!


hether your passion is one-wall, three-wall or fourwall, you’ll have national championships to attend over the next few months. Just check the USHA calendar below, and you’re sure to find something to your liking. And it’s not limited to adults, as national juniors championships in one-, three- and four-wall also are on the docket. It’s a great time to be a handball player!

Upcoming major events For information on these events, see entry forms on the following pages or contact the USHA at 520-795-0434 or „ June 8-14: National four-wall championships, Fountain Valley, Calif. „ June 25-28: National one-wall juniors, Brooklyn, N.Y. Page 53 „ July 16-19: National three-wall juniors, Venice Beach, Calif. Page 55 „ Aug. 5-9: National one-wall, New York. Page 31 „ Aug. 20-23: National one-wall big ball, New York. Page 35 „ Sept. 3-7: National three-wall, Toledo. Page 62 „ Oct. 4-11: World championships, Portland, Ore. Page 64 „ Dec. 27-30: National four-wall juniors, Des Plaines, Ill. „ Feb. 24-28: National collegiates, College Station, Texas. Send tournament results to USHA, 2333 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716. Or e-mail to

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Northwest Region Regional commissioner (2010): Brian Poffenroth (Vancouver, Wash.) 360-571-0501 or Alaska chair (2011): Rich Curtner (Anchorage) 907-646-3412 or Ambassadors: Steve Hamrick (Anchorage) 907-240-5250 Joe Liska (Anchorage) 907-564-2223 JR Lugo (Anchorage) 907-562-5846 Lou Sinnett (Anchorage) 907-561-0121 Ron Todd (Anchorage) 907-345-0206 Felix Martinez (Kenai) 907-229-3392 John Phillips (Fairbanks) 907-347-3471 David Graham (Sitka) 907-752-0808 Idaho chair (2011): Bill Morse (Boise) 208-342-0992 or Ambassadors: Don Helander (Sandpoint) 208-263-6633 Brad Marker (Boise) 208-941-9332 or Montana chair (2011): Jeff Jamison (Missoula) 406-721-4032 or Ambassadors: Todd Timboe (Great Falls) 406-727-6439 Jack Cavanaugh (Butte) 406-782-0542 Oregon chair (2011): Tim Dean (Rogue River) 541-761-1556 or Ambassadors: Rocky Benevento (Portland) 503-310-4996 Chatten Hayes (Portland) 503-241-1503 Curt Heiting (Coresham) 503-752-1601 Ed Grossenbacher (Portland) 503-286-3218 or Ray Leidich (Corvallis) 541-745-5937 Mike Steele (Forest Grove) 503-357-9114 Walt Middlecamp (Portland) 503-222-2968 Matt Steele (Forest Grove) 503-750-6056 Steve Grow (Portland) 503-416-8313 Larry Brown (Eugene) 541-683-5216 Sean Beall (Cheshire) 541-953-6059 or Washington chair (2010): Jon Hohol (Southworth) 360-990-5889 or Ambassadors: Joe Cox (Seattle) 206-935-9266 LeaAnn Martin (Bellingham) 360-650-3054 or J. Simpson (Mercer Island) 206-679-6610 Jud Heathcote (Spokane) 509-443-0237 Bud Nevers (Spokane) 509-879-2691 Glenn Carden (Bremerton) 360-377-5923 Barry Burlison (Brush Prairie) 360-901-2926

Winners for best court attire at the Idaho state tourney: Brad Marker and John King. Idaho BOISE — The Idaho State Championships were held April 24-26 at the Treasure Valley Fitness Club. Eighty players, including eight former national title-holders, made it the largest state tournament in Idaho history. Mike McDonald won the open singles over last year’s champ, Eric Plummer. But Plummer teamed with brother Brett to take the open doubles crown. Winners of the best court attire were Brad Marker and John King. Winner of the best handball shirt worn at the Saturday night banquet was Joe Cox. Thanks to Ron and Carol Jones, Mark and Sheri Kadell, Mary Capell, Bill Brubaker and John Falk. Open: Mike McDonald d. Eric Plummer. Consolation: Brett Plummer. A: Joe Dethman d. Pat Hessler. Consolation: Mark Kadell. B: Mike Anderson d. Nate Knaggs. Consolation: David Fishburne. C: Michael Brother d. Carly Doan. Consolation: Chris Guarino. Golden: Greg Bassett d. Joe Cox. Consolation: John Yano. Super: Doug Wood d. Joe Cox. Consolation: Gary Bellinger.

Regional calendar Oct. 4-11: World Championships at Multnomah Athletic Club and Sunset Athletic Club, Portland. Contact Dec. 4-6: Robert O. Smith Memorial Tournament at Salem (Ore.) Family YMCA. Contact Josh Reese at 503-364-6225

Idaho C doubles winners Snider and Doan.

Diamond: Gail Miles d. Bill Phillips. Consolation: Ron Jones. Open doubles: Eric Plummer/Brett Plummer d. Ryan Luttman/Jake Plummer. Consolation: Trent Gardner/Jason Jones. A doubles: Lou Barberini/Art Ward d. Rob Friesen/Ed Garcia. Consolation: John Yano/Greg Bassett. B doubles: Nate Knaggs/Vic Montavalo d. Mike Shrauger/Doug Thompson. Consolation: Chris Lien/Tim Kitch. C doubles: Richie Snider/Carly Doan d. Jeff Van Sickel/Mike Brother. Consolation: Trent Guarino/Chris Guarino. Golden doubles: Terry Nett/Lewis Lambert d. Jay Capell/Bill Morse. Consolation: Don Helander/Bruce Sletager. Super doubles: Gary Bellinger/Bill Morse d. Vic Aissa/Ed Dullea. Consolation: Bob Sevieri/Bob Dethman. Diamond doubles: Bill Phillips/Dennis Kooy d. Chuck Barberini/Mike O’Brien. Consolation: Ron Jones/Chuck Fishburne. Montana BOZEMAN — Some 40 teams participated in the Montana Doubles Championships at the Ridge Athletic Club in April. Open Semis: Steve Maier/Jeremy Morton d. Andy Tucknott/Mike Monahan 12, (11), 3; Joey Urbani/Suhn Lee d. Neil Bolton/ Chris McVeigh 18, (5), 9. Final: Urbani/Lee d. Maier/Morton 16, (19), 6. Third: Tucknott/Monahan d. Bolton/McVeigh 14, 0. Consolation: Jay Balkenbush/Justin Balkenbush d. Pat Huff/Bret Badovidac 7, 2. Masters Semis: Jay Balkenbush/Randy Jollife d. Dan Bersanti/Bob Bersanti 6, 10; Pat Huff/Chris McVeigh d. Scott Salo/Jim Anderson 18, 13. Final: Balkenbush/Jollife d. Huff/McVeigh 13, 5. Third: Bersanti/Bersanti d. Salo/Anderson 19, 12. Consolation: Steve Maier/Robin Peters d. Nick White/Eric Howe 9, 18. Golden Semis: Jeff Jamison/Rick Harrington d. Dick Fox/Garth Kallevig 8, 3; Sam Baldridge/ Mike Barrigan d. Mike Meyer/John Larson. Final: Jamison/Harrington d. Baldridge/Barrigan 19, 15. Third: Meyer/Larson d. Fox/Kallevig 16, 3. HANDBALL 43



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REGIONAL REPORT Consolation: Scott Salo/Tom Madrazo d. Ron Deriana/Bob Nessit 9, 6. Super Semis: Russ Whitten/Dan Scilley d. Clyde Carroll/Carl Warren 16, 2; Frank Cikan/Dan Hurd d. Paul Polzin/ Dan Ferriter 5, 4. Final: Whitten/Scilley d. Cikan/Hurd 7, 14. Third: Carroll/Warren d. Sandy Gagnon/ Joe Urbani 5, 9. Consolation: Tom Morris/Jerry Kriskovich d. Polzin/Ferriter 7, 12. B: Jim Hutchins/Mike Wilmer d. Wendell Morrill/Mark Morrill. Oregon SALEM — The Oregon State Doubles attracted 54 players to the event March 1315, held for the first time at the Courthouse Athletic Club (Lancaster). Proceeds of more than $400 were donated to the Oregon State Handball Association for youth development and player support. In addition, players contributed $65 to support the OSHA. Thanks to Phil Crock, Frank Ikard, Cheryl Chastain, Josh Reese and Frank, Sean and Dalton Beall. Open: Jeff Kastner/Matt Steele d. Ryan Grossenbacher/Bob Herrera. Third: Rich Berger/Doug Makey. Consolation: Tim Dean/Rob Angelo. A: Jarrad Krueger/Steve Maltman d. Sean Beall/Reid Ertsgaard. Third: Angel Frutos/Tom Montgomery. Consolation: Darrell Roeder/ Antonio Villanueva. Masters: Dave Delaney/Steve Grow d. Ken Goe/Pat Hartford. Third: Walt Kastner/Mike Wecker. Consolation: Sean Beall/Darrel McNair. Super: Jerry Berger/Vern Holstad d. Jay Latona/Ed Mann. Third: Don Riddell/Craig Chambers. Consolation: Phil Horton/Frank Ikard. Women: Jennifer Hinman/Leah Dean d. Kristen Steele/Cindy Matsubara. Third: Kirstin Rice/Julie Dennis. Tim Dean

Northern California Region Regional commissioner (2009): Cherylann Mendonca (Sacramento) 916-392-3323 Northern California chair (2010): Bill Conlon (Palo Alto) 650-906-9229

Ambassadors: Tom Bridges (Sacramento) 916-383-1262 Larry DeBoer (Redding) 530-549-3393 Vern Rutherford (Pleasanton) 209-402-1916 Amerigo Giovannoni (Stockton) 209-952-3075 Dave Green (Merced) 209-389-4656 Everett Leon-Guerrero (Modesto) 209-543-9242 Joe McDonald (San Francisco) 650-697-3808 Ken Moeller (East Bay) 925-939-8152 Jim Peixoto (Watsonville) 831-724-0937 Tom Sove (Modesto) 209 575-2758 Frank Zuniga (Fresno) 559-225-0684 Armando Redondo (Fresno) 559-442-4738 Roy Bukstein (San Mateo) 415-356-2012 Bob Kass (San Jose) 408-248-1254 Northern Nevada ambassador: John Harris (Reno) 775-852-6616

Regional calendar None reported for scheduling

California SACRAMENTO — The 31st annual Sacramento Open was played March 2729 at three sites: Sacramento Elks Lodge #6, the Riverside Athletic Club and the Capital Athletic Club. More than 130 players participated. Thanks to Ron Domingos. Open Semis: Allie Abdulla Jr. d. Jesus Delgado 15, 6; Sam Kass d. Mike McDonald 16, 3. Final: Abdulla d. Kass 20, 14. A Semis: Augie Herrera d. Patrick Aguiar (16), 5, 6; Marco Coromac d. Jeff Cardinal, def. Final: Herrera d. Coromac (13), 6, 7. B Semis: Alex Tico d. Robert Comacho 5, 11; Ned Corrigan d. Chad Packin 4, 10. Final: Tico d. Corrigan 7, (19), 2. Consolation: Robert Maich d. Omar Sanchez 31-28. C Semis: Anthony Rivas d. Tony Ragusin 12, 10; David Bond d. Lance Soto 10, 4. Final: Rivas d. Bond 20, (17), 0. Consolation: Kent Nunley d. Abe Jacobo 31-2. Juniors Semis: Robert Bell d. Edgar Ortiz 10, 19; Alex Guadarrama d. Chris Comacho 5, 19. Final: Bell d. Guadarrama (17), 14, 2. Consolation: Arturo Lopez d. Juan Utribe 31-13. Mixed 40+: Chris Patatan d. Jacob Rodriquez. 40+ Semis: Jaime Fabian d. Roy Perez 18, 15; Ron Strausbaugh d. Dave Nava 9, 5. Final: Fabian d. Strausbaugh11, 17.

Consolation: Raul Carmona d. Henry Homous 31-27. 50+ Semis: Ed Campbell d. Robert Carel 17, (7), 4; Rich Goosmann d. Steve Bell 11, 7. Final: Campbell d. Goosmann 14, 9. Consolation: Cliff Dahm d. Dan Cimino 31-9. 60+ Semis: John Sutkus d. Mark Hashell 19, 6; Jim Story d. Ron Marquez 15, (15), 7. Final: Sutkus d. Story, inj. def. Consolation: Dave Rios d. Larry DeBoer, def. Open/A doubles Semis: Anton Wilson/Jason Coronado d. Travis Coronado/Leo Havener 5, 13; Shane Goyt/Danny Solario d. Arturo Suarez/ Raul Jasso 11, 10. Final: Wilson/Coronado d. Goyt/Solario 7, 15. A doubles Semis: David Kennedy/Bill Oliver d. Martin Carvillo/Uriel Lopez 14, (20), 6; Nievis Chavez/Abe Jacobo Jr. d. Sam Kass/ Derrick Alcanter, inj. def. Final: Kennedy/Oliver d. Chavez/Jacobo 9, 9. B/C doubles Semis: Mark Bradley/Troy Martin d. Mark Harkell/Tony Ragusin 18, 18; Marco Coromac/Tyler Martin d. Gerrald Bynoe/Mike Cima (20), 7, 6. Final: Bradley/Martin d. Coromac/Martin 17, 7. C doubles Semis: David Bond/Chris Galente d. Tony Cima/Jeff Gilmore 6, 10; Carlos Taverez/Abe Jacobo Sr. d. Matt Barkiewicz/Bill Vogel, def. Final: Bond/Galente d. Taverez/Jacobo 12, (19), 4. 40+ doubles Final: Carlos Buzo/Jaime Fabian d. Stan Hampton/Roy Perez. 50+ doubles Semis: Allie Abdulla Sr./Ray Graham d. Wayne Salo/Kevin Soulis 4, 9; Ed Campbell/Cub Eldridge d. Mike Flores/ Rudy Guzman (13), 13, 10. Final: Abdulla/Graham d. Campbell/Eldridge 7, (14), 4. Consolation: Dan Cimino/Cliff Dahm d. George Bianco/Kent Nunley 31-29. 60+ doubles Semis: Richard Polson/Bob Bradford d. Doug Chandler/Jay Latona 19, (20), 7; Dave Rios/David Ackerman d. Steve Graham/Guy Hoover (7), 20, 8. Final: Polson/Bradford d. Rios/Ackerman (15), 3, 8. Consolation: Rich Ramirez/Victor Fabionar d. Ed Means/Mike Murietta 31-29.

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Southern California Region

Rocky Mountain Region

Regional commissioner (2010): Stephanie Hathaway (Fullerton) 714-325-7040

Regional commissioner: Vacant

Southern California chair (2010): Gary Cruz (Newport Beach) 949-722-1727 Ambassadors: Miguel Paredes (San Luis Obispo) 805-549-7430 or Rick Herrera (Thousand Oaks) 805-495-1688 or 805-901-2394 or Ruben Ramirez (Santa Clarita) 661-252-6432 or Pete Davis (Riverside) 909-793-2373 or Marc Penick (San Diego) 619-249-1800 or Mark Shelgren (Orange County) 714-251-3839 Hawaii chair (2011): Donn Carswell (Lihue) 808-245-7877 Ambassadors: Brett Wiggins (Honolulu) 808-538-1990 Bill Kish (Kailua-Kona) 808-325-5381 or Nevada chair (2012): Bruce Handelman (Las Vegas) 702-523-2110 Ambassadors: Bob and Joe Harris (Las Vegas) 702-796-0135 or

Regional calendar June 8-14: USHA National Four-Wall Championships at Los Caballeros Racquet and Sports Club, Fountain Valley, Calif. Contact the USHA at June 20: So-Cal Summer Slam Three-Wall Big Ball Doubles Tournament at Venice Beach (Calif.) Rec Center. Contact Venice Beach Rec Center at 310-399-2775 July 16-19: USHA Three-Wall Juniors at Venice Beach (Calif.) Rec Center. Contact the USHA at Aug. 22: Pacific Coast Challenge Three-Wall Small Ball Singles at Venice Beach (Calif.) Rec Center. Contact Venice Beach Rec Center at 310-399-2775

California PALM SPRINGS — The Southern California Handball Association Regional Doubles Championships took place April 4-5 at the Palm Desert Athletic Club. Mark Egan/Luis Gaytan won the open division.

Arizona chair (2010): Lou Paul (Gilbert) 480-497-4899 Ambassadors: Jerry Bernard (Phoenix) 602-943-2727 or Charlie Wicker (Tucson) 520-298-0034 Richard Hatcher (Tucson) 520-631-1337 Colorado chair (2009): Michael Pederson (Denver) 303-888-1941 or Ambassadors: Bob Hickman (Denver) 303-863-9484 Dennis Madden (Ft. Collins) 970-225-2823 Rusty Ludwig (Grand Junction) 970-245-8118 or Ron Bronner (Denver) 303-290-9124 or 720-270-4404 or Louie Lambert (Colo. Springs) 719-338-2183 Fred Sycuro (Evergreen) 303-679-9041 New Mexico chair (2009): William Cervantes (Albuquerque) 505-294-3779 Ambassadors: Dave Coulie (Albuquerque) 505-293-0966 or Rand Marco (Santa Fe) 505-603-0382 or Bob Parker (Los Alamos) 505-661-3002 or Utah chair (2011): Mike Fendrick (Ogden) 801-391-5114 or Ambassadors: Lon Stalsberg (Salt Lake City) 801-363-9995 or 801-712-3729 John Wainwright (Bountiful) 801-296-2399 or Wyoming chair (2009): Jesus Saldivar (Casper) 307-266-6299 Ambassador: Dan Price (Gillette) 307-682-2793

Regional calendar None reported for scheduling

Colorado DENVER — The Colorado State Singles Tournament was held April 16-

19 at the Denver Athletic Club with almost 100 players in 11 divisions. The tremendous participation was highlighted by 20 entries in the C, a very competitive juniors group who formed both open and contenders divisions, and more than 10 players in the 65-plus and 70-plus age divisions. The open final included perennial state champion Bear Meiring and newcomer Tyler Stevens, who moved from Ohio at the beginning of April. Stevens advanced to the final by beating previous state champion Mark Hammond, while Meiring defeated Cody Parker. In the final, Stevens prevailed 21-18, 21-15 to capture the title. Thanks to Corey Ahrens, Ron Bronner, Bob Brown, Don Stewart, Gene Schneider, Bear Meiring, Jay Temple, Rick Woodward, Jim Hale, Cindy Miller, Brad Mrolsa, Greg Oyler, Dan Price, Stan Wolpoff, Jack Feingold, Bob Hickman, Kevin Dowling, Robin Carlsen, InCheck, Stan Dunlavy and John Bannister. Open Semis: Bear Meiring d. Cody Parker 3, 10; Tyler Stevens d. Mark Hammond 14, (20), 5. Final: Stevens d. Meiring 18, 15. A Semis: Alex Ibarra d. Matt Valdez 13, 17; Andy Newman d. Jed Seigle (20), 10, 2. Final: Newman d. Ibarra 13, 17. B Semis: Nick Mosely d. Tony Rocco (20), 14, 8; Luis Perez Jr. d. Alejandro Ibarra 20, 8. Final: Mosely d Perez 10, 8. C Semis: Brandon Bush d. Rafael Ibarra 20, 11; Ryan Ashley d. Ryan Byron 7, 19. Final: Ashley d. Bush 15, 9. 40+ Semis: Mike Kearney d. Stan Dunlavy 2, 8; Gary Scogin d. Lloyd Garcia 10, 11. Final: Scogin d. Kearney 15, 10. 50+ Semis: Jay Temple d. Fred Sycuro 6, 4; SCHA 120-plus finalists Don Eyman, Greg Stansbury, Rob Nichols and Steve Sand.

Open: Mark Egan/Luis Gaytan. B: Raul Villenueva/Javier Adape. 100+: Mark Zamora/Red Gastelum. 120+: Rob Nichols/Steve Sand. Gary Cruz




5/13/2009, 10:25 AM

REGIONAL REPORT John Roder d. Mike Hallowell 6, 15. Final: Temple d. Roder 15, 9. 50+ B Semis: David Nava d. Bob Brown 9, 8; Jim Roberts d. Dennis Parker 7, 8. Final: Nava d Roberts (16), 6, 1. 60+ Semis: Terry Nett d. Bill Scharton 14, 5; Dan Price d. Lewis Lambert 4, 12. Semis: Price d. Nett 12, 14. 65+ Semis: Bill Reich d. Ron Bronner (20), 14, 6; Jim Starr d. Mike Held 11, 13. Final: Reich d. Starr 12, 11. 70+ Semis: Jerry White d. Mack Roberts 11, 14; Lee Cooper d. Pat Francomano 17, (9), 6. Final: Cooper d. White, def. Juniors contenders Semis: Eli Gordon d. Sergio Martinez; Damasjae Carrington d. Saul Martinez. Final: Gordon d. Carrington. Juniors open Semis: Kevin Wake d. Damasjae Carrington; Justice Middleton d. Eli Gordon. Final: Wake d. Middleton.

Southwest Region Regional commissioner (2011): Mike Driscoll (Parker, Texas) 972-235-9547 or Arkansas chair (2010): Jerry Wall (Fayetteville) 479-443-3096 Louisiana chairs (2010): Joe Drolla (New Orleans) 504-831-2607 and Bob Caluda (Metairie) 504-452-9255 Oklahoma chair (2011): Dan McKenzie (Tulsa) (918) 622-0601 Ambassador: Gary Miller (Tulsa) 918-492-8243 Texas chair (2011): Jeff Swoboda (San Antonio) 210-824-9849 Ambassadors: John Edgell (San Marcos) Jason Jones (Corpus Christi) 361-993-2009 Larry LeCompte (Austin) 512-288-1193 Kevin Wier (Plano) 214-435-4855 Alvis Grant (Dallas) 214-327-4762 Lance Lowy (College Station) 409-845-3109 Chuck Nicolette (West Texas) 915-362-7963 Dave Parsons (Conroe) 936-524-6537 Chuck Reeve (Houston) 832-567-1079 or Beth Rowley (Austin) 512-632-8454 Pete Tyson (Austin) 512-471-8587 Jim Garner (San Antonio) 210-867-4999 or Frank Swehosky (Ft. Worth) 817-247-8947

Regional calendar Feb. 24-28: USHA National Collegiate Championships at Texas A&M, College Station, Texas. Contact Ozzie Burke at or the USHA at 520-795-0434 or

Louisiana HARAHAN — The Mardi Gras Tournament was held March 27-29 at Elmwood Fitness Center. In addition to the men’s and women’s pro competition (see full report on Page 52), several other events were held. A/B Semis: Dave Vincent d. Jim Brickell; Morgan Stevens d. Michael Morgan. Final: Vincent d. Stevens 18, 12. A/B consolation Semis: Rex Waller d. Drew Warren; Gary Weissert d. Sally Kenworthy. Final: Waller d. Weissert. Seniors Semis: Vic Aissa d. George Kelley; Robert Williamson d. Phil Fairchild. Final: Aissa d. Williamson. Seniors consolation Semis: Charles Doyle d. Mike White; Joel Levy d. Walter Block. Final: Levy d. Doyle. Pro consolation Semis: Todd Feisel d. Matt Phillips; Eric Hillgren d. Chip Morales. Final: Hillgren d. Feisel. A/B doubles Semis: Tom Benton/Dwight Parker d. Shawn Massey/George LeWallen; Dave Vincent/Sally Kenworthy d. Gary Weissert/Rex Waller. Final: Vincent/Kenworthy d. Benton/Parker. B doubles: Michael Morgan/Morgan Stevens. Bob Caluda

Chuck Reeve presents checks and awards to Houston open runner-up Garner as well as champion Chapman. Texas HOUSTON — David Chapman defeated Allan Garner to win the open singles at the 50th annual Houston Downtown YMCA Tournament. Garner and Adam Berliner teamed up to win the doubles. Also, the winners of the Charles R. Maher Scholarship for 2009 are Anabel Aviles of Southwestern University and Chris Patton from Texas A&M (more on Page 26). Thanks to John Egbert, Ron Cole, Sandy Gaitz, Ron Emberg, Barney Gershen, Ned Kovas, Sam Lucas, Max Esses, George Eynon, Boris Orlin, Wayne Neumann and Chuck Reeve. Open: David Chapman d. Allan Garner 19, 16. Consolation: Alex Carpenter. B: David Lozano d. James Grogan 15-9, 1-15, 11-4. Consolation: Oscar Aviles. C: Drew Warren d. Brandon Bush. Consolation: Ty Tindell. Women: Beth Rowley d. Sally Kenworthy 15, (20), 4. Consolation: Anabel Aviles. 60+: Jim LeBoeuf d. Mike Lundy. Consolation: Ozzie Burke. Open doubles: Allan Garner/Adam Berliner d. Tyler Hamel/Cory Medrano. B doubles: Chris Patton/Joel Rice d. Jack Flores/James Grogan. 100+ doubles: Chuck Reeve/Dan Acosta d. Charlie Bokelman/Stan Melnick. 120+ doubles: Ron Cole/Charlie Bokelman d. Jerry Garcia/George Cooper.

Central Region Bob Caluda presents trophies to A/B doubles champs Vincent and Kenworthy.

Regional commissioner (2011): Steve Johnson (Forest Lake, Minn.) 651-341-3666

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REGIONAL REPORT Illinois chair (2011): James Komsthoeft (La Grange) 708-482-0234 Ambassadors: Bob Peters (Vernon Hills) 847-996-0040 Mike Dau (Lake Forest) 847-735-5297 Steve Matheny (East Peoria) 309-698-6454 Don Quinlan (Des Plaines) 847-296-3376 Ron Stopka (Frankfort) 815-469-2225 Dave Dohman (Munster) 219-838-4230 Iowa chair (2010): Tony Heiting (Panora) 515-577-9400 Ambassadors: Jerry Lee Hall (Ames) 515-233-6049 Randie Moler (Burlington) 319-752-7600 or Terry Petersen (Des Moines) 515-265-7096 Lew Bolton (Des Moines) 515-327-8916 Jim Hartzell (Des Moines) 515-274-4141 or John Gruening (Des Moines) 515-278-5230 Kansas chair (2009): Lou Serrone (Kansas City) Ambassadors: Tom Little (Mound City) 913-795-2027 Jim Cosentino (MIssion) 816-589-3239 Minnesota chair (2010): Gary Rohrer (Minneapolis) 952-942-8369 or Ambassadors: Sheldon Silberman (Golden Valley) 612-209-4418 Matt Hiber (Roseville) 612-626-7836 Missouri chair (2011): Lary Bozzay (St. Louis) 314-965-7377 or 314-578-3215 Ambassadors: Tommy Burnett (Springfield) 417-883-3605 or Matt McLaughlin (Kansas City) 913-894-1306

Illinois DES PLAINES — Dane Szatkowski captured the open title at the Illinois Handball Association Singles Championships the weekend of Jan. 15-18 at Lattof YMCA. Open: Dane Szatkowski d. Suhn Lee. A: Oscar Zamora d. Kevin Greco. B: Steve Frederick d. Tim Cohen. 40+: Joe Ardito d. Mike Battealia. 40+ B: Vito Brunelli d. Bert Connolly. 50+: Steve Childs d. Eli Seaman. 50+ B: Art Gray d. Gus Mehilos. 60+ round robin: Tom Gack. DES PLAINES — Mike and Dave Munson won the Illinois Handball Association Doubles Championships the weekend of Feb. 12-14 at Lattof YMCA. Open: Dave Munson/Mike Munson d. Bill Mehilos/Adam Szatkowski. B: Steve Frederick/Tom Dwyer. C: Brian Connolly/Asa Reyonlds. 40/50+: Steve Childs/Gary Danno. 40/50+ B: Tom Allen/Bob Anderson. 60+: Tom Gack/Jon Charneskey. Women: Megan Mehilos/Terry Mehilos. Women’s B: Hannah Michal/Sara Brusig.

Regional commissioner (2010): Rick Stevens (Toledo, Ohio) 419-861-1042 or

North Dakota chair (2011): Neil Reuter (Grand Forks) 701-772-1769 Ambassador: Bill Kelly (Fargo) 701-232-5064

Kentucky chair (2009): Clark Kidwell (Lexington) 859-421-5517 or

South Dakota chair: Vacant

Michigan chair (2010): John Schandevel (Troy) 248-813-8856 Ambassadors: Carl Porter Jr. (Okemos) 517-364-8801 Herm Kiewiet (Paw Paw) 269-598-0133 Bill Cantwell (Troy) 248-649-6644 ext. 104

July 24-25: Sunflower State Games Handball Tournament at Downtown YMCA of Topeka, Kan. Contact Chuck Smrha at 785-379-9384 or Dec. 27-30: USHA National Juniors Four-Wall Championships at Lattof YMCA, Des Plaines, Ill. Contact Don Quinlan at 847-296-3376 or the USHA at 520-795-0434 or

June 13-14: Bob Caples Memorial Three-Wall Tournament at Veterans Park, Cincinnati. Contact Bob Bardeau at 937-832-0079, 937-750-0565 or Sept. 3-7: USHA National Three-Wall Championships at Lucas County Rec Center, Maumee, Ohio. Contact the USHA at

INDIANAPOLIS — The 34th annual Circle City Tournament was held over the weekend of Feb. 6-8, with a total of 80 players competing in 16 different events. Highlights of the weekend included three slams. Aimee Ulbert won the women’s open singles and then teamed with Emily Zender to win the doubles. Eli Seaman won the 50plus singles and paired up with Tom Bembynista to earn the 50-plus doubles crown. Tom Gunnill/Jim Scholler won not only the 60-plus doubles title but also the B doubles championship. Thanks to Zender LLC and Martin Louis. Open: Suhn Lee d. Bill Mehilos. A: Eric Matiasek d. Marty Clemens. B: C.J. Laffey d. Riley Kloss. C: Ralph Cherry d. Kyle Kloss. 50+: Eli Seaman d. Tom Bembynista. 60+: Rick Stevens d. Bob Hammond. 70+: Terry Comina d. Derrell Jones. Women’s open: Aimee Ulbert d. Maria Dugas. Women’s A: Nicole Moser d. Hannah Michal. Women’s B: Samantha Zender d. Anneliese Szutenbach.

Mid-America Region

Indiana chair (2010): Tim Zender (Fishers) 317-488-8800 Ambassador: Kevin Hill (Indianapolis) 630-334-4985

Regional calendar

Regional calendar


Nebraska chair (2010): Don McPherson (Lincoln) 402-475-8222 Ambassador: Terry Knapp (Lincoln) 402-423-0212

Wisconsin chair: (2011) Ron Roberts (Appleton) 920-427-9399 Ambassador: Charlie Keller (Milwaukee) 414-241-5489

Western Pennsylvania ambassadors: Rodney Fink (Pittsburgh) 412-937-5400 Andy Joseph (Pittsburgh) 412-337-1540

Ohio chair (2009): Mario Dolciato (Cleveland) 330-819-7379 or Ambassadors: Steve Dykes (Columbus) 614-430-0430 Bruce Frankenfield (Northern Ohio) 216-226-7148 Jack Prather (Southern Ohio) 513-741-1927 Ralph Weil (Cincinnati) 513-521-1536 Dick Zaveson (Akron) 330-928-9395 James Corrigan (Cleveland) 216-939-9929 or Jeff Patterson (Youngstown) 330-533-6273 George Miller (Swanton) 419-826-2451

Circle City women’s open runner-up Dugas with champion Ulbert. HANDBALL 47



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REGIONAL REPORT Open doubles: Dave Munson/Bill Mehilos d. Nikolai Nahorniak/Riley Kloss. B doubles: Tom Gunnill/Jim Scholler d. Jim Knapp/David Goldberg. C doubles: Steve Matiasak/Kyle Kloss d. Matt Anderson/Lucas Wesley. 50+ doubles: Eli Seaman/Tom Bembynista d. Mark Heithoff/Joe Neidlinger. 60+ doubles: Jim Scholler/Tom Gunnill d. Richard Laughlin/Doug Blankemeyer. Women’s open doubles: Emily Zender/ Aimee Ulbert d. Maria Dugas/Alex Charron. Tim Zender

Sharon open doubles finalists Hoag, Fusselman, Semplice and Fink.

Northeast Region Regional commissioner (2011): Raul Retian (Jersey City, N.J.) 917-692-4938

Michigan EAST LANSING — The Michigan Handball Association State Four-Wall Singles Tournament was held the first weekend of April at the Michigan Athletic Club. Pete Hanover made it to the finals for the seventh consecutive year and won the championship for the third time, defeating Pete Brown. Dylan Graham took the youth event. Thanks to Norm Young, Carl Valentino, Mike Stock, Keith Thode, Carl Porter and Dick Sheldon. Open Semis: Pete Hanover d. Pat Oliver 3, 5; Pete Brown d. Mike Fagan, inj. def. Final: Hanover d. Brown 16, 5. 50+ Semis: Garyt Dahl d. Jim LaFleur 6, 3; Steve Fase d. Joe Ivy 13, 8. Final: Fase d. Dahl 13,6. 60+ Semis: Larry Price d. Norm Young 5, 5; Rick Graham d. Carl Valentino 5, 5. Final: Price d. Graham 14, 12. 70+ round robin 1: Bob Plater d. David Dodds (9), 8, 2; d. Carl Porter (Lansing) 8, 12. 2: Dodds d. Porter 12, 7. B Semis: Jeff Kanake d. P.K. Sims 12, 17; Matthew Paul d. Dale Chimenti 6, 3. Final: Paul d. Kanake 12, 7. C Semis: Tom Pritchard d. Charlie Doyle (20), 4, 4; Sketter Kittle d. Roger Drummond 14, 19. Final: Kittle d. Pritchard (15),14, 5. Youth Semis: Dylan Graham d. Tyler Sickmiller 8, 14; Max Fagan d. Emmet Kulka 13, 8. Final: Graham d. Fagan 13, 13.

Connecticut chair (2010): Gary Grossman (Trumbull) 203-336-0055 or Maine chair (2011): Tom Adams (Portland) 207-846-5690 or 207-838-3662 or Ambassador: Ron Kramer (Cape Elizabeth) 207-939-8233 or

Sharon pros Garner, Chapman and Fink. Pennsylvania SHARON — The 10th annual Don Godfrey Shootout was held Feb. 20-21 at the Buhl Community Recreation Center with more than 60 players participating. The original tournament was put together to honor the late Don Godfrey, who served for decades as an ambassador of the game in the Sharon area. This year the event hosted three ranked pros, and David Chapman prevailed with hard-fought victories against David Fink and Aaron Garner. Pro round robin 1: David Chapman d. David Fink 13, 13; d. Allan Garner 20, 17. 2: Fink d. Garner 18, 12. Open: Chris Sammarone d. Michael Semplice (15), 17, 6. A: Norm Wilson d. Ed Donnelly 13, 6. Open/A consolation: John Thiel d. Jay Cattron 31-17. B: Kurt Hebel d. Joe Guerini (20), 9, 2. C: Andrew Fedele d. Tim Coutant 14, (8), 2. B/C consolation: Louis Finney d. Regis Smith 31-19. 60+: Rick Stevens d. Dan Sindlinger 6, 12. Open doubles: Kent Fusselman/Kevin Hoag d. Michael Semplice/Rod Fink 14, 5. 55+ doubles: Jerry Speers/Will Joseph d. Doug Glass/Rick Stevens 5, 10. Norm Wilson

Massachusetts chair (2009): Keefe Sheppeck (South Boston) 617-670-1657 Ambassador: William Ortiz (Worcester) 508-892-5349 New Hampshire chair (2011): Dick Barry (Merrimack) 603-880-3731 New Jersey chair (2009): Tom Ciasulli (Scotch Plains) 908-232-6344 Ambassador: Bill Kennedy (Glen Ridge) 973-743-4710 New York chair (2009): George Brandeburg (Hudson Valley) 845-897-2526 Ambassadors: Elliot Nadel (Brooklyn) 718-372-6490 Mike Watson (Queens) 718-651-4563 Paul Williams (Brooklyn) 718-703-7699 Artie Fuchs (Brookyn) 718-332-4251 Jon Arem (Honeowy Falls) 585-582-2877 Michael Meltzer (New City) 845-461-3936 Rhode Island chair: Vacant Vermont chair (2009): Ralph Abeling (Essex Junction) 802-878-5260 Ambassador: John Pellerin (Barnet) 802-782-4716

Regional calendar June 13: Rockland Open Junior One-Wall Tournament at South School, Rockland, Maine. Contact Joel Dempsey at June 25-28: USHA National Juniors One-Wall at Big Bush Park, Brooklyn, N.Y. Contact the USHA at Aug. 5-9: USHA National One-Wall Championships at Coney Island, Brooklyn, N.Y. Contact the USHA at

48 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 10:25 AM

REGIONAL REPORT Aug. 20-23: USHA National One-Wall Big Ball Championships, New York. Contact the USHA at Sept. 25-27: Northern New England Tournament at Executive Health and Sports Center, Manchester, N.H. Contact Jim Prendergast at

Massachusetts BOSTON — Sean Lenning stormed to the open championship at the 33rd Boston Open the weekend of April 24-26 at the Boston Athletic Club. Lenning won the championship two years ago and was a semifinalist last year, and he was in a zone all weekend, ripping David Chapman 214, 21-3 in the final. David Fink took third. Shane O’Neill of Ireland improved on last year’s A division runner-up finish to defeat Jurell Bastidas for the title. O’Neill was also the recipient of the Willy Winslow Prize for the best performance, on and off the court, by an under-25 player. The award is given annually to the player who best personified what Willy brought to the game — joy and competitiveness. Thanks to Dave Vincent, Martin Kerr, Sam Jackson and Jimbo Daly. Open Semis: David Chapman d. Tyree Bastidas 15, 5; Sean Lenning d. David Fink 16, 7. Final: Lenning d. Chapman 4, 3. A: Shane O’Neill d. Jurell Bastidas 20, 13. B: Eugene O’Reilly d. Steve Miley 4, 19. C: Roberto Laureano d. Don Gazzaro 15, 12. Masters: John McDonough d. Tom Coute 12, (12), 4. Super: Dan Martin d. John Pellerin 7, 20. New York ALBANY — The Court Club hosted the Northeast Regional Championship on March 28-29. Tyree Bastidas slammed in the open events, pairing up with his brother Jurell in the doubles. Paul Alteri also slammed in the B events. Thanks to Fred Seestadt, Bill Kennedy, Tom Doughten, Jim Giner, Randy Wolfe, George Cavooris, Bob Fivel, Glen Hall, Ray Peter, Rosemary Bellini and Shye Evan. Open: Tyree Bastidas d. Mike Schneider. B: Paul Alteri d. Mark Alteri. C: Shye Evan d. Joseph Matzner. 40+: Ken Crespi d. Mitch Milone. 50+: George Brandeburg d. Dave Schmelz.

60+: Jerry Yee d. Marc Seigle. 65+: Jim Prendergast d. Dan Martin. Open doubles: Tyree Bastidas/ Jurell Bastidas d. Mike Schneider/Dan Vera. B doubles: Paul Alteri/Mark Alteri d. Peter Lynam/Scott McNulty. C doubles: Kristopher Grimmer/Christopher Laroe d. Bill Huff/Mike Stones. 40+ doubles: Ray Estevez/Mark Occhipinti d. Dan Vera/George Brandeburg. 50+ doubles: Rick Anderson/Glen Hall d. Ken Greco/George DeGonzague. 60+ doubles: Rich Rose/Tom Doughten d. Hugh Graber/John Getchell. 65+ doubles: Bill Kennedy/Jim Prendergast d. Bill Huff/Larry Grimmer. 70+ doubles: Al Green/John McNulty d. Bill Bohr/Ed Woerner. Raul Retian BROOKLYN — The second annual Joe Amacio Memorial Tournament was April 19 at the Hebrew Educational Society. PeeWee Castro/Willie Polanco defeated Tony Roberts/Robert Sostre in the open doubles final. The game was tied 19-19 before Sostre’s layoff appeared to catch up with him, as he seemed fatigued as Castro/ Polanco rolled off the last six points. The 35-plus invitational doubles title went to Rene Caraballo/Al Torres, who opened a commanding 22-7 lead over Matt Abbatiello/Mike Grabowski and held on to win 25-18. Thanks to Artie Fuchs, Jack Feldman, Juned Khan, Ron Florez and Adam Gittlitz. Open doubles Semis: PeeWee Castro/Willie Polanco d. Dave Rojas/Rookie Wright 25-16; Tony Roberts/Robert Sostre d. Saul Gonzalez/Luis Rodriguez 25-20. Final: Castro/Polanco d. Roberts/Sostre 25-19.

Amacio open champs Castro and Polanco. 35+ doubles Semis: Matt Abbatiello/Mike Grabowski d. Reggie Langston/Jason Morgan 25-22; Rene Caraballo/Al Torres d. Mike Lipman/ Felix Zilberbrand 25-6. Final: Caraballo/Torres d. Abbatiello/Grabowski 25-18. Albert Apuzzi

Mid-Atlantic Region Regional commissioner (2010): Bob Dyke (Fairfax, Va.) 703-818-4595 or Delaware chair (2010): Henry Gunther (Wilmington) 302-654-1034 Ambassadors: Bill Bohr (Selbyville) Charles Rector (South Bethany) 302-5414438 or 410-251-5366 or Maryland chair (2011): Dan Zimet (Ellicott City) 410-740-8202 or Ambassadors: Murzy Jhabvala (Baltimore) 301-854-2574 Howard Kolodny (One-wall) 301-949-9169 or Eastern Pennsylvania chair (2009): Mike Raszkiewicz (Reading) 610-678-5003 Ambassador: Earl Savino (Chadds Ford) 610-842-0882 Virginia chair: Don Brodie (2011) (Northern Virginia) 703-440-0471

Regional calendar

Caraballo and Torres won the 35-plus.

June 6: Maryland No-Frills Three-Wall Doubles at Centennial Park, Columbia. Contact Dan Zimet at 410-740-8202 or Aug. 21-23: Maryland Three-Wall Eastern Regionals at Centennial Park, Columbia. Contact Dan Zimet at 410-740-8202 or HANDBALL 49



5/13/2009, 10:25 AM

REGIONAL REPORT Maryland SEVERNA PARK — The tournament season kicked off with the Maryland State Singles on April 4. A low draw was boosted by the addition of six novice players. Dan Zimet repeated as the open champion, marking the first time a player had done so since Roger Berry won a string of titles during the 1990s. Joe Gunzelman launched into the championship circle with a solid win over Howard Kolodny in the 70+/B division. This division is handicapped for age, so at 84, Gunzelman started with a 70 lead. Sam Worchesky mowed down all opposition in the new novice division, going undefeated in the round robin. Thanks to Nathaniel and Alan Frank. Open Semis: Alan Frank d. Logan Foley 20, 18; Dan Zimet d. Josh Ho 2, 8. Final: Zimet d. Frank 8, 15. Open drop-down: C.J. Raymond d. Josh Osborne. 40+/B: Tim Grieshaber d. Wm. Vargas 13, 18. 50+ Semis: Bob Maguire d. Peter Peart; Stephen Bossung d. Jed Alexander. Final: Maguire d. Bossung 9, 4. 60+ Semis: Dan Ho d. Savino 5, 10; Bob Bardwell d. Parsons. Final: Ho d. Bardwell (14), 17, 2. Third: Savino d. Parsons. 70+: Joe Gunzelman d. Howard Kolodny 2, 7. Novice 1: Sam Worchesky. 2: N.P. Frank. 3. Keith Strofregen.

B: Josh Osburn/Keith Neihart d. Jed Alexander/Bill Tebbenhoff 16, 20. Pennsylvania SINKING SPRING — The Pennsylvania State Singles was held March 7 at the Colonial Sports Center. Tyree Bastidas was the center of attention as he lost only one game on his way to the open title. Thanks to Frank Dehel, Bill Bohr, Randy Wolfe, Bo and Cheryl Sites, Larry Shankweiler, Dan Ramsdell, Bob Foster, Jim Hartman and Tom Raszkiewicz. Open: Tyree Bastidas d. Mark Occhipinti. B: William Kasulis d. Eric Podietz. Masters: Tom Howard d. Dan Ramsdell. Masters B: Frank McKnight d. Doug Tusten. Golden: Bob Bardwell d. Keith Neihart. Super: Mike Raszkiewicz d. Dennis Uffer. Diamond: Bill Bohr d. Larry Shankweiler. Consolation: Will Bardwell. Michael Raszkiewicz Virginia LEXINGTON — Eighteen doubles teams played in the 15th annual De Worrell Memorial Tournament on April 11 at Virginia Military Institute. The tournament was created in 1995 to honor Worrell, a prominent local businessman, civic leader and VMI alumnus who died in an airplane accident in 1994. The tournament is always held during VMI’s annual Spring Sports Weekend. Worrell used to spend that week-

end greeting parents, athletes and sponsors all over campus. Proceeds from the tournament go to the Worrell Memorial Scholarship Fund. His family — wife Carolyn, daughter Mindy and sons Rob and Stewart — made sure the event ran smoothly. In the round robin, each team played one 21point game against each of four other teams in its division. Then each division’s four top-scoring teams advanced to the semifinals, followed by the finals. Notably, this was the first time three players made up a doubles team. Thanks to Bill Kirk, Associated Asphalt and VMI. Intermediate B First round: Bill Kirk/Ed Couvrette/Bill Morris d. Eddie Willis/Stuart Brown 12. Final: Kern Lunsford/Jim Bisha d. Kirk/Couvrette/Morris 12. Intermediate A Semis: Cy Aman/Jim Sherman d. Pat Clerkin/ Peter Clerkin 13; Dan Sable/John Hodock d. Dave Fleming/Phil Kennedy 15. Final: Sable/Hodock d. Aman/Sherman 20. Open B Semis: Harry Brown/Akshay Sharma d. Joe Callier/John Sherburne 20; Steve Cox/Chester Powell d. Gerry Kittner/Bill Tebbenhoff 15. Final: Brown/Sharma d. Cox/Powell 16. Open A Semis: Bob Dyke/Joe McCue d. John Egnor/ Joe Sadonis 19; Josh Osburn/Keith Niehart d. Andy Hudick/Jeff Rea 16. Final: Osburn/Niehart d. Dyke/McCue 15.

SEVERNA PARK — The Maryland State Doubles was played Dec. 13 at the Severna Park Racquet and Fitness Club. This year was particularly special as 13year-old Nathaniel Frank single-handedly brought enough players for the event’s firstever Youth Division. Besides sweeping the competition, Nathaniel has exposed the game to his peers, organized a player list and financial receipts and learned how to manage the tournament desk. Open: Rick Anderson/Jay Miller d. Dan Zimet/Adam Zimet. 40+/50+: Dan Ho/Bob Maguire d. Joe Berman/Rob Landy 19, 10. 60+: King Stablien/Roy Weinstock d. Karl Lady/Steve Metzger.

A large group gets together at the De Worrell Memorial Tournament at Virginia Military.

50 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 10:25 AM


Southeast Region Regional commissioner (2010): Rob Pearse (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 423-280-7885 Alabama chair (2009): Quentin Brown (Birmingham) 205-212-3900 Ambassador: Tim Kelley (Birmingham) 205-276-6028 Florida chair (2011): Pete Overeem (Daytona Beach) 386-255-5593 Ambassadors: Tom Kienlen (Marco/Naples) 239-774-5121 or John Keena (Ft. Lauderdale) 954-587-6341 Robert L. Williams (Jupiter) 561-746-4925 Denny Fehr (Melbourne) 321-960-1449 Joseph Lanza (New Port Richey) 727-375-7129 or 914-715-2947 or Joel Levy (Pensacola) 719-201-3591 or Georgia chair (2009): Patrick Boyd (Gainesville) 404-819-7282 or Ambassadors: Robert Laarhoven (Atlanta) 770-717-8666 Lance Wachholz (Atlanta) 404-717-7813 Mississippi chair (2011): Joel Levy (Biloxi) 719-201-3591 Ambassadors: John James (Ocean Springs) 228-875-6929 Pat Boland (Jackson) 601-540-7442 Russell Kenworthy (Long Beach) 228-234-4959 North Carolina chair (2009): Joe Noto (Kure Beach) 910-367-3931 or Ambassadors: Randy Lanier (Western North Carolina) 828-293-9223 Steve Brown (Arden) 828-231-8248 C.W. Stewart (Cullowhee) 828-743-5440 Pete Akse (Raleigh) 919-878-0687 or

Oct. 16-18: Vic Hershkowitz Memorial Tournament at Jewish CC, Davie, Fla. Contact Lenny Tieman at 954-275-2329 or 954-621-5211 Oct. 16-18: Jack Morris/Ben Presant Coastal Classic at Wilmington (N.C.) YMCA. Contact Need a Name at xxx-xxx-xxxx

Florida TAMPA — The Florida Four-Wall Championships were held March 20-22 at the University of South Florida Rec Center. Nelson Quintero won the open. Open: Nelson Quintero d. Kyle Greenhalgh 11, 9. Women: Carly Van Ostrand d. Emily Karszen. B: Morgan Stevens d. Mike Morgan 7, 7. C: James McGill d. Stephanie Miller 7, 5. 50+: George Brandeburg d. Jim Hennesey 5, 11. 60+: Eugene D’Alessio d. Tom Veal 12, 7. 65+: Joel Levy d. Bill Bonbrake 5, (20), 7. 70+: J. Grofcsik d. Dale Zeigler 15, 9. 60-under consolation: Jarod Buchanan. 60+ consolation: Karl Lady. Open doubles: Kyle Greenhalgh/Bob Morris d. A.J. Arem/Zach Arem (10), 6, 3. B doubles: Morgan Stevens/Mike Morgan d. Eric Mueller/Matt Rosshiem 17, 10. C doubles: Stephanie Miller/Emily Hughes d. Quinlin McHale/Kevin Wichlin. 50+ doubles: Tim Murray/Mike McGraw d. Eugene D’Alessio/Tom Wyand 9, 4. 60+ doubles: Mike Monroy/Gerry Donnelly d. Dave Wilderman/Tom Meiczkowski 19, (18), 5. 70+ doubles: Gerald Scovin/George Kelley d. Cecil Delcher/Dave McTaggart 8, 7. SARASOTA — The fifth annual Sarasota YMCA Doubles Tournament was con-

South Carolina chair (2009): Ray Curtis (Columbia) 803-782-7440 Ambassador: Will Gorman (Hilton Head Island) 843-682-3977 or 443-880-3417

A 1: Kit Peterson/Bob Cecil. 2: Joe Rebhan/Don Christenson. 3: Bob Lyman/Bob Doherty. B 1: Reed Smalley/Charles Ray. 2: Bud Philipp/Dick Gagliardi. 3: George Myer/Todd Thorslund. Buzz Farm

International Canada ambassadors: Brian Goto (president) Mike Wilson (Toronto) 905-683-9479 or 647-404-3751 Bob Husband (Victoria, B.C.) 250-472-2405 Monte Snow (Halifax) 902-445-2458 ext 226 Ireland ambassador: Lorcan O'Rourke (Dublin) 011-353-18364-186 or Britain ambassador: John McGrath (London) Belgium ambassador: Ranger Russell (Brussels) 011-32 65 600393 or Germany ambassador: Alan Gerber (Worms) Japan ambassador: John Dolan (Tokyo)

Regional calendar None reported for scheduling

Canada BURLINGTON, Ontario — New USHA Grand Master Peter Service won the open title at the Ontario Provincial Championships the first weekend of May. Thanks to Richard Stybak Sr., Chris Reynolds and the Wilson family.

Tennessee chair (2009): Robert Pullen (Nashville) 615-353-1028 Ambassadors: Ed Ellett (Chattanooga) 423-875-0835 Shawn Massey (Memphis) 901-461-7070 Brian Clarke (Chattanooga) 423-265-2960 Joel O'Connor (Nashville) 615-883-7457 Matt Jorgensen (Chattanooga) 423-255-8286 or

Regional calendar Sept. 25-27: Bud Kelley Memorial at SportsBarn, Chattanooga, Tenn. Contact Rob Pearse at 423-280-7885 or

ducted during the weeks of March 2-9. Snowbirds from the Midwest and Northeast descended on the Sunshine State to compete, with 10 teams in two round-robin classes.

Runner-up Bonbrake and winner Levy after the 65-plus championship match.

Open: Peter Service d. Larry Martin. Drop-down: Jordan Fromstein d. Ryan Bowler. Masters/B: Rick Kempf d. Wally Oprzedek. Drop-down: Ivan Elliott d. Rick Jackiw. 60+: Fred Bowler d. David Dodds. Drop-down: David Doyle d. Al Campbell. Women: Natasha Golding d. Jenine Wilson. HANDBALL 51



5/13/2009, 10:25 AM


Alvarado tips Chapman in Alaska final By Joe Cox


he Alaska Handball Shootout and WPH Showdown III featured eight of the top 16 men and four of the top women pros in the world. The tournament was played March 6-8 at the Alaska Club Midtown in Anchorage. In the men’s division, semifinal wins were notched by Naty Alvarado Jr. over Sean Lenning and by David Chapman over Luis Moreno. The final pushed both players to the limit, with the first game alone taking more than an hour and a half to reach a conclusion. But in the end only four points separated the combatants, and the match went to Alvarado 21-20, 21-18. The athletic display and the tenacity

The crowd in Alaska shows its appreciation for the pros at the WPH event. shown by both players brought the packed gallery to a standing ovation at the conclusion of the match. The women’s final was another hardfought match between the top-ranked women in the world, Anna Engele and Lisa Gilmore. Engle came out on top 21-13, 2117. A strong showing was made by ninthranked Jennifer Hinman. Featured events included four clinics:

„ A juniors clinic run by Chapman and Moreno. „ A men’s clinic hosted by Danny Bell and Alvarado. „ A women’s clinic attended by all the women pros. „ A referee’s clinic conducted by Joe Cox. Team Alaska would like to thank all those individuals and groups who helped bring professional handball back to Alaska again.

Peixoto breaks into win column; Chapman slams


ourtney Peixoto won the Mardi Gras Open/WPH Pro Stop the last weekend of March. This was her first-ever pro victory. Peixoto was focused the whole weekend and Peixoto especially in the final, where she stayed the course to upset topseeded Anna Engele. With Game 1 tied 18-18, Peixoto scored the last three points for the victory. She then blew away her veteran opponent 21-3 in Game 2. On the men’s side, David Chapman played in his fourth WPH-sponsored championship final — Alaska, Bob Symon and Y2K before the Mardi Gras Open — and notched his second pro stop victory. He outlasted Allan Garner 7-21, 21-10, 11-1 in the final as the newly unretired veteran won his second $3,000 top prize of the season, following his win at the Bob Symon. In addition, Chapman paired up with

Emmett Peixoto to take the doubles title, their third big doubles win since Chapman’s return. They switched sides frequently, depending on who had the hot hand. This time they beat Chapman Allan Garner/David Fink in a thrilling and controversial 11-9 tiebreaker. Their other two wins came at the Y2K pro stop and the four-wall nationals. Thanks to the Elmwood Fitness Center, Rex Waller, ACI Hotels, Gary Weissert, Stacey Normand, Jim Garner, Jeff Kastner, Jean Kasamoto, Todd Feisel, Tyler Hamel and David Fink. Women First round: Jean Kasamoto d. Emily McMahill 13, 11; Jennifer Hinman d. Sally Kenworthy 2, 7; Courtney Peixoto d. Kayla Jones 5, 7. Semis: Anna Engele d. Kasamoto 4, 10; Peixoto d. Hinman 11, 3.

Final: Peixoto d. Engele 18, 3. Men Round of 16: Luis Moreno d. Russell Kenworthy 4, 6; Dan Armijo d. Eddie Morales 19, 9; Allan Garner d. Todd Feisel 4, 8; Sean Lenning d. Rob Pearse 9, 13; David Chapman d. Jeff Kastner 3, 5; David Fink d. Eric Hillgren 11, 12; Tyler Hamel d. Matt Phillips (14), 13, 8; Emmett Peixoto d. Oliver Boyd 0, 10. Quarters: Moreno d. Armijo 12, 16; Garner d. Lenning 17, 18; Chapman d. Fink 17, (20), 6; Peixoto d. Hamel 11, (18), 3. Semis: Garner d. Moreno 12, 4; Chapman d. Peixoto (8), 10, 4. Final: Chapman d. Garner (7), 10, 1. Doubles Quarters: David Chapman/Emmett Peixoto d. Pete Orlando/Robert Caluda; Matt Phillips/ Rob Pearse d. Eric Hillgren/Russell Kenworthy; Todd Feisel/Dave Vincent d. Jeff Kastner/ Oliver Boyd; Allan Garner/David Fink, def. Semis: Chapman/Peixoto d. Phillips/Pearse; Garner/Fink d. Feisel/Vincent. Final: Chapman/Peixoto d. Garner/Fink.

52 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 10:28 AM

USHA National One-Wall Juniors Championships Sponsored by Assemblywoman Marge Markey, June 25-28 Site:

Directions: Entry fee:

Hospitality: Rules:

Ball: Deadline: Mail to: Awards: Eligibility: Information: Start times: Directors:

Big Bush Park, bounded by 61st and 64th Streets, Queens Boulevard and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Secondary site is C.C. Moore Homestead Park, at Broadway, 45th Avenue and 82nd Street. Indoor courts (if needed) will be provided. By train: No. 7 to 61st and Woodside, walk south. By car, take the BQE to Queens Blvd./65th Pl. exit (south). Aviation High’s home. $30 for two events, and must be received by June 11. Non-members in both cases will receive a membership. $10 late fee for anyone allowed in after deadline. Entry fee reimbursed if traveling more than 250 miles one way. All entrants to receive WPH Webcast pass and tournament souvenir. Also drinks and lunch will be provided. USHA one-wall rules will apply. All players, coaches and parents must abide by the USHA Code of Conduct (see Gloves and eyeguards required. Metro Handball reserves the right to make any changes necessary for efficient running of this event. USHA Red Ace for boys events 15 and older. USHA White Ace for boys 13 and under and all girls events. Entries must be received by June 11. USHA, 2333 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716. Fee must accompany entry form. Make checks payable to the USHA. Trophies to top two finishers in each division. Must be eligible for age division through June 28. Must have proof of age at event and be current USHA member. Divisions may be combined if entries dictate. Minimum of 3 matches in singles! Send an e-mail to or call directors listed below. Draws posted at or call USHA at 520-795-0434 after noon June 23. Michael Watson (718-578-9846) and the USHA (520-795-0434).

If my event is combined with a younger or higher-skilled division, I want to play ( ) or entry refunded ( ). Name Address City Birth date

Age State Shirt size

Phone Zip Partner’s name

Boys singles

Boys singles Boys doubles

Girls singles

Girls doubles

( ) 19 Open/A ( ) 17 Open/A ( ) 15 Open/A ( ) 13 Open/A

( ) 19 B/C ( ) 17 B/C ( ) 15 B/C ( ) 13 B/C

( ) 19 ( ) 17 ( ) 15 ( ) 13

( ) 19 ( ) 17 ( ) 15 ( ) 13

( ) 19 ( ) 17 ( ) 15 ( ) 13

*Special Scheduling Note* FIrst matches at noon June 25. Summer school will be accommodated if at all possible. Contact director with your schedule.

Waiver/release: In consideration of acceptance of this entry, I, the undersigned, do hereby for myself, my heirs, successors, assigns, executors and administrators, waive and release any and all rights and/or claims for damages against Michael Watson, City of New York and all agencies, boroughs and departments, Maspeth Federal, Kiwanis Club of Maspeth, B.P.O. Elks and Antlers of Queensborough, Metro Area Handball Association, the USHA, their officers, directors, representatives, employees and agents, in connection with my entry in this tournament, and I assume all risks incurred by my participation. By entering, player, parent and coach agree to abide by USHA Code of Conduct as seen at

Signature Parent or guardian’s signature

Date Date

Ardito awards: Juniors traveling more than 250 miles one way eligible for travel funds after writing thank-you letter. HANDBALL 53



5/13/2009, 10:29 AM


Taking player development to its local roots By Gary Cruz USHA Player Development Director


hy handball is not growing echoes across the country whenever current and former players meet and recollect about days gone by. Memories of tournaments with draws well into the hundreds are remembered. So are the days when league matches were played late into the evening and court time was hard to come by. Unfortunately, much of what was in place in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s is no more. For instance: „ The local YMCAs where kids abound is often no longer a mainstay in the handball community, and they must compete with for-profit enterprises. Incredibly, there are even YMCAs that restrict youth memberships. Many fitness clubs are not open to youths at all. „ Schools are anything but consistent. Fewer states require physical education, and class sizes are increasing, with class time decreasing. „ It is the rare college or university that has any physical education requirement, and the college student taking a voluntary class is even more rare.

„ The days of going to the local park to just play and hang out are long gone, with more and more structured activities for youths. „ The military once used handball for fitness training, but today it does not. „ Coaches used to use handball for crosstraining, but today many do not. Each of these obstacles taken separately would have less impact if it were not for the fact that they have to be taken in their totality. Perhaps the biggest change for handball is the differences in how generations learn. Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and soon Generation Z have unique characteristics and approaches to all things, including sport. Many players learned handball from trial and error, some were fortunate to have mentors and some were more gifted than others. What is important to accept as a Baby Boomer handball player teaching another generation is that how they learned is not how other generations learn. This is a challenge to someone who learned handball by trial and error or from a patient mentor. The USHA First Ace curriculum has been expertly drafted by LeaAnn Martin

and Pete Tyson, and the core of that curriculum is how to teach handball in “developmental” stages. The clinics that support the curriculum are constantly updated to assist instructors in how to implement new teaching strategies for new generations. But how to grow handball remains the issue. The First Ace program is targeted to supporting the growth of handball, but the program can do very little without local involvement. In the list of what was in place during previous decades, one item was purposely left off. The local handball organization is the first line of player development, and today there are fewer local organizations. It is not surprising to find that where you do have a strong local organization, you may well find a strong player development program. Many times individuals find the time to put together a group to complain when a more appropriate action would be to group up to act. Please consider taking a look at your local group of players. If you have a strong organization, make player development a part — or bigger part — of your mission. If you do not have an organization, consider starting one.

Gonzaga class draws insight from exhibition


or the third semester, handball has been taught at Gonzaga University, and 14 students learned to play The Perfect Game in the spring semester. In addition to learning basic skills and playing in singles and doubles tournaments, the class enjoyed an exhibition doubles match from some top players. The exhibition match featured Jay Balkenbush and Pete Svennungsen from Spokane, Wash., against Jake Plummer and Ryan Luttmann from Sandpoint, Idaho. Balkenbush/Svennungsen prevailed in a pair of 21-11 games. Thanks to these fine players for sharing

The players along with the students enjoy the handball activity at Gonzaga. Learning from top players has been an effective method to help students appreciate handball. their time, talent, experience and sportsmanship with our handball-playing students

here at Gonzaga University.

54 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 10:30 AM

Paul Buller

Venice Beach Rec Center/ USHA Three-Wall Juniors July 16-19 at Venice Beach Recreation Center Site: Ages:

Fee: Deadline: Mail entry: Awards: Rules: Start times: Host hotel: Hospitality: Committee:

Great format for juniors! All age brackets will have competition against players of like ability with a double-drop-down format in singles that guarantees three matches, much like Women's Classic, with open, A and B titles.

Venice Beach Recreation Center, 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice Beach, CA 90291. Phone: 310-399-2775. 9-and-under, 11-and-under, 13-and-under, 15-and-under, 17-and-under, 19-and-under events, coed and/or boys and girls. Final divisions will be determined by number of entries; coed if entries dictate. Consolation events will be held. Players cannot turn 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 or 20 in respective age brackets before July 20. Must have proof of age (bring a document with proof) and be current USHA members (memberships will be available on site at $15 a year for juniors). $15 per player, one singles event only. $5 for second event. Payment required with entry. Entry fee includes tournament T-shirt. 5 p.m. Friday, July 10. No phone or fax entries accepted. No registration on day of tournament. Tournament directors reserve the right to cancel or combine divisions or reclassify any player. Venice Beach Recreation Center, 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291. Attn.: Junior Nationals. Make checks payable to L.A. City Recreation and Parks. First- and second-place trophies. Medals to semifinalists and first place in consolation events. USHA rules govern tournament. Tournament director has final decisions. Eye protection is mandatory for all players. Losers must referee the next match on an assigned court. Available after 1 p.m. July 15 at 310-399-2775. Play may start at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 16. Marina International Hotel, 4200 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292. Call 310-301-2000 for special rate of $112/night. Entry fee entitles each player to refreshments, continental breakfast and lunch Saturday. Venice Beach Recreation Center (Fred) 310-396-6764, USHA 520-795-0434 and SCHA 949-722-1727.

Name ___________________________________ Age _____ Gender _____ Phone _________________________ Address _______________________________________ City ___________________ State _____ Zip _______ Birth date ________________ Shirt size _______ Coach __________________ Coach’s phone _____________ Boys ( ) 13-under ( ) 15-under ( ) 17-under ( ) 19-under

Girls ( ) 13-under ( ) 15-under ( ) 17-under ( ) 19-under

Coed ( ) 9-under ( ) 11-under

Doubles ( ) Boys 15-under ( ) Boys 19-under ( ) Girls 19-under

All events will use White Ace except boys 15, 17, 19. All minors should be accompanied by an adult or coach. Neither USHA, Venice Beach Rec Center nor SCHA will provide adult supervision.

Waiver: In consideration for being permitted by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to participate in the said registered activity, I do hereby waive, release and discharge any and all claims for personal injury, death or property damage which may have or may hereafter accrue as a result of participation in said activity. This release is intended to discharge in advance the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, its officers, employees, agents and volunteers, from any and all liability arising out of or connected in any way with my participation in the said activity, even though that liability may arise out of negligence or carelessness on the part of the persons or entities mentioned above. It is understood that this activity involves an element of risk and danger of accidents, and knowing these risks I do hereby assume these risks to be binding on my heirs and assigns. I hereby agree to indemnify and hold the persons and entities mentioned above free and harmless from any loss, liability, damage, cost or expense which may incur as a result of the death or any injury or property damage I may sustain while participating in said activity. Participation shall constitute permission to use the name, likeness, or any other identification of the participant for advertising, publicity, instructional and any other purpose in connection with the program or the business of any of the releases in any medium at any time without compensation to or right of prior review or approval of the participant or his/her parent or guardian. I have read this agreement, waiver and release and fully understand its contents. I am aware that the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks does not carry insurance, and I sign of my own free will. Signature _____________________________ Date ________ Parent/Guardian ____ __________________ Reg. No. ________ R.R. No. _________ $ Amt. __________ Cash ______ Check No. ______ Date _______ Staff ______ HANDBALL 55



5/13/2009, 10:32 AM

FROM USHA WOMEN’S COMMISSIONER LEA ANN MARTIN Membership by states California New York Texas Illinois Florida Washington Arizona Ohio Minnesota Oregon Colorado Michigan Missouri Pennsylvania Kansas Wisconsin New Jersey Virginia Massachusetts Montana New Mexico Maryland/D.C. Nevada Tennessee Indiana North Carolina Georgia Iowa Idaho Maine Oklahoma Alaska Connecticut Utah North Dakota South Carolina Louisiana Wyoming Nebraska Hawaii Kentucky Vermont New Hampshire Alabama South Dakota Arkansas Delaware Mississippi Rhode Island West Virginia Canada Ireland Foreign Total

April 1,199 912 426 361 322 308 280 228 209 208 204 191 165 147 142 124 109 109 93 82 75 75 69 69 68 59 53 53 46 47 44 43 43 41 35 26 24 26 25 20 17 16 14 14 9 8 8 6 3 2 123 159 27 7,166

June 1,198 938 432 349 314 306 265 218 209 209 201 195 165 140 131 116 109 106 86 77 77 76 70 72 66 57 55 52 47 47 44 42 41 38 33 25 24 24 23 20 18 16 15 14 9 8 8 6 3 2 120 146 27 7,089

Contact the USHA to find out how to get more players in your area!

At this event, you’re welcome — and for that we give thanks


very year in mid-April, a very special tournament occurs. It all happens in Friday Harbor, Wash., and is hosted by Jane Hutchison and the San Juan Island Fitness Club. There are a lot of unique aspects to this little one-day doubles tournament. First, it is a ferry ride for many of the players, which means the scenery and commute are spectacular. Second, when participants enter, they indicate which side they prefer to play in doubles. Players learn their doubles partner’s name and the draw when they arrive. The strongest players are always paired with those of lower skill and experience to create a tournament bracket that any team can win. Perhaps the most amazing thing about this competition is the welcoming and fun attitude of all the players. This year, a group of us jumped on the ferry at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, April 18, to head to Friday Harbor. Our group consisted of several seasoned players, a couple of justout-of-college players and one current collegian who had been on a handball court no more than four times. Still, Addison Rogers was welcomed with open arms. If there is a female on the court, the White Ace is used — no questions, no complaints, but plenty of encouragement. There are no referees, just four players in the court having a great time. This Saturday-only tournament is a day full of camaraderie, fun, food, beer, boasting, joking and great handball. This was the first year I had the opportunity to participate, despite hearing about its merriment for years. My partner, Frank Imhoff, and I managed only two matches, but that didn’t matter. Fred Loffer, longtime handball guru, is the king of creative scheduling. That does not mean he accommodates participants’ schedules. It means the brackets are unlike those ever seen in a USHA sanctioned tournament. Not only could there be just one semifinal (another team gets a bye from the quarters to the final), but we jokingly refer to the draw as “liquid,” meaning it can change

LeaAnn Martin recommends the Friday Harbor tournament, especially for women and new players. forms at the drop of a hat. So you eat pizza for lunch because, according to the draw, you don’t play for three hours. But one team is running behind, so you are switched in the bracket to play now so courts don’t sit empty. However, it is all in good fun. The competition was fierce, but the beauty of the tournament was the fact that it is all about friendship and handball. You lose? Bring on the beer. Hungry? There is food everywhere. Your partner gets hurt or has a time conflict? No problem; grab someone else to play with. You win? That’s when it becomes magical. Fred leads everyone in “The Song.” Winners get to hear a somewhat original piece that goes something like this: “Here’s to Addison, she’s first-class. “Here’s to Addison, she’s a horse’s %#&.” Of course, it is always sung with smiles, laughter and hefty applause. What made this day so special was the support each player felt. From men who have played four or more decades to women who have played only a handful of times, players are cheered, teased and hailed. I hear so many times that “no guys will play with the White Ace.” Addison was admittedly nervous to play in the tournament, having such limited experience. But after the day was over, she realized how fun handball and handball players can be. The guys at Friday Harbor welcome all players, regardless of ability, gender or type of preferred handball to this extraordinary tournament. Thanks, Friday Harbor handball folks, for supporting and promoting handball for all.

56 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 10:34 AM


Protein and exercise: What does science say? By Martin J. Gibala


thletes, coaches and scientists have recognized for decades that training and nutrition are highly interrelated in improving performance. Nutrition intake right after exercising may benefit the athlete in that it aids the synthesis of muscle protein and the replenishment of muscle glycogen. Similar to the effect seen after resistance exercise, consuming protein with carbohydrate during recovery from endurance exercise promotes muscle repair. This may be due to a direct effect of amino acids on signaling pathways that control muscle protein synthesis. A more controversial issue is whether consuming protein with carbohydrate enhances muscle glycogen resynthesis during the first several hours of recovery from prolonged exercise. Most evidence suggests that ingesting a high amount of carbohydrate at frequent intervals negates the benefits of added protein. However, if an athlete does not eat enough carbohydrate during recovery, then consuming protein with carbohydrate may augment glycogen synthesis. Thus, similar to the effect on endurance capacity, the beneficial effect of ingesting protein with carbohydrate on glycogen storage may be due to higher nutrient intake per se rather than any unique physiological mechanism. A key issue for some athletes is whether consuming protein with carbohydrate during recovery improves subsequent endurance performance. One study reported that ingesting a carbohydrate-protein drink during recovery from glycogen-depleting exercise — activity lasting more than 90 minutes — markedly improved time to exhaustion during a subsequent exercise bout, as compared to a sports drink. However, the carbohydrate-protein drink provided about three times as many calories as the sports drink, and thus the improved endurance capacity could have been due to the higher energy intake. Another study that did not match energy intake compared chocolate milk, a diluted carbohydrate sports drink and a drink matched to chocolate milk in terms of pro-

PRO-ICE wraps can be used to soothe aching knees and sore shoulders, among other handball ailments. 2 ways to help yourself


f you have a question about any injury that is affecting your game, give Dr. John Aronen a call as part of the House Calls program at 858-485-9488 before 9 p.m. Pacific time. The House Call is free, but Dr. John will ask you to make a donation to the Development Fund if you like his service. Also, Dr. John recommends PRO-ICE. This quality, reusable ice-therapy product is available for use on shoulders, elbows, backs and knees. For information or to purchase PRO-ICE, contact the USHA at 520-795-0434.

tein and carbohydrate content. Endurance capacity was improved with chocolate milk and the sports drink compared to the third beverage, even though the latter provided carbohydrate and protein equivalent to chocolate milk and more carbohydrate and energy than the sports drink. The mechanisms that might explain the rather surprising findings are unclear. Studies that have compared a carbohydrate-protein drink with a carbohydrate drink that provided the same amount of energy showed no difference in a subsequent 5-kilometer running time trial or a timed run to exhaustion. So there is no compelling evidence that suggests consuming protein with carbohydrate during recovery has a direct effect on subsequent exercise performance. Nonetheless, given that protein has been shown to promote muscle recovery after strenuous exercise, it seems prudent for athletes to consume protein with carbo-

hydrate as part of their recovery strategy. These conclusions can be drawn: „ Some studies have suggested that consuming protein with carbohydrate during exercise improves endurance performance, while other studies have reported no benefits. There is no established mechanism by which protein intake during exercise should improve performance. „ Recent evidence indicates that when enough carbohydrate is consumed during exercise, adding protein provides no performance benefit and does not enhance muscle glycogen synthesis after exercise. „ Consuming a small amount — 10 to 20 grams — of high-quality protein after exercise promotes muscle protein synthesis compared to carbohydrate alone and may enhance long-term training. For more information on health-related topics, visit the Gatorade Sports Science Institute at HANDBALL 57



5/13/2009, 10:36 AM


Rebate program boosts USHA membership By Josh Reese


ow would you like to increase USHA membership in your state, province or country while at the same time making a little money to spend on your own youth development or player support? It can be done. Since 2003, the USHA has authorized a membership rebate program in Oregon. Here’s how it works. The USHA mails annual membership renewal requests to the Oregon membership representative, who sends a personal letter to each player on the USHA list explaining the rebate program. This mailing also includes the USHA membership renewal form plus an addressed return envelope. For every USHA renewal or new membership that is sent through the representative, Oregon receives rebates in the following ways: „ A one-year renewal at $45 provides a $5 rebate. A new membership gains Oregon $10. „ A three-year renewal at $120 provides a $15 rebate. A new three-year membership gains $20 — and the player gets a $15 discount too! Discounted junior and student memberships at $15 are not eligible for rebates. Oregon currently has 209 USHA members, up from 183 when the rebate program started in 2003. Ranking 10th in USHA membership, Oregon handball has received an average of $800 a year from the USHA rebates. Some people renew directly with the USHA, so Oregon gets no rebate, but the important thing is that they have renewed their membership, thereby supporting the USHA. Keep The Perfect Game strong with rebates! As a result of a slow building of reserves through rebates and other donations from individuals and clubs, Oregon has been able to provide $600 to $800 of support per year for youth development, team support to the collegiates, the Women’s Classic, individual player support and other small expenses. This year Oregon has been able to do-

The Women’s Classic has prospered from Oregon’s program, as the state association has helped send players to the annual event.

nate $2,000 to the World Championships in Portland this October. All this takes a bit of work: re-mailing forms, receiving renewals, accounting, managing databases, creating renewal lists and financial reports, setting up and managing a dedicated checking account. But it’s worth it. As Oregon’s representative, I gladly volunteered in order to support the USHA and Oregon handball. I believe that membership is the lifeblood of handball and that anyone who plays regularly should pay regularly to keep this great game alive. To make it work, someone needs to be willing to send letters and e-mails and

make phone calls to remind busy people that they should support their sport. Every state certainly will have one or more handball supporters who would be willing to take on this effort, which can be vital to the state group. Please talk it up in your area and give the rebate program a chance to help your region financially. And you can contact USHA membership for more information at 800-289-8742. Your state doesn’t have to do it all the same way, but having an organized, focused person in your area helping the USHA with membership will bring great benefits to handball in your vicinity.

58 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 10:37 AM


Pilot lands in Oregon, and handball just takes off Josh Reese does it all for the love of the game By Jerry Berger


fter Josh Reese completed more than 23 years in the military, he returned to his hometown of Salem,

Ore. Since his return, he has made significant contributions to local handball, Oregon handball and, for the last six years, the USHA. Upon returning to Salem in 1981, the retired Marine lieutenant colonel was instrumental in starting the Salem Turkey Tournament. Those lucky enough still have in their closets a T-shirt with the world’s ugliest rendition of a turkey. Reese has been the director of that tournament, now called the Robert O. Smith Memorial Tournament, for 28 years. He is the self-proclaimed president of the Salem YMCA Handball Club and has kept track of expenses, tournament brochures, volunteers, donations and everything that makes a tournament a success. In fact, most years a donation to the USHA has been made from the revenue of each tournament. In 1995, Reese became treasurer of the Oregon Handball Association, which at that time had a whopping total of $90 in its account. By 2009, through donations, tournament revenue and the rebate program through USHA memberships, the association has helped players in several ways. For example, it has assisted players in going to national tournaments. And just recently, the

Reese, a former Marine fighter pilot, has done great things for Oregon handball. association donated $2,000 to help offset the costs of running the World Championships, which will be staged this October in Portland, Ore. In addition to the annual Salem tournament, Reese has hosted and directed four state singles and three state doubles tournaments. A highlight of all those tournaments is his welcome to the players and the rules to be followed. Though extremely humorous, players follow the rules or they have to face that old fighter pilot and adjust their ways. Players especially like that the rules apply equally to the novice and the national champion. Reese treats players with respect, and he expects the players will also be respectful. In March 2003, Reese assumed the role as USHA state chairman in Oregon. As of June, Oregon had the 10th-highest number of members of all the states with 209. For perspective, Oregon is the 27th-largest state in total population. If California had the same percentage of USHA members, it would have 2,037 members instead of 1,199. If all of the states matched Oregon’s percentages, USHA membership would be 9,048 instead of 7,089. Why does he work so hard on member-

ship? “I wanted to help in keeping our game alive,” Reese said. “Players need to support USHA efforts in this endeavor.” He has accomplished these numbers by clearly explaining why joining is important. He cajoles, pleads and even lectures players so their memberships are started and, equally important, renewed. Reese gets no compensation for his work other than his love of The Perfect Game. His commitment, organizational skills and positive relationships with Oregon players have made a huge difference in the USHA. In addition to directing tournaments and maintaining memberships, Reese has managed to keep playing the game he loves. Just this year he won the state 70-plus singles championship. With reluctance, he acknowledges that he has won four state titles as well as a number of local tournaments. Reese continues to play regularly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Salem Family YMCA. If his knees are up to it, he also plays on Sunday afternoons. He is a great friend and a wonderful ambassador to the handball community.

‘I wanted to help in keeping our game alive. Players need to support USHA efforts in this endeavor.’ —Josh Reese on why he works so hard on the local level HANDBALL 59



5/13/2009, 10:38 AM


Load up the holster by packing pressure By Terry Muck


layers dread facing certain opponents. “He really takes it out of me,” is how that dread often is expressed. Perhaps you have noticed how some matches against certain players tire you much more than matches against other players, no matter the score, win or lose. Well, forget winning or losing for a moment. Against some opponents, you come out of the court gassed. Against others, you come out relatively fresh. Pressure applied makes the difference: Some players apply it, others don’t. Pressure can come in two forms, physical and mental: „ You can apply physical pressure by the types of shots you hit, where you place your shots and your level of physical conditioning. „ You can apply mental pressure through your undivided attention and concentration, your confidence in your ability and the tempo you establish. Applying pressure makes your opponent work as hard as possible on each and every point. The more pressure you apply, the better your chances of winning, especially those long, close matches when fatigue plays a major role in the outcome. Numerous ways exist to apply pressure on your opponent. Try to master the ones that work best for you and your style of play. Very few of us have the complete repertoire of shots that the great players possess. However, we all have our own “pet” shots that we can control effectively to score points when we get the opportunity. The trouble most players run into is not using their good shots often enough. Instead of hitting shots they have mastered, they attempt shots beyond their level of competence. For example, it takes a great deal of power, precision and practice to kill the ball from deep court with a high percentage of suc-

Forcing the pace or slowing it down can both result in extreme pressure on your opponent. The key is to know when to choose which approach, then execute. cess. Yet many players who have not developed the necessary skill shoot ball after ball into the floor from deep court. Instead of applying pressure to their opponent, they heap it upon themselves by ruining their confidence while building their opponent’s. Moving the ball The solution to this common problem is to practice a wide variety of shots, then use them intelligently during a game. Determine which shots score points for you and which shots consistently cost you points. This is a simple matter of determining your percentage of success with the shots in your repertoire. Don’t make life easy for your opponent by attempting lowpercentage shots. A good rule of thumb in shot selection is to choose the shot that makes your opponent move the longest distance for his return. Your shot may not end the rally, but in the long run you will gain more points than by attempting shots that will allow your opponent to get set before he hits. “Hit ’em where they ain’t” was the most common instructional advice in the early days, and it still applies. Driving pass shots to the opposite side of the court from your

opponent’s floor position will really take a toll, much like body punches in the boxing arena. Every club or YMCA has an older player who gives the younger players fits. This is not because he hits the ball hard or finds the bottom board with consistency, but because he maneuvers the young bucks all over the court. Meanwhile, the older player never seems to leave center court, cutting off shots and placing them down the side walls so they end up in the rear corners. His younger opponents come out of the court gasping for breath, while he barely breaks a sweat. This older player has mastered the art of maneuvering his opponent. Stamina wins handball games and the important matches. Anyone who has ever played the game knows this. Running your opponent out of gas is the greatest of all pressure. If you can fatigue your opponent, you should be in good enough shape to take advantage. Keep the ball in play to avoid giving your opponent any cheap points and accompanying rest periods. Try to maneuver him

Concentration is many things ... including the will to win, desire, energy and single-mindedness. 60 JUNE 2009



5/13/2009, 11:17 AM

INSTRUCTIONAL around the court, making him travel long distances for every return. Watch for signs of fatigue in his game and, most importantly, get yourself in shape to take advantage of your opponent’s fatigue. These types of physical pressure are essential to being a consistent winner. Psychological pressure But mental pressure can spell the difference between two evenly matched players. Under mental pressure we include the intangibles, such as concentration, confidence and the ability to change the tempo of the game. You can also apply pressure via gamesmanship or psyching, but this is such a controversial and wide-ranging topic that we will do no more than mention it here. Some players can have you so irritated before you walk onto the court that you can’t play up to, or even close to, your potential. But these folks don’t usually make for best friends. Concentration is everyone’s instructional cliche, no matter what the game is. Everyone talks about it. Few practice it. No one can teach it. Concentration is many things to many people, including the will to win, desire, energy and single-mindedness. Concentration also is hard work, so you must be in good physical condition to practice it. You must want to win badly enough to expend the energy to concentrate on your goal, so desire is also essential. All outside thoughts must be blocked from your mind once you walk through the door of the court. Think of nothing else but the match you are playing – how you can win the match, how you can score your next point. Concentration means total devotion to your game plan and playing good handball, nothing else. As an example of how you can improve your concentration skills, how hard do you concentrate on placing your ceiling shots into the rear corners? We all have the ability to concentrate when attempting to kill a setup. Our eyes bulge out of their sockets, we visualize the kill and we flatten it. But all too often when we’re forced to use our defensive strokes, especially the overhand, we lazily send the ball back up with no intention of placing it into the deep

If you control the pace, you'll likely leave your opponent vulnerable and out of energy. corner. Yet it would be a sure bet that you’d score more points with well-placed ceiling shots than you would by killing setups over the course of a game. Controlling the tempo You can apply pressure on your opponent by speeding up or decreasing the tempo of play, whatever is more to your liking and not to his. If he seems very comfortable playing at a slow pace, speed up the tempo. If he seems comfortable playing a fast tempo, slow the pace. If you are the one controlling the tempo, you will feel comfortable whether it’s fast or slow. And your opponent will begin to feel manipulated, which is exactly what is happening. When you can play at a tempo that is uncomfortable for your opponent, he will certainly feel the pressure mount. Taking the ball out of the air, either flykilling or fly-passing, and maintaining your position in the front court will increase the tempo. It takes a lot of quick side-to-side movement and great anticipation to cut off your opponent’s returns in the front court, so you’ll have to be in good condition to maintain a fast tempo. Only the best-placed pass shots and ceiling shots will force you to retreat to deep court and allow your opponent a breather. When you use this tactic well, the points can add up in a hurry while your opponent is huffing and puffing. Control players invariably try to establish a slower pace with accurate placement of their ceiling shots and passing shots. Keeping the play in deep court will force

your opponent into errors when he loses patience and tries to force a shot. Again, a setup for you at the end of each long and grueling rally is the likely outcome if you’re controlling the tempo. All good players learn to play both fast and slow tempos, but all prefer one or the other when they are in control. In developing your game, experiment with speeding up the pace and slowing it down for an invaluable edge when it comes to tournament play against a wide variety of playing styles. Confidence Your opponent can tell when you have confidence in your game, and your confidence can plant seeds of doubt in his mind. Openly display your confidence, not through outright cockiness but in subtle ways. Look like a champ when you step onto the court, with your head high and good equipment. Don’t express anger at your missed shots or any calls that might go against you. Let your opponent know that you can win in spite of any bad breaks. Remember, your opponent will build confidence on your lack of confidence. Don’t do anything that will indicate your confidence is cracking. If you miss a goodpercentage shot, don’t rant and rave. Just make sure you convert the next similar opportunity. Everyone will be convinced that the miss must have been a fluke. Of course, you can also build your confidence on every shot in your repertoire by practicing in the court alone. And may all your opponents dread playing you! HANDBALL 61



5/13/2009, 11:17 AM

59th USHA National Three-Wall Championships

Mo Mo ne re y f Pri or ze '09 !

Sept. 3-7 at Lucas County Recreation Center, Maumee, Ohio Site:

Lucas County Recreation Center, Maumee, Ohio, just outside Toledo in southwest suburbs. This is the best three-wall facility in the country, featuring eight regulation courts with lights. The complex has something for everyone, so bring the family. In case of rain, a local club is available. Entry fee: Men's open: $88 for first event. Women's open: $78 for first event. Amateur events: $73 for first event. Second events are $25 for all. $40 for juniors and college students under 23. Amenities: Entry fee entitles player to tournament souvenir, daily hospitality and banquet (guests additional). Deadline: Entry must be in our possession by midnight, Aug. 17. Entries received after deadline or without fee will not be accepted. To enter by phone for $10 extra with Visa or MasterCard, call 520-795-0434. Mail entry to: USHA Three-Wall, 2333 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716. Make checks payable to USHA. Playing times: Players can call the USHA at 520-795-0434 on Friday, Aug. 22. No postcards will be mailed. Awards: Trophies to first two places in championship categories (four in juniors) and first place in consolation events. There will be $11,400 ($2,000 more than last year, thanks to Steve Dykes and Mid-America players!) in prize money. In men's open singles, $2,500 for first place and $1,500 for second. In women's open singles, $1000 for first, $500 for second. Men's and women's doubles increased, too! Rules: Open to all current USHA members. Entrants must meet age requirements where applicable. Current USHA rules and regulations will apply. If two events are entered, player must be prepared to play back-to-back matches. Losers referee next match on same court. Eye protection is mandatory. Lodging: Hampton Inn, 1409 Reynolds Rd., 419-893-1004. Specify handball tournament to receive special rate of $78 per night if you call by Aug. 18. Name



Address City







Address City ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( (


) Open singles ) Open doubles ) *A singles ) *A doubles ) *B singles ) *B doubles ) Seniors (35-plus) singles ) Seniors (35-plus) doubles ) Masters (40-plus) singles ) *Masters B (40-plus) singles ) Masters (40-plus) doubles ) Veteran masters (45-plus) singles ) Golden (50-plus) singles ) *Golden B (50-plus) singles ) Golden (50-plus) doubles ) Sponsor a junior with $25 donation

( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( (


) Veteran golden (55-plus) singles ) Super (60-plus) singles ) Super (60-plus) doubles ) Veteran super (65-plus) singles ) Diamond (70-plus) singles ) Diamond (70-plus) doubles ) Veteran diamond (75-plus) singles ) Women’s open singles ) Women's *B singles ) Women’s doubles ) Women’s (35-plus) seniors ) Juniors 19-under ) Juniors 17-under ) Juniors 15-under ) Juniors 13-under

( ) If my event is combined with a younger or higher-skilled division, I still want to play ( ) If my event is combined with a younger or higher-skilled division, I want my entry refunded

The Toledo Handball Club's Adopt-a-Lunch program will be offered again this year. This program allows the addition of so many extras to the tournament. The club thanks those who have participated in the past. If you would like to support a lunch this year in advance of the tournament, the donation is $50. Free hospitality and a sponsor's shirt go to anyone helping with this year's event. Send Adopt-a-Lunch sponsorships to: Toledo Handball Club 316 N. Fulton St. Swanton, OH 43558 Name Address Town Shirt size

Waiver: In consideration of acceptance of my entry into the national three-wall tournament at Lucas County Recreation Center, I hereby for myself, heirs, executors and administrators waive and release any and all rights for claims for damages against USHA, Lucas County Recreation Center, indoor facility and Toledo Handball Club, their agents, successors or assignees, for any and all injuries I may incur in said tournament.

Signature __________________________________________________ Date ________________________________ 62 HANDBALL 2009



5/13/2009, 10:39 AM


The traditional daily hospitality at the national three-wall tournament is unmatched, but last year it was plagued by overt abuse.

Changes on tap so a few won’t spoil it for all By George Miller


uring the 2009 Labor Day weekend, the Toledo Handball Club will again be the host organization for the USHA National Three-Wall Championships. This will be the 34th consecutive year the tournament has been held at the Lucas County Recreation Center in Maumee. The eight lighted courts are unmatched for quality and condition, but the courts are only a small part of what makes this a must for many handball players. Other factors that make this a player- and family-friendly tournament include: „ Juice, coffee, bagels and fruit every morning. „ A no-limit lunch served every day from 1-5 p.m. „ Unlimited soft drinks and bottled water available all day, every day. „ Ice available on site for those nagging handball injuries. „ Saturday night banquet/picnic. „ Courtside Gatorade. „ Massage therapy available on site for a small fee. „ And finally, the famous beer truck. All this is included in the entry fee for players and their families. We place no lim-

its (just ask for common sense), do not issue hospitality wristbands or tickets and expect people to do the right thing. We serve the equivalent of 3,000 meals over the five days. Doing the quick math, the entry fees do not come close to covering the hospitality costs. Fortunately, our Adopt-a-Lunch program has been a huge success. Players and spectators, most of whom are regular attendees at this tournament, contribute $50 to $100 or more each year. It would be impossible to do what we do without this help. We also receive contributions from people not attending the tournament. I like to think it is because they respect our efforts. Last year we had two off-court incidents that left a mark on the tournament. One was a case of lost temper that resulted in a small amount of damage. It was handled quickly and resolved by the USHA. The second was a serious breach of the trust that must exist for us to function. Some out-of-town players invited a few of their friends attending a local university to join them at the tournament. What took place was the abuse of the open serving we offer, including helping themselves to food and snack items from our storage tent after we had closed for the night. Even though this event takes place in a

public park, we have never before had a problem with anyone violating our trust in this way. Our concern in the past has been that we might have problems with people outside the handball tournament who use the park, or from the surrounding neighborhood. Never did we expect this disrespect to come from within the handball community. We will not be discouraged by the few players who do not respect the tournament. We refuse to issue hospitality wristbands or put limits on soft drinks and bottled water, as this would significantly change the flavor of the tournament. But we cannot expect our generous Adopt-a-Lunch donors to subsidize these few irresponsible and thoughtless people. So some changes will be made. Hopefully, they will be effective but barely noticeable. We’re hoping the handball community will police itself and make any further changes unnecessary. The Toledo Handball Club and the USHA look forward to another great tournament this year with the usual great hospitality at a family-friendly facility. Consider this a personal invitation for our old friends to come back again this year. If you have never attended this tournament, make this the year you participate. HANDBALL 63



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rganizations can identify strengths and weaknesses in their communications protocols by the questions being asked, and your Waterford Crystal 2009 World Handball Championships are no different! Thanks to the many folks whose questions have helped the host committee identify areas to clarify, and sometimes provide information that’s just plain missing. Here are a few frequently asked questions that may help you (or us!) with plans. When will my division begin play? The USHA is creating the draw, and it’s standard for singles to open the week and doubles to wrap it up. That said, everything depends on the size of the draw in your brackets. With 800 players from 14 countries expected to play small ball, big ball, one-wall and four-wall, who can say? Come for the fun all week! You’ll be glad you did. When can I check in? Our desks will open by 3 p.m. Friday,

Have a question about ’09 worlds? Try our cheat sheet Oct. 2. The desk will be open full days on Saturday and Sunday, and then some hours each day until at least Tuesday evening. Late arrivals will have no trouble getting their stuff as needed. Don’t sweat this one! Will practice courts be available? Yep. You’ll be able to hit it with friends and teammates Saturday and Sunday. What if the draw is huge? If the draw is really big, some preliminary matches may have to be played Sunday afternoon, Oct. 4. When is it all over? Your 2009 Celebration Banquet is Saturday night, Oct. 10, at the Multnomah Athletic Club. Some final matches will be played Sunday, so don’t fly out just yet. You’ll want to say goodbye to all your new friends and watch the very end.

Will I need a rental car? Weigh this one for yourself, but we’d suggest not. Portland has excellent transit and a safe and accessible city center, trains to and from the airport (direct from the baggage claim), and your 2009 hosts are banking on dedicated shuttles between the Sunset AC, the MAC and the University Place hotel. Those of you at the Paramount can catch the train to the MAC (just a few minutes’ ride) and then our shuttles. Don’t forget: Besides the cost of rental are the inevitable (and unenviable) chores of finding your way, paying to park, filling with gas … while your pals all jump on the trains and buses, free as birds. How can I help? Glad you asked! If you’d like to donate money, contact us on the Web and 2009 cochair Jay Maxwell will happily, joyously take your money. He’s spending every penny carefully to make 2009 memorable and fun! If you’re offering time, visit the Web site and fill out the form to volunteer. That address:

Waterford Crystal 2009 World Handball Championships Presented by Columbia Sportswear Oct. 4-11 in Portland, Ore., USA; deadline is Aug. 21 Rules: Eligibility: Matches: Consolation: Prizes: Cost:


Payable to: Information: Notes:

Official ball for four-wall is Red Ace except for juniors under-11 and -13, girls and women’s events, which will use White Ace. Official balls for one-wall will be USHA Red Ace and USHA Big Ball. Players should be prepared to present proof of age. Masters must meet age requirement in 2009. Juniors must meet age requirement by end of event, Oct. 11. Best of three, with two games to 21 and 11-point tiebreaker. Everyone will be able to play more than one match. Will be awarded for first and second in all events, including consolation. Players may enter one singles and one doubles in one-wall and in four-wall. Adults: first event $120; $30 additional events, maximum of three and maximum of two one- or four-wall events. Juniors: $75 for first event, $30 each additional. Celebration Banquet $48 adults and $12 for children 12 or younger. All costs are quoted in U.S. funds. Go to and click on the registration tab. Pay online by MasterCard or Visa by Aug. 21. Or use the registration form and mail to 2009 World Handball Championships, c/o USHA, 2333 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ, USA 85716. Only checks or money orders drawn in U.S. funds will be accepted via mail. Payment must be included with registration. Make checks or money orders payable to USHA 2009 World Handball Championships. For more info, call 520-795-0434 or e-mail or Minimum of eight entries required per division. Categories may be combined or dropped at the discretion of the Championships. All registrants must be members in good standing of their national handball associations.

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MEN’S 4-WALL (Red Ace)


ONE-WALL (Red/White Ace)

ONE-WALL (Big Ball)

Open singles Open doubles A singles A doubles B singles B doubles C singles C doubles Men’s seniors (35+) singles Men’s seniors (35+) doubles Masters (40+) singles Masters (40+) doubles Masters (40+) B singles Vet masters (45+) singles Vet. masters (45+) doubles Golden (50+) singles Golden (50+) doubles Golden (50+) B singles Vet. golden (55+) singles Vet. golden (55+) doubles Super (60+) singles Super (60+) doubles Super (60+) B singles Vet. super (65+) singles Vet. super (65+) doubles Diamond (70+) singles Diamond (70+) doubles Diamond (70+) B singles Vet. diamond (75+) singles Vet. diamond (75+) doubles Platinum (80+) singles Platinum (80+) doubles Vet. Platinum (85+) singles

Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s

Men’s open singles Men’s open doubles Men’s B/C singles Men’s B/C doubles Men’s seniors (35+) singles Men’s seniors (35+) doubles Men’s masters (40+) singles Men’s masters (40+) doubles Men’s golden (50+) singles Men’s golden (50+) doubles Men’s super (60+) singles Men’s super (60+) doubles Men’s diamond (70+) singles Men’s diamond (70+) doubles Women’s open singles Women’s open doubles Women’s B/C singles Women’s B/C doubles Coed 11-&-under singles Boys 13-&-under singles Boys 15-&-under singles Boys 15-&-under doubles Boys 17-&-under singles Boys 17-&-under doubles Boys 19-&-under singles Boys 19-&-under doubles Girls 13-&-under singles Girls 15-&-under singles Girls 15-&-under doubles Girls 17-&-under singles Girls 17-&-under doubles Girls 19-&-under singles Girls 19-&-under doubles

Men’s open singles Men’s open doubles Men’s B/C singles Men’s B/C doubles Men’s seniors (35+) singles Men’s seniors (35+) doubles Men’s masters (40+) singles Men’s masters (40+) doubles Men’s golden (50+) singles Men’s golden (50+) doubles Men’s super (60+) singles Men’s super (60+) doubles Men’s diamond (70+) singles Men’s diamond (70+) doubles Women’s open singles Women’s open doubles Women’s B/C singles Women’s B/C doubles Coed 11-&-under singles Boys 13-&-under singles Boys 15-&-under singles Boys 15-&-under doubles Boys 17-&-under singles Boys 17-&-under doubles Boys 19-&-under singles Boys 19-&-under doubles Girls 13-&-under singles Girls 15-&-under singles Girls 15-&-under doubles Girls 17-&-under singles Girls 17-&-under doubles Girls 19-&-under singles Girls 19-&-under doubles

open singles open doubles A singles A doubles B singles B doubles C singles C doubles seniors (35+) singles seniors (35+) doubles masters (40+) singles masters (40+) doubles golden (50+) singles golden (50+) doubles super (60+) singles super (60+) doubles

BOYS 4-WALL 11-&-under singles 13-&-under singles 15-&-under singles 15-&-under doubles 17-&-under singles 17-&-under doubles 19-&-under singles 19-&-under doubles GIRLS 4-WALL 11-&-under singles 13-&-under singles 15-&-under singles 15-&-under doubles 17-&-under singles 17-&-under doubles 19-&-under singles 19-&-under doubles

Federation Cup International teams

Name ____________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________ City ______________________

Men’s team: 2 singles, 1 doubles Women’s team: 2 singles, 1 doubles (2, 3 or 4 players selected by national associations)

Province/state _________________________

Country ___________________ Postal/Zip _____________________________ E-mail address _____________________________ Phone _______________ Age _________

Birth date ______________________

Partner’s name ____________________________________________________ City ______________________

Note: Minimum 8 entries per event or categories may be combined at the discretion of the Championships Committee.

Province/state _________________________

Country ___________________ Postal/Zip _____________________________ E-mail address _____________________________ Phone _______________ Age _________

Birth date ______________________

4-wall singles event name _____________________ 4-wall doubles event name _____________________ 1-wall singles event name ______________________ 1-wall doubles event name _____________________ Banquet # of tickets @ $45 ______

cost $ ______________ cost $ ______________ cost $ ______________ cost $ ______________ cost $ ______________ Total $ ______________

U.S. U.S. U.S. U.S. U.S. U.S.

Note: If my event is combined with another division (age or skill level), I still want to play ( ) or I want my entry fee refunded ( ).

I hereby waive any claims that I may have against the 2009 World Handball Championships Foundation, the United States Handball Association, the Multnomah Athletic Club, and the World Handball Council, their officers, directors, volunteers, agents and employees, for any personal injury, property damage or loss that I may sustain during the 2009 World Handball Championships and any related events. Signature _____________________________________________ (print name of player) Parent or guardian if player under 18 ___________________________________ Date ______________________ HANDBALL 65



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ver wonder why some players improve at a fast rate? Ever notice how the good players seem to stroke the ball effortlessly, but with power? The reason is proper fundamentals. But just what are fundamentals? And how can you improve them? The dictionary tells us that fundamentals are the base on which a structure is erected, and one of the minimum constituents without which a thing or a system would not be what it is. Thus, in handball, fundamentals are the basis for your play, or specifically, how you hit the ball. If we were talking golf and the ball was sitting on a tee, hitting it would be much easier. But the similarities are far greater than you might expect. Top handball players have the ability to get to a proper pre-shoot position that allows them to use the same stroke time after time. In fact, we sometimes say the pre-shoot position is achieved to “set the ball on a tee” so the player can use the same stroke as often as possible. The better the player, the more often he uses his favorite stronghand, sidearm stroke. Thus, the first aspect of handball fundamentals is the footwork needed to reach a good pre-shoot position that will put the ball on a “tee” as you strike it. When fans watch a handball match, they tend to follow the ball and watch the players only when they are stroking the ball. That’s unfortunate, since the spectator won’t follow the player and notice how he runs–where he’s running from and where he’s running to–before he starts his stroke. Actually, the better the player, the less running you’ll see. Control of his shots, positioning and anticipation are the reasons that top players need not run much. And the actual running might differ from what you’d expect. Top players take many small steps on the balls of their feet, rather than long strides across the court. These small steps are the result of constant adjustments as the player anticipates where the opponent is hitting his shot and where he will contact the ball. The better players don’t need the long strides necessary for mad dashes across the court. They already have an idea of where the ball is going before the opponent strikes it. The shot you hit is the first

Fundamentally, executing

Keeping his eye on the ball and proper footwook for off-hand shots help make David Chapman the champion he's been. clue as to the shot your opponent will hit. He’ll have only so many options to choose from as he tries to return your shot. Of course, the very first fundamental comes into play: Keep your eyes on the ball, no matter where it is or who is hitting it. If you’re not watching the ball as your opponent sets to hit his shot, you’ll lose precious seconds in getting to the all-important pre-shoot position. As you follow the ball into your opponent’s hand, note how he’s stroking the ball and where he’s aiming. If you hit a ceiling shot and your opponent is setting up to use his overhand, you can start backing up because you can tell that your opponent also is going to the ceiling. But whatever you have provided for your opponent, you’ll have a good idea of where you should be if you follow the ball into his hand. If you haven’t started moving to a preliminary position yet, now is the time. Hopefully, just by getting this jump on the ball, you’ll be in a good pre-shoot position. But the first step you take can be just as important as getting a good start. Fortunately, most of us already take an appropri-

ate first step when the ball is heading toward our strong side. When the ball is hit to our strong side, we pivot and face the side wall. However, most of us never developed this good habit for our weak side. This is an easy problem to correct with practice. This is the main reason most of us have never been able to adequately develop our weak hands. When the ball is hit to our weak side, we move to the ball but are still facing the front wall when we start our stroke. Now that we’re on the road to good footwork and are keeping our eyes on the ball from the time the rally starts to the time it’s over, watching it as we make contact with our hand, it’s time to discuss the stroke. The actual stroking motions are the easiest part of fundamentals to groove. Whenever you’re in doubt as to how a stroke should look and feel, whether it be the overhand to the ceiling or sidearm kill, merely throw the ball for the desired shot. The throwing motion is how most of us were told to learn the stroking motion with our weak sides. Well, it’s just as important for our strong sides. The first thing to note when trying to get a feel for the proper stroking motion is the movement toward the target your body makes when you’re throwing. Again, this is easy when the ball is on a tee or we’re throwing it. But it’s even more important when we’re trying to get something on our shots. We have to get our bodies into the shot, just as a batter in baseball has to get his body into his swing. As you try throwing the ball, you’ll be sure to note a few things that are consistent: „ You’ll note your body’s movement toward the target. „ You’ll note a very consistent pattern of just two throwing motions–an overhand and a sidearm. The overhand will be used for ceiling shots. „ You’ll note an arch in the back, a bend in the knees and a release of the ball fairly close to your ear. The arch in the back and bend in the knees are what propels the ball to the ceiling. The release fairly close to the ear will be your correct point of contact for the overhand. „ You’ll also be sure to note that the side-

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the basics is how you win

With excellent pre-shoot position, Eion Kennedy winds up as he lets the ball drop into his strike zone so he can rifle in a kill shot in a match against Tyler Hamel. arm throwing motion is much the same for serves, pass shots and kills. Also, they will all be released near the center line of your body, and that’s the proper point of contact for sidearm strokes. The difference between these shots will be the bend in the knees. There will be very little bending for pass shots, a little more for your drive serves, and you’ll be bending as much as possible for kills. Yet the arm is doing much the same thing for each. Now that we’ve made that revelation, it’s time to groove this throwing motion and then groove it as our sidearm stroking motion. Then it’s up to our feet to have us in a pre-shoot position that allows us to use our favorite sidearm motion. If we can allow the ball to drop low, if we have our opponent out of position and if we’re close enough to the front wall for success, we can go for the kill. If we’re unable to answer these questions affirmatively, the pass shot is the correct choice. The best drill to groove our favorite stroke is the back-wall drill. Stand near the back wall and toss the ball to the back wall in the air. Allow the ball to bounce once and travel past your body. Then take your steps into the ball and stroke it to the front wall.

For practice, try to hit the front wall directly in front of your floor position and at the same height you make contact with the ball. If you contact the ball at knee height, hit the front wall at knee height. This will allow you to self-critique your errant shots. Assuming you are facing the side wall, if your shot went into the floor or traveled away from your floor position, you made contact behind the center line of your body. If you pulled the ball or lifted it too high on the front wall, you made contact with the ball in front of the center line of your body. Once you have grooved your sidearm stroke on the back-wall drill and have experienced the feeling of driving into your shots, it’s time to start dropping the ball in front of your floor position and drive forward into the shot with the sidearm stroke. This is how we develop our service motion. Again, stand near the back wall and drop the ball in front of your floor position. Allow the ball to bounce and then start your forward thrust. Again, attempt to hit the ball straight ahead at the same height you contact the ball. Once you’ve grooved the motion, start moving forward in the court in 5-foot increments. Soon you’ll find yourself in the service zone, using your favorite stroke to

power your drive serves just past the short line. Like most of us, you’ll probably note that this isn’t how you’ve been hitting your drive serve. Most of us try to let the ball drop too low before hitting the serve and then have to lift it to get it over the line. The result is inconsistency, with numerous serves caroming off the back wall. But if you contact the ball at a height that allows you to comfortably stroke the ball straight to the front wall, and that height has your serve carrying just past the short line, you have found the proper way to hit your drive serve. Whenever I offer this advice, I’m reminded of the first trip a few of the pros made to a city where pro handball had never been seen before. The pros were at their best, played their hearts out and went home. But the spectators weren’t as awed as they had expected to be. Often after a pro stop, a few buzz phrases stick in my mind. And when an exhibition was held in this city the next year, instead of competing against each other, four pros were matched against the four best locals. The buzz phrases came back to me then: „ “The pros don’t shoot like our guys.” „ “They must be off. They’re hitting a lot of short serves.” „ “They don’t do anything differently. They just don’t make errors and move better.” Well, I didn’t feel any need to respond to the last phrase. But after the pros “lucked out” against the locals, almost without shooting, they offered some thoughts on the game at an instructional clinic. They explained the theory of offense, shooting when the shot is presented, not making errors by forcing a shot, playing the percentages and the truth of the adage: Kill for show, pass for dough. Then they explained that they weren’t off on their serves. If they lift their serve and it caroms off the back wall, they won’t get a second chance to serve because the opponent is good enough to end the rally. Whereas if they keep the serve short, bouncing before the restraining line, they’ll never lose the serve by the opponent rolling out a back-wall shot. And if it does result in a short, they still have a second chance with their second serve. So that was the lesson. Rely on fundamentals, and your game will improve. HANDBALL 67



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ob Spann of Corpus Christi, Texas, died Feb. 27. He was inducted into the Southwest Handball Hall of Fame for his contributions to handball in the Corpus Christi area over 50 years. His participation in the Buc Days Tournament, which has been held every year since 1954, includes: „ Contributing his own money. „ Playing in it most of those years. „ Raising funds to put on a first-class event. „ Advertising the tournament as a family event by promoting children playing in the gym, families going to the beach and attending the Saturday night fish fries. „ Cooking and serving the food at the fish fry. Mr. Spann was also active in putting on the city’s other major tournament, the an-

nual Corpus Christi Labor Day Tournament, which in later years became the Bayfest Tournament. To honor the Olmec people of Mexico, Mr. Spann and others started the Olmec Handball Tournament, which was won by his son four of the five years it existed. The Olmecs used a latex ball more than 3,000 years ago as a precursor to the modern game of handball. He also introduced locally “bare-fisted handball,” using a ball about the size of a racquetball but with more compression. It eliminated bone bruises, a main detraction for beginners. Mr. Spann won the Corpus Christi city championship 20 consecutive years. “After briefly feeling sadness at the news of Bob’s passing, I was flooded with such positive memories of Bob that they literally

brought a smile to my face,” said Kelly Greene, who has been involved with USHA volunteer work for decades. “Bob was a superb raconteur, and not one to blather on about banalities like the weather. Rather, he had an interesting and often eccentric world view always based on a common-sense, home-spun rationale. “Above all, Bob loved to point out two simple lessons in life that he had learned. “The first was that, in the face of any personal setback, it was utterly counterproductive to pout. “The second was that the unfailing antidote to any temptation for self-pity should be that, no matter how disastrous your situation, that somewhere, somebody has it worse than you do. “The handball community needs more players like Bob Spann.”

Larry Walker

Bob Kenney



arry Walker, 63, died March 8 of a rare form of leukemia with wife Zara by his side at home in Anaheim. Nicknamed “Coach,” he had fought off this disease, other cancers and numerous ailments for years, and his victories over disease were legendary. Mr. Walker had many passions, but Zara said “it was handball that kept Larry alive” when Los Caballeros dedicated Court 6 to him. He also loved to train hunting dogs, was an avid shooter and was head basketball coach and athletic director at Servite High School. He was an outstanding high school basketball player and was also scouted in baseball by the then-California Angels. Seldom a day went by at Los Cab with-

Larry Walker of Southern California has died of a rare form of leukemia. out Mr. Walker on Court 6. His mannerisms, such as the rolled-up ball of tape that he would throw onto the court when he was done playing, were well known. He even got married on a handball court. Gary Cruz

Ken Kania


enneth J. Kania, 66, of Darien, Ill., died of liver cancer March 24 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Mr. Kania was as persistent and determined with his medical struggle as he was in the handball courts. Mr. Kania started playing handball in the 1960s at the Austin YMCA in Chicago. After it closed in the 1970s, he moved to the suburban LaGrange YMCA. Known as “Short Shoes” because of his short, quick steps, he was a tireless competitor. In the

mid-1990s he lost his right eye because of a tumor so then also answered to the nickname “Hawkeye.”Even so, he continued to play doubles. He had a passion for philosophy and making beautiful creations with exotic woods. He is survived by wife Dolores, son Paul and daughter Mary Alyce. A memorial to celebrate his life will be planned at a later date. Bill Bien

.W. “Bob” Kenney of Portland, Ore., died of natural causes March 30. He was 75. He was a longtime member of the Multnomah Athletic Club and father of former Lake Forest College player Greg Kenney. Following his service in the Navy, Mr. Kenney got into steel fabricating in Seattle. After moving to Portland, he opened his own steel-fabricating business, the R.W. Kenney Co. Inc., which was instrumental in building up the Portland metropolitan area. In the early 1980s he joined the circulation department at the local newspaper, the Oregonian, working there until retiring in November 1996. Mr. Kenney was a longtime member of the Downtown Lions Club, culminating in its presidency in 1973. A gifted athlete, he was a highly ranked table tennis player, a softball player so talented that he was offered a minor-league baseball contract, and a 7-handicap in golf. His wife Judie preceded him in death. He is survived by brothers Larry and Russell Kenney; son Greg and daughters Stephanie Hitzroth and Rebecca Kenney; two grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Donations may be made to the USHA Development Fund, 2333 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson AZ 85716.

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Tom Clifford



homas J. Clifford, a dominating presence at the University of North Dakota for a half-century and the university president for 21 years, died Feb. 4 at his home in Grand Forks, N.D. He was 87. Mr. Clifford received many awards during his career, including several handball titles. He won three state doubles tournaments and several city and regional titles in the 1970s. He also promoted handball, sending UND students to the nationals. Mr. Clifford was inducted as a charter member of the North Dakota Handball Hall of Fame in 1978. Last year the state tournament was named in his honor. From 1943-45, he served as a Marine tank commander in the Pacific in World War II, earning a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and a

Purple Heart and rising to the rank of major. In 1950, he was appointed dean of the College of Business at 29, becoming the youngest dean in UND history. His 21 years as university president began in 1971. In 2002 he was named to the North Dakota Rough Riders Hall of Fame, which is the highest award in the state. Bruce Smith, dean of John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Center, said: “He was the greatest North Dakotan who ever lived. I don’t know of anyone who had a greater impact than Tom.” Gov. John Hoeven said: “As an educator, entrepreneur, Marine, lawyer and public servant, Tom was a towering figure in North Dakota and beyond.” Neil Reuter

John MacKenzie

Joe Armijo



oe St. Pierre of Boston died Jan. 20 at 87. Some people called him “Mr. Handball of New England.” Mr. St. Pierre was discharged from the Army at the end of World War St. Pierre II, earning the Silver Star for heroism by capturing 18 German soldiers. He then worked at the Greater Boston Central Branch of the YMCA for 50 years. He was the aquatics director and director of athletics in charge of the handball program. Mr. St. Pierre was a champion swimmer as well as a professional boxer, competing in 29 fights. But he excelled in handball, which he believed was the “closest thing to a fight without blows being exchanged.” He ruled the handball courts at the Boston YMCA. Getting onto one of the three courts was a challenge unless he “assigned” you to a match. Mr. St. Pierre helped organize scores of local tournaments, guided the growth of the Boston Open to its current standing and helped develop many nationally ranked players. If you took a day off from handball, Mr. St. Pierre would have a variety of workouts with which to punish you. Anyone who played handball in Boston eventually met this man. Fittingly, Mr. St. Pierre was laid to rest after his funeral at Our Lady of Victories in the South End of Boston. Mike Rusinak Nevin Bowser


evin Bowser of Glenview, Ill., died April 10 from complications due to Parkinson’s disease. He was 83. Mr. Bowser was a longtime player at the Lattof YMCA in Des Plaines, Ill., who was regarded as a true gentleman and one of the best-conditioned athletes. He was a World War II veteran who became a banker. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jocelyn, and is survived by a son, Scott, and daughter, Stacey Bernard; two brothers and two sisters. Memorials may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association Inc., 2050 Pfingsten Rd., Suite 127, Glenview, IL 60026.

ohn MacKenzie of Dallas died on March 5. He was 89. Mr. MacKenzie’s successful business career culminated in 1984 when he received the Decoration of Commander of the MacKenzie Order of the Crown by His Majesty, the King of the Belgians for his many accomplishments on behalf of Belgium. Born in Scotland, Mr. MacKenzie in his youth swam and played baseball and soccer. He continued to swim throughout his life, but when he was in his 50s, he fell in love with handball, which he played until his death. In the mid-1980s, Mr. MacKenzie became a member of the Dallas Handball Committee and was an active member and large financial contributor. When new players moved to the area, he was always one of the first to introduce them to the local handball community. Mr. MacKenzie always enjoyed introducing new players to handball, teaching them how to play the game and preaching the values of membership in the USHA. In 2007, he earned the Southwest Commissioner’s Award in recognition of his status as a significant contributor to handball in the Dallas area.

ongtime handball player and supporter Joe Armijo died April 10 at home in Albuquerque. He was 83. Mr. Armijo was an insurance agent for 40 years, and he and his wife owned two restaurants until 1986. He got a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico and his master’s from Southern Methodist. He was an aviation cadet in the U.S. Air Corps from 194446. He was chairman of the Board of Regents at Eastern New Mexico University and a member of the American Legion, Elks Club and the Albuquerque city goals committee. Throughout his life he was involved in sports. He participated in basketball, football, track, boxing, swimming and golf as a youth and officiated high school football, basketball and baseball, later becoming an official in the Western Athletic Conference for 13 years. Teaching and coaching swimming were among his passions. He coached AAU swim teams and won three straight state and regional championships. From 1980-87, he was the commissioner of football and basketball for high school officials in New Mexico. He also was the Albuquerque boxing and wrestling commissioner. He was inducted into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. Mr. Armijo is survived by his wife of 62 years, Mary Lou, as well as 11 children, 30 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Dave Coulie HANDBALL 69



5/13/2009, 10:45 AM

MAILBAG Sufficiently chastened Thanks to Ralph Weil for his observations on my article about refereeing. I agree with everything he wrote in his letter about sportsmanship and the integrity of the game over victory. My words that disgruntled him were more about the history of my experiences as I continued to mature and abandon bad attitudes I developed as a kid who learned to play handball at the notorious gambler’s haven, Avenue P in Brooklyn. Vern Roberts contacted me before sending the story to press, advising me that the readership would not take lightly its implications. But I told him it was what it was. I coached high school handball for 10 years, and I hope I instilled in my adolescents all that Ralph Weil mentioned in his fine letter. Moreover, today I can say with confidence that I am a trusted, respected player as much for my integrity as for my ability to play. His letter has made me realize even more how wonderful our game is and what it requires of us and inspires in us. Dan Flickstein, Staten Island, N.Y.

for playing too much handball. Now I am thankful that he will be able to play handball again, and I will always be grateful that he has such a great group of friends in the handball community. Adrian Eng, Vista, Calif. Thanks for recognition

Gary Cruz was part of the team that again made the national collegiate tournament a huge success. Great time at collegiates Thanks to Gary Cruz and all the volunteers for your hard work, dedication and long hours in making the national collegiates a success. I realize there was a lot going on besides the action on the floor, but the USHA staff kept the tourney running smoothly. Looking forward to Texas A&M next year. Lou Signer, Berkeley, Calif.

Another critic on sportsmanship I read with interest Dan Flickstein’s article on officiating in the February issue. Basically, Mr. Flickstein tells us there is no morality on the outdoor circuit. Anything you can get away with, you do. In the two short paragraphs concerning indoor handball, he would “call plays against” himself, only because the referee cannot “see certain types of plays.” By inference he would not call plays against himself because the outdoor referee can see plays better than the indoor referee? My question to you, Mr. Flickstein, is: What does the referee’s eyesight have to do with making a call that is true and honest — either by you or the referee? Having said that, I would certainly not call Mr. Flickstein an immoralist. From playing 25 years outdoors and about the same indoors, I found the outdoor player rougher, cheats more and certainly yells more than his indoor counterpart. Why is this? That is grist for another article. However, I will say that where I played outdoor handball in Long Beach, Calif., there were only two courts, and the pressure to hold the “A” court as long as pos-

sible did contribute to Mr. Flickstein’s attitude of take ’em down any way you can. Would I ever call a two-bouncer on myself if I had to wait two hours to get back on the outdoor court if I lost? Hmmm. Bruce Lemmon, Long Beach, Calif. A true life-saver Thanks to all of my husband Kenny Eng’s friends in the handball community for their kind thoughts, e-mails, phone calls and hospital visits. Kenny suffered a nearfatal heart attack after a handball game. Brian Nelson just happened to be in town and was his partner that day. He called me with the news, met me at the hospital and he stayed with me until we knew Kenny was OK. Did I mention that Brian and I had not met before that day? What a guy! I will never forget all the messages of support we received in the following weeks. Kenny had handball visitors day and night at the hospital, and I know if I needed help of any kind, all I had to do was ask and any one of them would have been there for us. I have been known to give Kenny grief

Our large family of one-wall players and their wives wish to thank the USHA for honoring our players at the four-wall banquet. In the area of marketing our sport, I think we have a new age group that I profited from as I grew up. I am referring to the 5and 6-year-old group, which is prone to staying with any sport if started at an early age. This can help handball become a family sport, including the mom or sister who supplies transportation. They attend the mini-game, as compared to not attending adult handball. I started out this way at an early age. I developed the Merrick Park group with Arty Reyer, Al Torres, Joe Danilczyk, Marty Decatur and others. We set up a handball standard of having dinner or lunch three times a week, year-round for 40 years. In closing, let me thank Howie Eisenberg, Mike Dau and Mike Steele. Charlie and Betty Danilczyk, Southold, N.Y.

You’re looking good I wish to commend the USHA for not only continuing to improve the content and appearance of the magazine over the last few years, but lately the covers have become strikingly attractive. Some have a different approach with regard to such things as layout, graphic design, colors, borders and fonts. My favorite so far is the April 2009 cover. It’s what publishers shoot for — to draw attention and make the reader anxious to open the magazine. Keith Thode, Detroit How to reach us Correspondence from members is welcome. Write to us at USHA, 2333 N. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716. Or e-mail us at Letters must include your name and address and are subject to editing for space and content.

70 JUNE 2009



5/18/2009, 1:35 PM


Brady wins 2nd Irish nationals, targets USHA title

Brady accepts his winner’s award from Tony Hannon with Walter O’Connor of sponsoring Envirogreen and runner-up Kennedy looking on.

By Michael McGee


orld champion Paul Brady won the Irish national title with an exciting victory over a determined Eoin Kennedy on April 19 in Kingscourt. Surprisingly, it was only Brady’s second victory in the national final. But more importantly, it made him Ireland’s open singles representative at the World Championships this October in Portland, Ore. Brady prevailed in a tightly contested 21-15, 21-11 match barely a month after routing Kennedy 21-10, 21-4 in the All-Ireland final. Obviously, Kennedy showed tremendous improvement. “I knew that was going to happen,” Brady said. “Eoin, as you would expect, gave a great battle. He responded very well. Typifies Eoin. Such a competitor. I’m just happy to get the win. “It was so warm in there that I thought at one stage I was going to cramp up. My legs were like jelly after some of the rallies. It is good preparation for later in the year, and I am happy with the win.” So what’s next for Brady? “The U.S. nationals in June,” he replied. “It was good preparation in there today. I’m happy I came through. My first goal was the All-Ireland, and this was my second goal, the nationals. The next one is the U.S. nationals.” Kennedy started with a great opening lead of 6-1, and the score was later tied 7-7 and 10-10 before Brady pulled ahead 15-11. Showing great belief in himself and terrific

fitness, Kennedy came back within 16-14, but Brady’s late push clinched Game 1. Brady had the better start in Game 2, going in front 3-0 before Kennedy pounced. Kennedy went ahead 8-4, but Brady responded to tie the game 11-11. At that point, Brady’s sheer athleticism came into play with scintillating pace and precise kills that eventually wore down Kennedy, who could find no way past the impenetrable Brady in the 21-11 outcome. Dave Vincent and Jeff Kastner from the WPH made the long journey from the U.S. to Webcast the finals worldwide, and Chatten Hayes, co-chair of the World Championships committee, was a welcome guest. Also of note was the ladies’ final, a repeat of this year’s All-Ireland match between Fiona Shannon and Aisling Reilly. Shannon repeated her victory, this time 21-5, 2111. Shannon won her eighth national title in 11 years and will be seeking her third world championship in October. Open: Paul Brady d. Eoin Kennedy 15, 11. A: Ger Coonan d. Darragh Daly 10, (18), 3. B: David Walsh d. Patrick O’Donnell 18, (20), 7.

C: David Hope d. Barry Devlin 17, (16), 4. Masters A: Ducksy Walsh d. Tom Sheridan 13, 18. Masters B: Canice Quigley d. Ollie Flasey 20, 5. Golden A: Kevin Geraghty d. Johnny Brennan 10, 9. Golden B: Eammon Rice d. Dermot Doolin (12), 20, 3. Ladies’ open: Fiona Shannon d. Aisling Reilly 5, 11. Ladies’ B: Lisa McAleer d. Catriona Casey 1, 15. Boys 19-under: Diramuid Nash d. Stephen Cooney (14), 7, 3. Boys 17-under: Jamie Lynch d. Killian Carroll 18, (18), 7. Boys 15-under: Padraig McKenna d. Ciaran Malone (18), 17, 4. Boys 13-under: Darren Doherty d. Barry Nash 6, (13), 3. Girls 19-under: Shauna Hilley d. Leona Doolin 13, 1. Girls 17-under: Catriona Casey d. Lorraine Havern (16), 11, 7. Girls 15-under: Lauren O’Riordan d. Mary Phelan 7, 6. Girls 13-under: Cianna Ni Churraoin d. Jennifer Fahey 14, 13.

Sticca slams in final championships at St. Kilda


he last weekend of March marked the end of an era for the Victorian Handball Open in Australia. The last state titles were held at the CBC St. Kilda courts, as they were due for demolition in April. However, the event was blessed with some wonderful weather along with a healthy level of onlookers both old and new. On the court, David Sticca returned to

the game after a one-year absence and showed that his ability level had not been hampered at all, winning the open singles and teaming with Dylan King to take the open doubles. Jim Cormie traveled all the way from Adelaide to participate and was runner-up in both open events. Cedar Ferry slammed in the masters divisions.

Open: David Sticca d. Jim Cormie 15-1, 15-10. Masters: Cedar Ferry d. Joe Santilli 21-7. A: Simon Fitzgerald d. Gareth Daley 21-7. Open doubles: David Sticca/Dylan King d. Jim Cormie/Sean King 21-8, 21-14. Masters doubles: Cedar Ferry/Joe Santilli d. Eddy Scheruga/Serafino Marinelli 31-29. A doubles: Joe Santilli/Gareth Daley d. Simon Fitzgerald/Serafino Marinelli 21-13. Simon Fitzgerald HANDBALL 71



5/13/2009, 10:48 AM


5th All-Ireland title in a row puts Brady with Kirby, Walsh By Michael McGee

Brady joined a distinguished group with his fifth in a row. Only Pat Kirby and Ducksy aul Brady confirmed his world No.1 Walsh have achieved that feat. He said that status with a devastating display of made him immensely proud. power in a comprehensive 21-10, 21Brady said he wasn’t “thinking of that 4 victory over Eoin Kennedy in the All-Ire- fact when I was going in to play. When the land senior singles final March 14 in Ros- match was over, I could reflect on that. common. “I want to be back again to make it six, The championship was Brady’s fifth in a seven and eight in a row. I’m 28. Every final you play in, I suppose, there’s row and sixth overall. more urgency. “It will take something spe“Certainly a big part of me cial to knock Paul off his title is eager to get back to Los Anrun,” said Tony Hannon, presigeles [for the USHA nationals]. dent of the Irish Handball CounI just concentrate on winning cil. all the Irish titles, go for the U.S. Brady said he was “obviThe Game 2 numbers nationals and then the worlds. ously delighted” and “pretty don’t lie: Brady rolled. That’s a big goal this year.” happy with how things went. I Fiona Shannon tied the record with her knew if I let Eoin into the game at all what he is capable of. I tried to keep the pressure eighth ladies title in 11 years when she beat on from the start, not to let him get into it. Aisling Reilly. Shannon’s victory equaled the record set by Bernie Hennessy from Thankfully it worked out for me.” Brady displayed a hunger that seemed 1991-98. In a repeat of last year’s USHA 17-andto have been missing in the last couple of years. He attributed his fresh approach to under final, Caolan Daly again beat Gary his loss in the Simple Green U.S. Open in McConnell, this time in the minor singles. The last time a Tyrone player won this diviOctober. “I hadn’t lost in a long time,” he said. “I sion was when Ciaran Curran did it in 1991. don’t want to repeat that again. I needed that loss to keep my hunger. But I’ve got to Senior: Paul Brady d. Eion Kennedy 10, 4. push forward from here for the Irish and Ladies: Fiona Shannon d. Aisling Reilly 14 , 11. Minor: Caolan Daly d. Gary McConnell 20, 15. U.S. nationals and the worlds.”


Brady’s jubilation is evident as he pumps his fist and raises his award in triumph.

Tony Hannon of the IHC with ladies’ runner-up Reilly and champion Shannon.

Hannon presents the minor singles awards to runner-up McConnell and winner Daly.

Edmonton hosts 20 talented Canadian juniors


Several of the juniors at the tourney in Edmonton get together for some good times.

he Sherwood Park Sharks Handball Club hosted the Alberta Handball Association Junior Qualifying Tournament on Feb. 21 in Edmonton. The tournament had 20 entries of juniors ranging from 7 to 18 and qualified players for the Canadian nationals. The Most Outstanding Female Award went to Sietske Van Der Heijde. A: David Doucette d. Ben Lavin. B: Parker Dorothy d. Josh Lavin. B consolation: Syvat Koval. C: Myra Koval d. Ruben Baker. D: Mathew Luedtke d. Danika Forester. Jacqueline and Mark Broverman 72 JUNE 2009



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5/12/2009, 3:59 PM



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