Photos by Tournament Director.
This year the Fronton Pro stop tour that usually takes place in four countries culminated earlier this year. It took place in Anglet, France.
Players from various countries and as far as Argentina came to compete after qualifying to represent their country in the ultimate Fronton showdown sponsored mainly by Nissan and ETPM.
The championship match was staged by the most dominant players in the last five years: Orlando Diaz and Juan Medina both from Mexico.
Tyree Bastidas had a good run all the way to the semis where former power champion Medina denied Bastidas a pass to the finals “Medina is a player in his own league “Tyree said.
“Medina's game is a notch above everybody else in the U.S. No wonder he's a champion. I wish I had more time to practice Fronton”
In the championship game, Orlando Diaz defeated Juan Medina for the title in an electrifying game that kept the audience clapping for the players after the rallies.
Congratulations to all players and everyone involve in organizing a top rated event that is growing in popularity across the world.
There is no doubt in anybody's mind the AAU/USHA 1-wall open players have always been or will always be the better players. But during the 70's the PSAL handball competition produced high school handball players capable of defeating any open player in the AAU and USHA men's open divisions.
We don't understand why these kids were able to practically walk out of their classroom, play in the men's open and beat everybody on their way to be crowned the best players in the country.
It's a common believe the PSAL high school handball competition is just a stepping stone for junior players who wish to play at the 1-wall nationals. Could it have been that the open field at that time was not really that strong?
Players from that era have always boasted about being the best players ever in the Association. But how could that be possible when you have junior players crossing over into the open division and crushing everyone to claim the national titles?
Generally, the handball community has always been informed by players of the past, that the best 1-wall players have always come from the 60's and 70's. But as time went on and with the advent of the internet we have found out many discrepancies in some of their stories and now we find ourselves in an awkward position and with the daunting task of righting these wrongs.
During the early '70s, some junior players were indeed better players than the open players. It's the only time when a situation like that has ever happened in 1-wall handball history. During the late '70s Billy Archival also beat most of the open players to reach the championship match in the men's open singles at the age of 19.
Some of the young players who went on to excel in the men's open competition during the period in question are:
Joel Davidson, Mark Levine, Marcel Goldfarb, Neal Bocian, Marc Goldberg, Billy Archival, John Edwards and Ken Ginty.
The Long Island Open has been running for more than thirty years. It was a handball project inherited by Paul Williams ten years after it was inaugurated and has been running continuously under ICHA and its Board of Directors.
Every year the tournament celebrates by offering a prize money or trophies for the players, and every three years the tournament becomes a fund raising event to support junior and open players to travel to the world handball championships.
This year the world handball championships will be taking place in Calgary, Canada and ICHA will be sending a handball team to represent the organization.
The LIO also offers 4-wall competition with the big ball for juniors and adults divisions (men and women).
The tournament usually takes place the third weekend of January while the end of the year Award celebration takes place during the third Thursday of October (mark your calendar).
Congratulations to ICHA staff for running a smooth tournament.
Tyree Bastidas will be missing one of his favorite handball tournaments during the summer. He has been playing at the KOTC for the past two years and has been pretty successful in advancing to the final rounds after surviving all rounds of elimination that take place during the first day “I did a lot of thinking and it was a tough decision to make, but I had no choice. I need more time to rest to avoid getting hurt” said Tyree.
“I would have no weekends to rest from July 11 to the first weekend of September if I don't cancel the KOTC tournament”
We agree with Tyree as he's not taking any chances and doesn't want to get hurt during one of his busiest handball summer schedules in recent years.
So far this is what Tyree's handball schedule looks like for the summer:
July 11 – Players' Championship – 1-wall small ball
July 18-19 – Mayor's Cup – 1-wall small ball
July 25-26 – King of the Court – 1-wall big ball - CANCELED
July 29-August 2 – USHA nationals – 1-wall small ball
August 8 – Tyree travels to Calgary, Canada.
August 11-15 – world championships – 1-wall small ball
August 16-21 – world championships – 4-wall small ball
August 22-23 – USHA Regional 3-wall small ball
September 3-7 – USHA nationals – 3-wall small ball
“I'm sure people will understand as my schedule is more complex and longer than most players” Tyree said.
“I may still cancel another tournament later on”
For those still interested in playing at the KOTC go to http://sahany.org/