Photo by Bill Fand
The first World Handball Championships was the most important handball project back in the 60’s, but no Club or handball facility wanted to step forward to take on the big responsibility of a tournament of this magnitude.
The NYAC, one of the oldest and most prestigious Clubs in America saw the opportunity to capitalize on this new idea and sponsored the game by hosting the first World handball championships in 1964. Only the best 4-wall players in the world were invited to compete.
Fast-forward fifty years and the World championships now include the 1-wall handball version where Tyree Bastidas from New York is the current reigning 1-wall world champion in singles and doubles divisions.
Coincidentally, Tyree Bastidas is sponsored by the New York Athletic Club "NYAC", the birthplace of the World Handball Championships.
Other Major events that took place around the world in 1964:
Muhammad Ali wins the Heavyweight Boxing Championship over Sonny Liston
The XVIII Summer Olympics take place in Tokyo, Japan.
Other Major events that took place at home (NY) in 1964:
New York World’s Fair in Queens, New York.
The Verrazano Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world (links Brooklyn and Staten Island) when it was opened to the public.
Photo by Iowa Handball Association.
Tyree Bastidas' Eye Guards by Albert Apuzzi.
T-Shirt by NYAC.
Gloves by Owen.
The pair demolished every team on the way to the final with Bastidas creating the set ups while Nahorniack was in charge of the kill-shots.
They are scheduled to be seeded No 1 as the current national champions and are expected to defend their titles in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Nick Nahorniack and Tyree Bastidas are products of the USHA national junior championships. They have come a long way ever since graduating from the junior nationals.
Congratulations to both players.
We all know Timothy Gonzalez is a big ball 1-wall champion who has the potential to challenge and beat small ball players.
On the other hand Tyree Bastidas, the small ball 1-wall champion, has also the potential to beat big ball players as he did at the famous King of the Courts tournament in 2013.
Most people in the handball community has always fantasized for Tyree and Timbo to play each other. Well, their fantasy just became a reality in the form of a “Fronton 1-wall game”, which boasts about being played by using the combined handball skills of small and big ball players, but using a different ball, which is slightly bigger than the big ball.
The Fronton 1-wall game has been in the rise in the U.S. and other countries in the last decade and has given all 1- wall players the opportunity to showcase their skills.
On April 28, Tyree and Timbo crossed paths for the first time to fulfill everybody’s fantasy in a match that brought the best of each player.
The match turned out to be a tough one as both players used their best weapon from their arsenal along their sharp handball skills.
Timbo seemed to be in top shape and well prepared for this game, but played under a lot of pressure as he was surrounded by cameras set up to catch the action, courtesy of his sponsor.
On the other hand, Tyree was more relaxed and confident of his game as he is used to cameras that follow him around the courts. He was also aware of Timbo’s great big ball handball skills.
In the end, no handball fan was disappointed with the quality of the game that both players brought to the H.E.S. 1-wall courts in Brooklyn, but as in any sports, only one player could advance to the semis.
Tyree Bastidas advanced to the semifinals once again. He has reached the semis before in previous occasions.Congratulations to both champions
Photos by AHA by Greg Hay (article from the WPH MB)
The Australian Three Wall Championship was played over a sun shining Easter weekend. It attracted the best players in Australia and a smattering of internationals. This year a young man from the New York Athletic Club found his way to Sydney and took on a strange ball, a foreign court and a range of ‘down under’ strategies. For the Australians it was exciting to see a much credentialed player. For Tyree Bastidas it was an opportunity to showcase the finest of ‘Brooklyn’ athleticism and display the best of US handball.
Australians and Americans stand on the court and approach that little ball differently. We hit it differently; we presume our opponents to be in different places; we craft a rally with different expectations and we produce winners that don’t swerve or spin or flick. This made the American visitor so much more interesting because he didn’t realize how he was supposed to play. He stood up at the service line and wouldn’t let anything go past. He jumped high and hit the ball with his feet off the ground; he swung the ball around the court, created angles and was outstanding using either hand. He was hard and clambering and inexorable. The Australians just powered up. They hit the ball into the hemisphere and tried to blast him out of Sydney. There are no confines in Australian courts. We just wanted to defeat him with power. We wanted Tyree out the back and scrambling. We wanted him to discover a bit of Australian real estate about 80 yards arrears and conceding points. Tyree just wouldn’t follow the Australian script. Tyree’s speed, placement, anticipation, bottom brick accuracy and power had us mesmerized and struggling. Like all outstanding champions he made it look easy even with all his personal intensity and focus on court. He was instinctive and intelligent and seemed too young to be playing so well. His consistency and steadiness produced winner after winner. His calmness and authority belied his age. His victory was outstanding.
I had a chance to talk with Tyree after he won the Australian Singles Championship. He was gently unflappable. It had been handball carnage, however, Tyree was gracious, calm and respectful. He was more ready to talk about the fun of the game than his achievement. He wanted to talk about important influences like Coach Michael Watson than his own significant accomplishment. He spoke about the hard fist and enormous depth of the Aussies as well as the hospitality and warmth of the crowd. “Just like any handball crowd’ he said. He even seemed a little surprised at his celebrity status. He looked at me and smiled and dutifully talked about training hard, reaching within for calmness in his play. He was even a little embarrassed about the pressure release occasionally on court when he called out a criticism of himself. He was a most impressive young man.
Tyree seemed intensely passionate about winning and spoke about not veering from the philosophy of ‘Never Giving Up’. I could see the fighter in the unruffled and polite way he spoke about the game. I could see the gladiator behind the gentleness in the way he spoke about preparation and desperation. I detected the courage in his excellence and the determination in his approach to every rally and every point. But he was quietly spoken and had an engaging smile. There was a reverence for the opponent and sense of privilege to be playing. He could be a kid using any ball against a wall. I think that is why he was so remarkable. What we saw on that sunny afternoon of excellence, and what we applauded most loudly for, was the graciousness in being so humble. In Australia it is how a champion wins that is important and Tyree was as decisive a winner as he was unassuming. It seemed to me that his greatest victory was the affection and admiration of the Australian handball community.We hope to see him again
Photo by Bill Fand
The world handball championships were originally created with 4-wall players in mind as it was the handball version the most practiced around the world.
It was in1997 when the world handball Committed allowed 1-wall competition for the first time. Ever since then, the 1-wall handball version has been a staple at the world handball championships.
Ever wonder why 1-wall is overtaking 4-wall?
The One-wall version has been gaining popularity across the states for several decades, but it wasn’t until the turn of the century when its popularity also imploded in other countries. Nowadays is considered by many as the most popular handball version in the world.
The last world handball championships that took place in Ireland attracted a record participation of more than 2,000 players because it offered 1-wall handball versions that included the small and big ball.