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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61st USHA National Junior Four-Wall Championships

TUCSON -- The Boy's 17-Under final was an international affair showcasing Canada's Michael Gaulton against Ireland's Kavan O'Keefe.  Gaulton delivered a flawless performance, winning the title in two games, 21-3, 21-10.  The champion put immense pressure on O'Keefe, executing steady high-percentage shots while closing the door on many rallies with impressive kills.  Ever since his first juniors, Gaulton has steadily improved and will be a top contender for next year's 19-Unders.  
  Luis Bustos helped Anthony Sullivan slam the Boys 19 Division with a dominant win over Austin Biddle and Michael Gaulton, 21-6, 21-11.
  Lorcan McBride became the first juniors player ever to win three events at a Nationals.  McBride won the 15-Under Doubles with partner Michael Kiely, defeating David Sanchez and Ray Ure, 21-7, 21-4.  McBride won the 15-Under Small Ball and 15-Under Big Ball titles earlier in the week. 
  The Kate Conlon/Kurt Johansson Most Improved Award, The Tom Lynch Newcomer Award and The Vince Gabriele Jr. Sportsmanship Award were presented at the Juniors Awards Banquet on Thursday night.  Patrick Cooke (center) was presented the Most Improved Award.  Lorcan McBride (left) was given the Newcomer Award,  and Josh Webster (right) was presented with the Sportsmanship Award.   Carlos Espinoza, Pedro Murillo and Austin Biddle were recognized as Junior Alumni players (19-Under players that have played in at least four Junior Nationals) and were given Junior Alumni gym bags.  
  See final results, draws and scores HERE.
Thursday's matches in the 61st National Junior Four-Wall Championships produced some of the best handball and highest drama.  In Boy's 19-Under action, Anthony Sullivan fought off match point to force a tiebreaker against Coleman McGrath in the championship final.  The two players from the Bay Area played the third set tight for most of the duration, with McGrath holding an early 2-1 lead before Sullivan stormed back to hold a 5-3 advantage.   Locked at 7-7, Sullivan made key shots down the stretch for an improbable comeback win, 7-21, 21-20, 11-9.  
  "I'm glad it went to a tiebreaker, obviously," said Sullivan.  Sullivan saw a big lead evaporate in the second game which turned into a match point opportunity for McGrath.  "He got hot and was on a roll.  We played close the rest of the way, and I was fortunate to come out on top."   
  Kena Byrd-Jackson of Tucson won the Girl's 15/17-Under crown over Marisol Maldonado, 21-1, 21-8. 
  In the 13-Under final, David Sanchez of Stockton, CA stopped Tucson's Andres Maldonado in two games,  21-5, 21-8. 
  Lorcan McBride of Corrickmore, Co. Tyrone, Ireland was the class of the Boy's 15-Under field.  McBride dominated the bracket and defeated Chicago's Ray Ure in the final, 21-5, 21-3.  
  "Wow." an exasperated Ure exclaimed.  "I was making some shots and didn't play that bad--[McBride] is just that good." 
  Team Lattof teammates Irena Hong and Rimata Halabi faced off for the Girls 13-Under title with Hong edging Halabi 21-10, 21-19. 
  In the youngest age division, Andres Cordova was looking at a 6-10 deficit against Team Juarez teammate Eder Reneteria in the Boys 11-Under final.  Cordova took back the serve to start an improbable comeback to win, 21-17, 15-21, 11-10.     
  See Thursday's results and the updated draws HERE.
2017 National Juniors Drop-Down Results:
19 A Semifinals: Carlos Espinoza d. Rory Rakochey, (19), 11, 5; Austin Biddle d. Pedro Murrillo, 9, 12.
Final: Biddle d. Espinoza, 14, (11) 4.
19 B First Round: Bryan Pacheco bye; Christian Solis d. Julian Aviles Figueiredo; Greg Cameron d. Julian Rivera, (10), 18, 1; Danny Romero d. Jimmy Connolly, 3, 1.
Semifinals: Pacheco d. Solis, 18, 10; Romero d. G. Cameron, 6, 9.
Final: Pacheco d. Romero, 7, 7.
19 Cons. Semifinals: J.A. Figueuerida bye; Rivera d. Connolly, 9, 17.
Final: Rivera d. Figueuerida, 7, (12), 4.

17 A Quarterfinals: Esteban Camacho d. Ben Flynn, 7, 10; Jake Cervantes d. Jake Moore, def.; Adam Clark d. Sam Ure, 8, 8; Sam Richer d. Noe Rios, 12, 11.
Semifinals: Camacho d. Cervantes, 11, (12), 2; Clark d. Richer, 13, (18), 6.
Final: Clark d. Camacho, (11), 8, 8.
17 B: First Round: Carlos Castillo d. Alejandro Sandoval, 14, 10; Sam Brekke d. Danny Connolly, 0, 1.
Quarterfinals: Aron Cameron d. Angel Mariscal, (17), 10, 3; Nicholas Roberts d. John Silva, 20, 17; Vince Fork d. Castillo, 20, (13), 6; Ruaric Cusack d. Brekke, 14, 5.
Semifinals: Roberts d. Cameron, 7, 13; Cusack d. Ford, 4, 8.
Final: Roberts d. Cusack, (14), 14, 10.
17 Cons. First Round: Castillo d. Mariscal, 2, (20), 0; Sandoval d. Brekke, 13, 10; Silva d. D. Connolly, 2, 2.
Semifinals: Castillo d. A. Cameron, 2, 5; Sandoval d. Silva, def.
Final: Castillo d. Sandoval, 19, 4.
15 A Semifinals: Guillaume Chouinard d. Carter Rakochey, 8, 1; Collin Peters d. Oisin Hallahan, 17, (7), 10.
Final: Chouinard d. Peters, 14, 9.
15 B Quarterfinals: Jamie Moylan bye; Josh Webster d. Diego Hernandez; Isaac Rios d. Johnny Cooke, 16, 2; Jessie Davis d. John Franks, 6, (5), 5.
Semifinals: Moylan d. Webster, 9, 3; Davis d. Rios, 10, 7.
Final: Davis d. Moylan, (15), 18, 8.
15 Cons. Semifinals: Webster d. Hernandez, 2, 2; Franks d. Cooke, 11, 11.
Final: Franks d. Webster, 7, (14), 5.
13 A Final: N. Stoffel d. Z. Wells, (14), 15, 5.
13 B Semifinals: Abraham Sanchez d. Jensen Payton, 2, 8; Young Tang d. Colton Stout, 0, 3.
Final: Tang d. Sanchez, 13, 17.
13 Cons.: Payton d. Stout, 3, 6.
11 Small Ball A: L. Wells d. A. Brule, def.
11 Small Ball B: Vincent Stodola d. Alexis Cruz, 1, 0; Andres Araiza d. Antonio Rivera, 0, 2; Rene Sosa d. Gabriel Orozco, 7, 15; Angel Araiza d. Robt. Martin, 2, 0.
Semifinals: Rivera d. Stodola, 9, 0; Angel Araiza d. Sosa, 11, 3.
Final: Araiza d. Rivera, 5, 17.
11 Small Ball Cons. Semifinals: Andres Araiza d. Alexis Cruz; 6, 8; G. Orozco d. Robt. Martin, 3, 4.
Final:  Orozco d. Arazia, 16, 8.
11 Big Ball A: Angel Araiza d. Antonio Rivera, 8, (18), 9.
11 Big Ball B Semifinals: Rene Sosa d. Andres Araiza, 11, 2; Gabriel Orozco d. Alexis Cruz, 8, 9.
Final: Sosa d. Orozco, 0, 13.
11 Big Ball Cons.: Andres Araiza d. Cruz, 13, 11.
Girls 15/17 A: Belisa Camacho d. S. Della Croce, 15, (7) 4.
Girls 15/17 B First Round: Irena Hong d. Cassie Hanselman, 11, 3.
Semifinals: R. Halabi d. I. Hong, 5, (18), 10; A. Pena d. A. Hernandez, 9, 19.
Girls 15/17 B Final:  R. Halabi d. A. Pena, 13, 0.
Girls 15/17 Cons.: Hanselman d. A. Hernandez, 1, 15.


TUCSON -- Andres Cordova grew up watching his dad and brothers play and win handball tournaments.  Playing in his first juniors at the 61st National Junior Four-Wall Championships, the youngest of the Cordova family from Juarez, Mexico put the handball world on notice, winning the Boys 11-Under Big Ball singles over Tucson's Ayden Brule, 21-9, 21-13.  The young lefty utilized an impressive combination of power and control, forcing Brule to use his off-hand deep in the court and on defense.  When asked how long he's been playing handball, Cordova quickly replied, "All my life."
   Cordova will play Team Juarez teammate Eder Renteria in tomorrow's 11-Under Small Ball final at Noon (Mountain Time).
   It's an All-NorCal Boys 19-Under final as top-seeded Anthony Sullivan (San Jose) will face Coleman McGrath (San Francisco) in tomorrow's final at Noon. 
   Action continues tonight with doubles competition.  The Juniors Awards Banquet will take place tomorrow at La Quinta Reid Park at 7 p.m.
   See Wednesday's results and the updated draws HERE.
TUESDAY (Dec. 27)
TUCSON -- The second day of the 61st National Junior Four-Wall Championships brought a full slate of small ball matches for every age division.  All top seeds advanced in first round play with the rest of singles action finishing up in the evening.  Snow and cancelled flights couldn’t keep top-seed Michael Gaulton from getting to Tucson from Canada.  Fortunately, Gaulton had a first-round bye and won his first match over Ben Flynn from Co. Waterford Ireland in the round of 16.    
     In the Boy’s 19-Under singles, last year’s runner-up and number one seed Anthony Sullivan advanced over Calgary’s Rory Rackochey in quarterfinal action. 
     In the photo:  Oison Hallahan (Co. Waterford, IRE) winds up for a shot against Johnny Cooke (Oak Forest, IL) in 15-Under action. 
    See the updated draws and start times HERE.
MONDAY (Dec. 26)
TUCSON -- Juniors arrived in the Old Pueblo to kick off the 61st National Junior Four-Wall Championships at the Tucson Racquet & Fitness Club.  Players jumped on the court as Big Ball singles competition began in the early afternoon and lasted until the early evening.  All small ball divisions begin tomorrow with play starting at 9 a.m.
    The highlight of the day for the juniors was a Pro Clinic where players learned shot anticipation, serve, return of serve, defense and offense.  WPH Race4Eight Pros Dave Fink, Sean Lenning, Abe Montijo were joined by USHA Executive Director Vern Roberts as each hosted various station workshops. 
    "When I played in the Juniors, we never had anything like this," said WPH's Development Director Dave Fink.  "The kids really enjoyed it, and I hope this is something that can be offered every year."
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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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2016 Milwaukee Classic

WEST ALLIS, Wisc. -- The path to the 2016 Milwaukee Classic Men's Open title was a rocky one for Sean Lenning.  But once he reached the final, the battle-tested veteran defeated defending champion Luis Moreno, 21-14, 21-18.  The top-seeded Moreno cruised to victories in earlier rounds while Lenning was pushed to tiebreakers by Minnesota's Ryan Pesch and Wisconsin's Anthony Selestow in the their quarterfinal and semifinal matches respectively. 
    Based on their performances up to Sunday's match, it seemed Moreno would once again defeat Lenning in Milwaukee.  Moreno built an early 9-0 lead forcing Lenning to burn a time out.  Once play resumed, Lenning found his groove and outscored Moreno 21-5 to close out game one.  In the second, Lenning's hot hand continued and he catapulted to a 20-11 lead over to Moreno only to watch it evaporate to 20-18 as Moreno caught fire.  Once again, a time out (glove change) helped Lenning settle in, where he score the remaining two points for the win. 
    Vic Perez and Nikolai Nahorniak defeated Dave and Mike Munson to win the Men's Open Doubles, 21-17, 21-16. 
    Aimee Ulbert won the Women's Open Singles title by defeating Hilary Rushe 21-16, 21-3 in round robin play. 
    Once again, Charlie Keller, Jeff Werstein and the rest of Milwaukee Handball crew hosted another tremendous Milwaukee Classic. 
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71st Annual George Lee Invitational

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 ( 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:

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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WPH R48Pro VI - Stop #2 - Univ. of Minnesota

Ortiz InterviewMINNEAPOLIS -- The U of M Fall Classic & WPH R48Pro Stop #2 wrapped up on Sunday morning at the University of Minnesota's Recreation and Wellness Center.  In the R48Pro final, Mando Ortiz and David Fink dazzled the crowd with an intense three-game match which Ortiz won 15-4, 8-15, 15-9.  Ortiz came out shooting in the tiebreaker, streaking to a 10-4 lead only to see Fink storm back to make the score close and the outcome in doubt.  Ortiz ultimately pulled away for the win.  The final capped an incredible weekend for Fink, making his first R48Pro final. 

Marcos Chavez and Naty Alvarado Jr. once again met in the SR48Pro final.  While Alvarado jumped out to an early lead in the first game, through resilient play, Chavez came back to win 15-13 and 15-11. 

See the WPH write-up with updated rankings HERE.

See draws and results of the U of M Fall Classic HERE.

If you didn't get to see any of the weekend's action, the R48Pro replay is available at or on the Watch ESPN App (Available on iPhone and Android phones).

Image courtesy of WPH. 

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Bob & Sue Delaney Collegiate Scholarships

Bob & Sue Delaney with Vern Roberts


Handball Supporters Bob and Sue Delaney generously offer collegiate scholarships for youth handball players from Arizona and/or Illinois.  Originally from Illinois and now settled in Arizona, the couple enjoyed handball in both states and saw the tremendous impact the game had on college students. 

Eligibility:  Any full-time collegiate handball players who are either attending school in Arizona or Illinois or grew up in either state and is an active handball player or playing in a college program.  The intent is to reward students with good academic records, and demonstrate financial need.

How to Apply: Applications may be submitted by individuals.  Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. a letter outlining current academic status and course work, GPA,  handball experience, and how the money would help further the applicant's education.  Any letters of recommendation from a handball or scholastic mentor are recommended. 

Application Deadline:  April 15th of each year.  
Past Delaney Scholarship Winners:

2015:  Matthew Chu (Lake Forest)   Bennette Valdillez (Arizona State)
2016:  Josue Hernandez (Arizona State)
2017:  Ben Van Arsdale (Illinois)
2018:  David Francis (Arizona State)   Emma McMillan (Illinois) 
2019:  Quinn Jagodzinksi (Lake Forest College)   Kena Byrd-Jackson (University of Arizona)   Patrick Cooke (University of Illinois)
2020:  Belisa Camacho (University of Arizona)   Sam Ure (Minnesota State, Mankato)   Majesty Umoye (Lake Forest College)
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2016 Simple Green U.S. Open of Handball

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. -- It was a furious pace on and off the courts on Sunday as the cameras caught the action inside and out.  In the men's singles final, Robbie McCarthy held off Armando Ortiz for the biggest check of the weekend.  In the photo, Lupita Bike, Bruce FaBrizio and Naty Alvarado congratulate the finalists.  "Just look at this audience," FaBrizio said.  It's all shapes, sizes and ages, just like the balls we're using here at Los Caballeros.  See the results from the Festival of handball at the SGUSO r2sports site HERE

There were some periods of light rain for most of the morning but it eventually caused the end to play outdoors in the afternoon.  The three-wall big ball moved inside where the players proved that they were equally adept at four-wall to the delight of the fans.

This year, the Simple Green U.S. Open carried two WPH Live streams; one on ESPN3 and the other on where outdoor and indoor handball could be viewed at the same time!  Replay now available on WatchESPN and the WatchESPN App.  

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