Tyree Bastidas practices in front of the Coney Island audience, hoping that one day the USHA 4-wall nationals come back to the East Coast.
USHA national 1-wall champion Tyree Bastidas has painted a damning picture of the 4-wall national open division.
Recently, Bastidas described the once formidable U.S handball team as now littered with prideless players.
He suggested that this must change if U.S. players are to return among handball’s elite.
“In the days when people were playing for pride, people were sad when they lost a game. Today at the end of a game, somebody is gone partying or something. So the care is not there.” said Tyree.
T. Bastidas did not spare the USHA, slamming the sport governing body for not establishing incentives for the Northeast and Southeast players to attend the nationals. The last time the USHA held the 4-wall national championships on the east was ten years ago with the rest of USHA 4-wall national championships taking place in the west, making it harder for players on the East Coast to attend.
In the past, winners of all USHA Regional 4-wall tournaments were given a round trip ticket to attend the USHA 4-wall nationals.
The Tournament came to an end during a rainy day that didn’t stop the players from attending the championship matches while the Banquet finished amid a great hospitality, dance and music.
Upsets of the tournament: Team O’Donnell/Munson defeated No 1 seed team R. Pearse/J. Forest
Joe McCann defeated No 2 seed T. Hamel in the singles
Most points scored on Paul Brady: Raphael Santerre.
Player to reach both championships matches in the Pro division: Tyree Bastidas
Oldest player to reach the championship match: Merv Deckert
A - There were more than 170 players in the tournament.
B - National champions from at least three different countries participated at the CHA national.
C – There were New York players in all finals of the men and women’s open divisions (singles and doubles).
D – Players from Ireland played in the men and women 's open divisions.
The tournament ran juniors divisions (boys and girls) for the first time this year as Frontball Officials have realized that the survival of the Frontball handball version depends on the youngsters. And just like in other handball versions, the Frontball Committee has developed a special hand-made ball with kids in mind.
"The ball is of paramount importance for the kids to stay in the game in the future" said Tyree
During the tournament, three different Frontballs were used and it was rumored that there were more than half a dozen different Frontballs out there in the market.
For those interested in playing the Frontball game with the great variety of balls, contact Albert Apuzzi.
The USHA 4-wall championships open titles (singles) have been captured by Irish players seven times in the last eight years, while the open title (doubles) have been captured more than once. On the other hand, the CHA 4-wall championships open titles (singles) have been captured by the Irish men only twice in the last four years, while they haven’t allowed any foreign teams to win the CHA men’s open doubles on Canadian soil in recent memory. The USHA 4-wall men’s open competition has been the subject of heavy criticism after Irish players had turned it into an all-Irish final several times. Recently, the Irish women players have been coming to the USHA 4-wall competition to demolish their opponents as well by also turning it into an all-Irish final on several occasions. With so much Irish domination of the USHA tournament, Irish players have turned to the Canadian championships to get more games and better competition. This is the main reason Canadians have been able to watch the top Irish players such as T. Healy, P. Brady and J. McCann in the last four years. How much longer are the U.S. players going to wait before they find out they are not longer a threat to the Irish men and women team?
If 2012 truly is the last year of our existence according to the Mayan calendar, this upcoming 1-wall tournament will make it a great way to go out - the best outdoors entertainment this year has to offer.
Players to watch:
Joshua Garcia: He is the youngest 1-wall player in the open, and hungry for his first title. Garcia has seen Bastidas being crowned as a teenager and he knows he’s got what it takes to pull it off.
Robert Sostre: A national champion himself has been around the game for a while and got all the tools to repeat. Two years ago, he reached the semifinals, before succumbing to W. Polanco. Will he get this far again?
T. Gonzalez: The new USHA national big ball champion has his eyes on the small ball title this coming August. He proved he could compete with the best, but, will he get hungry enough to take the small ball title?