The 2019-2020 Race 4 Eight IX Preview

Posted on Oct 7 2019 - 5:26am by DV

The World Players of Handball is thrilled to announce the 2019/20 Race 4 Eight IX Men’s Pro, Women’s Race 4 Eight, and Senior Race 4 Eight tour seasons Powered by ESPN, featuring 12 events that kicked off with the RFC 11 R48 IX Pre Qualifier in Pittsburgh and will end with the WPH Aces Race 4 Eight Player’s Championship in Salt Lake City, UT. The Race 4 Eight Men’s Pros will compete in five “full” R48 stops and three R48LTE stops, with the best six of eight events counting towards the official R48 Power Rankings, while the WR48 and SR48 pros will each compete in three ranking events during the 2019/20 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 2019/20 Race 4 Eight tour schedule and entry links below.

The 2019/20 Race 4 Eight IX Preview contains the 2019/20 Race 4 Eight 8 schedule, player previews, event previews, player preparation, Race 4 Eight history, Race 4 Eight Rules, and so much more!

2019/20 Patreon.com/WPHLive R48Pro IX Handball Schedule

July 13-14, 2019                 Pittsburgh RFC 11 & WPH R48Pro Pre Qualifier (Open Draw at 9 am on Saturday, July 13) – Pittsburgh, PA – Results HERE – Recap HERE

September 7, 2019             Tucson WPH R48Pro Pre Qualifier (Open Draw at 9 am on Saturday, September 7) – Tucson, AZ – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Oct 4-6, 2019                        Peach Tree Open & WPH R48Pro (Qualifier Friday at 9am – Pro sweet 16 Friday at 1pm) – Lilburn, Georgia (Atlanta) – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

October 18-20, 2019          Portland Classic R48ProLTE (Open Draw at 4 pm on Friday, October 18) – Portland, OR – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Oct 31-Nov 3, 2019             The Memorial & WPH R48Pro/WR48Pro/SR48Pro (Qualifier Thursday after 6pm. Friday after 9am – Pro Sweet 16 after Noon; Women’s Pro Singles; Senior 40+ Singles after 6pm Friday) – Tucson, Az – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Nov 15-17, 2019                 Texas State Championships & WPH R48Pro Pre Qualifier + WR48Pro Pre Qualifier (Open Draw at 3 pm on Friday, November 15) – Austin, TX – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Dec 14-15, 2019                  LAAC/WPH R48Pro Pre Qualifier (Open Draw at 9 am on Saturday, December 14) – Los Angeles, CA – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Jan 24-26, 2020                   The Red Death & WPH R48pro Stop (Qualifier Friday at 9am, Pro sweet 16 Friday at 1pm) – Missoula, MT – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Feb 14-16, 2020                  New Orleans Mardi Gras Open & R48ProLTE/WR48Pro (Open draw for R48LTE starting Friday at 4 pm; WR48 Singles after 6 pm Fri; top seeds begin Sat am) – New Orleans, LA – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Feb 28-29, 2020                  Pittsburgh RFC & WPH R48ProLTE/SR48Pro February 28-29, (Open bracket, play starts at 1 pm on Friday, finals on Saturday night) Pittsburgh, PA – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

April 24-26, 2020               Houston R48Pro (Qualifier Friday, 9 am, Pro Sweet 16 after Noon, Friday) – Houston, TX – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

May 14-17, 2020                 Salt Lake City Aces & WPH R48Pro/WR48Pro/SR48Pro Player’s Championship (Qualifier Thursday, 2 pm, R48Pro, WR48Pro, SR48Pro Sweet 16 Friday morning) – Salt Lake City, UT – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

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

Race 4 Eight 8 promo video HERE

2019/20 Race 4 Eight s Pro Schedule HERE

Relive the 2018/19 Race 4 Eight season HERE

2018/19 Race 4 Eight Matches of the Season HERE

2018/19 R48 Elite 8, WR48 & SR48 Elite Stats 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

2019/20 Player Code of Conduct 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 three consecutive Player’s Championships in his next three seasons. 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 continues to define excellence on the R48 tour

Best R48 Finish: 12 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. Lenning maintained his perch in the top two during the 2018/19 R48 season, notching victories against Killian Carroll in the finals of the 2018 Tucson Memorial and several impressive wins against Lucho Cordova.

Sean Lenning Thrills With a Hat Trick here

Best R48 Finish: 7 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 enjoyed his R48 breakthrough during the 2018/19 season, winning two titles (Portland, Tucson) to crash into the R48 top three. Danos has his sights set on #1 in the coming season

Best R48 Finish: 2 R48 titles

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 Killian Carroll, Mando Ortiz, 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. Like his younger brother Danos, Lucho crashed into the R48 top four last season, collecting his first two R48 titles (Atlanta, New Orleans) of his career and becoming one of the players to beat on the tour

Best R48 Finish: 2 R48 titles

David Fink: David Fink has played the most Race 4 Eight stops of any player in the history of the tour and owns four 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: 4 R48 Finals

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. Perez advanced to his first R48 final last season (New Orleans), defeating Danos Cordova and inching closer to his first R48 title.

Best R48 Finish: 1 R48 Final

Marcos Chavez: The four-time SR48 Player’s Champion is a force on not just the SR48 tour, but the R48 tour as well. Arguably playing as well in his mid 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 clinched his spot in the R48 Elite 8 for the first time in early 2019, a milestone for any player, not to mention a 44-year old! Chavez’ dedication and passion for handball enables the Southern California Handball Hall of Famer to continue to push the world’s best to the limit–expect more of the same in the upcoming season!

Best R48 Finish: 1 R48 semifinal

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

Best R48 Finish: 2 R48 Finals

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. Brady returned to the tour late last season to win his 15th R48 title in dominating fashion on his home court at the NYAC

Best R48 Finish: 15 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.

Fergal Coughlan Jr.: FCJ is an offensive juggernaut, seemingly capable of ending rallies from anywhere on the court with a soft touch and keen precision. Fergal became the first unranked player to defeat three R48 pros on the same day at the 2019 Player’s Championship (Langmack, Cooney, Peixoto), crashing onto the tour with a statement

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. Funchion was the inaugural R48 Next Gen Cup for his stellar play during the 2018/19 R48 season.

Funchion Wins the Next Gen Cup HERE

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

Niall O’Connor:  An Irish junior contemporary of Killian Carroll, Martin Mulkerrins, Diarmaid Nash, and many other Irish superstars, O’Connor was considered the most talented of the group. A left shoulder injury and subsequent surgery derailed O’Connor for two years, but the left-handed Irish sensation proved that he belongs at the top of the sport, qualifying on the R48 tour for the first time at the 2019 Aces Player’s Championship by ending Shorty Ruiz’ 14 consecutive qualifier finals streak. O’Connor oozes talent and will be a formidable opponent for anyone with whom he shares a court on the R48 IX season.

Ricardo Palma: The Lake Forest product is an aggressive counterpuncher, able to re kill as will at any player in the front court, while driving the ball with tremendous power with both hands. Palma is on the verge of qualifying and will be a force in oro handball for the next decade.

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.

David Walsh: The Irish star won the A singles at the Nationals, overcoming a 9-0 tiebreaker deficit to stun fellow Next Genner Ricardo Palma. Walsh held match point in the 2019 RFC 11 R48 Pre Qualifier against Niall O’Connor to earn his pro status but was unable to close the deal. Walsh is a level-headed complete ballplayer whose game is quickly maturing into a threat

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 18 of 20 WR48 events through the 2018/19 WR48, including a clean sweep of the 2018/19 WR48 schedule

Best WR48 Finish: 18 WR48 Titles

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

Fionna Tully: Ireland’s Fiona Tully wasted no time climbing into the WR48’s top five, advancing to the semifinals of her first WR48 stop in San Francisco ’19 with impressive wins against Danielle Daskalakis and Ashley Moler and booking another semifinal spot in her next WR48 start at the 2019 Aces Player’s Championship, this time downing Tracy Davis. Tully brings exceptional fundamentals and a passion for the game to the WR48 and you can count on seeing a lot more of FT on the business end of WR48 stops for the next decade

Best WR48 Finish: 2 Semifinals

Tracy Davis: At 42 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 2019/20 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

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: 5 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

Kevin Price: The Rocky Mountain Sharpshooter is well-schooled in the art of handball, having grown up around the game under the watchful eye of his father. Price possesses all of the shots and has improved since joining the SR48 tour, adding offense to his already steady game. Price is a perennial SR48 semifinalist and appears to be heading be SR48 finals in the near future

Best SR48 Finish: 2 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. 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, armed 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

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, Portland, Tucson, Missoula, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Houston, 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 e4 Ron Cook Memorial: October 4-6, 2019

Atlanta’s RecreationATL and E4 will play host to the Race 4 Eight for the third consecutive year and fourth year overall October 4-6, as R48 #3 Danos Cordova and tournament director and sponsor Lance Wachholz will welcome the R48 pros to their hometown event. WPH Lifetime Achiever Lance Wachholz has rolled out the red carpet in the deep south for the R48 stars every year and this season’s R48 IX 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

2018 R48 champion: Luis Cordova, Jr.

Atlanta R48 Stop #1 entry HERE

 Stop #2 Portland Classic R48LTE October 18-20, 2019

The spectacular Multnomah Athletic Club will play host to the R48 Men’s Pros for the third time October 18-20, as one of the best handball venues in the world will showcase the best men’s pro handball players in the world in the first R48LTE event of the 2019/20 R48 IX season. The R48 Men’s Pros will play alongside the best players in the Pacific Northwest, as the R48LTE will be held in conjunction with the third annual Portland Classic.

Tournament director: Conor Casey

Defending R48 Champion: Danos Cordova

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

Portland R48 IX Men’s Pro entry HERE

Stop #2 R48 Men’s Pro/WR48/SR48: Tucson Memorial presented by JR WPH: October 31-November 3, 2019

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 2019 Memorial will feature the R48 Men’s Pro, the WR48, and the SR48, meaning the best pro players will all be under one roof! “The Memorial means so much to the WPH, our players, fans, and the sport,” stated WPH Executive Director. “We hope you’ll join us this fall in honoring those handball family members that are no longer with us and enjoy a great weekend of handball.”

Tournament director: WPH

Defending R48 champion: Sean Lenning

Defending WR48 champion: Catriona Casey

Defending SR48 champion: David Fink

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

Tucson Memorial R48/WR48/SR48 Stop #3 entry HERE

Stop #4 Red Death R48 Men’s Pro + MT State Doubles: January 24-26, 2020

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 spare no expense to ensure that players were treated like pros from the moment they arrived in Missoula until the moment they left. The third year of the Red Death promises to be even better, as the pros cannot wait to make the early 2020 trip to Missoula!

Tournament director Sean Sandau

Defending R48 Champion: Killian Carroll

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

Montana Red Death R48 IX Stop #4 entry HERE

Stop #5 R48LTE/WR48: New Orleans Mardi Gras Open: February 14-16, 2020

New Orleans will host its fourth Race 4 Eight event since 2015, serving as the second R48LTE and WR48 destination of the season. 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. “I love having the opportunity to travel to new cities as part of the tour and I am thrilled to be heading to New Orleans for the first time,” stated WR48 #1 and 18-time WR48 champion Catriona Casey.

Tournament director: Bob Caluda

Defending R48 Champion: Lucho Cordova

Defending WR48 Champion: N/A

Race 4 Eight brackets offered: R48LTE (open draw), WR48

New Orleans R48LTE Stop #5 entry HERE

Stop #6 R48LTE + SR48 RFC 12 Pittsburgh: February 28-29, 2020

The WPH’s RFC is the longest running WPH event, dating back to the inaugural RFC in 2009 won by David Chapman. The RFC 12 will serve as its first official Race 4 Eight stop, after hosting R48 Pre Qualifiers in the summer of 2018 and 2019. The Pittsburgh handball community and Pittsburgh’s WPH Lifetime Achiever and handball ambassador Rodney Fink ensures that players enjoy a sensational weekend at the RFC, complete with RFC victory parties and seeing the best Pittsburgh has to offer. “We love having the top players come to the RFC,” stated tournament director David Fink. “The pros bring all of the previous Pittsburgh handballers to the courts to watch, while inspiring all of the current players. We cannot wait for the 12th edition in February!”

RFC 12 R48LTE entry HERE

Stop #7: R48 Men’s Pro Houston/SW Regional Doubles: April 24-26, 2020

The WPH returns to Houston’s Tellespsen YMCA for the seventh time in the seventh event of the 2019/20 Race 4 Eight IX season. The final regular season stop of the season will see the pros kicking off the sensational event at the annual Houston pre-event dinner, hosted by Houston R48 tournament director and WPH Lifetime Achievement recipient Ron Cole. WPH close friend and former MLB player and manager Art Howe has joined the WPH broadcast in Houston during the past Space City events, 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 for R48 ranking points before the season’s finale in Salt Lake City.

Tournament director: Ron Cole

Defending R48 Champion: Killian Carroll

Houston R48LTE Stop #7/SW Regional Doubles entry HERE

Stop #8: R48 Men’s Pro/WR48/SR48: Salt Lake City R48 Aces Player’s Championship: May 15-17, 2020

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 ninth 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: David Fink

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: RFC 11 Pittsburgh, PA July 13 (Completed)

Pittsburgh’s RFC 11 kicked off the Race 4 Eight IX season, as players from Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Canada, and Ireland battled for a R48 IX Men’s pro travel stipend and direct entry. Niall O’Connor faced match point against his Irish compatriot David Walsh in the RFC pre qualifier final but escaped, scoring the final three points of the match to secure the R48 travel stipend and direct entry into Atlanta.

Champion: Niall O’Connor

RFC 11 Pre Qualifier recap HERE

R48 Pre Qualifier Stop #2: Tucson, AZ, September 7, 2019 (Completed)

The WPH hosted the third annual Tucson R48 Pre Qualifier, featuring four R48 pros in the top 30. Leo Canales, Jr. ousted R48 #24 Drft Fernandez in the semifinals and Tucson’s R48 #12 Shorty Ruiz in the final, demonstrating that his game is on the rise. Canales, Jr. kept the Tucson R48 Pre Qualifier title in the family, as Leo Canales, Sr. won the Tucson R48 Pre Qualifier in 2018.

Tournament director: WPH

Champion: Leo Canales, Jr.

2019 Tucson R48 Pre Qualifier recap HERE

R48/WR48 Pre Qualifier Stop #3: Austin, TX, November 15-17, 2019

The University of Texas and the World Players of Handball are proud to present the R48 IX WPH R48 and WR48 Pre-Qualifier & 2019 Texas State Singles Championships in Austin, TX at UT’s Gregory Gym on the weekend of November 15-17, 2019. The 2018 Texas State Singles Championships will serve as the third R48 Pre Qualifier and second WR48 Pre Qualifier in Austin, while also featuring Men’s and Women’s skill level divisions, Master’s brackets, and three doubles divisions.

Tournament director: Kristen Hughes and WPH

Defending R48 Pre Qualifier champion: Adam Bernhard

Defending WR48 Pre Qualifier champion: Jennifer Schmitt

2019 Texas Handball Championships/R48/WR48 Pre Qualifier info and entry HERE

R48 Pre Qualifier Stop #4: Los Angeles, CA, December 14-15, 2019

The Los Angeles Athletic Club and the World Players of Handball are thrilled to present the 2018 LAAC R48 Pre Qualifier, December 14-15, 2019 at the LAAC, located at 431 W 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90014. Race 4 Eight Elite 8 stars and WPH Manning Cup Champions Vic Perez, and Marcos Chavez will serve as hosts of the 2019 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: John Wayne Cortez

2019 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 57 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 nine 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. S. 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)

 

Race 4 Eight Elite Men’s Season I Champion: Luis Moreno

 

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)

 

Race 4 Eight Elite Men’s Season II Champion: Charly Shanks

Race 4 Eight Elite Senior Season V Champion: Naty Alvarado, Jt.

 

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

 

Race 4 Eight Elite Men’s Season III Champion: Luis Moreno

Race 4 Eight Elite Women’s Season III Champion: Catriona Casey

Race 4 Eight Elite Senior Season III Champion: Marcos Chavez

 

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

 

  1. S. 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

 

Race 4 Eight Elite Men’s Season IV Champion: Paul Brady

Race 4 Eight Elite Women’s Season IV Champion: Catriona Casey

Race 4 Eight Elite Senior Season IV Champion: Marcos Chavez

 

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

 

  1. S. 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

 

Race 4 Eight Elite Men’s Season V Champion: Paul Brady

Race 4 Eight Elite Women’s Season V Champion: Catriona Casey

Race 4 Eight Elite Senior Season V Champion: Marcos Chavez

 

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

 

  1. 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

 

Race 4 Eight Elite Men’s Season VI Champion: Killian Carroll

Race 4 Eight Elite Women’s Season VI Champion: Catriona Casey

Race 4 Eight Elite Senior Season VI Champion: Marcos Chavez

 

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

 

Race 4 Eight Elite Men’s Season VII Champion: Killian Carroll

Race 4 Eight Elite Women’s Season VII Champion: Catriona Casey

Race 4 Eight Elite Senior Season VIII Champion: Marcos Chavez

 

R48 8, SR48 7 + WR48 6: 2018-2019

 

  1. Atlanta (GA)

R48 Champion: Luis Cordova (MEX)/Finalist: Daniel Cordova (MEX)

Results here

  1. Tucson (AZ)

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

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

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

Results here

  1. Portland (OR)

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

Results HERE

  1. Missoula (MT)

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

Results: HERE

  1. New Orleans (LA)

R48 Champion: Luis Cordova (MEX)/Finalist: Vic Perez (CA)

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

Results: HERE

  1. Tucson (AZ)

R48 Champion: Daniel Cordova (MEX)/Finalist: David Fink (AZ)

Results: HERE

  1. San Francisco (CA)

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

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

Results: HERE

  1. NYAC (NY)

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

Results: HERE

  1. Salt Lake City (UT)

R48 Champion: Killian Carroll/Finalist: Danos Cordova (MEX)

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

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

Results: HERE

Race 4 Eight Elite Men’s Season VIII Champion: Killian Carroll

Race 4 Eight Elite Women’s Season VIII Champion: Catriona Casey

Race 4 Eight Elite Senior Season VIII Champion: David Fink

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 2019/20 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.”

“As the 60×30 season comes to a close here in Ireland, I will take a little time to reflect on my game and how things went last season, whilst maintaining my fitness levels,” stated 18-time WR48 champion and WR48 #1 Catriona Casey. “Then I hope to adjust back to the 40×20 court and focus on one or two areas in particular that I feel need attention. Cannot wait for the new season as always, and very excited to return to Tucson for the first stop of the WR48 season in November!”

“I have been playing three matches per week, one of which is two on one,” stated R48 Elite 8 staple Emmett Peixoto. “I also do one day of drills per week. In terms of cross training, I do two days of weight training along with cardio and I day of just cardio. I do not drink (alcohol) or eat meat. I maintain a healthy diet and stretch everyday.”

“I’ve been playing handball twice a week, swimming, and getting massages to prepare for the upcoming season,” stated LAAC all-around sports champion and R48 #6 Vic Perez.

 

“Right now I am getting back in the court but also doing a lot of prehab work on my shoulders to make sure they can withstand the season,” stated grizzled R48 veteran Stephen “Coon Dogg” Cooney. “I had a nice summer of traveling so I will look forward to getting back into the zone to challenge the best in the upcoming season.”

“I’ll be getting in a lot of game reps to prepare for Atlanta and all of the upcoming season’s stops,” stated the Olympic Clubs’ R48 #18 Loren Collado. “I give up some of my training time to coach the college handball team at UC Berkeley, but I’ll still find a way to be ready for the stops.”

“I felt a little burnt out of the summer 3-Wall season but I’ll come back recharged for the tour,” stated the Olympic club’s resident Face Team President and R48 #16 Erik Torres. “I doing a 30-day cleanse diet that restricts alcohol, dairy, sugar, carbs, and a few other things. I’ll feel accomplished at the 30-day mark. I’m going for short runs and long hikes during the cleanse. I’m just trying to clear the mind and recover the body. Looking forward to the upcoming Race season, excited for sure!”

“Since joining the Race tour in March of this year, I’ve been playing as many games as I can,” stated one of the R48’s brightest rising stars Niall O’Connor. “Coming back from such a long layoff (left shoulder surgery) has taken me a while to get my eye back on the ball. Having players like Stephen Cooney and Killian Carroll to play regularly allows me to train at the intensity that I will need to bring to the next season’s Race. The NYAC has been very helpful in allowing me to improve and keep the momentum going from last season.”

“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 Administrator David Vincent 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

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 eight 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

2019/20 Patreon.com/WPHLive R48Pro IX Handball Schedule

July 13-14, 2019                 Pittsburgh RFC 11 & WPH R48Pro Pre Qualifier (Open Draw at 9 am on Saturday, July 13) – Pittsburgh, PA – Results HERE – Recap HERE

September 7, 2019             Tucson WPH R48Pro Pre Qualifier (Open Draw at 9 am on Saturday, September 7) – Tucson, AZ – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Oct 4-6, 2019                                   Peach Tree Open & WPH R48Pro (Qualifier Friday at 9am – Pro sweet 16 Friday at 1pm) – Lilburn, Georgia (Atlanta) – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

October 18-20, 2019          Portland Classic R48ProLTE (Open Draw at 4 pm on Friday, October 18) – Portland, OR – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Oct 31-Nov 3, 2019             The Memorial & WPH R48Pro/WR48Pro/SR48Pro (Qualifier Thursday after 6pm. Friday after 9am – Pro Sweet 16 after Noon; Women’s Pro Singles; Senior 40+ Singles after 6pm Friday) – Tucson, Az – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Nov 15-17, 2019                 Texas State Championships & WPH R48Pro Pre Qualifier + WR48Pro Pre Qualifier (Open Draw at 3 pm on Friday, November 15) – Austin, TX – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Dec 14-15, 2019                  LAAC/WPH R48Pro Pre Qualifier (Open Draw at 9 am on Saturday, December 14) – Los Angeles, CA – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Jan 24-26, 2020                   The Red Death & WPH R48pro Stop (Qualifier Friday at 9am, Pro sweet 16 Friday at 1pm) – Missoula, MT – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Feb 14-16, 2020                  New Orleans Mardi Gras Open & R48ProLTE/WR48Pro (Open draw for R48LTE starting Friday at 4 pm; WR48 Singles after 6 pm Fri; top seeds begin Sat am) – New Orleans, LA – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

Feb 28-29, 2020                  Pittsburgh RFC & WPH R48ProLTE/SR48Pro February 28-29, (Open bracket, play starts at 1 pm on Friday, finals on Saturday night) Pittsburgh, PA – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

April 24-26, 2020               Houston R48Pro (Qualifier Friday, 9 am, Pro Sweet 16 after Noon, Friday) – Houston, TX – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

May 14-17, 2020                 Salt Lake City Aces & WPH R48Pro/WR48Pro/SR48Pro Player’s Championship (Qualifier Thursday, 2 pm, R48Pro, WR48Pro, SR48Pro Sweet 16 Friday morning) – Salt Lake City, UT – Entry HERE – Press Release HERE

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

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