Photo by Keith Thode
The most popular sport in the world kicked off the World Cup in Brazil the host country on June 12.
The best players from 32 teams will battle for the most acclaimed honor “The World Cup” that has been won on both sides of the Atlantic. But when the tournament takes place any where in the American Continent, no country outside America has ever managed to capture the title. It’s a tradition that countries in America have kept since the creation of the FIFA, the governing body of the sport.
In the handball sport in the U.S., the 3- and the 4-wall handball titles have always been captured by local or out of state players. The 1-wall handball version is the only version that has been captured only by New York players, a tradition that has been kept since the creation of the USHA, the governing body of the sport.
What keep these traditions alive?
Pride! Pride to play for your country or state and pride to represent the best your country or state can offer.
Coincidentally, Tyree Bastidas from New York is the current World and U.S. 1-wall champion.
By John Duggan
The Killer’s club members featured in many divisions. Of particular note were Paul Williams (50 singles semi finalist, Jim Normile, Phil Clifford and Gerard Pagello (60 singles), Vern Hayden (70 singles semi-finalist), and the resilient team of Tom Carr and Jerry Klarman (70s doubles).
Special thanks to the NYAC Banquet department for its non-stop hospitality and for hosting a five course formal banquet on Sunday evening, an event which has been described as one of the greatest nights in handball.
The tournament was one of the most professionals and efficiently run Pro stops thanks to the help of NYAC Killers’ Club president, Tom Smario. Special mention also to Phyllis Kossoff for her continued support. Thanks to the entire WPH staff including David Vincent and David Fink for live webcasting the entire event.
Still reeling from the brutal “Fronton” battle, where Bastidas’ rival horribly caused him to almost loose his fingers right before Bastidas was about to end that battle on his favor.
Handball fans that had followed Tyree through his epic battles around the world can look forward to a larger-scale excitement as Bastidas will probably battle his way through the nationals mainly with one hand.
But before the heads have even begun to roll this time, his rivals must be notified that Bastidas is already ahead of the game. We asked him: how is he going to fend off his rivals mainly with one hand?
I already know their strategy! He responded.
Bastidas has already been given the green light to step on the battlefield of the 4-wall nationals to defend his title.
Can the Triple Crown King (1-, 3-, and 4-wall) repeat?
Photos by AHA
Just like 1-wall is the purest handball form of all handball versions in America, the 3-wall game in Australia is the purest handball version among other 3-wall handball versions that include a ceiling.
The Australian 3-wall courts are just that; (3-walls), and the walls are huge. Some of these courts are as old as the 3-wall courts in America and sometimes even older.
There is a big history behind the Australian handball courts that trace its origins to the Jesuits at the turn of the 20th century that could be read on the Australian Handball website.
Some of the interesting facts of the Australian 3-wall courts:
A -) The handball used on these courts is the Challenger ball made in Ireland, which is a very different handball than the one used in America.
B -) If the player serving the ball serves short or long, the receiving player has the option to return the ball and continue the game.
C -) Because the games could be too exhausting, they are limited to 15 points, including the tiebreaker.
D -) The handball court size is 30x60.
Kings County resident, Jurell Bastidas, shared the spotlight with Queen’s residents Tony Ferrugia, Victor LoPierre and Andres Paez during the final game of the night.
Every County in New York City was represented by either a small or a big ball player who came to take part in the last indoor 1-wall handball tournament of the season, but only King and Queen’s County players survived the long road to the championship game with the small ball that had to be played by midnight due to the fierce and long competition that went on all day.
Team Paez/LoPierre had a clear opportunity to take the title as they were leading by a big margin (12-2), but couldn’t contain the tidal wave comeback from defending champions Jurell Bastidas and Tony Ferrugia, who slowly and patiently close the gap until they reached 21 first.Congratulations to both teams.