Top Photo by Emmanuel Fuentes - Bottom Photos by Bill Fand
The bottom bracket of the men’s open singles division seemed to be a tough side loaded with several top players and national champions. But in spite of these obstacles, Jurell prevailed and made it all the way to the semis, where he had a tough match with Mike Schneider that could have gone to the tiebreaker. “I never underestimate Mike” Jurell said.
“He’s been playing good in the past year”
We have to agree with Jurell. Mr. Schneider was also in the semifinals of the men’s open singles last year and almost beat Tyree in a close tiebreaker that could have gone to Mike.
Congratulations to both players for playing one of the most exciting games of the tournament.
Top Photo from l: Canadian players - Ivan Burgos, Alam Burgos, Ryan Bowler and Ivan Elliott.
We are always hearing good stories about Canadian handball Coach, Elliott. When it comes to help handball players, he’s always been there for them, especially for juniors, and this year was not different.
A few years ago, Mr. Elliott started to bring junior handball star John Audet to junior handball competition in North America, where John won a ton of experience and several national titles in the U.S. and Canada.
Nowadays Elliott is betting that two brothers: Ivan and Alam Burgos from the Ontario area, will stay in the game and win many titles as both brothers have shown they could play and win in all three handball versions.
We are also hoping to see the Burgos brothers in New York next year when they compete at the 1-wall nationals.
Congratulations to Elliott for bringing and introducing more junior players to the perfect game.
Photo by WPH
Never mind the small ball or the gloves the players wear to play with the small ball. The big ball is here and is here to stay with the vast majority of handball enthusiasts who prefer to play with the soft and friendly big ball.
New York City, the center of the Universe when it comes to 1-wall handball is considered a big ball town as more and more 1-wall handball tournaments are organized on a weekly basis during the outdoor season.
But what drove most people to play with the big ball?
The big ball game is easy to learn and play and no matter how hard the ball is hit, it doesn’t stray far from the players.
A typical example is illustrated with the photo shown above, where the WPH National big ball 3-wall tournament took place in Venice Beach, California.
The WPH, which is always video-recording the handball games across the U.S., allowed handball fans to sit and watch the final games right behind the long lines because it’s aware that no matter how hard the ball is pounded it will mostly stay in the front or within the courts.
When playing 1-wall big ball, the game is also played mostly in the front as most players are aware that no matter how hard the ball is hit, the players know they can follow it and keep it in play.
But whatever other reasons handball players may have to migrate to the big ball game, we are all happy to see the big ball game flourish.
Tyree Bastidas knows what is like to be under the microscope, to be picked over and analyzed. And really all he ever had to do was how talented he truly was.
Bastidas got injured during match point, but still wrapped up the open singles division on Sunday July, 20. He has captured the men’s open title in previous occasions. Last year he lost in the final match to his brother Jurell, also a small ball player. This year Tyree had to face Gio Vasquez, a big ball player looking for his first small ball title.
Congratulations to Tyree for being the youngest player to capture the most open singles titles at this major event.
On July 27, Tyree showed up to play his fourth round game after surviving the first day of competition. His opponent, Angel, was a young man who had earned the “A” player status.
We didn’t know too much about this player other than he was very explosive on the court when things didn’t go his way. And explosive he was as he argued with the line referees, with Tyree and even with the main referee, Tony Roberts.
Angel’s explosive outbursts got him in hot water during the middle of the game, when the main referee gave him a warning. But Angel didn’t stop there, he kept arguing with the referee to the point where Tony Roberts had to approach him and warn him again without penalizing him. At his point, Tyree got frustrated himself and decided to dump the game little by little as he noticed that no rules were enforced during Angel's’ outbursts.
After the game some handball fans said and asked: Tyree could have beaten Angel, why did he dump the game?
We agree with them. Tyree is a better player, but he just doesn’t like to continue playing when his opponents get away easily by intimidating the referees with their yelling techniques.