Tyree Bastidas serves the ball during the 2010 USHA 1-wall nationals.
Tyree’s reining period at the USHA juniors nationals came to and end on July 24, 2011. He held the longest winning streak for about four years, and then retired undefeated.
Nowadays, Bastidas holds another undefeated reining period that he started also as a teenager. He is undefeated while playing through four USHA-sanctioned events, including the USHA 1-wall nationals.
Bastidas has remained undefeated after going through 18 rounds while playing in the men’s open singles division.
For some handball fans is the equivalent of winning four (4) consecutive USHA national 1-wall titles as he plays mostly against former national champions.
We asked him some questions:
Q - How have you managed to stay undefeated for such a long period of time?
A – In 2009, I decided to focus and practice only one-wall, something I couldn’t do before because of my busy schedule with 3 & 4-wall tournaments.
Q – What made you take this decision?
A – In the summer of 2009, I reached the semifinals of the 1-wall nationals without too much training and many people were telling me that I could have captured the national title if I could have devoted more time to 1-wall. I listened to them and now you see the results.
Q – How much longer do you plan on remaining undefeated at the open level?
A – I want to remain undefeated at least 20 rounds, then I’ll probably go back to more 3-and 4-wall training.
Indeed, Bastidas might be right, as there aren’t teenagers (male) who have won a national title and stayed undefeated for such a long period of time in any handball version.
The following list details the USHA-sanctioned events that Bastidas has won since 2009. He plans on winning the 2011 USHA 1-wall nationals to further extend his reining period in the men’s open singles:
2009 - He captured the largest indoor USHA-sanctioned event; the 1-Wall Pro-stop - Men’s open singles division.
2010 - He captured the USHA National One-Wall Championships; the Men’s open singles division.
2010 - He captured the largest indoor USHA-sanctioned event; the 1-Wall Pro-stop - Men’s open singles division.
2011 - He captured the second largest outdoor USHA-sanctioned event; the Mayor’s Cup – Men’s open singles division.
Note: Bastidas didn’t play at the 2010 Mayor’s Cup.
As of August 03, 2011, T. Bastidas will be the youngest open player to remain undefeated by capturing the three most important USHA-sanctioned 1-wall events in the men’s open singles division.
Tyree Bastidas plays at the Coney Island handball courts.
The greatest show on earth is about to take place at the Coney Island handball courts in Brooklyn from August 3-7. Come and watch the best 1-wall players in the world.
You got the dates for the 1-wall nationals, but that does not guarantee a good time. Here is what to bring and what not to bring for the best show on earth.
For the past several months, thousands of handball players across NYC had descended on the handball courts to showcase their abilities at NYC Parks in preparation for the USHA National (big & small ball) One-Wall Championships.
The USHA 1-wall nationals are the only sacred tournaments in the U.S. as they are traditionally captured by New York players.
Also, thousands of handball fans will herd to the Coney Island handball courts to eyewitness the matches and pass out from a combination of heat exhaustion and an overcrowded handball facility. To help you avoid this, we are going to give you some advice.
Don’t lurk by the players: “Pay attention to all the matches and really give those players some room and the opportunity to play. At the lower divisions, the game could be phenomenal – even if lost of times people don’t really know who they are,” says Tyree. “They might be the stars next year, so now is your chance to see them up close.”
Plan ahead: “You want to get to the games early and stake out some good, strategic spots for picture taking or video recording,” says Tyree. “With the 1-wall nationals, there are so many games in different divisions, you should look at the schedule and map out your strategies. Anchor your day around the one match you definitely need to see to figure out if you have time to check out elsewhere.”
Don’t bring this: At the 1-wall nationals, “it’s no wise to bring a grill or an oversize cooler. Those aren’t going to be allowed. Packet cameras are cool, but people have to be understanding that handball players don’t like flashes in their faces.”
Other mistakes: “I’ve seen people bring children to handball tournaments, which is cool to expose them to handball and a fun crowd, but you have to make sure they don’t yield or run wild during the matches.” says Tyree. “Make sure they are lathered up with sunscreen, because handball games could be played under sunny skies with temperatures hovering 100 degrees.”
Tyree Bastidas plays indoor in front of junior players at the old Elks facility. On August 4, he'll play outdoor in the men's open division to defend his title.
Everybody knew that T. Bastidas had been the player to beat across the nation during all junior national competition. Nowadays, Bastidas only plays in the men’s open division.
This year marks the first time since Bastidas won’t be playing at the juniors nationals. It’s also the first year the USHA juniors national championships have seen a decreased in junior participation since Bastidas left the juniors divisions.
Recently, the 1-wall nationals drew a big turnout at the men’s open division. It’s officially reported that 25% of all players in the entire tournament will be participating in the men’s open singles division. It seems that most players are eager to play and beat the defending national champion Tyree Bastidas to make history.
Bastidas has always been the hunted player in the juniors nationals, now he finds himself as the hunted player in the men's open division.
During the Bastidas’ era, record breaking participation in handball took place locally, nationally and internationally.
The HS Spring Meet tournament drew a huge participation when Bastidas played for his school. During his last tournament there were almost 70 players out of 170 players in total, who played in Bastidas’ 17-and –under division.
The USHA juniors 4-wall championships posted a big participation in Bastidas’ divisions in the last two years before he retired from junior competition.
The USHA juniors 1-wall championships also drew record breaking participation, nearing 200 players on several occasions, with Bastidas’ division the largest.
The Irish nationals drew a record number of players in 2008, when Bastidas announced his participation in it. Bastidas’ 17-and-under division drew a full draw of 32 players, the biggest in that division in recent memory, and perhaps one of the biggest in the entire tournament.
Can Bastidas repeat as an open champion with so many players on his way?
This year's tournament promises to be one of the most exciting tourneys in recent memory as it will be filmed for five consecutive days from morning to late at night. There will be cameras set up on different courts at different angles. Never before, the nationals have been filmed with so many cameras from many different angles.
Do you want to be part of this historic event? Of course you do. You don’t even have to play in it to be part of it. With so many cameras at different angles, the film production might just get a picture of you when you least expect it. So smile, you’ll be on camera.
Above: T. Bastidas (front) returns the ball while C. Sala moves in position.
Above: Bastidas (standing) and Castro look at the ball coming off the wall.
Above: Wright gets ready to return the ball as Bastidas looks on.
Above: Castro digs another ball during the championship match. All photos by Bill Fand.
Castro (Pewee) became the new national champion after he dethroned national champion Tyree Bastidas in two close games. He defeated S. Jagnandan in an intense tiebreaker match during the semifinal game after he defeated J. Garcia in the quarterfinals.
On the other side of the draw, T. Bastidas had to wrangle against J. Wright (rookie) in the quarter finals. Bastidas managed to defeat Wright in a very dramatic come-back game that could have sent either player to the next round. Bastidas’ win earned him a pass to the semifinal match only to face former national champion C. Sala, who pushed Bastidas to the limit. Both players used every single point available for a final score of (21-20, 21-20). The match was as close as it could get and it could have gone to the tiebreaker.
The semifinal results put the current national champion T. Bastidas on a collision course against former national champion Y. Castro. In the end, Castro played his best ever to walk away with the championship match and the prize-money.
Congratulations to the new champion.