Photo Above: Tyree Bastidas and Mr. Ed Zahorik.Photo above from left: Ed Zahorik and Joe Flores. Photo above: Tyree Bastidas next to handball court numbers showing the 65th edition of the USHA 3-wall nationals. Head band by USHA - Eye guard by Albert Apuzzi - Gloves by OWEN - Shirt by Rainbow Beach Tournament.
One of the oldest 3-wall tournament in the country takes place in Chicago, Illinois every year during the month of July and August. It has a rich history that dates back as far as 1959 when the USHA 1-wall nationals was inaugurated.
Players around the country have competed in this prestigious handball tournament that serves as a tune-up for the USHA 3-wall nationals traditionally held in the last week of August.
Some of the history of this great tournament can be found in the Illinois website by clicking here http://www.illinoishandball.org/iha/
We talked to some of its long-time supporters and suggested to them to make a list of previous winners for handball followers to better understand the history of the tournament.
Mark Murphy, a 1- and 3-wall player who proudly talks about the Rainbow Beach 3-wall tournament promised us to work on this list.
Joe Flores, a retired police officer from Chicago also filled us in with some of the rainbow beach handball history. He's been supporting this tourney since the '70s.
We also talked to Ed. Zahorik, a veteran fan of the tournament who informed us that Paul Haber, the Obert brothers and other powerful teams from New York had competed in this tournament. In fact, some of Tyree Bastidas' toughest opponents at the 3-wall nationals are usually from the Chicago area and are constantly cheered by Chicago fans. But what can Bastidas do to get Chicago fans on his side?
This year Tyree Bastidas teamed up with rainbow beach champion, Nick Nahorniack to reach the championship match by wearing two rainbow beach tournament shirts, courtesy of Mr. Zahorik and Mr. Flores. It was the first time that Tyree was loudly cheered by Chicago fans to the tune of “Let's go rainbow beach”
Top and bottom photos by Keith Thode: Top photo - Ana Giner attempts to return the ball. Bottom Photo - Mrs. Giner (second from left) poses with Spain 1-wall handball team.
Europe has a new 1-wall champion in the women's division: Ana Belen Giner from Valencia, Spain, finally won the open title that has been eluding her for several years.
She's been dreaming to be a champion since she was a young kid and 2015 marks the end of a long journey that catapulted her to her coronation. She is 32-years-old and the captain of the handball team that successfully participated at the world handball championships held in Calgary, Canada during the summer.
Mrs. Giner couldn't contain her emotions after she scored the final point and went from cheers to tears in an emotional ending performance surrounded by her teammates, family and friends.
Congratulations to Mrs. Giner.
Myth – According to Ben Thum, an avid handball player, the oldest handball court erected in America is the Shamrock handball court in California.
Fact – According to the USHA (United States Handball Association), the oldest handball court on America soil was built in front of St. Vincent College, aka Southeast Missouri State University (see above).
All photos by Keith Thode.
No hyperbole here. This is already the best tournament with the best hospitality on Canadian territory we've ever seen.
We've been to other local and national handball tournaments where hospitality has always been a number one priority, but this one earned top honors. Not only the Canadians offered an outdoor Western BBQ for all players, family and friends to enjoy, but they also offered an indoor Banquet in the last day of the tournament where players across the globe got to know each more by sharing their own handball experiences at home and abroad.
Congratulations to all involved in making the world handball championships in Calgary, Canada, the best ever.
Photo by Bill Fand - Exhibition game in BBB, from left - Harry, Anthony Cirillo, Stephen Frank and Scott Kasmir.