Click photo above for more information - Photo by CHA From left: John Cammett, Tyree and Jurell Bastidas, Jonathan Iglesias, Merv Deckert and Danny Bell.
The men’s open doubles division was played in such a way that it resembled a chase board game played on a handball court.
Team Deckert/Iglesias’ chase board game strategy was conceived after Team Bastidas started using its own strategy “Serve to Merv”.
Team; M. Deckert: The King
J. Iglesias: The Queen
We all know Mr. Deckert has been a master of the game for about four decades and that his numerous titles have earned him the reputation of King of the court in his hometown.
With all the vast experience Mr. Deckert carries around, nowadays, he doesn’t need to do too much running or chasing of the ball anymore. He simply moves one step forward or one step back as the situation arises. He also moves either one step to the left or one step to the right depending of the play.
This year, Mr. Deckert teamed up with a young player, a much younger player: Jonathan Iglesias.
Iglesias, a young energetic player from New York, was all over the court trying to return every single ball he could possible gets his hands on. He covered as much territory as possible while protecting his King (Deckert).
Iglesias covered the front and the back when necessary, and moved sideways from left to right and vice verse. He also ran diagonally whenever he saw his partner being attacked or picked on.
Team USA; T. Bastidas: The Left Castle
J. Bastidas: The Right Castle
Team Bastidas played like two authentic castle pieces of a chase board game, moving from front to back and vice verse, covering their own side: Tyree covered his left side, while Jurell covered the right side of the court.
Team Bastidas just covered the territory assigned to each of them, and in the end, the two brothers (castles), somehow proved to be more valuable pieces than the opposing Queen.
Congratulations to both teams for reaching the championship match.
The tournament of Champions took off under clear skies and a high concentration of humidity, where players and spectators got to enjoy and watch two free annual events along the boardwalk.
Many handball fans came to watch the great games that developed during the competition while enjoying the 30th Annual Mermaid Parade that took place in the surrounding vicinity.
Let’s hope that the tournament of champions is kept during the same date as the Mermaid Parade so that the handball community can enjoy these two free events.
Canadians had another great opportunity to get all handball players, families and fans together: at the Banquet.
As in the past, Canadians had always offered the best banquet receptions where everyone had enjoyed a great hospitality.
The Banquet was hosted at the MAA downtown Montreal and included the induction of various individuals to the CHA Hall of Fame. Throughout the banquet, players were also recognized for their outstanding performance while junior players were presented with awards ranging from best player to the best junior handball group from the country.
After the ceremony, players enjoyed the music and other amenities offered at the historic MAA Club during this especial occasion.
The third U.S. Frontball championships were played during the last weekend of June with temperatures hovering above 90 degrees. But that didn’t stop players from attending the best Frontball Championships held at the Coney Island handball courts.
European Officials from the organizing Committee traveled to New York to promote the handball version that has grown big in the U.S. in the past three years.
Since its debut just three years ago, the Frontball tournament has grown to be a success story in America. An outdoor handball version played with a ball called "la pelota", is becoming known as much for its popularity, as it is for its wide acceptance among other handball versions.
The fronball tournament has been held in various countries, across the U.S and Europe, and recently has gained most of its popularity in the Northeast of America.
Tyree and Jurell Bastidas advanced to the quarterfinals, but were met with fierce resistance from hard-hitters players, Pooch Garnet and Carlin Rosa respectively.
The tournament had multiple divisions that ranged from juniors to men and women divisions.
The following players are the new champions for 2012:
Boys: Teddy Mleczkowski
Girls: Amy Fung
Amateurs: Raph Romano
Men: Pewee Castro
Women: Jessica Lopez
Photo above: David Doucette gets ready to scoop the ball off the back wall during the USHA national 4-wall juniors competition in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo above: At left, Jean Santerre posses with another group of handball players from Quebec City during the handball get together.
Left side from front: Jurell and Tyree Bastidas with Jean and Shirley Santerre. Right side from front: Na Liu (Jurell's girlfriend), Jerome and Raphael Santerre with Christine and Roy Doucette.
It’s not surprising that many juniors playing handball in America have established long term relationships with each other, while at the same time, their parents also got to know each other.
This is the case of the Doucette family from Sherwood Park, Alberta, the Santerre family from Quebec City and the Bastidas family from Brooklyn, New York.
The friendly relationship of these families dates back to more than five years and includes each family hosting the other families.
This year handball reunion took place on Friday, May 31, around the corner of the Club Nautilus Plus where the Canadian National was taken place. All three families dinned and got together to celebrate:
Raphael Santerre; For scoring the most points on P. Brady at the open.
Jerome Santerre; For reaching the championship match in his division.
Tyree Bastidas; For reaching the championship match in his division.
Jurell Bastidas; For reaching the championship match in his division.
Na Liu: For reaching the championship match in her division.
David Doucette couldn’t attend the CHA National due to a recent injury, but his parents, Roy and Christine Doucette attended the tournament to support it and to keep in touch with other families.