The big ball competition started its preliminary games on Friday afternoon and continued early on Saturday morning under a bright sky where spectators were treated to quality games only. From the open to age bracket divisions, games were fought with tenacity to the last point.
Some of these games were staged by: K. Bush, S. Cooney, E. Cruz, B. Torres, B. Pares, S. Ng, D. Daskalakis, C. Rosa, T. Cook, T. Gonzalez, G. Figueroa, W. Polanco... etc.
The non-stop action lasted late into the afternoon where everyone was treated to pizza and refreshments, courtesy of the Association.
Big ball action continued indoors on Sunday due to overnight rain. Bastidas, who had survived singles and doubles competition since Friday, managed to stay alive and afloat to compete in the last day of the tournament.
The semifinal game of Bastidas vs Schneider was the most exciting match of the day as everyone who has been following handball knows the game could have gone either way. With Mike Schneider improving his game for the past three years, it's not wonder he's been given Tyree a run for his money.
Mr. Schneider had a fast start and built a big lead that seemed hard to close, 8-2. He kept that big lead for most of the game until Tyree started to close the gap at 21-23. Mike went up to serve and closed the game to the surprise of many fans.
The following chart gives us an opportunity to recreate in detail the last twelve years of the men's open singles final of this important tournament
Year Champions Finalists
2004 Satish Jagnandan vs Cesar Sala
2005 Cesar Sala vs Satish Jagnandan
2006 Cesar Sala vs Satish Jagnandan
2007 Satish Jagnandan vs Cesar Sala
2008 Satish Jagnandan vs Tyree Bastidas
2009 Satish Jagnandan vs W. O’Donnell
2010 Satish Jagnandan vs Cesar Sala
2011 Tyree Bastidas vs Satish Jagnandan
2012 Tyree Bastidas vs Yuber Castro
2013 Jurell Bastidas vs Tyree Bastidas
2014 Tyree Bastidas vs Gio Vasquez
2015 William Polanco vs Mike Schneider
Photo by USHA
Since the beginning of USHA 1-wall competition NY players have always been vocal about handball issues they don't agree with. During the '60s and '70s: prize-money and annual awards topped their list.
When a new handball organization (WPH) was formed right after the turn of the century, some 1-wall players of the past joined its message board to vent their frustration toward the USHA. It was during the WPH peak years that New Yorkers got a bad reputation and were branded as a bunch of complainers by other WPH Message Board Members.
Luckily, the WPH message board usage decreased and the bad rap New Yorkers had acquired phased out with it. But recently at the new USHA Social Media site (FaceBook), another 1-wall player of the past, Ken Smolack, had surfaced to complain about the Annual GNS Award and stated the award was overly weighed toward 1-wall players.
Looking back in Handball History during the '70s, we came across a handball article about The Annual USHA Player of the Year (POY) Award given to Naty Alvarado for his outstanding performance where 1-wall players complained the POY Award was overly weighed toward 4-wall players.
No one really knows why 1-wall players of the past have always complained. We could only advise them to wisely use whatever time they have available on their hands to help the US Handball Association or the association of their choice by submitting their ideas and recommendations, instead of constantly complaining.
The No 1 ranked 1-wall handball player in the world is now out of the world handball championships.
In stunning fashion, Tyree Bastidas was knocked out by recent USHA national doubles finalist Victor Lopierre in the quarter finals at the Clear Water Academy in Calgary, Canada.
Victor Lopierre powered his way to a tiebreaker victory to stun defending world champion Tyree Bastidas.
While it looked as if Bastidas had a run in him while leading in the tiebreaker, his rally fell short. He was visible frustrated after the game.
Top Photo by Bill Fand
Due to the big turnout, the tournament couldn't be finished on time and the semifinals were postponed due to darkness.
The two semifinals to be played later on were: Billy O'Donnell vs Tyree Bastidas and Willie Polanco vs Jurell Bastidas.
The men's open alone had more than thirty players vying for the money while the women's division registered an unexpected high number of players.
Some of the games that led to the semis were staged by well-known players such as: C. Sala, M. Schneider, S. Gonzalez, O. Cardenas, Kaplan etc. In the end Tyree Bastidas captured the title.
People managing the desk promised everyone a better tournament next year with more prize money, medals and more divisions.