It’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.
- Luis Moreno outlasted Emmett Peixoto in a thriller in Milwaukee, edging “The Rock” by the slimmest of margins. Read more here: https://wphlive.tv/milwaukee-open-moreno-wins-a-thriller/
- David Fink claimed the Rodney Fink Classic 6 in Pittsburgh, defeating three promising Irishmen en route to the title. Read more here: https://wphlive.tv/the-rfc-6-fink-overcomes-the-irish/
- WPH R48 #13 Jon Iglesias blitzed a strong field in Albany, defeating Patrick Funchion, Billy O’Donnell, and Peter Funchion to claim one of the biggest 4-Wall titles in the northeast. Read more here: https://wphlive.tv/iglesias-wins-albany/
- Junior WPH held a special adult handball clinic in Tucson to benefit the upcoming USHA Four Wall Junior Nationals. Read more here: https://wphlive.tv/junior-wph-adult-clinic-fundraiser/
- The USHA National Junior 4-Wall Championships are around the corner. To register or to find out more about the great event, click here: https://wphlive.tv/59th-annual-usha-national-junior-4-wall-championships-dec-26-30th-2014/
- Jon Iglesias is finding his game as he enters his late 20’s. See how Iglesias is rising here: https://wphlive.tv/on-the-rise-jon-iglesias/
- Mintec founder and handball’s greatest supporter and ambassador Fred Banfield became the first inductee into the IM Technology Hall of Fame. Congratulations Fred! Read more here: https://wphlive.tv/mintec-founder-fred-banfield-to-be-inducted-into-the-international-mining-technology-hall-of-fame/
- The Race 4 Eight Powered by ESPN and EDTL Handball heads to Houston for Stop #3 on the R48 IV season January 23rd-25th 2015. The event features the top pros, a 32-man qualifier limit (open), SR48 Stop #2, and the Texas State Doubles Championships. Enter here: https://wphlive.tv/wph-r48pro-iv-stop-3-sr48-invade-the-lone-star-state-jan-23-25th-2015/
We 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 www.thehandballstore.com 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
Thanks 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.
Pro 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!
- To examine all of the 2013-2014 R48, WR48, and SR48 stats, click here on the PowerPoint link: https://wphlive.tv/pro-handball/race-for-8/201415-r48pro-results/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com