A Closer Look: Randy Morones

The following feature appears in the May 2017 Handball Magazine.
USHA Members can access the full e-Magazine issue by logging on and visiting the "Member Section."
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Morones' lesson: 'Take the right road'

Imprisoned since 2003, former pro shares advice

Former pro player Randy Morones with wife Sofia.

By Marc Penick
Many of you may recall the shock of hearing about former pro player Randy Morones being sentenced to 20 years to life for the hit-and-run killing of a young man in Los Angeles in 2003. We spoke to Morones, now 46, by telephone from Avenal State Prison in central California.

The Morones family has some very gifted handball players. Who is the best player in the Morones family?
Well, my uncle Bob was the best three- wall player. In four-wall, when I was young and coming up, my dad Dave would beat me at singles. After I got a little older and started playing on the pro tour, Dad stopped playing singles with me and we played doubles together. Honestly I think Dave was the better player until I got a little older, and then I became the better player.
I’ve seen a picture showing you as a young boy with a large group of players and Tony Huante at Tucson Athletic Club. Did you train with Tony a lot when you were young?
I liked going with Tony’s group because there were young guys my age to hang out and play handball with. I wasn’t one of Tony’s kids in the sense that he coached me and taught me the game. But I did like to join them and go to tournaments when I was little.
What other people helped you in your handball career?
I spent most of my early career in a court by myself practicing left hand against right hand. When I turned 12, I started playing tournaments and progressed from there.
You were a top-ranked pro in your day. What was it like for you to compete with the best players?
I loved playing handball with my friends, with my family and with the other open and pro players. I loved singles and doubles. It was exciting to work my way up in the sport. I played all the time.
You are battling a tough case of valley fever that hit you last fall. You underwent back surgery to remove a tumor. Your wife Sofia told me you are fighting this illness with everything you have.
Yes, I have been in pain for several months while the doctors tried to figure out the cause and then started treating it. I have constant back pain and some nerve damage in my legs. I am hoping and praying for recovery.
How is life at Avenal? What do you do with your time?
Since moving to Avenal, I have not played much handball. At Chowchilla, there was a nice concrete one-wall court. The guys would challenge me, and I had fun showing them how the game is played. There aren’t any decent courts at Avenal, so I haven’t been playing. Mostly I spend time in classes, working to meet the requirements for release.
Do you have many friends there?
We are social, of course. But I mostly stay busy talking with Sofia and attending my classes.
Randy, what happened in your life that caused you to end up in prison?
I was messing up ... bad. It’s on me and I am paying for it. I’m sorry it happened. I have been down for over 13 years. I learned that you have to do the time and not let the time do you. I want to start life over again when I get out. I would not go down the same path again.
Dave told me there is hope you may be released in five years or so.
I am hoping to go to the parole board in five years. We are hoping and praying for release by 2023.
What will you do if released?
Go home to Fresno and live with my wife Sofia. She is a great woman and she loves me. I also want to see my family and friends when I’m back outside.
You have two sons, Randy and R.J. Are you in touch with them?
I have communicated with Randy Jr. R.J. kind of does his own thing and we have lost touch. I don’t blame him. He is a young man now. I love them both and I am proud of them.
Many handball players remember you and still care about you. What do you want them to know?
To all my friends and competitors: I miss — really miss — going to tournaments like the nationals and competing. You know, handball players are like family. I will hopefully be out there with you all again one day.
Would you possibly start playing again if you are released?
I would love to start playing again if I am able. Is there anything else you would like the readers to know? To all you young players: You have choices in your life. Make the right decisions. Never take your life and the gifts you have for granted. Take the right road, and you will be happier in your life.
Read the interview of Randy along with father Dave and uncle Bob on the next page. 

1982: 13-under, junior nationals, Tucson
1983: 15-under, junior nationals, Burlingame, Calif.
1987: 23-under, four-wall nationals, Baltimore
1988: 19-under, junior nationals, Burlingame, Calif.
1988: Open doubles runner-up (Haynes), four-wall, Berkeley
1990: Open doubles runner-up (Haynes), four-wall, Atlanta
1993: Pro singles runner-up, four-wall nationals, Baltimore
1985: 35+ singles, Masters Singles, Las Vegas
1986: 35+ singles, four-wall nationals, Houston
1987: 35+ singles, four-wall nationals, Baltimore
1987: 35+ singles, Masters Singles, Charlotte
1989: 40+ singles, four-wall nationals,  Palatine, Ill.
1990: 40+ singles, four-wall nationals,  Atlanta
1990: 40+ doubles (Lou Marquez), four-wall nationals, Atlanta
2002: 50+ doubles (Ken Eng), four-wall nationals, Las Vegas
2002: 50+ doubles (Ken Eng), Masters Doubles, San Diego
2005: 55+ doubles (Tim Ryan), four-wall nationals, Houston
Left: Dave and Randy Morones on August ‘87 Handball cover.
Tight Morones clan weathers storm
By Marc Penick
     The Morones family has experienced the joy of being consistent winners in handball. Like many of us, they have experienced downfalls and trials in life as well, particularly Randy’s imprisonment.
     If you attended or read about the Bob Harris Open this February in Las Vegas, you may have noticed the return of Dave and Bob to tournament play.
     Bob is a longtime open-level singles and doubles player in Southern California. Yet he is arguably not the best handball player in the Morones family.
     Bob’s older brother, Dave, and Dave’s son, Randy, had extraordinary careers from the 1970s through the ’90s. Randy was a pro tour regular. Dave won many open singles and doubles events around the West and 10 national age-group titles as well.
     Dave and Bob grew up in Pico Rivera, Calif., in a family of four boys and four girls. Most of the family still lives in Southern California, and they stay connected. Their father Martin died in 2016 and their mother Betty in 2015. Randy is Dave’s second son.

Let’s talk about your families today.
Bob: I’m married to my wife Lynn. Her sister worked at the Hacienda Heights club and introduced us. We have one son, Gary, 23. He excels in soccer and martial arts. He manages a bakery called 85 Degrees.
Dave: My wife Virginia and I have three children: Vince, Randy and Antonette. I have another son, David Jr. We have nine grandchildren: Randy, R.J., Alexis, Ryan, Jacob, Anissa, David III, Elena and Melikie.  
Randy: My wife Sofia and I were married in May 2015. Her brother Robert introduced us. We started by talking on the prison phone a little at a time. Sofia is my best friend, and she helps me stay positive while I am in here. I have two sons, Randy, 26, and R.J., 18.    

So you guys started outdoors, hitting the big ball at Smith Park in Pico Rivera?
Dave: Yes, my dad would take us to Smith Park to play three-wall. We would pick up tennis balls and shave them to use as handballs. We learned our skills playing local guys, plus guys who were released from the local jail. My dad would arrange games for us at the park. Later I met John Chavez, a fireman from Pico Rivera. He invited me to play indoors at the station. I was reluctant at first because I only knew about handball at the park.  
Bob: I was the youngest of eight kids. I started at 8 years old. We would all go to Smith Park, where we played three-wall big-ball. We played every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. It was a way of life for us. Dave was the best player.
Randy: I started playing handball as a young boy when my dad would take me to the Longhorn Club. I practiced on my own for years. When I was 14, I started competing in open tournaments. I played open singles and open doubles with my dad.

Bob Morones (right) with wife Lynn, son Gary and Maggie the dog on a sunny day last winter.

In the mid-’70s, Dave became a force in SoCal handball. From their club, he and Bob challenged the other handball hotbeds in Los Angeles.
Bob: When my brother Dave became a top player, we joined Longhorn Club in La Habra. It was a single-court club. We had two open teams, and we would challenge Long Beach Athletic Club. They had Matt Kelly, Stuffy Singer, Skip McDowell and other great players. I have played doubles with many great partners, including Poncho Monreal, Jack Hulick and my brother Dave.
Dave: Los Angeles had a lot of great players. I got to play Stuffy Singer, Paul Haber, Naty Alvarado, Jim Vandenbos and many other great players. I realized playing against such talent, you can’t win all the time, but I’d try to play my best every match.  

Name some favorite tournament wins.
Bob: Poncho and I won the open tournament at Hacienda Athletic Club two years in a row. The first year we beat Doug Glatt and Larry Morefield. The next year we beat Dave and Randy in the final. Those were good wins!
Dave: Every tournament win is a great experience. One time I played Paul Haber. He was so good at ceiling balls! After losing the first game, I was determined to cut off every shot so he couldn’t set up on his ceiling balls. It worked. I used to play Richard Lopez (Valenzuela) a lot as he was coming up. I remember one tournament in Whittier, Richard and I were playing in the final for prize money. He won the first game and joked about me being an old man. I won the next two games and told him, “You had the money, Richard. Next time don’t get me mad.” Richard is my good friend. I introduced him to his wife Donna. When I got older I started playing in age-group singles and doubles at the USHA nationals. I won 10 national titles from 1985 to 2005.   
Randy: One year my dad and I won the open doubles in Fresno. Then we had to play each other in the singles final! I made the national pro singles final in 1993 and played David Chapman, but David won. In 1990, Dennis Haynes and I played Doug Glatt and Rod Prince in the national open doubles final. They won 11-10 … we were so close! I’m sorry to hear about Dennis’ passing this year. He was a very good player.

Name some Morones family handball rivals out there over your careers.  
Bob: Naty Alvarado was the greatest rival in our time … for everyone. He was the best player. There were so many other good players we competed with — Don Chamberlin, David Chapman, Doug Glatt, Jack Hulick, Matt Kelly, Skip McDowell, Lew Morales, Jim Vandenbos. L.A. is a great place to play handball.

Who was your favorite doubles partner?
Bob: Jack Hulick, Dave Morones and Poncho Monreal. Jack was the best two-handed player around. Poncho was an exceptional player. My brother Dave is so tenacious! I am more of a finesse player.
Dave: Randy, Bob, Lou Marquez, Red Gastulem. I also played doubles with David Chapman when he was young.
Randy: My dad Dave was by far my favorite partner. We always knew where each other was and who would take the shot.  

Name your favorite pro players.
Bob: Paul Haber was so good, so consistent, and he had a lot of heart. But Naty Alvarado … he was something else.
Dave: Randy was my favorite pro! I had a chance to play many of them in my day. Naty Alvarado was the best in my time.
Randy: Early in my pro career my toughest matches came from Tati Silveyra and John Bike. Later David Chapman came up, and he became the best for many years.

What are your favorite hobbies when not playing handball?  
Bob: My wife Lynn and I like to visit the local casinos. We also like to hang out with our son Gary. I am still working. I have a truck and operate a delivery service.     
Dave: I ride bicycles with my brother Martin. I talk to Randy all the time on the phone. We also enjoy camping with our grandkids. I retired a few years back.

Dave, you had a battle with colon cancer not long ago. How are you doing?
Dave: I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. The doctors performed surgery to remove a section of my colon. It was kind of rough for a while. I lost weight and stopped playing. Now I’m feeling better and coming back to the courts again. Bob and I just played a doubles event in Las Vegas this year. (They won the 60-plus doubles.)

Dave Morones and wife Virginia relax on the sofa with six of their nine grandchildren.

     Southern California is richer because of the Moroneses’ influence on the game over the decades. They are richer because of their
family loyalty and pride in what they do.  
     If you see Dave, Bob — or eventually Randy — out on the courts, take some time to observe their game styles … unique, aggressive and with a lot of heart.
A Closer Look by Marc Penick (pdf) HERE.
From the Author: 
I am happy to hear that our interview with Randy Morones has caught the members’ attention.  Sadly, Randy is back in the hospital fighting the Valley Fever infection which has reappeared in his back.  His wife Sofia and I spoke over the weekend.  Because Randy is an inmate and is hospitalized currently, those who might want to reach out to him may do so by contacting Sofia Morones at her email address:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

She sees Randy regularly and she will get him all the messages she receives.  It is a good thing for our players who care about Randy to reach out to him.  He could use a little extra some love right now during a tough time in his life. 

Thank you USHA for printing this interview.  My thanks to all of you who take the time to reach out to Randy as well.
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2017 USHA Hall of Fame and Women's Classic

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



Fred Banfield
Charlie Wicker
Vince San Angelo
Fred Lewis
Ron Kroll
Alex Jacome
Paul Flasch
Richard Stevens
Matt Goode
Steve Hamrick
Joe Wright
Jack Herbst
Dan Wetmore
John & Carol Ross
John Stalder
Brian Wessel
Steve Sheldon
Doug Clark
Andy Onate
Carl Porter
Leo Carillo
Don Whatron
Ken Hartnett
Ron Deriana
Kam Nasser


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2017 USHA National Masters Doubles

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.



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65th USHA National Collegiate Championships

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. 

Combined Team Scores

Men's Team Scores

Women's Team Scores

Men's Brackets


Men's Open 

Men's Open 9-16











Open Doubles

A Doubles

B Doubles


Women's Brackets

Women's Open

Women's Open 9-16






Women's Open Doubles

Women's A Doubles

Women's B Doubles


Men's Preliminary Matches


M 1-16

M 17-32

M 33-48

M 49-64

M 65-80

M 81-96

M 97-112

M 113-128

M 129-144

M 145-160

M 145-176 P

Women's Preliminary Matches


W 1-16

W 17-32

W 33-48

W 49-64

W 65-80

W 81-96

W 65-96 P

Thursday Matches 

M Open / A1

M A1 / A2

M A2 / A3

M A3 / B1

M B1 / B2

M B2 / B3

M B3 / C1

M C1 / C2

M C2 / C3

M C3 / C4

M C3 / C4 X


W Open / A1

W A1 / A2

W A2 / B1

W B1 / B2

W B2 / C1

W B2 / C1 X



Sorted by Start Times

Sorted by Division

Sorted by School and Name 

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.

Division names

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.


Point Distribution


  • 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.

Coaches meetings

    • 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.

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2017 USHA National Masters Singles

DENVER -- The altitude brought another element into the usual mix of who wins on Sunday in some events as lowlanders struggled with catching their breath.  But in the 35 singles, Kevin Price rolled to his first national title with an impressive weekend and final win over Victor Sanchez. 
Chris Tico overcame local Oliver Boyd in a tough 40 final but had nothing left for George Repine in the 45s.  Paul Pfannenstiel earned another national singles title with a tough tiebreaker win over Joe Tierney.  Mike Flannery is back on top of his game, winning the 55s over Matt Osburn.  Lloyd Garcia was on top of Phil Kirk's offensive game to take the 60s.  Ed Campbell had just enough left to hand Dan Price another runner-up finish in the 65s.  Greg Raya proved too much for the 70s field and ended Michael Jordan's great run through the bottom bracket.  Gary Rohrer is another newcomer to his age bracket and served his way past Mike Driscoll in the 75s. 
And, Charlie Wicker upheld his Super Senior status, holding off a game effort from Curtis Creed on Sunday in three after defeating newcomer and runner-up Jerry White in a tiebreaker on Saturday in the 80s.  Killian Carroll had wrapped up the Pro-Am title on Saturday.  Masters singles draws on R2sports site HERE.  


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Study of Protective Eyewear for Handball - Phase Two Update

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.

Tested Models
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.

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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.

Blacknight Turbo
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.

Edtl Eyeshield
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.

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Glove Rule Update

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.


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One-Wall Awards Dinner

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
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.


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