2018/19 Race4Eight Pro Tour Preview

Posted on Sep 20 2018 - 1:15pm by DV

by David Fink

Tucson, AZ, WPH Press, 9/14/18-

The World Players of Handball is thrilled to announce the 2018/19 Race 4 Eight 8 Men’s Pro, Women’s Race 4 Eight, and Senior Race 4 Eight tour seasons Powered by ESPN, featuring nine events kicking off in Atlanta, GA in early October and ending with the WPH Aces Race 4 Eight Player’s Championship seven months later in Salt Lake City, UT. The Race 4 Eight Men’s Pros will compete in six “full” R48 stops and three R48LTE stops, with all nine events counting towards the official R48 Power Rankings, while the WR48 and SR48 pros will each compete in three ranking events during the 2018/19 season.

Last season’s R48, WR48, and SR48 tours produced dozens of sensational moments and electrifying matches and this season promises to be even more exciting, as the best players in the world will showcase their tremendous talents on the sport’s most exciting platform. See the full 2018/19 Race 4 Eight tour schedule and entry links below.

The 2018/19 Race 4 Eight 8 Preview contains the 2018/19 Race 4 Eight 8 schedule, player previews, event previews, player preparation, Race 4 Eight history, Race 4 Eight Rules, and so much more!

2018/19 R48 Men’s Pro + R48LTE, WR48, & SR48 Schedule:

Stop #1 R48 Men’s Pro: Atlanta, Georgia – Ron Cook Peachtree Open: October 5-7, 2018: R48 Pro Men’s Stop #1 (Features Pro Qualifiers on Friday morning) entry HERE

Stop #2 R48 Men’s Pro/WR48/SR48: Tucson, Arizona – #TheMemorial presented by JR WPH: November 2-4, 2018:  R48 Pro Men’s Stop #2/WR48 Women Stop #1 & Senior 40+ Stop #1 (Featuring Pro Qualifier Friday Morning) entry HERE

Stop #3 R48 Men’s Pro: Portland, Oregon – USHA Four Wall Junior Nationals: December 27-30, 2018: R48 Pro Men’s Stop #3 (No Qualifier; This is an open format event) entry HERE

Stop #4 R48 Men’s Pro: Missoula, Montana – Red Death #TheNub: January 25-27, 2019: R48Pro Men’s Stop #4 (Features Pro Qualifier on Friday morning) entry HERE

Stop #5 R48 Men’s Pro Lite/SR48: New Orleans, Louisiana – Mardi Gras Open: February 15-17, 2019: R48Pro Men’s LTE Stop #5 (no qualifier), Senior 40+ Stop #2 – entry HERE

Stop #6 R48 Men’s Pro Lite: Houston, Texas – Southwest Regional Doubles: March 8-10, 2019: R48Pro Men’s LTE Stop #6 (no qualifier) entry HERE

Stop #7 R48 Men’s Pro/WR48: San Francisco, California – Olympic Club Singles Invitational: March 29-31, 2019: Pro Men’s Stop #7, WR48 Women Stop #2 (Pro Qualifier begins Friday Morning) entry HERE

Stop #8 R48 Men’s Pro Lite: New York, New York -New York Athletic Club Burt Kossoff Invitational: April 12-14, 2019: R48Pro Men’s LTE Stop #8 (no qualifier) entry HERE

Stop #9 R48 Men’s Pro/WR48/SR48: Salt Lake City, Utah – WPH/Aces Player’s Championship: May 15-17, 2019: R48 Pro Men’s Stop #9/WR48 Women Stop #3 & Senior 40+ Stop #3 (Featuring Pro Qualifier Friday Morning) entry HERE

Check out the links to the Race 4 Eight schedules, promotional videos, stats, rankings, bios, and contact info below.

Handball Terminology + Instruction and R48 Rules HERE

2017/18 R48 and WR48 Match Analytics HERE

2018/9 Race 4 Eight 8 promo video HERE

2018/19 R48 Men’s Pro Schedule HERE

2018/19 WR48 Schedule HERE

2018/19 SR48 Schedule HERE

2017/18 R48 Elite 8, WR48 Fab 4, SR48 Fab 5 Stats + Fun Facts and Trends here

Current WPH Power Rankings: here

R48 Fun Facts and Trends: here

Race 4 Eight Pro Player Bios: here

Race 4 Eight History of Champions and Finalists: here

For more information on the WPH Race 4 Eight, please contact World Players of Handball Executive Director David Vincent at dave.vincent@wphlive.tv or World Players of Handball Development Director David Fink at david.fink@wphlive.tv. For more information on the World Players of Handball, please visit wphlive.tv

Learn about the Race 4 Eight players, cities, rules, history, and much more below.

The Players

The World Players of Handball is fortunate to have some of the world’s greatest athletes playing on the Race 4 Eight tour. The sensational handball skills demonstrated by the Race 4 Eight pros drives the tour, with each Race 4 Eight pro awing live and broadcast fans at every venue. The Race 4 Eight players feature prodigies in their late teens to 40-something modern marvels, all striving for Race 4 Eight glory. The love of the game drives each of the players, witnessed by the incredible efforts put forth by every player in every match. Meet our top stars below.

R48 Elite Men’s Pro

Killian Carroll: In his first full season on the Race 4 Eight tour, Killian Carroll captured the crowned jewel of the Race, the Player’s Championship. Carroll added two more Player’s Championships in his next two seasons, two of his nine R48 titles in his last 11 R48 starts. Carroll redefines tenaciousness and proves that no lead is safe and no player is unbeatable. Carroll has quickly become a crowd favorite for his shot making and retrieving ability, as well as the ability to connect with fans from all corners of the globe. Carroll seized control of the R48 #1 ranking in 2017 and has never come close to relinquishing it, as he continues to define excellence on the R48 tour

Best R48 Finish: 10 R48 titles

Killian Carroll Receives the 2017/18 R48 Player of the Year HERE

Sean Lenning: Sean Lenning is one of the most feared offensive players in the history of the sport with the ability to dominate any opponent at any time with a rare blend of power serves, fly kills, back wall kills, and off-balance kills. Known simply as “The Freak” for his ability to consistently make seemingly impossible shots, Lenning is always must-see viewing. In 2018, Lenning added a new moniker to his freak persona: “The Thrill.” During the 2017-2018 R48 7 season, Lenning played three of the most exciting matches in R48 history in three consecutive events, complete with outrageous comebacks, collapses, and drama, making Lenning the Phil Mickelson of handball

Sean Lenning Thrills With a Hat Trick here

Best R48 Finish: 6 R48 titles

Mando Ortiz: Mando Ortiz demonstrated the ability to play with the best players in the world as a teenager, defeating then #1 Allan Garner and a host of other top players before turning 20. Ortiz experienced heart palpitations in his early 20’s, requiring heart surgery in 2010. Ortiz came back stronger than ever, defeating R48 #1 Paul Brady twice since 2014 and winning his first R48 title in January of 2016 in Houston by defeating four current or former WPH #1 pros en route to the title. Because of his ability to flat kill the ball from anywhere on the court with both hands and his magnetic personality, Ortiz is a fan-favorite and a player’s nightmare, possessing the ability to take the game out of the hands of the world’s best by serving and shooting his way to victory

Feature on Mando rising to #1 here

Best R48 Finish: 2 R48 titles

Daniel Cordova: Danos burst onto the Race 4 Eight scene during the 2014-2015 R48 IV season, advancing to the quarterfinals in three of his first four starts as a qualifier and climbing into the Elite 8 after just five events. Daniel advanced to his first R48 semifinal at the 2015 WPH R48 IV Player’s Championship, clinching the 2015 R48 IV Rookie of the Year and solidifying his place amongst the game’s elite. Cordova combines a unique blend of power, speed, versatility, and hops with one of the greatest attitudes on tour to take down great players. Danos makes up half of the “Flying Cordovas,” with both he and brother Lucho earning their nicknames by diving, sliding, and flying all over the court to make outrageous retrieves. Danos is one of the game’s most exciting stars and regularly draws some of the largest galleries on tour

Best R48 Finish: 1 R48 Final

David Fink: David Fink has played in the second most Race 4 Eight stops of any player in the history of the tour and owns three finals appearances in Race 4 Eight events. Known for his fiery on-court persona, Fink puts his heart on the line for every point in every match.

Fink is perhaps better known for his broadcasting duties on ESPN3, but make no mistake, Fink comes to every tournament prepared to make his mark, as evidenced by Race 4 Eight wins against Ortiz, Lenning, Peixoto, Moreno, the Flying Cordovas, and McCarthy. Fink continues to play alongside the top stars in the sport into his 40’s, defying Father Time and proving that age is just a number

Best R48 Finish: 3 R48 Finals

Luis Cordova: “Lucho” is the youngest player to ever finish inside the WPH Race 4 Eight Elite 8 at 21 years old in 2012 and has carried that tremendous start as a 21-year old to one of the most consistent careers on the R48 tour.

Armed with one of the best right hands in the world, Cordova can end rallies from anywhere on the court with his stiletto right, even when his opponents know it’s coming. Cordova knows how to play against the best, as evidenced by his tour victories against Mando Ortiz, Luis Moreno, Sean Lenning, Allan Garner, and David Fink. Lucho makes up half of the “Flying Cordovas,” with both he and brother Danos earning their nicknames by diving, sliding, and flying all over the court to make outrageous retrieves

Best R48 Finish: 1 R48 Final

Emmett Peixoto: Emmett Peixoto has been one of the sport’s top players since the early 2000’s and has consistently contended for the game’s biggest prizes. Known as “The Rock,” Peixoto is a throw back player in a predominately offensive era of pro handball, willing to rally, use the ceiling, and drive his opponents to the back court before seizing his offensive opportunities.

Each Race 4 Eight pro knows he will need to bring his running shoes and hardhat to play “The Rock” because win or lose, Peixoto will take his opponents on a tour of the court and make every match a battle of skills and attrition

Vic Perez: Vic Perez is the most calm and even-tempered top athlete in professional sports, always maintaining his concentration and focus, regardless of the score or the magnitude of the moment. Perez owns Race 4 Eight wins against Killian Carroll, Charly Shanks, Emmett Peixoto, David Fink, and Mando Ortiz, earning the Southern Californian the reputation as “The Giant Killer.”

Perez is a dangerous sharpshooter, always adjusting to his opponent’s strengths and neutralizing what even the best do well. Perez’s right hand to the left corner kill is one of the most lethal on tour and has become one of the most feared weapons on the R48

Paul Brady: After five consecutive world titles and 14 R48 titles through the 2016-2017 R48 6 season, Paul Brady established himself as one of the greatest players to ever play the sport. Brady brings an unmatched attention to detail, preparation, focus, physical fitness and shot making to the sport, leaving nothing to chance and winning more than 95% of the matches he has played since 2005. Brady lost just three tournament matches from 2004-2015, undoubtedly one of the most dominant eras of any athlete in any sport’s history. This five-time world champion is either the greatest or on a very short list of greatest players to ever live. Brady lives by the manta, “Losing in not an option,” and proves it every time he steps on the court

Best R48 Finish: 14 R48 titles

NextGen R48 Men’s Pro Stars: 26-and-under

The Race 4 Eight is in good hands with the Next Generation, as a talented group of late teens to mid 20-something stars are poised to carry the R48 handball torch into the next decade. The 26-and-under NextGen includes current and former collegiate and junior national U.S. and Irish champions, international phenoms, and rising contenders on the cusp of breaking into the game’s elite. Each of the young elites boasts tremendous passion and dedication for the sport, as well as a burning desire to reach the top. In addition to being motivated, dedicated, and passionate about the sport, handball’s Next Generation are also thoughtful, interesting, and tremendous handball ambassadors.

Full R48 Next Generation preview HERE

Meet the Next Generation

Ivan Burgos: Burgos is one of the game’s most exciting junior stars, willing to sacrifice his body for any ball, while challenging himself against the game’s best at every opportunity. This Canadian prodigy possesses an intense passion for the sport, coupled with blazing speed, two-handed power, and the willingness to go for his shots at any moment against any opponent. The Maple Leaf is in great hands!

Leo Canales, Jr.: Leo Canales qualified for the first time at 21 years of age at the 2016 R48 6 Minnesota, defeating perennial R48 standout Anthony Selestow to earn his pro status. Canales’ steady and reliable game forces his opponents to play their best to beat him, while testing their patience and conditioning. Canales is part of the new group of R48 “Young Guns” poised to make noise on the Race 4 Eight for years to come. Look out for the “Juarez Kid” in the coming years

Loren Collado: The Olympic Club’s Loren Collado is a product of the strong Northern California handball tradition and plays an “old school” style of handball, always playing the percentages and waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Collado is one of the sport’s rising young stars and will be a major factor in R48 events in the next decade

Sam Esser: “The Kansas Kid” is part of handball’s next generation of stars who will take handball in the 2020’s and beyond. Esser possesses two good hands and an aggressive style that poses problems for all of the sport’s best. The MO State Collegiate All-American has his sights set on climbing the R48 rankings, an ascent that will likely commence very soon

Peter Funchion: Peter Funchion is one of the game’s most disciplined and dedicated stars, always seeking to improve and traveling thousands of miles, sometimes on back to back weekends, to challenge his game against the best players in the world. Funchion scored his biggest R48 win of his career against former R48 #2 Emmett Peixoto at the 2017 R48 7 Tucson Memorial, flummoxing the R48 star with a combination of kills and passes to advance to his first R48 quarterfinal. Funchion has the desire and dedication to rise to the elite of the sport and is on the short list of young stars to break into the game’s upper echelon

Michael Gaulton: Michael Gaulton is one of North America’s rising handball stars, capable of competing against the very best in the sport. Gaulton’s physical strength and height enables him to hit the ball with extreme power with both hands from any position on the court, enabling him to constantly pressure his opponents. Look for this Canadian prodigy to make his mark on the R48 in the near future

Sean Kerr: Sean Kerr has been groomed to become a handball star from birth, traveling throughout Ireland to watch his father compete in the most prestigious championships in the sport. Kerr owns a sensational resume of junior championships and with his precocious skills and handball IQ, Kerr will undoubtedly become a force on the R48 in the near future

Max Langmack: At 6’8, “The Gentle Giant” became the tallest pro handball player in the history of pro handball with his qualifier win against Abraham Montijo at the 2018 R48 7 Houston. Langmack is one of the game’s most talented young stars and proved that he has the game to compete against the best, as evidenced by playoff wins against Gabhain McCrystal and Marcos Chavez in the R48 7 Houston. Langmack brings tremendous versatility and skill to the court, as well as one of the best attitudes in pro sports. Look for “The Gentle Giant” (TGG) to make headlines on the R48 tour in the near future

Max Langmack Arrives: HERE

Gabhain Mccrystal: Mccrystal is a former 19-and-under U.S. national champion and brings the Irish school of handball to the R48 tour. Mccrystal is adept at playing the percentage game, but can also play offense from anywhere on the court, making him unpredictable and effective. With Mccrystal now residing in the U.S., look for the rising R48 star to continue to climb the WPH rankings

Tyler Stoffel: Tyler Stoffel qualified for the Race 4 Eight tour for the first time at 20 years old and became the youngest ranked pro on the tour. Stoffel is a former All-American collegiate handball star at Mankato State University, having advanced to the USHA Collegiate National final in 2016. Stoffel plays with the poise of a veteran, seemingly always in control of his decision-making and temperament

Erik Torres: The Olympic Club’s Torres is one of the R48 tour’s most stylish players, appearing to make every swing effortless, while generating a tremendous amount of two-handed power. Torres owns one of the best left crack serves in the sport, seemingly able to roll the ball out off the left side wall as often as anyone in the game. The sky is truly the limit for Torres on the R48 tour, as he possesses all of the skills to make a run for the R48 Elite 8 and beyond

To see the Next Generation player bios & all of the Race 4 Eight player bios, go HERE

WR48

Catriona Casey: Catriona Casey is perhaps the most skilled women’s player in history, possessing no discernable weaknesses, two equally strong hands and the ability to make match-changing adjustments on the biggest stages. Casey is arguably the best female athlete on the planet, as this phenomenon combines speed, power, poise, agility, and mental toughness. Casey plays must-see handball, as her on-court elegance and grace in unmatched in today’s game. Casey has won 15 of 17 WR48 events through the 2017/18 WR48 season and there does not seem to be anything to stop her from winning 15 of the next 17

Best WR48 Finish: 15 WR48 Titles

Aimee Tuohey: Aimee Tuohey is one of the future American stars on the WR48 tour, as she is just one of three players to finish in the top five of every WR48 event she has ever entered. Armed with two deadly hands, Tuohey is capable of ending rallies with either hand from virtually any spot on the court, while also possessing the ability to defend from anywhere on the court with either hand.

Tuohey’s supreme fitness makes her a favorite in long matches, as she is as fresh late in a third game as she in to start a match

Best WR48 Finish: 1 WR48 Final

Courtney Peixoto de Melo: CPM was a childhood prodigy from Northern California, winning multiple junior national titles and advancing to her first pro national singles final at just 20. Peixoto de Melo is one of the game’s most popular players, both for her personality and exciting style. Armed with the best hop serve in women’s handball, CPM follows up her dominating serve with a two-handed offensive attack, making her one of the most dangerous competitors on the WR48. This mother of two has returned to the top of her game and served notice to the WR48 at the WR48 Las Vegas ’18, advancing to the final with impressive wins against Tracy Davis and Aimee Tuohey

Best WR48 Finish: 1 WR48 Final

Martina McMahon: Martina McMahon is grace personified, from her elegant strokes to her breathtaking shot making. McMahon burst onto the Women’s Race 4 Eight scene as a 20-year old at the Women’s Race 4 Eight ’15 at the New York Athletic Club, advancing to the semifinals and taking third. McMahon is a WR48 champion (Tucson ’17), placing herself on the very short list of women to ever defeat Catriona Casey. McMahon added the 2018 All Ireland 40×20 Championship and the 2018 World Wall Ball singles and 4-Wall singles and doubles to become the game’s most decorated champion. McMahon trains more than 20 hours per week to prepare for tournaments, making her one of the most devoted athletes in the sport

Best WR48 Finish: 1 WR48 title

Tracy Davis: At 41 years of age, Tracy Davis is a living legend in the sport and still one of the best players in the game. Davis is unquestionably the fittest player competing in any of the Race 4 Eight brackets, as well as being one of the most well-liked. Davis wins and loses with class, always serving as an ambassador to the sport. Davis’ “serve-and-shoot” style makes her dangerous against any opponent and she will look to employ those tactics during the 2018/19 WR48 season against the best players from both sides of the pond

Best WR48 Finish: 1 WR48 Final

The Tracy Davis Journey to #1: HERE

Ashley Moler: Dr. Ashley Moler is a former collegiate softball star that shifted her focus and passion to handball in her early 20’s, quickly rising to the top of the women’s game. Dr. Moler is part of the thriving Tucson handball community, often playing top level players up to five times per week in preparation for WR48 events. Moler advanced to her first WR48 semifinal at the Las Vegas WR48 ’18, displaying the talent that is on display weekly in Tucson sparring matches. Dr. Moler possesses the ability to flummox her WR48 peers with tomahawk kills, fist kills, and fist passes, often leaving her opponents bewildered

Best WR48 Finish: 1 WR48 Semifinal

Hilary Rushe: Rushe is one of the game’s top crossover stars, having won multiple 3-Wall national titles, as well as holding a top 10 WR48 ranking.

Originally from Ireland, Rushe now makes her home in Chicago, where she trains daily to challenge the best WR48 stars in the game.

Rushe is nearly automatic with her right hand kill, forcing her opponents to make perfect shots or pay the price

Best WR48 Finish: 1 WR48 Semifinal

Suz Entzeroth (Koehler): The Missouri Dynamo (TMD) is one of the WR48’s most dynamic players, forcing all of her opponents to play their best to beat her. Entzeroth is a student of the game, taking lessons from the late great David Chapman and always studying the techniques and strategies of today’s top players. Entzeroth is one of the tour’s heroes, serving in the military to preserve our freedom. Entzeroth is a fan favorite everywhere she plays, a testament to her great attitude and relentless determination. Entzeroth will be taking a maternity leave from the tour in 2018, but will undoubtedly be a force when she returns

Suz Entzeroth: The Most Interesting Woman in the World HERE

Best WR48 Finish: 1 WR48 Final

Danielle Daskalakis: Danielle Daskalakis is one of the game’s greatest all-around superstars, as she has demonstrated the ability to play at the top of virtually every handball code. Daskalakis owns one of the best serves in women’s handball and can hop the ball either way to earn first-strike kill opportunities. Daskalakis pushed two-time defending world champion Aisling Reilly to a tiebreaker in the semifinals of the 2016 WR48 Player’s Championship, proving that she has the game to compete anyone on the tour

Best WR48 Finish: 2 WR48 Semifinals

Women’s Race 4 Eight player bios HERE

SR48

David Fink: 2017 R48 #1 David Fink has quickly transitioned into a R48/SR48 star after turning 40, remaining in the top five on the R48 tour, while ascending to the #1 spot on the SR48 tour with victories in his first two SR48 starts in Las Vegas ’18 and Houston ’18.

After dispatching of Marcos Chavez for the second consecutive event in the Houston ’18 SR48 final, 10-time SR48 champion Chavez quipped, “There’s a new sheriff in town.” Fink plans to be a force on both the R48 and SR48 tour for years to come

Best SR48 Finish: 2 SR48 titles

Marcos Chavez: The four-time SR48 Player’s Champion is a force on not just the SR48 tour, but the R48 tour as well.

Playing as well in his early 40’s as he did in his mid 20’s, this crowd-favorite dazzles galleries and frustrates opponents with a mixture of finesse, speed and sneaky power.

Chavez owns the most SR48 titles in the history of the tour and will aim to defend his SR48 Player’s Championship during the 2018-2019 SR48 season

Best SR48 Finish: 10 SR48 titles

Dan Zimet: “Dr. Z” is one of the game’s greatest master’s champions, having won more than 25 combined national titles in 4-Wall, 3-Wall, and 1-Wall. Dr. Z. has taken his game to the SR48, where he has demonstrated his sensational handball skills in challenging the best 40+ players in the world with an all-around game that combines a great serve with reliable offense and defense.

Dr. Z also writes a monthly column for WPH social media titled “Dr. Z’s Wrap-Around,” while serving as a part-time broadcast analyst during Race 4 Eight broadcasts

Best SR48 Finish: 5 SR48 Semifinals

Joe Harris: Las Vegas’ Joe Harris established himself as one of the stars of the SR48, finishing third in consecutive 2018 SR48 stops in Las Vegas and Houston by taking down Dan Zimet, George Garcia, and Dan Armijo.

Joe, like his father, Bob, is a true handball ambassador and is a direct reason for continued growth and development of Nevada Handball.

Harris is playing his best ball of his career in his mid 40’s, a testament to his fitness and decades of court experience

Best SR48 Finish: 2 SR48 Semifinals

George Garcia, Jr: Summary:

Garcia brings a complete game to the SR48, complete with two-handed consistency, big-match experience, and fitness

Garcia defeated then Elite 8 Andy Nett at the R48 I Fresno qualifier in 2012 and won the 2017 LAAC R48 Pre Qualifier, proving that Garcia has the game to beat anyone.

Garcia will be a factor on the SR48 for years to come

Best SR48 Finish: 1 SR48 Semifinal

Gavin Buggy: Gavin Buggy is the only player to have ever started a SR48 match and never lost and is also the only player to have started a match on ESPN and never lost.

Unknown to most American fans and aided by a super fan, Buggy stormed into the 2016 SR48 Player’s Championship and dominated the best SR48 field of the season, including squashing Marcos Chavez’s perfect SR48 season and bid for his third straight SR48 title. Buggy’s unorthodox style and his nearly 6’5 frame make him one of the most interesting players to watch in the sport

Best SR48 Finish: 1 SR48 title

Senior Race 4 Eight player bios HERE

The 2018/19 Race 4 Eight 8 Cities

The 2018/19 Race 4 Eight 8 Powered by ESPN tour will travel to Atlanta, Tucson, Portland, Missoula, New Orleans, Houston, San Francisco, New York, and Salt Lake City during the action-packed Race 4 Eight 8.

Each of the handball-crazed cities rolls out the red carpet for the Race 4 Eight pros, enabling the pros to showcase their sensational talents in the best handball cities in the country.

Stop #1 R48 Men’s Pro: Atlanta Ron Cook Peach Tree Open: October 5-7, 2018

Atlanta’s RecreationATL and E4 will play host to the Race 4 Eight for the second consecutive year and third year overall October 5-7, as R48 Elite 8 pros Luis and Daniel Cordova will welcome the R48 pros to their hometown event.

Tournament director Lance Wachholz rolled out the red carpet in the deep south for the R48 stars last year and this season’s R48 8 kickoff event promises to be equally spectacular. The first stop of the season will be a crucial one, as the top R48 Men’s Pros will desperately want to start their seasons with a solid finish.

Tournament director: Lance Wachholz

Defending R48 champion: Killian Carroll

Race 4 Eight brackets offered: R48 Qualifier, R48 Men’s Pro

Atlanta R48 Stop #1 entry HERE

Atlanta E4 Ron Cook R48 Stop #1 press release HERE

Stop #2 R48 Men’s Pro/WR48/SR48: Tucson Memorial presented by JR WPH: November 2-4, 2018

The 2017 Memorial paid tribute to Dave Chapman and Ben Manning, producing an emotional weekend filled with memories of two handball greats lost far too soon. The Memorial has honored the handball friends and family lost since the inception of The Memorial in 2014 and serves as one of the highlights on the handball calendar. Last year’s Tucson Memorial featured the largest draw across pro, junior, skill level, and age division play on the Race 4 Eight tour and this year’s edition promises to be another great one. The 2018 Memorial will feature the R48 Men’s Pro, the WR48, and the SR48, meaning the best pro players will all be under one roof!

Tournament director: WPH

Defending R48 champion: Killian Carroll

Defending WR48 champion: Martina McMahon

Defending SR48 champion: N/A

Race 4 Eight brackets offered: R48 Qualifier, R48 Men’s Pro, WR48, SR48

Tucson Memorial R48/WR48/SR48 Stop #2 entry HERE

Stop #3 R48 Men’s Pro: Portland R48: December 27-30, 2018

The spectacular Multnomah Athletic Club will play host to the R48 Men’s Pro for the second time December 27-30, as one of the best handball venues in the world will showcase the best men’s pro handball players in the world in the final event of 2018. The R48 Men’s Pros will play alongside the best junior handball players in the world, as the event will be held in conjunction with the USHA Four Wall Junior National Handball Championships. The Portland R48 8 Stop #3 will be an open tournament with no qualifier.

Tournament director: Hank Marcus

Defending R48 Champion: N/A

Race 4 Eight brackets offered: R48 Men’s Pro (open bracket)

Portland R48 8 Men’s Pro entry HERE

Stop #4 R48 Men’s Pro: Montana Red Death: January 25-27, 2019

Montana hosted its first R48 event in 2018 with sensational success, quickly becoming a player’s favorite. R48 pros were treated to unlimited hospitality, the best courts on the tour, and the most appreciative and largest galleries on the tour. Tournament director Sean Sandau and his Red Death tournament staff spared no expense to ensure that players were treated like pros from the moment they arrived in Missoula until the moment they left.

Tournament director Sean Sandau

Defending R48 Champion: Killian Carroll

Race 4 Eight brackets offered: R48 Qualifier, R48 Men’s Pro

Montana Red Death R48 8 Stop #4 entry HERE

Stop #5 R48 Men’s Pro LTE/SR48: New Orleans Mardi Gras Open: February 15-17, 2019

New Orleans will host its third Race 4 Eight event since 2015, serving as the first R48LTE destination in the middle of February. WPH pros traveled to New Orleans for an outstanding WPH pro stop that served as a precursor to the Race 4 Eight in 2009, and will return in 2019 to compete in one of handball’s most fan-friendly venues, featuring a three-glass wall show court. Expect fireworks as pros will dazzle on the courts by day and enjoy Bourbon Street and the French Quarter at night

Tournament director: Bob Caluda

Defending R48 Champion: N/A

Defending SR48 Champion: N/A

Race 4 Eight brackets offered: R48LTE (open draw), SR48

New Orleans R48LTE Stop #5 entry HERE

Stop #6: R48 Men’s Pro LTE Houston/Southwest Regional Doubles: March 8-10, 2019

The WPH returns to Houston’s Tellespsen YMCA for the seventh consecutive year for the sixth event of the 2018-2019 Race 4 Eight 8 season. The sixth event and second R48LTE stop of the season will see the pros kicking off the sensational event at the annual Houston pre-event dinner, hosted by Houston R48LTE tournament director Ron Cole. WPH close friend and former MLB player and manager Art Howe has joined the WPH broadcast in Houston during the past five years, watching the R48 pros in awe alongside the rest of the Texas-crazed handball fans. The Space City will be a pivotal event for the R48 pros as each vies to ascend to the top of the rankings.

Tournament director: Ron Cole

Defending R48 Champion: Killian Carroll

Race 4 Eight brackets offered: R48LTE (open draw)

Houston R48LTE Stop #6/Southwest Regional Doubles entry HERE

Stop #7: San Francisco R48 Men’s Pro LTE/Olympic Club Singles: March 29-31, 2019

San Francisco’s Olympic Club returns to the Race 4 Eight schedule for the second time, hosting the R48 Men’s Pro and the WR48. One of the United States’ most magnificent cities provides a rare treat for the world’s best men’s and women’s handball pros, as the top stars have the opportunity to travel to Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Warf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and much more. The Olympic Club sponsors several of the Race 4 Eight’s stars, including Emmett Peixoto and Courtney Peixoto de Melo, two of the Olympic Club’s most accomplished athletes in the 158-year history of the prestigious club.

Tournament director Lou Barberini and Joey Mucha

Defending R48 Champion: N/A

Defending WR48 Champion: N/A

Race 4 Eight brackets offered: R48 Qualifier, R48 Men’s Pro, WR48

Olympic Club Singles R48 LTE Stop #7 entry HERE

Stop #8: R48 Men’s Pro LTE/WR48: New York Athletic Club: April 12-14, 2019

The Race 4 Eight V heads to New York City and the famed New York Athletic Club for the sixth consecutive year, featuring views from Central Park and midtown Manhattan from the NYAC rooftop. The NYAC is the tour’s most historic venue, connecting handball greats from the past century in one of the country’s most highly regarded athletic clubs. Players and their families are treated to an incredible Saturday night banquet, as well as the best amenities of New York City.

Tournament director: John Duggan and the NYAC Killer’s Club

Defending R48 Champion: Killian Carroll

Race 4 Eight brackets offered: R48LTE Men’s Pro (open draw)

NYAC R48LTE Stop #8 entry HERE

Stop #9: R48 Men’s Pro/WR48/SR48: Salt Lake City R48 Aces Player’s Championship: May 15-17, 2019

The Salt Lake City Aces has been voted the “Player’s Favorite” for its sensational hospitality and willingness to show all of the players a great experience in the Rocky Mountains. Hosting the R48 for a record eighth consecutive year, the Ace Team hosts an incredible Saturday evening party and a spectacular venue for watching and playing world-class handball.

Tournament director: Lon and Matt Stalsberg and the Aces Family

Defending R48 Champion: Killian Carroll

Defending WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey

Defending SR48 Champion: Marcos Chavez

Race 4 Eight brackets offered: R48 Qualifier, R48 Men’s Pro, WR48, SR48

Salt Lake City R48 Aces Player’s Championship entry HERE

The 2018/19 R48 Pre Qualifier Schedule

The R48 Pre Qualifier awards the pre qualifier winner with a travel stipend to the Race 4 Eight event of his or her choice. The R48 Pre-Qualifier can be held as a stand-alone/one-day event or in conjunction with an open tournament. A R48 Pre Qualifier with two or more players ranked in the R48 top 25 rewards the winner with a direct entry into the Race 4 Eight event of his or her choice.

R48 Pre Qualifier concept explained HERE

2018/19 R48 8 Pre Qualifier Cities

R48 Pre Qualifier Stop #1: Tucson, AZ, September 8, 2018 (Completed)

Tucson hosted the first R48 Pre Qualifier of the 2018/19 Race 4 Eight season, kicking off the season with the oldest R48 qualifier in history, as 52-year-old Leo Canales, Sr ousted defending champion Abraham Montijo in a three-game final to break John Bike’s qualifying record by five years. The 2018 Tucson R48 Pre Qualifier also featured 45 junior players competing in four junior singles brackets, highlighting a number of the top junior stars from North America.

Tournament director: WPH

Champion: Leo Canales, Sr.

2018 Tucson R48 Pre Qualifier recap HERE

R48 Pre Qualifier Stop #2: Salt Lake City, UT, September 22, 2018

Ace Disposal and the World Players of Handball are thrilled to host the 2018 Salt Lake City Aces R48 Pre Qualifier, September 22, 2018 at the Sports Mall, located at 5445 S 900 E, Salt Lake City, UT, 84117. Salt Lake City is the only city to have hosted the Race 4 Eight in each season since the inception of the tour in 2011-2012, while also holding the distinction of being voted the “Player’s Stop” seven years running.

Tournament director: Ruben Garza and WPH

Defending champion: N/A

2018 Salt Lake City Aces Pre Qualifier info and entry HERE

R48 Pre Qualifier Stop #3: Portland, OR, October 12-14, 2018

The Alten Handball Foundation, the Multnomah Athletic Club and, and the World Players of Handball are proud to present the second Portland Classic/R48 8 Pre Qualifier, October 12-14, 2018 at the Multnomah Athletic Club, 1849 SW Salmon St. Portland, OR 97205. The Portland Classic will feature the Northwest’s second R48 Pre Qualifier, as well as junior/collegiate divisions and skill level and master’s brackets. Pacific Northwest superstar and R48 #22 Dalton Beall will enter the 2018 Portland Classic as the defending champion, while also serving as the reigning Oregon State singles champion and Pacific Northwest Regional singles champion

Tournament director: Conor Casey and WPH

Defending champion: Dalton Beall

2018 Portland Classic/R48 Pre Qualifier info and entry HERE

From Left to Right (Former NABA USA Heavyweight Champion Jason Bergman, Rodney Fink, Stephen Cooney & David Fink)

R48 Pre Qualifier Stop #4: Pittsburgh, PA, October 13-14, 2018

The World Players of Handball and the Pittsburgh Handball Community are thrilled to present the WPH RFC 10/Pittsburgh R48 Pre Qualifier on Saturday–Sunday, October 13-14 2018 at Amerifit Handball Club, located at 100 Roessler Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. The Rodney Fink Classic (RFC) is the WPH’s longest running event, and in its tenth year, has become one of handball’s most coveted prizes. The 2009-2017 RFC list of champions has featured many of this generation’s greatest handball stars, to include former and current #1 WPH stars David Chapman, Luis Moreno, Catriona Casey, Megan Dorneker, David Fink, Charly Shanks, and Tracy Davis.

Tournament director: WPH

Defending champion: Stephen Cooney

2018 WPH Rodney Fink Classic 10/Pre Qualifier info and entry HERE

R48 Pre Qualifier Stop #5: Austin, TX, November 9-11, 2018

The University of Texas and the World Players of Handball are proud to present the R48 8 WPH R48 Pre-Qualifier & 2018 Texas State Singles Championships in Austin, TX at UT’s Gregory Gym on the weekend of November 9-11, 2018. The 2018 Texas State Singles Championships will serve as the second R48 Pre Qualifier in Austin, and will also feature Men’s and Women’s skill level divisions, Master’s brackets, and three doubles divisions.

Tournament director: Kristen Hughes and WPH

Defending champion: Adam Bernhard

2018 Texas Handball State Championships/R48 Pre Qualifier info and entry HERE

R48 Pre Qualifier Stop #6: Los Angeles, CA, December 8, 2018

The Los Angeles Athletic Club and the World Players of Handball are thrilled to present the 2018 LAAC R48 Pre Qualifier, December 8, 2018 at the LAAC, located at 431 W 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90014. Race 4 Eight Elite 8 stars and WPH Manning Cup Champions Mando Ortiz, Vic Perez, and Marcos Chavez will serve as hosts of the 2018 LAAC R48 Pre Qualifier, lending their celebrity and status to what promises to be one of the strongest R48 Pre Qualifier fields of the season.

Tournament director: Marcos Chavez, Vic Perez and WPH

Defending champion: George Garcia, Jr.

2018 LAAC R48 Pre Qualifier info and entry HERE

The History

The World Player’s of Handball’s Race 4 Eight tour kicked off in October of 2011 with the Plummer Helluva Family Bash in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and has hosted a total of 48 Race 4 Eight events through the first eight seasons, featuring the top men’s, women’s, and senior handball players in the world. ESPN jumped onboard in 2014 and the Race 4 Eight has proudly broadcast Race 4 Eight events live on ESPN3 since its first event on the Worldwide Leader in Sports at the 2014 Simple Green U.S. Open. Paul Brady, Catriona Casey, and Marcos Chavez have been the Race 4 Eight’s most prolific champions in the R48 Men’s Pro, WR48, and SR48, respectively, and with each of the superstars separating themselves from the best handball players on the planet. Check out the Race 4 Eight List of Champions and Finalists through the first eight seasons below.

Race 4 Eight, Senior Race 4 Eight and Women’s Race 4 Eight Stops and Champions and Finalists: 2011-Present

R48 I: 2011-2012

  1. Plummer (ID)

R48 Champion: Luis Moreno (AZ)/Finalist: Naty Alvarado, Jr. (CA)

Results here

  1. US. Open (CA)

R48 Champion: Robbie McCarthy (IRE)/Finalist: Charly Shanks (IRE)

Results here

  1. Tucson (AZ)

R48 Champion: Luis Moreno (AZ)/Finalist: Sean Lenning (WA)

Results here

  1. Fresno (CA)

R48 Champion: Sean Lenning (WA)/Finalist: Naty Alvarado, Jr. (CA)

Results here

  1. Atlanta (GA)

R48 Champion: Luis Moreno (AZ)/Finalist: Naty Alvarado, Jr. (CA)

Results here

  1. Salt Lake City (UT)

R48 Champion: Luis Moreno (AZ)/Finalist: Sean Lenning (WA)

Results here

  1. LAAC (CA)

R48 Champion: Sean Lenning (WA)/Finalist: Al. Garner (TX)

Results here

  1. Seattle (WA)

R48 Champion: Luis Moreno (AZ)/Finalist: Sean Lenning (WA)

 

R48 II + SR48 I: 2012-2013

  1. S. Open (CA)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Charly Shanks (IRE)

Results here

  1. Tucson (AZ)

R48 Champion:  Sean Lenning (WA)/Finalist: Al. Garner (TX)

Results here

  1. Houston (TX)

R48 Champion: Charly Shanks (IRE)/Finalist: Naty Alvarado, Jr. (CA)

SR48 Champion: Naty Alvarado, Jr. (CA)/Finalist: Tyler Hamel (TX)

Results here

  1. Anchorage (AK)

R48 Champion: Luis Moreno (AZ)/Finalist: Charly Shanks (IRE)

Results here

  1. Denver (CO)

R48 Champion: Luis Moreno (AZ)/Finalist: Sean Lenning (WA)

SR48 Champion: Naty Alvarado, Jr. (CA)/Finalist: Matt Mclaughlin (MO)

Results here

  1. Salt Lake City (UT)

R48 Champion: Charly Shanks (IRE)/Finalist: Luis Moreno (AZ)

Results here

  1. Seattle (WA)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Shanks (IRE)

SR48 Champion: Andy Schad (D.C.)/Finalist: John Bike (CA)

 

R48 III + WR48 I: + SR48 II 2013-2014

  1. Plummer (ID)

R48 Champion: Al. Garner (TX)/Finalist: Mando Ortiz (CA)

Results here

  1. S. Open (CA)

R48 Champion: Luis Moreno (AZ)/Finalist: Naty Alvarado, Jr. (CA)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Aisling Reilly (IRE)

Results here

  1. Houston (TX)

R48 Champion: Luis Moreno (AZ)/Finalist: Diarmaid Nash (IRE)

SR48 Champion: Marcos Chavez (CA)/Finalist: Tyler Hamel (TX)

Results here

  1. NYAC (NY)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Robbie McCarthy (IRE)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Tracy Davis (NY)

Results here

  1. Denver (CO)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Emmett Peixoto (CA)

SR48 Champion: Bear Meiring (CO)/Finalist: Dave Vincent (AZ)

Results here

  1. Salt Lake City (UT)

R48 Champion: Robbie McCarthy (IRE)/Finalist: Luis Moreno (AZ)

WR48 Champion Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Aisling Reilly (IRE)

SR48 Champion: Marcos Chavez (CA)/Finalist: Meiring (CO)

Results here

 

R48 IV + SR48 III + WR48 II: 2014-2015

  1. US. Open (CA)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Luis Moreno (AZ)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Aisling Reilly (IRE)

Results here

  1. Tucson (AZ)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Luis Moreno (AZ)

SR48 Champion: Marcos Chavez (CA)/Finalist: Naty Alvarado, Jr. (CA)

Results here

  1. Houston (TX)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Sean Lenning (AZ)

SR48 Champion: Naty Alvarado, Jr. (CA)/Tyler Hamel (TX)

Results here

  1. San Francisco (CA)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Emmett Peixoto (CA)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Jessica Gawley (CAN)

Results here

  1. NYAC (NY)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Andy Nett (MN)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Ciana Ni Churraion (IRE)

SR48 Champion: Andy Schad (D.C)/Finalist: Dan Armijo (AZ)

Results here

  1. Salt Lake City (UT)

R48 Champion: Sean Lenning (AZ)/Finalist: Mando Ortiz (CA)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Aisling Reilly (IRE)

SR48 Champion: Marcos Chavez (CA)/Finalist: Tom Sheridan (IRE)

Results here

 

R48 V + SR48 IV + WR48 III: 2015-2016

  1. US. Open (CA)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Luis Moreno (AZ)

WR48 Champion: Aisling Reilly (IRE)/Finalist: Catriona Casey (IRE)

SR48 Champion: Marcos Chavez (CA)/Finalist: Naty Alvarado, Jr. (CA)

Results here

  1. Tucson (AZ)

R48 Champion: Sean Lenning (AZ)/Finalist: Mando Ortiz (CA)

Results here

  1. New Orleans (LA)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Killian Carroll (IRE)

Results here

  1. Houston (TX)

R48 Champion: Mando Ortiz (CA)/Finalist: Sean Lenning (AZ)

SR48 Champion: Marcos Chavez (CA)/Finalist: Tyler Hamel (TX)

Results here

  1. NYAC (NY)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Mando Ortiz (CA)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Martina McMahon (IRE)

Results here

  1. Salt Lake City (UT)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Sean Lenning (WA)

Results here

  1. Portland (OR)

R48 Champion: Killian Carroll (IRE)/Finalist: Sean Lenning (WA)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Aisling Reilly (IRE)

SR48 Champion: Gavin Buggy (IRE)/Finalist: Marcos Chavez (CA)

Results here

 

R48 6, SR48 5 + WR48 4: 2016-2017

  35. Simple Green U.S. Open (CA)

R48 Champion: Robbie McCarthy (IRE)/Finalist: Mando Ortiz (CA)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Aisling Reilly (IRE)

SR48 Champion: Marcos Chavez (CA)/Finalist: Naty Alvarado, Jr. (CA)

Results here

  1. Minneapolis (MN)

R48 Champion: Mando Ortiz (CA)/Finalist: David Fink (AZ)

SR48 Champion: Marcos Chavez (CA)/Naty Alvarado (CA)

Results here

  1. Plummer (ID)

R48 Champion: Luis Moreno (AZ)/Finalist: David Fink (AZ)

Results here

  1. New Orleans (LA)

R48 Champion: Killian Carroll (IRE)/ Finalist: David Fink (AZ)

Results here

  1. Houston (TX)

R48 Champion: Killian Carroll (IRE)/Finalist: Luis Moreno (AZ)

Results here

  1. NYAC (NY)

R48 Champion: Paul Brady (IRE)/Finalist: Killian Carroll (IRE)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/ Finalist: Martina McMahon (IRE)

Results here

  1. Salt Lake City (UT)

R48 Champion: Killian Carroll (IRE)/Finalist: Luis Cordova (MEX)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Martina McMahon (IRE)

SR48 Champion: Marcos Chavez (CA)/Finalist: Chris Watkins (CA)

Results here

 

R48 7, SR48 6 + WR48 5: 2017-2018

  1. Atlanta (GA)

R48 Champion: Killian Carroll (IRE)/Finalist: Mando Ortiz (CA)

Results here

  1. Tucson (AZ)

R48 Champion: Killian Carroll (IRE)/Finalist: Robbie McCarthy (IRE)

WR48 Champion: Martina McMahon (IRE)/Finalist: Catriona Casey (IRE)

Results here

  1. Missoula (MT)

R48 Champion: Killian Carroll (IRE)/Finalist: Mando Ortiz (CA)

Results here

  1. Las Vegas (NV)

R48 Champion: Sean Lenning (WA)/Finalist: Killian Carroll (IRE)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Courtney Peixoto de Melo (CA)

SR48 Champion: David Fink (AZ)/Finalist: Marcos Chavez (CA)

Results here

  1. Houston (TX)

R48 Champion: Killian Carroll (IRE)/Finalist: Sean Lenning (WA)

SR48 Champion: David Fink (AZ)/Finalist: Marcos Chavez (CA)

Results here

  1. NYAC (NY)

R48 Champion: Killian Carroll (IRE)/Finalist: Daniel Cordova (GA)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Suz Koehler (MO)

Results here

  1. Salt Lake City (UT)

R48 Champion: Killian Carroll (IRE)/Finalist: Sean Lenning (WA)

WR48 Champion: Catriona Casey (IRE)/Finalist: Aimee Tuohey (GA)

SR48 Champion: Marcos Chavez (CA)/Finalist: David Fink (AZ)

Results here

The Preparation

So much preparation goes into each Race 4 Eight season, with Race 4 Eight players training year-round and WPH administrators and writers preparing venues, tour facts, player features, and so much more. The World Players of Handball is extremely fortunate to have the passion of the players and staff to make the upcoming Race 4 Eight season the most anticipated season in history. Check out what the players and staff are doing to prepare for the 2018/19 Race 4 Eight season below.

“This is a special year for the WPH as we are continuing a relationship with a major TV network and have big hopes on the horizon for the expansion of handball’s image on a national mass-market scale,” declared WPH Executive Director David Vincent. “With ESPN onboard in a multi-year deal, this off-season we have sunk our energy into tying loose ends, shoring up and improving the tournament dynamics, and aggressively seeking alternative ways to fund the tour.  Visually you will see some improvements during the 2018/19 season; but moreover, I think the presentation will be more authentic, positive and presentable in years past.  As an announcer, I’ve been watching more tennis and studying the USHA rule book with hopes of improving my game.”

“I can’t wait for the upcoming R48 8 season,” stated R48 Elite 8 staple Emmett Peixoto. “I felt like I was playing better handball late last season than all previous seasons; just a few shots shy from turning the corner. I know this season will be different. After a brief break from training after the World Championships, in order to rest my body and mind, I will be doing drills and working out four to five times a week in preparation for the season. I hope everybody will be doing the same. Let’s make this season the best yet. I will be ready.” 

“Getting my mind and body ready for the season requires a lot of planning and preparation,” revealed WPH R48 top 18 pro Stephen Cooney, who moved from Ireland to New York City to have the opportunity to compete on the R48 tour. “I won’t go into details as I like to keep some secrets but I will be giving myself every chance to bring my best game to the tour.”

“I am focusing on my overall wellness and fitness and setting goals,” revealed Colorado superstar and top 20 R48 pro Jonathan Iglesias.

“I prepared myself pretty well for the upcoming season, playing handball three times per week and eating properly, which is my biggest demon of all,” stated Mando Ortiz.

“I have been using more functional workouts in my training, such as medicine ball and TRX bands,” stated R48 Elite 8 pro Vic Perez.  “I’ve used less weight with more repetition to avoid stiffness. Stretching out for 20 minutes after every work out has become part of my regimen. Lastly, I’ve been watching closely what I eat and I’ve been blending a lot of fruits and vegetables.”

“I’ve consciously pushed myself outside of my comfort zone training in the gym, adding different routines and increasing strength training, and I’ve played a lot of tough singles matches against players who are significantly better skilled than I am to get more experience having to compete at a higher level on a more regular basis,” stated living WR48 legend Tracy Davis. “I’ve found the combination of pushing myself in the gym and on the court has improved helped improve my confidence and competence on a 4-Wall court.”

The WPH Staff

The World Players of Handball Staff and Broadcast Team are comprised of the most passionate, professional and dedicated group of handball promoters in the world. The WPH is extremely fortunate to have a group of individuals that dedicate their lives to growing the great game of handball on a daily basis, with each team member holding specific responsibilities that are critically important to the success of the WPH. If you see one of our team members at an event, say hello and thank them for their incredible efforts in growing the game!

Meet the WPH Staff and WPH Broadcast Team HERE

The Rules

The World Players of Handball is always seeking to create the most fan and player-friendly rules to generate the most exciting matches for the hundreds of thousands of fans watching each broadcast on ESPN3. Players and fans are asked each year how we can best present the sport on ESPN and the WPH Rules Committee is always evaluating new tweaks to enhance the playing and viewing experience. Check out a few of the Race 4 Eight 8 rules. For more rules and clarifications, see WPH R48 Administrators David Vincent and David Fink or go to wphlive.tv and click on “Elite Handball”

Assorted 2018/19 Race 4 Eight Rule Highlights

  • All main draw R48, SR48 and WR48 matches are best of three games, all games to 15 points, win by two in each game
  • All R48, SR48, and WR48 Playoff matches are one game to 25, win by two
  • Players are given one incorrect video replays per game in matches that are being broadcast
  • There are four-minutes between games and for halftime in 25-point games
  • See all of the 2018/19 R48 Men’s Pro, WR48, and SR48 rules HERE

The Blind Draw

The World Players of Handball’s Race 4 Eight tour strives to create the most excitement for the players and fans at each stop. Rather than the traditional blind draw that has pitted the Elite 8 pro’s name in a hat to be picked by the eight qualifiers, the World Players of Handball has created unique blind draws that will enable qualifiers to pick the R48 pro he or she wants to play, allow R48 pros to pick the qualifier he or she wants to play and more, all while avoiding repeat first-round matchups throughout the season! See below for the blind draw format at each stop.

2018/19 R48 8 Men’s Pro Blind Draw Formats

Atlanta: By the Rankings

Tucson: Blind Draw

Portland: Open Draw

Montana: Qualifiers choose their opponent

New Orleans LTE: By the Rankings

Houston LTE: By the Rankings

NYAC LTE: By the Rankings

San Francisco: Elite 8 choice (elite 8 choose their qualifier opponents)

Salt Lake City (draw done by the rankings).

*In special Reverse/Elite 8 choice/Throwback draws, players will not be able to choose a player he/she has already played in the first round. If conflicts cannot be avoided, a coin flip could decide the opponents

Junior WPH Clinics at R48 Stops

The World Players of Handball is extremely proud to provide opportunities for junior and collegiate players to learn from the greatest handball players in the world at our Race 4 Eight stops. Race 4 Eight pros lead clinics at Race 4 Eight stops that focus on the handball fundamentals, cross training exercises, and mostly, having fun on the handball court. Race 4 Eight clinics have featured players as young as five years old to college seniors. Every level of player, from beginner to young qualifier hopefuls have taken part in the clinics, with each gaining valuable knowledge from R48 pros and WPH Certified Coaches.

The goal of the Race 4 Eight tour is to inspire the next generation of players and through the first seven seasons of the Race 4 Eight tour, hundreds of youngsters from across the country have developed a love for the great game of handball through the Race 4 Eight junior handball clinics.

“We are extremely proud of the commitment our coaches and pros have made to introducing and teaching the next generation of players at Race stops,” declared WPH Youth Donor and Development Director David Fink. “Race events provide opportunities for new players to not only watch the best players in the world from the front row, but also to share the court with the game’s greats

WPH Race 4 Eight VI Sponsors

The World Players of Handball’s 2018/19 Race 4 Eight 8 Powered by ESPN is possible because of our incredibly generous sponsors and partners that share the WPH’s passion for growing the game handball and enabling the sport reach hundreds of thousands of unique viewers on each Race 4 Eight broadcast. Our sponsors not only support the Race 4 Eight, but also the hundreds of junior handball clinics the World Players of Handball host each year. Please promote our sponsors by supporting their products and thanking them!

Here is our incredibly generous list of Race 4 Eight sponsors:

Sports Mall

Tucson Racquet & Fitness Club

Mesch, Clark & Rothchild

Tucson Rolling Shutters

Mined Out

R & A CPA’s

New York Athletic Club

Simple Green

3WallBall.com

E4 Design

The Ron Cole Company

Ace Disposal

Ace Advertising

JR WPH

The 2018-2019 Race 4 Eight VI Schedule

2018/19 RACE4EIGHT PROFESSIONAL HANDBALL TOUR

#1 – 10/5/2018—10/7/2018 – Peachtree Open – Atlanta, Georgia – Rec Atlanta – Entry HERE> ***ESPN (WPH Qualifier & R48Pro Stop)

#2 – 11/1/2018—11/4/2018 – #TheMemorial – Tucson, Arizona – The TRC – Entry HERE>  ***ESPN (WPH Qualifier/R48Pro/WR48Pro & SR40+ Stop)

#3 – 12/28/2018—12/30/2018 – USHA Junior Nationals – Portland, Oregon – The MAC – Entry HERE> ***ESPN (R48Pro Stop w/open format)

#4 – 1/25/2019—1/27/2019 – Red Death – Missoula, Montana – The Peak – Entry HERE>  **WPHLIVE.TV BROADCAST (WPH Qualifier & R48Pro Stop)

#5 – 3/29/2019-3/31/2019- Olympic Club Invitational – San Francisco, California – Olympic Club – Entry HERE>  ***ESPN (WPH Qualifier, R48Pro & WR48Pro Stop)

#6 – 5/17/2019-5/19/2019 – Aces Players Championship – Salt Lake City, Utah – Sports Mall – Entry HERE>  ***ESPN (WPH Qualifier/R48Pro/WR48Pro & SR40+ Stop)

2018/19 RACE4EIGHT LIGHT (LTE) STOPS ***R48LTE concept explained HERE>

#1 – 2/15/2019—2/17/2019 – New Orleans Mardi Gras Open – Harahan, Louisiana – Oshner Fitness – Entry HERE**BROADCAST TBD (R48pro LTE & SR48Pro Stop)

2019 New Orleans R48LTE press release HERE

#2 – 3/8/2019—3/10/2019 – Houston Southwest Regional Doubles Championships – Houston, TX – Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA- Entry HERE>  **BROADCAST TBD  (R48pro LTE Stop)

2019 Houston R48LTE press release HERE

#3 – 4/12/2019—4/14/2019 – NYAC Burt Kossoff Invitational – New York City, NY – New York Athletic Club – Entry HERE>  **BROADCAST TBD (R48pro LTE Stop)

 2019 NYAC R48LTE press release HERE

2018/19 RACE4EIGHT PRE-QUALIFIER STOPS ***R48 Pre-Qualifier concept explained HERE>

#1 – 9/8/2018 – Tucson R48 Pre Qualifier – Tucson, AZ – Tucson Racquet Club – Entry HERE>  **BROADCAST TBD

2018 Tucson R48 Pre-Qualifier press release HERE

#2 – 9/22/2018 – Salt Lake City Aces Pre-Qualifier – Salt Lake City, UT – Sports Mall – Entry HERE**BROADCAST TBD

2018 Salt Lake City Aces R48 Pre-Qualifier press release HERE

#3 – 10/12/2018-10/14/2018– Portland Classic R48 Pre Qualifier – Portland, OR – Multnomah Athletic Club – Entry HERE>  **BROADCAST TBD

2018 Portland Classic R48 Pre-Qualifier press release HERE

#4 – 10/13/2018—10/14/18 – RFC 10/Pittsburgh R48 Pre Qualifier Honoring Dave Peterson – Pittsburgh, PA – Amerifit Handball Club- Entry HERE>  **BROADCAST TBD

2018 Pittsburgh RFC 10 R48 Pre-Qualifier press release HERE

#5 – 11/9/2018-11/11/2018- Austin R48 Pre Qualifier – Austin, TX – Gregory Gym – Entry HERE>  **BROADCAST TBD

2018 Texas State Singles R48 Pre Qualifier press release HERE

#6 – 12/8/2018–LAAC R48 Pre Qualifier-Los Angeles, CALos Angeles Athletic ClubEntry Form HERE **BROADCAST TBD

2018 LAAC R48 Pre-Qualifier press release HERE

Written by David Fink

Produced by the World Players of Handball

 

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