The World Players of Handball (WPH) was established in 2004 under the name World Pro Handball League (WPHL) with sights on revitalizing a pro handball tour. The WPHL used innovative and progressive marketing approaches to expose handball to mass audiences, to include, filming and webcasting LIVE handball matches all over the world.
In 2005, the WPHL filmed the USHA 1 Wall Nationals months after the Big “C” Showdown in Concord, California, followed by the Casey Lawlor Cup. But in 2006, the WPHL and co-founder(s), Jeff Kastner & Dave Vincent, streamed the first ever LIVE handball feed from Seattle, Washington, at the WAC event, Show Time in Seattle, to rave reviews. This live webcast opened doors for the 2006 USHA 4 Wall Nationals, Simple Green US Open, World Championships, Canadian Nationals, Collegiate Nationals, Vegas 3 Wall Outdoor World Championships and many pro majors between 2006 to the current date. In fact, the WPH has filmed over 1,200 handball events, finding their niche in the process.
In 2009, the WPH regrouped and formed the World Players of Handball Foundation (formulating a 501c3 Non-Profit in the process); moving from Northern California to Tucson, AZ. The newly formed WPH, created a board of directors headed by USHA Hall of Fame member and Yes 2 Kids President, Fred Lewis; named David Vincent as the Executive Director and refocused energies on junior development, webcasting and marketing the sport of handball.
In 2012, the WPH created an outdoor branch, labeled, “WPH-Outdoor,” headed by Membership Director, Ashley Moler. WPH Outdoor is based in Southern California and is designed to develop the outdoor game of handball in the hotbed of SoCal; offering tournament and support around the country.
In early 2013, Fred Lewis resigned as President and the WPH named David Fink as the Youth Donor and Development Director; alongside his assistant, Tracy Davis. Chairman, Charles Charvoz, was named and a new board of director look began to take place. With the Fink/Davis hire came a junior division called, “Junior WPH,” with a focus on growing the sport from the ground up.
By 2013, the WPH has created or been apart of six Made-for-TV specials to include the widely publicized Jake Plummer Handball Documentary on AT&T’s U-Verse channel, worked alongside NFL Films, ESPN, Yahoo Sports and Sports Illustrated, to name just a few. As the new year passed, the WPH film crew also passed it’s 50th LIVE webcasted tournament and is nearing it’s 1,500th filmed match. Videos on the WPH On-Demand page has long-since surpassed the 1,000,000 play mark, with more videos coming with each month.
Race For Eight
The WPH along with Simple Green and sponsors created the first organized pro tour since 2004, when the highly successful Race4Eight Pro Handball Tour kicked off in 2011/12. The Race4Eight is a series of stops where players gather points. The top eight point earners, after the last stop, is invited to the WPH Super Bowl, The Player’s Championship. Each stop has brought us qualifiers, elite players, junior/pro clinics, mounds of fans and gigantic numbers of webcast viewers. The WPH is entering it’s fifth season of the R48Pro; now including seniors and women’s elite (and being broadcast LIVE on ESPN).
The WPH has continued to develop major marketing opportunites with it’s cameras; like the widely publicized WPH/WOR 3 Wall Ball Outdoor World Championships along with World Outdoor Racquetball on the parking lot of the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino (annual event held in late September in Las Vegas, NV); or the East vs West Big Ball 1 Wall Challenge on the WPH Tucson 1 Wall Courts. WPH continues to film and webcast around the country and has been present for the USHA 4 Wall Nationals, US Open of Handball, USHA Collegiate Nationals, Irish Nationals, World Championships, Canadian Nationals, and Race4Eight Pro Series, to name just a few. Viewers catch all WPH handball matches (past and LIVE) at www.race4eight.com.
The WPH is member-driven, donor inspired and supported by it’s many, many, webcast viewers through WPH broadcast subscriptions. Viewers of the WPH broadcast page are able to watch past handball matches (on-demand) and future LIVE events with a paid fee.
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