Photo by Bill Fand
All 1-wall players will have the golden opportunity to play 1-wall at the highest level on July 18-19 in preparation for the 1-wall nationals and the worlds which are scheduled for this summer.
At least 20% of total participation at the Council Speaker's Cup are ready to play in the men's open to grab ranking points, honors and the prize-money, while many are already registered to play at the world handball championships that will take place the week after the 1-wall nationals.
Competing at the Council Speaker's Cup and at the 1-wall nationals, guarantees that 1-wall players competing at the worlds, will be in top shape to deliver their best performance ever.
The men's open competition also seems to be growing in numbers as former PSAL handball players join the open ranks for the unique opportunity to compete along Tyree Bastidas, the best 1-wall player in modern times.
Good luck to everyone at the Council Speaker's Cup (formerly Mayor's Cup).
Most Photos by Jared Vale
The elegant reception and the Saturday Banquet at the renowned ELKS Lodge on Queens Blvd attracted close to 100 guests to honor not only the current players but also to pay tribute to players of the past.
It was one of the most emotional events we had seen in recent years as Coach Mike Watson was seen attending the event for the first time after being absent from the handball circuit for several years.
Dori Ten and Ray Lopez were honored for their great accomplishment throughout their handball journey and junior players were honored and recognized for their efforts on and off the courts.
Congratulations to all the staff that made this event a memorable night for everyone to remember.
Players of the Year Awards:
Men’s Small Ball: Tyree Bastidas
Women’s Small Ball: Danielle Daskalakis
Boy’s Junior Small Ball: Darren Chin
Girl's Junior Small Ball: Michelle He
Men’s Big Ball: Timbo Gonzalez
Women’s Big Ball: Danielle Daskalakis
Boy’s Junior Big Ball: Michael Ngai
Girl's Junior Big Ball: Zhili Liu
Grand National Champions:
(Best All-around Players):
#1 - Tyree Bastidas and Danielle Daskalakis
#2 - Nik Nahorniak and Tracy Davis
#3 - Timbo Gonzalez and Sandy Ng
Watch promotional video clip………..
This topic has never really gained too much attention in the last 30 years as handball players from the mid '80, 90's and the 21st century don't really think or care about it. It only gets mentioned over the internet by players of the past, whom from time to time, remind the handball community that players of the past had a more difficult time competing for the titles and had to struggle more for the honors.
Handball players of the 60's and 70's usually bring out the fact that tiebreakers in the past used to be played to 21 points. And although this fact was verified by Dan Flickstein, a player from the 70's himself, we decided to dig a little bit deeper on this issue to bring out all facts for our readers to decide for themselves who really had it easier or harder with more resting time to capture national titles.
According to Dan Flickstein " the AAU and the USHA 1-wall nationals (singles competition) in the past used to be played for several weekends and sometimes ran for a couple of months, depending on the number of players."
"Generally, the nationals started with only the singles competition played by one match a day, and once the singles competition was over, the doubles competition would start the following weekend and lasted as long as it took for several weekends. Also, the time-outs between the first two games were two minutes while the time-out between the second and third game used to be ten minutes."
Contrary to the 60's and 70's, the current nationals are held during a long weekend that sometimes includes a Thursday and even a Wednesday, depending on the number of players. The daily competition also includes both: singles and doubles matches.
The time-outs between the first, second and third game is three minutes, while the tiebreaker would go to 11 points.
With all the facts summarized for our readers along with a copy of the old handball rulebook, we leave it up to our readers to decide which generation of players had more resting time to capture national titles under our Label – You be the Judge!
Photo by Dan GebbenThe scene was bedlam as many fans sadly sat at the gallery of “Los Cabs” exhibition court – thinking that American players would prevail this year.
The handball facility was stuffed with fans sitting, thinking and hoping Americans would win as they stared at the glass door after Paul Brady won with a convincing triumph over the American player.
Hours before, many dubious fans figure it would be the finale for P. Brady's reign after coming back from an injury he sustained two months ago, but after Brady won the first game, there was even more suspense and desperation.
“Sad but euphoric,” a fan said. If this was the last game in this place, what a way to end it, really.”
American players have brutally suffered at the hands of Paul Brady since 2005, and 2015 marked a decade of long suffering for the 4-wall handball community.
Photo bey ICHA
Jurell Bastidas' 2015 handball schedule was canceled and won't be competing for the rest of the year. We expect him to come back next year, depending on his new job schedule.
As recent as last year, Jurell Bastidas had accumulated enough rankings points to be seeded No 2 after his brother Tyree. But how did he earn so many ranking points?
Jurell had a successful year playing different handball versions in some ranking and non ranking events.
He and his brother Tyree cornered the 1-wall nationals men's open singles division in 2014 after defeating everyone in their respective brackets. They also reached the championship match in the men's open doubles in the same year.
He also won the King of the Ring handball tournament held in 2014 and was a semifinalist at the popular Frontball International Tournament during the spring of 2014.
Jurell and Tyree also partnered to compete and win the YMCA Pro 1-wall men's doubles division. He traveled on his own to compete at the prestigious WPH 3wallball world handball championships to pick up two more titles (singles and doubles) in 1-and 3-wall(short walls) respectively.
There are other tourneys where he competed and earned points in his long handball schedule, but he won't be playing in them anytime soon until further notice.
We wish Jurell the best in his new endeavors and hope he comes back to the game he loves with a passion.