Handball player for life.

Flashback – Epic Fall Failures, Part II – 1-wall East Coast (USHA).





The 1-wall nationals bring us to another chapter of Epic Fall Failures around the country during the 2013 handball season.

Joe Kaplan, a former national champion and veteran of the game, has been at the finals of the 1-wall nationals several times by playing in singles and doubles divisions. He missed the opportunity to become a national champion again in 2012 after a tough battle at the finals.

In 2013, Joe Kaplan, once again reached the finals of the USHA 1-wall championships that are usually played during the summer, but for various reasons it was rescheduled for the fall.

Mr. Kaplan’s handball experience at the open level covers three decades: from the 90’s through the first two decades of the 21st Century. He faced a very familiar face at the 2013 championship finals; Tyree Bastidas.

Kaplan has played Bastidas many times during the last three years and although Bastidas has had the upper hand, we thought that by now Kaplan had already figured out Bastidas’ game.

We’re also aware that Tyree has youth on his side, but the tremendous amount of handball experience Joe commands can’t be overlooked either. Joe eventually went down, but not without a fight.

3-wall around the world - Three Walls in Search of a Ball - Ireland





Photos by Kenneth O Halloran

By Julie Bosman

A century ago, handball was one of the most beloved sports in Ireland, its typical three-walled alley, or court, a fixture in villages and at crossroads. But these were “more than just places where people came to play handball,” says the photographer Kenneth O Halloran, who visited nearly a hundred abandoned courts in Ireland and Northern Ireland last year. “People came to socialize, to dance.” After the game moved indoors around the 1950s, many courts that were not demolished became places for parking or storage. There is little nostalgia among the Irish for handball alleys, O Halloran says. “I don’t think people would value them the way they value a traditional cottage, old crosses or ancient ruins,” he says. “A lot of people see them as eyesores.” Julie Bosman

When handball became popular in Ireland: Mid-1500s

Town statute from Galway in 1527: “At no tyme the use ne ocupye the horlinge of the litill balle with hockie stickes or staves, nor use no hande ball to playe without the walles, but onely the great foote balle”

Abandoned handball courts in Ireland: Around 700                               Read more……….                                                                                  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/magazine/three-walls-in-search-of-a-ball.html?ref=magazine&_r=0#slideshow/100000002863998/100000002864005

The Boston Open 2014 - Boston Handball Strong.





Photos by Dan Gebben

The 38th Boston Open Handball Tournament, BOSTON HANDBALL STRONG, showcased some of the best players in the world.
From Ireland, the youngsters Killian Carroll, Conor McElduff and Gabhan McCrystal all advanced to the semi-finals in the Open division, with Killian defending his Open title by defeating Emmett Peixoto from San Francisco. Killian and Emmett put on one of the most impressive displays at the Open with Killian winning 21-7,21-16. All Emmett could say was "WOW" and "I will be back next year shooting for him."
Canada / Quebec was also well represented with 8 players showing up led by the old pro and gentlemen, Denis Gingras. A solid group from New York City came up including Mike Schneider, Jurell Bastidas, Vlad Klym and Artur Sayed, all looking for some prize money, only to go home with the knowledge that  there are some tough youngsters from Ireland to try and pass through up in Boston.
The IRON MAN award goes to Bernie Horn in the 50s'. After taking a nasty fall, he finished his game with Mike Griffin winning 21-9, off to the locker room to tape up and come back to win the second game 21-12. In pain, a trip to the clinic was in order where Bernie learned he had a fractured wrist and elbow but also a crazy win.
Bernie had to default at that time only to watch Chris DiMinico win the 50s' with a solid win over Pat Reilly.
Great banquet in the restaurant of the Boston Athletic Club followed Saturday's matches. The club was packed Sunday morning to take in some great semi-final and final action.The local Boston players showed great support for the event.

Killian Carroll d. Denis Gingras ...0,0
Connor McElduff d. Mike Schneider ...15,18
Gabhan McCrystal d. Jurell Bastidas ...(13),19,9
Emmett Peixoto d. Vlad Klym ...6,4

Carroll d. McElduff ...16,7
Peixoto d. McCrystal ...6,5

Carroll d. Peixoto ...7,16

Vincent StArmant d. James Flaherty ...16,20

Chris Hlavatovic d. Raphael Guzman ...7,17

Chris DiMinico d. Pat Reilly ...17, (13), 2

Bob Turnan d. George DeGonzague ...(14),8,5

70's...Round Robin was won by Dave Lippman who won all 5 games he played.

The tournament committee thanks Wendy Zinn from the Boston YMCA and Emily Swanson and Jimbo Daley from the BAC for their support of this event.
The first weekend in May next year, Boston is the HANDBALL place to be.

Mike Rusinak

Handball Domination – New York players rule the handball sport – Part 6





From left to right: Ruby Obert, Joe Durso and Albert Apuzzi                      Photo by USHA

For the past ninety years, New York handball players have dominated the handball circuit all across the states by establishing records: individually or in teams. They have also dominated most of the divisions: Juniors, Open and Masters, including, men and women.

Because New York players have such a love for the game and play with so much intensity on the court, they have managed to dominate almost every division in the USHA from 1951-2013.

Not only they have dominated and captured the most titles, but they have established the most records and milestones in the Association.

When we talk about the greatest players of the game, New Yorkers can’t be ignored.

New Yorkers always love to excel in everything they do and they always like to be first and in control of their games

From the juniors to the Open Divisions New Yorkers have been ruling the handball sport in 1-, 3-, and 4-wall handball versions overall. Such is the case of the following USHA record holders in the doubles divisions, who have established records that still stand in American Handball History.

The following breakdown is not in any particular order, but is a testament of New York supremacy in the Association.

USHA record holders - men’s longest undefeated run (Doubles):

Albert Apuzzi – NY (1-wall)

He won seven (7) consecutive open titles.

Team John Bike Jr and Dave Dohman (3-wall)

They won five (5) consecutive open titles

Team: John Sloan/Phil Collins and Team N. Alvarado/Vern Roberts (4wall)

Each team won four (4) consecutive open titles.

Hand injury lowers Tyree’s winning expectations – even the best players take a break





Top photo by IHA

Tyree Bastidas who was injured in 2011 and lost in the 1-wall championship match in that summer, got injured again when he broke his pinky finger while taking a shot during the point before point game that was on his favor. While Bastidas had a clear shot to score, his rival had a zero chance of returning or even getting the ball, but unexpectedly, the other player moved into Bastidas’s shot, causing Bastidas to swing into the player, breaking Bastidas’ finger and forcing a tiebreaker that Bastidas couldn’t win with one hand.

Paul Brady also got injured when he broke his finger in 2011, but opted not to play at the 4-wall nationals by taking a long break.

We don’t know how long Bastidas will take to comeback to the game, but he may be ready for the summer season. For now he’ll be taking a break again.

Blending the Past and the Present

For The Record:

Tyree Bastidas is the only player in America to have slammed in the 1-wall handball version as a USHA junior champion and as a World open champion.