Photos by various
It took months to raise the steel and to arrange the glass panels, to create a million-dollar handball palace in Dublin, filled with hope and possibility. It took only minutes for a young 1-wall player from New York to drain the life from the Sport arena built at Citywest.
Irish handball officials went all the way out to welcome the best handball players in the world by building the best handball facilities for the world handball championships hosted in the nation’s capital, Dublin. They also wanted to celebrate and honor their local heroes; Paul Brady and Fiona Shannon.
P. Brady and F. Shannon had won three world titles (singles) in the last three world handball championships and were looking to repeat and celebrate in front of their own audience. The 4-wall exhibition court was specially built with Brady and Shannon in mind as Irish handball officials wanted to give them a send off in style if both players would’ve slammed the same way they did back in Ireland in 2003. Unfortunately, they didn’t, as both players were swept away by younger players in either the first or second event.
On the ground floor, not to far from the 4-wall exhibition court, there were more than twenty 1- and 4-wall handball courts, where most of the competition took place with more than 2000 players competing in thousands of games. It was down here where all eyes turned to Bastidas and got to eye-witness the best open player of the 14th World Handball Championships.
Tyree Bastidas became the youngest player to slam in any handball version by capturing two world titles at the men’s open.
Never before in the history of world handball championships a player as young as Tyree had challenged the best players on the planet with the small and the big ball by playing in two different handball versions. Only New York handball sensation, Tyree Bastidas, could have pulled something of this magnitude.
After winning his second world title, Bastidas sounded tired. He had overcome yet another hand injury just to go to Dublin. His knees were also giving up on him after playing in so many games. But on Saturday night he talked about 2015.”I’ll see if I could go to Calgary and do it again,” he said.
The sport exhaled. Because as long as there is Tyree Bastidas, there is handball.
Photos by Dan Gebben.
The USHA has always relied on volunteers to run its tournaments, either at the desk or at the courts refereeing the games. But after 62 years, not much has changed, and players are asking that the least the USHA could do is to have certified and/or open players to ref the open semis and finals.
Players and handball fans understand the need to have volunteers to referee the preliminary games, but when it comes to the semis and finals, it is unacceptable to keep having volunteers of any age for such important matches.
This is a national tournament, where people do not play for free. The USHA should step forward and have paid and/or certified referees for the most important games.
In the past, the USHA used to provide special made USHA shirts for the referees of the most important matches. Nowadays this option is no longer available as the Association has seen its membership declined.
It was a little bit embarrassing during the Labor Day weekend when a television filming crew recorded the games, and some of the referees were clearly seen not wearing a watch to keep track of the time-outs, injury time-outs and gloves changes, while at the same time they were rushing the players back on the courts by calling out loud “20 seconds, 15 seconds…”
It would be a good idea if the Handball Association provides reusable referees ID tags to identify the referees. It would give handball fans a sense of respect to our game while handball fans watching television could look up our sport in equal terms as other similar sports.
The teams, players and fans want and deserve both consistency and quality in officiating our games.
We look forward to having some of the finest referees of our sport at the courts.
Danny Bell played his 10th consecutive world handball championship event in 2012.
Mr. Danny Bell debuted at the world handball championships in Canada in 1986. He was 24 years old when he first played and ever since then, he hasn’t missed this famous event that usually takes place every three years. For those who are not familiar with Mr. Bell, he just finished playing in the men’s open (singles) at the age of 51.
He was born in Quebec City and holds nationals titles from Canada and the U.S., along with world handball titles. He is the only player in the world to have played in the U.S. handball Pro tour during four different decades.
Mr. Bell is also considered the best referee when it comes to world handball championships finals. He has been the main referee of the last four men’s singles finals (2012-2009-2006-2003). He couldn’t referee the men’s singles final in 2000 as there was a conflict of interest when his doubles partner, D. Chapman, played in it.
A player with the credentials of Danny Bell will be hard to find in the near future.
The biggest USHA outdoor event came to an end after the handball community got treated to the best matches among the best 1-, and 3-wall players in the U.S.
Upset of the tournament:
Billy O’Donnell defeated national champions Cesar Sala and Yuber Castro to reach the 1-wall championship match.
By the numbers:
1. -The tournament offered open 1- and 3-wall handball versions in singles and doubles
2. - Tyree Bastidas won the most money during the 1-and 3-wall handball marathon.
1. - Brittyn Bidegain won the Boy’s 17-and-under (singles) for two consecutive years.
2. - Tyree Bastidas played in (3) championships matches (Bastidas didn’t play in the 1-wall doubles event).
1. - The competition was rained out on Saturday night.
2. - Several open players from California registered to compete in the 1-wall open event.
3. - Most New York players participated in 1- and 3-wall events.
Dan Zimmet vs Andy Schad in the Master’s 40+: 2:30 hours.
The one-wall world championships at adult level saw limited Irish success as players from a range of different countries came to the fore. From an Irish perspective, the most notable triumphs were Martina McMahon’s B singles win, the Limerick teenager repeating her 40x20 exploits, John Boy Molloy’s win in the Emerald Masters, and Antrim pair Anthony Caddell and Tomas Maguire’s success in golden masters.
The Willoughby brothers also had a notable win in the Mens C doubles, with their father enjoying a memorable success in the Diamond masters doubles, which resulted in one of the biggest celebrations of the whole championships.
The one-wall competitions had a really strong international flavour and the Irish found it difficult to compete at the highest level, although most of the underage titles came to Ireland which augurs well for the future of one wall handball in this country.
There was no Irish involvement at all in the sensational one-wall small ball world championships in which American Tyree Bastidas ruled supreme in both singles and doubles.
Complete Youth competitions review and roll of honour to follow
Read more…………CLICK HERE for pictures from the 2012 World Handball Championships