FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Keith Mardak with his wife Mary Vanderberg.|
$1 Million for Scholarships and Challenges to Communities
Tucson, AZ, May 1, 2017: When Keith Mardak of Milwaukee decided he wanted to help college kids and handball, he decided to do it in a big way. The $1,000,000 gift is the largest in the USHA’s history and is designed to be in place for posterity. There are two pieces to the Endowment, one will fund college students to teach handball and the other piece will fund scholarships for those students who teach. Keith’s generosity to the communities where handball is taught will need to be matched from within the community.
The Mardak Scholarships and Mardak Community Challenges will start in the Spring of 2018 with at least 10 scholarships and five community grants awarded. “It’s going to be great to be a collegiate handball player,” said USHA Executive Director Vern Roberts.
“It’s been exciting to reach out into the communities to find the matching funds. Everyone likes the idea and is stepping up to grow the game with more coaching and mentoring by young people for younger people. We’ve seen similar startups with Homework and Handball in Tempe and Lift Up Kids in Austin, and there are other successful programs. We’ll be off and running in the Spring of 2018 with these and a few more communities we’re working on,” Roberts added. “Handball needs more teachers, more players and this is a great place to start.”
Mardak, who has been one of the USHA’s most generous donors, is looking forward to getting the program(s) off the ground and “seeing the positive results,” Mardak said.
Keith and his wife Mary Vanderberg have supported numerous organizations in a big way, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Milwaukee, the VanderCook College of Music, the Milwaukee Ballet and the Phoenix Society, along with numerous other high school and college scholarships. A part owner of the Wisconsin Athletic Clubs, including Milwaukee’s No. 1 handball club, Mardak has played handball since the late 1960s. Though he hasn’t been able to play for awhile due to injury, but like every handball player, hopes to make a comeback after his new shoulder heals, he noted: “Greg (Misiewicz) and I had a good run.” Keith had a lot of fun playing handball and now he’s looking to share that with other youngsters for a lifetime.
To maintain the endowment, 4% of the fund’s value on Dec. 31 will be spent on the two programs in the following year. The spending will be split between the Mardak Scholarships and the Mardak Community Challenge. With the local communities involved the Challenge, we’re hoping for a huge impact in the growth of handball in those areas.
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Sunday's matches wrapped up a tremendous 65th USHA Collegiate National Championships at Arizona State. The ASU Sun Devil Handball Club was recognized as the USHA Organization of the Year on Saturday night, and they delivered an exceptional event. University of Florida's Michael Morgan was honored with the USHA Coach of the Year award. Lake Forest's Ricardo Palma and Juan Canales were awarded the John C. Sabo Scholarships.
After the banquet, collegiate players and coaches enjoyed an after party with pool, table tennis and cyber bowling in Sparky's Den at the Student Union.
In Sunday's finals, Trinity College Dublin's Ciara Mahon dominated all opponents during the week to win her first Women's Open Singles title defeating Limerick's Niamh Dunne, 21-15, 21-9.. The win denied University of Limerick's chances to sweep the singles. Mahon jumped to big leads in both games and cruised to the title despite a late-game surge from Dunne in the first game.
In the Men's Open final, University of Limerick's Colin Crehan found a higher gear whenever challenged by Leo Canales of Lake Forest winning 21-10, 21-11. Canales fell behind in both games but pushed back by executing some tough serves and timely passes to keep the score relatively close. During one of Canales' streaks, a late timeout in the second game spelled Crehan who came back in to close out the remaining points needed for championship point.
|Men's Open Finalists: Champion Colin Crehan (Limerick) with finalist Leo Canales (LFC).|
Missouri State University returned to the top of college handball Saturday by winning the combined team open title. Minnesota State-Mankato finished second.
University of Limerick won the Men's Open team title, edging out Lake Forest. In the Women's Open team standings, Missouri State topped University of Texas.
Pacific University won the Combined A team title over University of West Florida.
Stony Brook University won the Men's A team title. University of West Florida finished second.
Pacific University won the Women's A team title. Angelo State finished runner-up.
Michigan State University won the Men's B team title while Pacific finished second.
Click on the links below to see team scores.
Men's Preliminary Matches
Women's Preliminary Matches
Entry and Eligibility
- February 22 (2 pm)-play may begin
- February 26-(12 pm)-play ends
- March 3-Articles due
- A Step-by-step Guide to Collegiate Tournament Seeding HERE.
- On-line forms: WOMEN, MEN
- Please take a look at the Skill Levels Document before completing the online or mail back forms. We hope to not just a ranking of players on your team but a sense of their skills and how they compare to other players on your team. When combined with last years results we will create our first draft.
- Challenges policy-First round challenges do not require any written reason. A written reason for challenges in the second round will require a written reason.
- Returning player seeding policy-Players will be seeded above where they finished in the previous years unless they zero-pointed in the previous year. Requests to a seed below where they finished must be in writing and include the reason for the request.
2016 National Collegiate Results HERE.
The new naming conventions will be broken into Open, A, B, and C Divisions for the men and women draws. Each Division will contain a number of brackets based upon the number of players in a division.
- Open Division – Open Bracket
- A Division – A1, A2, A3 Brackets
- B Division – B1, B2, B3, Brackets
- C Division – C1, C2, C3 Brackets
- Open Division– Open Bracket
- A Division – A1, A2 Brackets
- B Division – B1, B2 Brackets
- C Division - C Bracket
To categorize teams for Open, A, or B team titles, you would take the AVERAGE of the players’ seeds. For the 2015 men’s draw, to find the three Divisions you would divide the total number of entrants by 3, e.g. 162 entrants / 3 = 54.
- Open Division up to 54
- A Division 55 – 108
- B Division 109 - 162
To qualify for a team title, a school would still need to have a minimum of three players in a gender. Points would be calculated exactly how they were in 2015. The schools would have been divided as follows in the Men’s 2015 tournament using this method.
- Wall chart-Draws will be posted on the wall in a diamond shape to reflect where players move to as the players either win or lose in the first two rounds.
- Women's Divisions (template)
- Men's Divisions (template)
- Location: Lunches will be in the "Large Classroom" which is on the second floor. Go up the stairs near court 1. The Large Classroom is straight in front of you across the hall.
- Times: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Noon-2:15 p.m.
- Location: Green Gym (located on the first floor between courts 3 & 4).
- Time: Saturday, (Feb. 25) 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
- Location: Sun Devil Fitness Complex-Well Devil Suite (first floor)
- Times: Wednesday (1:00 pm), Saturday (3:30 or 4:00 pm)
- Agendas: Wednesday-(meet and greet/tournament information), Saturday- (awards, articles, election, governance)
- All Tournament: (semi and finalist Open division both genders)
- All American: Top-4 (or more in case of tie) American players in top 16 Singles or finalists of Open Doubles
- Sportsmanship: (both genders)
- Most Improved Player: (both genders based on 2016 finish/2017 finish)
University of Arizona's Lucas Neff against Michael Mathis from University of West Florida in Friday's quarterfinal action in the Men's A3 action. Neff won 21-18, 21-5 to advance to the quarterfinals.
It was a topsy-turvy Friday in from the Men's Open to the Men's C3 division as upsets happened across the board. While top-seeded Colin Crehan (Limerick) was not one of the casualties, others were knocked out in the first round and quarterfinals. Luis Bustos (Minnesota State-Mankato) upended third seed Anthony Collado (Lake Forest) in the first round with an 11-6 tiebreaker victory. In the same half of the bracket, Leo Canales (Lake Forest) stopped second seed Tyler Stoffel (Minnesota State-Mankato) in two games, 21-10, 21-18. Canales faces Sam Esser (Missouri State) in the semifinals on Saturday.
Esser produced the match of the day earlier, fighting off match point and scoring three-straight points to defeat Seamus Conneely (Limerick) 19-21, 21-8, 11-10. Click on the draws below to see Friday's results.
The atmosphere remained electric with teammates cheers and applause ringing through the rec center while players battled on the courts. Thanks to Red Bull Energy Drinks and Jimmy John's Sandwiches for supplying products and samples for the tournament. Red Bull has a connection with handball by sponsoring the Annual Red Bull Slaps each summer in New York City (also see Red Bull's The History of Handball in 77 Seconds). The National Collegiates will continue through this weekend with singles and doubles finals wrapping up on Sunday.
Admission to watch is free! The Sun Devil Fitness Complex is located at: 400 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85287.
CINCINNATI -- The Munson brothers were devastating in the 35s as they marched through the strong field, including Dave Bardwell and Nick Mattioni in the final. ICRCTV was on site streaming two finals and you'll be able to watch them on demand. The 35 Singles final has been uploaded to the U.S. Handball YouTube Channel HERE.
Shane Conneely and Stas Hammond rallied to defeat Andy Rousseau and Jared Vale in a great 40 final. Andy Schad and Dan Zimet turned back the determined Rousseau and Vale in the 45s as well. Jim Wohl and Jake Esser won a grueling 50 final over John Allen and Scott Walker. Alan Frank and Joe Berman stopped Marty Clemens and Dave McElwain's run in the 55s. Dave Dohman and Scott Rosenthal beat Mike Linnik and Tom Fitzwater to add the indoor to their outdoor title. Vance McInnis and Ed Campbell won the 65 title over Bob Dyke and Dave Schmelz. Bob Bardwell and Dave Hinkleman were impressive in the 70s, turning back Gary Rohrer and Ron Cole in the final. Ed Grossenbacher and Vince SanAngelo reunited for the 75s title over Bob Braine and Norm Young. And in the 80s, it's been 25 years since Al Green survived a heart attack and now he's one of a select few to win titles in one-, three-, and four-wall. Green teamed with Ed Woerner to outlast the 85-eligible Lew Buckingham and Ben Marguglio in a tiebreaker.
The GCHA provided great hospitality all weekend for the players and fans, rewarded the largest field in seven years for coming to the Queen City.
See the draws and results HERE.
Study of Protective Eyewear for Handball Summary of Phase Two
Principal Investigators: Benjamin Schmid, David Steinberg, Jeff Kastner
February 9, 2017
The purpose of this phase two study was to test six more types of protective eyewear using the same methodology as for phase one, already documented on the USHA website. Both phase one and phase two research will be used to create a new handball specific standard for review and approval by the American Society of Testing and Materials, ASTM International. The laboratory at Pacific University’s College of Optometry, Forest Grove, Oregon campus was used again with the same basic testing apparatus, tools and equipment except a different high speed camera, the Edgertronic SC1. Additionally, "ballistic paste" (red lipstick) was used on the pressure sensor to determine the approximate surface area of eye contact; sensor operation was not affected in any way.
The following protective eyewear models tested were:
1. Revision military grade SawFly, donated by Fred Penning
2. BangerZ model HS-2000, purchased by the USHA eyeguard fund
3. BangerZ model HS-5500, purchased by the USHA eyeguard fund
4. Roca model TP456 for basketball, donated by Steve Birrell, USHA board member
5. Panlees JH0025 for basketball, donated by Steve Birrell, USHA board member
6. ZLeader Champion model, donated by David Steinberg
Study Design and Details
This study simulated how these sample eyewear products react to being struck by a handball using data obtained from high speed video and a force measuring system. Three “shots” are done while collecting data from the video and force measurement equipment for each eyewear model. All shots were direct frontal impact targeting the manikin eye at speeds of 50, 65 and 80 MPH.
Eyewear that fails on any shot will be deemed unsafe and no further testing will be done on that model. For the purposes of this study, the criteria of failure is: any detectable eye contact or any broken and/or cracked unit.
Model Results Summary
|Image 1 (Z Leader Champion).||Image 2 (Roca TP456 & Panlees JH0025).||Image 3 (BangerZ HS-5500 & HS-2000).|
Revision SawFly: This model failed on a 50mph shot with measurable direct eye contact of the lens as it flexed inward from convex to concave. This action, referred to as the "oil can effect", was been previously documented in phase one.
ZLeader Champion: This model failed on a 50mph shot by cracking into several pieces. See Image 1.
Roca TP456: This model failed on a 50mph shot by suffering a cracked frame and lens ejection. See Image 2.
Panlees JH0025: This model fail on a 50mph shot suffering a cracked frame, broken pieces and lens ejection with the lens contacting the eye with measurable force and ballistic paste present. See Image 2.
BangerZ HS-2000: This model PASSED all three shots at all three speeds. See Image 3.
BangerZ HS-5500: This model PASSED all three shots at all three speeds.
The investigators’ interpretation of the video and data shows that there are at least two commercially manufactured eyewear models that offer protection from direct shots to the eye. In addition, David Steinberg has been using the BangerZ HS-5500 since the study was conducted and reports that the unit is very comfortable, has great vision and does not fog up. Part of the reason for this is the larger and softer padding that creates a bigger air gap between the lenses and face. The manufacturer has been contacted to discuss modification to the padding used to further increase protection and comfort.
Given the results of two passing models, it is hoped the USHA will give precedence to making these available for sale and remove the two models currently marketed that already failed phase one testing.
Lastly, the research team requests any USHA member to join us to provide insight and input to the creation of a new, handball specific, ASTM standard.
Phase One Study
The accompanying “Study of Protective Eyewear for Handball” was conducted last winter at Pacific University. Principal investigators were Benjamin Schmid and David Steinberg. Consultants were Karl Citek, MS, O.D., PhD, and Professor Fraser Horn, O.D., chairman of the Sports Vision Council of the American Optometric Association. Videographer was Jeff Kastner.
See the unabridged Study for Protective Eyewear for Handball report HERE.
If interested in providing feedback for the ASTM subcommittee to write a standard for handball CLICK HERE.
The purpose of the study in March was to test the efficacy of several common types of protective eyewear used for handball.
The laboratory at Pacific University’s School of Optometry in Forest Grove, Ore., was the site for the study. The lab offered the basic testing apparatus, tools and equipment, and several professors of optometry provided expert opinion, oversight, comments and feedback to the experimental design and testing process.This study simulated how sample eyewear products react to being struck by a handball and observed effects on eye anatomy using data obtained from high-speed video and a force-measuring system.There are numerous variables to consider testing in a dynamic sport like handball. The investigators chose three to control: launch velocity, impact angle and ball type. Three “shots” are done for each variable while collecting data from the video and force-measurement equipment for each eyewear model.
To be effective, eyewear must be able to prevent direct ball contact with the globe, lessen and disperse the impact energy, remain intact and in place, fit comfortably and minimize view obstruction.
In handball, the risk for globe injury from indirect impact is higher than direct impact for two reasons:
- The facial area — temple and nose bridge — where forces can be transmitted to the globe is larger than the eye socket.
- In player positioning, the exposed player is most often looking back from an angle.
The design of this study to include indirect impacts was initiated because of recent injuries of this nature that caused permanent vision loss. Interestingly, side and angled impact studies are noticeably absent from the body of research, though this mechanism of injury and associated trauma is well documented.
The testing equipment consisted of a Plexiglas enclosure containing the standard Canadian head form for the average adult male fixed on an adjustable mount. The ball was launched through an aperture in the Plexiglas from a Juggs gun over a light-sensitive chronograph to measure velocity. Data from each impact was collected from two sources: an ultra-high-speed camera and a force-sensor system. The camera was the Phantom V711 rented from Vision Research1, the manufacturer. It was configured to operate at 20,000 frames per second using a 50mm lens and mounted about 1 foot from the mannequin with an essential field of view of about 6 square inches perpendicular to the trajectory of the ball.
The sensor unit was the Tekscan multi-handle high-speed ELF system with three thin film transducers connected via three USB ports to a Windows-based computer.The ELF software can record up to 6,000 force reading per second with an upper limit of 1,000 pounds for each transducer. The transducers are mounted on the mannequin under the eyewear on the inside nose bridge, the temple and the eye.
The following parameters chosen for the study were: launch velocities of 50 mph, 65 mph and 80 mph, and impact angles with the mannequin of 0 degrees (frontal impact), 90 degrees (side impact) and 115 degrees (angled impact).
The vast majority of adult players routinely hit the Red 21 ball at 50 mph. All handball specifications are available on the USHA’s website.
Four commercially available eyewear models were tested — two sold by the USHA, one sold by Edtl Handball and the other by O’Neills.
The USHA models are the Blacknight Turbo and Racket-Specs, both manufactured by Unique Sports Inc. and passed the ASTM F803 standard in 1998.
The Edtl Handball model is called the Edtl Eyeshield and is lensless. It has been tested and did not pass the ASTM F803 standard.
The O’Neills model is called the Challenger lensless eyeguard and today is the most commonly used of the four. This model was tested in the 1980s as referenced previously and was originally manufactured in the U.S. It also did not pass the ASTM F803 standard.
Preliminary testing was done to refine the procedures and coordinate the force-sensor and video recordings during each ball launch. Video data was captured in RAW format and later converted to MPEG4 format by Jeff Kastner, the videographer.
See the full report for the force-sensor readings were captured by the computer in spreadsheet format and later culled down to all non-zero data by the investigators.
After several dozen preliminary tests, the investigators found that the impact data from the 115-degree and 90-degree angles were very similar and opted to conduct the formal testing using only the 90-degree angle and the 0-degree angle.
This model failed on both the 0- and 90-degree impacts at 50 mph with the Red 21 ball. The failures include direct eye contact by the lens, ejection of the lens from the frame, broken lens, broken nose bridge and the attachment pins, and broken arm of the frame. See video files r50-0_1.mpeg4 for eye contact and fragment projectile and r50-90_1.mpeg4 for lens ejection as two failure examples.
This model failed the 0-degree impact at 50 mph with the Red 21 ball, and no further testing was done on the other balls.The failure includes direct eye contact by the lens. Force-measurement recordings from direct eye contact, the nose bridge and temple area are consistent with the video. See video files r50-0_02.mpeg4 and r50-0_03.mpeg4 for direct eye contact of the lens.
This model failed on the 0-degree impact at 50 mph with all three balls. The failure is direct eye contact by each ball with corresponding force measurements. See video files w50-0_1.mpeg4 and b50-0_1.
Additionally, the investigators noted from the video files that this lensless model introduces two other dangers that actually increase the risk of eye injury.
First, ball impact on the upper or lower frame with more than half the ball diameter inside the lensless area causes the ball to rotate around the impacted frame in a whiplike fashion, adding angular momentum to the impact as it enters the eye socket.
Second, because of this observed phenomenon, the impact area for direct eye contact is increased by slightly less than the radius of the ball both above and below the eye socket. The investigators referred to this as the “funnel effect,” and it is visible in video file trial_1.mpeg4, a 50-mph shot during the preliminary testing phase.
This model failed on the 0-degree impact at 50 mph with the Red 21 ball with direct eye contact and corresponding force measurements. See video files r50-0_1.mpeg4 and r50-0_3.mpeg4 .
The investigators also noted the presence of the funneling effect on this model in both videos.
The investigators’ interpretation of the video and data is that none of the currently marketed eyewear models tested provide eye protection for handball in the tests conducted that simulate real playing conditions.
At a minimum, every model failed to prevent direct contact of the globe by either the ball or the eyewear. Players wearing any of the four tested models who are unaware of these facts may have a false sense of security that they have at least some protection. Additionally, because of the discovery of the funnel effect, lensless models actually increase the risk of eye injury.
Fortunately, eye injuries in handball are quite rare. However, the consequences of such an injury are catastrophic. The USHA recognized this in 1988 when it mandated eyewear usage in sanctioned events.
The USHA does recommend lensed models in the rule book and sells ASTM-approved ones. The investigators currently have an open dialogue with the ASTM to get the F803 modified for handball based on the evidence of the test data.
Additionally, the investigators have informed Unique Sports that its marketed eyewear fails the ASTM F803 standard when used for handball. Finally, it is the investigators’ desire to make the data and video of their testing widely available to stimulate the innovation of better protective eyewear for the safety of those who play handball.
By Tom Sove, Game Committee Chair
Rules are intended to ensure fair play and safety. The current glove rule, Rule 2.3.B Style states: The usual hitting surfaces of the glove must be light in color and made of a soft material or leather. The fingers may not be webbed, connected or removed. Any gloves which provide an unfair advantage are not allowed, and must be replaced at the referee’s direction. At the recent January, 2017 board meeting the USHA passed a change to the glove rule, adding the phrase “with wetness easily detected by visual inspection” to the end of the first sentence.
As we all know, the only reason we wear gloves is to keep the ball dry to prevent the ball from sliding during the rally. Obviously, a ball that slides can create an unfair advantage for one player and a disadvantage for the other. This wording is intended to augment the already existing wording that the glove material must be light in color. The USHA believes that fairness demands that a referee may be able to ascertain when a glove is wet enough to affect play before it happens. Hence the wording incorporated includes “light in color” and “wetness detected by visual inspection”. Without a quick visual inspection (at times, from about 20 feet away), if a referee can only determine wet gloves by rubbing a ball on the glove it is too late to prevent slides, which can certainly create an unnecessary delay in a match. Repeatedly needing to do this creates additional problems.
Recent trends in glove manufacturing have resulted in the introduction of some gloves that do not meet this criteria. They are neither light in color nor readily show wetness by visual inspection. We purposefully did not delineate either glove brands or glove material in the hope that these same providers/manufacturers will still pursue viable gloves that meet the parameters of the rule, and thereby offer more options to our players. In fact, the USHA was actively pursuing a new glove using a synthetic material. However, we were unconvinced the material would meet our own criteria and we halted our efforts.
This issue was brought to us by the WPH. Their valuable input underscored the need to amend the rule. According to David Fink, referees were having problems detecting wet gloves in their pro tournaments, resulting in unfortunate slides affecting outcomes of matches. Not only were officials having problems, even some players weren’t sure if their gloves were wet. Our final version of the rule change was shared with the WPH, and they enthusiastically endorsed and embraced it. Dave Vincent writes: “I support the article, wording and direction you are taking here.”
The application of the rule is simple. The referee may enforce the removal of an offending glove at any time during a match.
*This article will be published in the next issue of HANDBALL MAGAZINE.
ELMHURST, N.Y. -- The One-Wall Awards Dinner on February 25 honored the top One-Wall Players in several categories over the past year. We were privileged to honor the following for their accomplishments in 2016:
WALLBALL AWARDS: Men’s Division –Timothy Gonzalez Women’s Division – Sandy Ng Junior Boys – Daniel Pitre
SMALL BALL AWARDS: Men’s Division – Tyree Bastidas Women’s Division – Danielle Daskalakis Junior Boys – Gabriel Carbuccia Junior Girls – Michele He
LEGENDS AWARD: George Figueroa and Tony Roberts
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Veronica Figueroa
ARTHUR "BUTTERHUP" CUSSELL AWARD: 2015 – Paul Lonergan 2016 – Carlin Rosa
The top Wallball and Small Ball honorees of Timbo, Tyree, Sandy and Danielle are all repeat honorees and the dominating players of our era in these handball disciplines. The other categories may need more explanation but are every bit as noteworthy.
The “Legends Award” was decided by a vote from the One-Wall Committee and honors past champions who have distinguished themselves through continued excellence and longevity. In 2016, George Figueroa and Tony Roberts achieved a remarkable string of five consecutive National titles in small ball as a doubles team. This is a rare feat in any sport and is a remarkable achievement.
The Arthur "Butterhup" Cussell Award was established by Cussells friends to honor the sportsperson who exhibits character, honor, and sportsmanship on and off the court. In 2015 our committee voted for Paul Lonergan who exemplified these traits. So too has Carlin Rosa who earned our accolades in 2016.
The Community Service Award is given to an individual who has changed and influenced handball over many years of selfless service and devotion to our game. The honoree for 2016, Veronica Figueroa, is so deserving of our award for the countless hours she has devoted to juniors and adults alike. If you want to get something done--ask Veronica.
By Glenn T. Hall, Chairman
A Coach for Character
by Dr. Raquel S. Barnes
Sportsmanship for me is when a guy walks off the court and you really can’t tell whether he won or lost, when he carries himself with pride either way.
- Jim Courier, Four-time Grand Slam Tennis Champion
Today's sporting culture, places great importance on the idea of winning and thus sportsmanship takes a back seat. However, in most if not all sports, athletes inspire, bring hope and whether they like it or not, they are viewed as role models. Sportsmanship can be defined by the spirit of fairness, respect and fellowship with other people in the competitive arena. The Arthur "Butterhup” Cussell Sportsmanship Award embodies this spirit, and this year Carlin Rosa and Paul Lonergan will be presented with the award.
Rosa, as a young teen was taught the game by his uncle. His natural athleticism served him well as he climbed the rankings of pro handball in the Open division. Rosa’s humble nature doesn’t go unnoticed once he steps on the courts throughout the Bronx and Brooklyn. It was on the courts that Rosa chose to emulate players like Albert Apuzzi, William Polanco and George Figueroa, who were renowned for their on-court decorum and fair play ethos. These mentors along with the strong influence of Rosa’s family instilled integrity and character.
2016 Winner Paul Lonergan: A Polished Champion
Paul Lonergan has long been a gentleman on and off the court. Teaming with Al Torres, in the 80s, they were always in the discussion to win a national title, finishing second for three consecutive years before Paul teamed with his brother Joe to win in 1991. Lonergan reached the semifinals in the singles in 1988. During this time and throughout his masters playing career today, Lonergan maintains a high level of sportsmanship and fairness which embodies the spirit of Arthur "Butterhup” Cussell Sportsmanship Award.
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tracy Davis and David Fink come up big at Hall of Fame & Women's Classic. The former Women's Classic champ Davis took back the Classic title over defending champ Jennifer Schmitt in two games. On the Men's side, Fink repeated his win over Sean Lenning in singles and teamed with Braulio Ruiz to take the doubles over Lenning and Dylan Key.
Davis made a statement in the first game, utilizing her power serve with relentless precision that kept the experienced Schmitt on her heals. While Schmitt adjusted to the speed, she couldn't mount a comeback bid losing 21-8. In the second, Davis once again built a big leads of 13-4 and 17-8 and appeared to be on the way to victory. But Schmitt adjusted, hitting defensive shots which forced Davis to the back of the court and neutralized her power. Schmitt kept chipping away at her deficit and nearly tied the score before Davis earned the side out leading 18-17. At that point, Schmitt burned her final timeout to regroup and make a final push for a tiebreaker.
When play resumed, Davis regained her early match form to get out of her scoring slump and score match point on a drive along the wall to the deep left which wasn't returned.
This year's Men's Open final was a rematch from 2016; however, it didn't have the same drama as last year's contest. In less than 30 minutes, David Fink successfully defended his Hall of Fame title, making quick work of Sean Lenning who was hampered by a left shoulder injury suffered last month. While one-armed Lenning's heroics worked in earlier rounds, Fink refused to rally with his opponent, aggressively killing the ball and ending rallies with every opportunity.
In the doubles final, Fink and partner Braulio Ruiz kept their foots on the gas pedal, relentlessly forcing shots to Lenning's left and serving to Lenning's partner, Dylan Key. The young Key made several big plays and held his own with the top pros on the same court but ultimately couldn't withstand the firepower of Fink and Ruiz, falling in two games, 21-14, 21-8.
Video replays of the Women's Classic and Men's Open finals are available on the United States Handball Association's Facebook (no audio).
See draws and results HERE.
Women's Classic Drop-Down Divisions:
5th Place Playoff (from Quarterfinals)
Semifinals: Amy Gross d. Kena Byrd-Jackson, 12, 15; Donna Mosely d. Terry Bowman, 16, 13.
5th Place final: Gross d. Mosely, 5, 16.
7th Pace final: Bowman d. Byrd-Jackson, (11), 20, 7.
A Singles (9th Place Playoff from Round of 16)
Quarterfinals: Dimas, BYE; Sojourner d. Camacho, 14, 15; Della Croce d. Smith, (16), 12, 9; Valdillez d. Norenberg, 13, 1.
Semifinals: Dimas d. Sojourner, 6, 3; Valdillez d. Della Croce, 16, 18.
Final: Dimas d. Valdillez, 4, 4.
B Singles Consolation (from A)
Semifinals: Camacho, BYE; Smith d. Norenberg, 1, 9.
Final: Camacho d. Smith, 12, 14.
As if playing two matches on Saturday weren't enough, WPH's David Fink led a youth handball clinic for juniors and collegiate students at the TRC once play was finished. A number of kids attended to learn basic fundamentals and winning strategies to improve their games. Photo courtesy of WPH.
Players, families and fans gathered at the Hall of Fame for the annual Celebration Banquet. People in attendance enjoyed dinner and had a chance to tour the Hall of Fame Museum. Nathaniel Frank was given the Marty Decatur Sportsmanship Award.
See times, draws and each day's result HERE.
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE TREMENDOUS SUPPORT RECEIVED BY OUR TOURNAMENT SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS:
Vince San Angelo
|John & Carol Ross
FT. WORTH, Texas -- In what has become the perennial tune-up for collegiate handball in the Southwest and neighboring regions, players from the University of Texas, Texas A&M and Missouri State joined top players from the region to go for the bottom board at the 71st Annual George Lee Invitational.
Ten days before they compete as teammates at the Collegiate Nationals in Tempe, Arizona, Sunday’s open singles final pitted Missouri State’s Sam Esser against fellow bear Max Langmack. Looking to improve on his second place finish from the year before Esser outlasted Langmack his teammate to win in two games, 21-5, 21-15. See the match here (https://youtu.be/dNj4SfsG8Ug) Esser later teamed up with Langmack to slam, edging out Dallas locals Jon Flynt and Jeff Wall in open doubles.
Missouri State’s prowess continued throughout the lower brackets with Jeremy Young winning the A-singles, Garrett Bacon taking the B-singles, and Ross Colyer defeating teammate Mike Noel in the C-singles.
The collegiate women couldn’t overtake their veteran counterparts, as Teresa Bowman defeated Kayla Jones in 2 games to take the Women’s final. Other finals included Mike Sherburne defeating Jerry Garcia in 50+ singles, Frank Swehosky over Karl Stundins in the 60+ singles, and Roger Knudson outlasting Jimmy “Tag” Coolidge in the 70+ singles.
See the 71st George Lee Invitational brackets here: https://www.bracketace.com/cgi-bin/brackets.pl?tid=108
The George Lee Invitational is also known for its technological displays. This year on display was the new video scoreboard powered by the Ace Referee app. If you have a ChromeCast and a couple of Android or iOS devices, you can try it for yourself and at your next tournament!
Jeff Wall, Southwest Region USHA Board Member, contributed to this report.
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