Photo by http://www.frontball.com/
Tyree Bastidas' handball journey (Part II) is about to end soon as he prepares for his third and perhaps the last chapter of his illustrious handball career. Here is a recap of his handball journey:
Part I - Bastidas' handball journey at the junior level ended in the summer of 2010 after a successful run through the USHA Juniors Nationals in all three handball versions by capturing the most USHA national titles in the history of the Association.
Part II - 2010 also marks the beginning of his new handball journey at the USHA 1-wall open competition when he captured his first 1-wall open title. Fast-forward five years and Bastidas finds himself once again winning the most 1-wall singles titles as a young open player.
The following chart is all about the youngest 1-wall players to ever grace the courts at the AAU and USHA championships before they turned 25. Their age represents the first time they captured an open singles title.
Congratulations to the following players:
Name Age AAU (Singles) USHA (Singles)
1- Tyree Bastidas 19 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015
2- Kenny Davidoff 20 1963, 1965 1962
3- Joel Davidson 17 1972
4- Mark Levine 18 1970
5- Ruby Obert 19 1954
6- Morty Alexander 20 1940
7- Sy Alexander 21 1931
7- Steve Sandler 21 1961
(1-2) – Players are ranked by number of titles.
(3-7) – Players are ranked by age. Here in Tyree's camp we always believe younger players deserve more merit for their winnings as they have to put super effort into their game to overcome the more experienced competition.
Screenshot from WPH webcast.
There is no easy answer to this question as some players have gone on to win titles in their late thirties. But we can start by answering the following question: Can a player be at a peak performance after 35?
Yes, he can, but only if the player is prepared mentally and physically, and is a conditioned athlete. We realize there aren't many players around who would dedicate themselves 100% to the game. Current 4-wall American players are a typical example.
On the other hand, Paul Brady seems to be the only 4-wall player in the world to have devoted most of his time to the 4-wall game, where he has reaped the benefits of it by winning ten open 4-wall national singles titles since 2005.
A week before the world handball championships took place in Calgary, Canada, we managed to observe P. Brady practicing the 4-wall game way ahead of everybody else. In the end he won the singles title.
During the spring of 2015 we wrote on some of the best 4-wall players who had won their last 4-wall nationals title (ninth) by the age of 35. Although there weren't many, we mentioned; Joe Platak, David Chapman and even Paul Brady who was vying for his 10th title.
Eventually Paul Brady won his last USHA 4-wall nationals in 2015 at the age of 35. He will turn 36 in the month of September. But how much longer can a 4-wall player keeps on winning national singles titles?
Paul Haber (35) tried to win his fourth consecutive 4-wall title in Seattle, WA in 1972, but lost to a young player, Fred Lewis (24).
The great Vic Hershkowitz won his last 4-wall national title at the age of 35 in 1954, but failed to win the following year to another young player, Jimmy Jacobs (25).
Jimmy Jacobs also won his last 4-wall singles title in 1965 at the age of 35. It would be his last singles open title.
At 36 and with so much training and dedication to the game, we believe Paul Brady's goal of winning another title to tie Naty Alvarado Sr.'s all-time record (11- titles) is possible and within reach. But if he loses; would this be his point of no return? - You be the Judge!
Good luck to Paul Brady!
Photos by Keith Thode
Myth – The Police and Fire Department handball tournaments started in the '60s.
Fact – The Police and Fire Department handball tournaments have been around since the 1930s
Brooklyn Eagle (Page 4D), December 25, 1938 – by Max Lodaw
The Metropolitan "Y" four-wall singles was carried off by Henry Herz of Bedford Branch, who vanquished Bill Lauro, Central, in the final. Leo Manka teamed with Herz to win the doubles from Lauro and Joe Abuelo.
In the final of the New York Police Department singles, Herz, representing Brooklyn's gendarme, defeated Bob Ford of the Bronx to win the title.
According to handball followers the player is suppose to make the call. It's been a controversial call for many years where players have complained and sometimes have called sportsmanship into question.
Rule 4.6.B - Wrist ball. The use of any other part of the body to return the ball, including the wrist or arm above the player’s hand, is a violation, even though the wrist or arm may be covered by a glove.
Recently at the Worlds handball championships during the 4-wall women's open semifinals match everyone at the gallery saw one of the players, unintentionally hit the ball with her wrist from an angle that was almost impossible for the referee to see. As expected, the other player waited for the rally to end and proceeded to complain to the referee.
To our surprise, the referee responded “If your opponent didn't call it, I'm not going to call it”
“It's the player's responsibility to make that call”
Does it make sense to relieve the referees of some of their duties on some of the calls? Or do we really need players to make the call in the name of sportsmanship? - You be the Judge!
Tyree Bastidas is the only world handball champion to have slammed at the worlds championships in any handball version and to have won all three USHA national titles during his reign.
2012 - World handball champion (won singles & doubles).
2013 - USHA National 1-Wall Champion.
2014- USHA National 1-Wall Champion.
2015 - USHA National 1-Wall Champion