The Monday Morning Serve by David Fink: Week of Dec 8th

Posted on Dec 9 2014 - 7:40am by DV

RFC_picIt’s been a busy holiday season in handball, as the game’s top stars are staying sharp in some of the country’s most prestigious open tournaments. The USHA National Junior 4-Wall Championships start on December 26th in Tucson, featuring small ball, big ball, and Junior WPH sponsored pro clinics. Jon Iglesias is rising, Fred Banfield is honored, the R48 heads to Houston, and there are a lot of great deals at the WPH store! Make sure to check out the question/answer section and take a look at the 2013-2014 R48, WR48, and SR48 stats and how the stats could improve your game. The WPH is also forming WPH Flex Singles Leagues. Want to join? Read below.

handing-an-envelopeWe Say Thanks- The WPH is offering incredible holiday sales on official Race 4 Eight pro tour jerseys and other items in the WPH store. From November 26th to December 5th, the WPH (along with your help) raised $222.00 to be donated to the United States Handball Association’s 59th Junior Handball Nationals.  Another $222.00 was donated by our own Executive Director, Dave Vincent, and Merchandise Team Member, Lolita De Vincent, as a matching funds incentive.  $2.00 from every order received at went into a tip jar and that jar was delivered to the USHA this past weekend.  The WPH hopes this year’s 4 Wall Junior Nationals is the best to date!


Why is the pro tour called the Race 4 Eight?

Bill S. Minneapolis, MN

5AThanks for the question Bill. The pro tour is called the Race 4 Eight because the tour seeks to identify the eight best 4-Wall players on the planet throughout the season. Every stop is open, meaning that anyone can enter. Players accumulate points at each event based on their finish, and the top eight point earners qualify for the Player’s Championship, the most exclusive event in the sport. The top eight ranked pros are rewarded with appearance money at all Race events and bonus money at the end of the season. It pays to be a member of the most exclusive club in the sport! This season’s Player’s Championship will feature the top eight and will also include a qualifier for four additional spots, meaning that a player or players could start the Player’s Championship outside of the top eight and break into the top eight with a strong performance in April in Salt Lake City at the Player’s Championship. Secondly, the handball used by the pros in all Race 4 Eight events is called the Race 4 Eight, which alongside EDTL Handball serves as the main sponsors for the tour.

What is the main difference between the pros and amateurs? What facet of one’s game needs to improve to go from A to Open to Pro?

Joe D. Pittsburgh, PA

Great question Joe. The most common difference identified by most good A/Open players when playing against pros is the speed of the game. A lot of good A/Open players have great shots but cannot adjust to the speed of the ball and the foot speed and retrieving ability of the pros. Similar to college football players struggling in the NFL because the game is moving so much faster than which they are accustomed, Open/A handball players struggle with the same speed adjustment. The best solution to adjust to the speed of the pro game is to play against the pros whenever you can. Travel to the R48 events, travel to tournaments where you can play the pros, and play the pros whenever you can. You would be amazed at how quickly you will improve.


statistics3Pro Match Stats-  The WPH tracked matches from the top R48, WR48, and SR48 pros during the 2013-2014 R48 season and the results are fascinating. Less than 10 percent of the shots the pros hit are kill shots, while less than five percent of the shots the pros hit are errors. Players of all levels should film one of their matches against a close rival and track the kill shots, errors, first serve percentage, rallies of 5+ shots won, second serve points won, first serve points won, and total shots hits. You will know exactly what you need to improve!

Thank you to WPH Team Member and Rock Star Aoife McCarthy for charting all of these matches!


Flex Leagues-  Does your city have a competitive group of singles players but no one ever seems to play one another? Contact WPH Youth and Donor Development Director David Fink at to form an official WPH Flex Singles League in your city. The league can be small ball or big ball, indoors or outdoors. Your matches will be tracked each week and the top finishers will qualify for the season-ending playoffs and cool WPH prizes. The league is fun, competitive, organized, and all proceeds benefit Junior WPH and growing this great game.

If you would like to have your question or comment read on the MMS, tweet @dfwph or email

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