Handball player for life.

Can bad calls tarnish a player's handball record ?




Above: T. Bastidas hitting the ball while J. Durso and V. LoPierre (yellow shirt) follow the action during the quarter-final match.                                Photo courtesy of Keith Thode.


Bad referees' calls can affect and tarnish a player’s record and consequently hold them back in their goals.

Recently at the 2008 Canadian Nationals during the tiebreaker at the Men’ s Open doubles final, Team Bastidas/Kastner lost its chance for the title when a bad call was ruled against them at match point. The infamous call was web-casted around the world by the WPH, and while everybody agreed the match point should have been a replay, Canadian referee Larry Martin stuck to his call.

Seventeen years old Tyree Bastidas and partner Jeff Kastner were denied a chance for a national title.

The following statements were issued at the WPH message board after the bad call mentioned above:

Fiesel/Garner - win on a controversial short call 11-9!!                                                           Dave Vincent.

What the hell??  That should have been a replay!  Ref calls short, Tyree gets a hand on it and flicks it towards the bottom of the wall just short.  If the ref had not called short he probably wasn't going for that shot!                      Raul Retian

If the ref called short and it was not that should be a reply unless it is deemed an ace. I guess like in most tournaments the call goes to whoever is thought to be the better player. happens everywhere and Tyree will get  his share of calls in a few years when he is the Top player.                                                           Mike Watson

Totally agree.  Total blown call!!!!!                                                           Dave Vincent

Larry Martin is a nice guy, but he demonstrated with this call and his subsequent reffing of the singles final that he should be as far away from a microphone and a scorecard as possible, particularly with a national championship on the line. 

                                                                                                                                      David Fink

Horrible call.  Ref knows it now and has heard it from 200 people.  Tough luck.                   Dave Vincent


This was the worst call I have ever seen to decide a match, and this match was for an Open National Championship. The rule clearly states that unless the ball is unreturnable, and the line judges overrule the referee, the call is a replay. This serve was clearly returnable, and I feel badly for Tyree and the Chief. It is not the fault of Allan and Todd, but they would certainly rather win sands the controversy.  

                                                                                                                                                                      David Fink.

Add another mistake to the roll call of missed calls against Tyree Bastidas as woes continued during the semifinals of the USHA National One-Wall Men’ s open division.

New Jersey referee Raul Retian also made bad calls mainly during the first game. Unfortunately most of the bad calls were against Tyree Bastidas.


These are just some of the clips of some of the bad calls during the match.

Tyree hitting the ball inside the court, but the ref rushed to call it outside. 

The ball hits the line inside the court and if the clip is replay in slow motion the ball is clearly seen hitting the court along the inside line.http://s772.photobucket.com/albums/yy8/tyreebastidas/2009USHAONEWALLBALLINSIDE/?action=view&current=lineball.flv

Tyree hitting the ball after he had called"hold it" because of another ball distracting him was coming on the court. Notice the line judge saying "he did say hold it".The call still was ruled against Tyree.http://s772.photobucket.com/albums/yy8/tyreebastidas/2009USHAONEWALLHOLIT/?action=view&current=holdit.flv

S. Jagnandan serving and hitting the long line.The referee, who was standing right behind the line could not see it and questioned the call. http://s772.photobucket.com/albums/yy8/tyreebastidas/2009USHAONEWALLLINEPOP/?action=view&current=longlinepop.flv

It is suggested that when playing the semi-finals and finals, only players with excellent proven reffing credentials be selected as referees.

"It is definitely frustrating playing for a national title when a referee makes bad calls" Bastidas said.

Video courtesy of Emilio Sierra.

New home brings New Yorkers New hope.




Above T. Bastidas (no shirt), gets ready to hit the ball as the rest of the players follow his moves.


Besides winning more than a dozen, three-wall national titles since 2004, New Yorkers have had their share of good fortune during this decade.

The New Jersey three-handball courts opened to the public for the first time in the summer of 2004, and ever since then New Yorkers and players from the three state area have used them to sharpen their skills looking forward to the big competition at the USHA National three-wall championships in Toledo, Ohio.

During the new handball court’s inaugural season, New Yorkers’ fortunes have improved after disappointing years where top New York players have not won or competed at the three-wall championships.

Tyree Bastidas and his brother Jurell have been the players who have benefit the most by winning the most three-wall national titles (combined) in the junior and adult competition in recent years.

Every year they make their first trip to the handball courts around Memorial Day weekend and continue to practice pass the national one-wall championships. For some estrange reason most New Yorkers do not practice three-wall before the one-wall nationals in August. They do so because they just want to get into one-wall mode for the one-wall nationals.

Bastidas’ s approach is quite the opposite. They rather practice three-, and one-wall at the same time so that they can be in top shape for both events. Practicing three-wall after the one-wall nationals only gives the players three weeks to practice, and now with the USHA National big ball championship scheduled for August there is just a couple of weeks left for training.

Regardless of the way New Yorkers train for the nationals there has been a big surge of New York three-wall players similar to the big surge in junior one-wall competition where Tyree Bastidas has been leading for the past six years.

So far junior players such as Sarah Au, Sandy Ng, Cheryl Chen, Shirley Chen, Victor LoPierre, Tyree Bastidas, Jurell Bastidas, Jonathan Iglesias, and Matthew Chu have brought back home national titles in either junior or adult competitions.

At the adult level, T. Davis and S. England have also brought home a few national titles.

During the 2009 summer, T. Bastidas traveled to the USHA National three-wall junior championships in Venice Beach accompanied by four fellow New Yorkers who also had aspirations for a national title. They brought home three titles and plan to comeback the following year by bringing more fellow players.

Recently, at the 2009 USHA National three-wall championships, New Yorkers showed up in record numbers again, where the State of New York was ranked as the third state in the nation with the most three-wall registered players.

Can T. Bastidas keep this new three-wall surge alive for 2010?

The new surge in three-wall competition also brings back old memories from the past when New Yorkers used to travel to the nationals in record numbers. Not bad for a State with no three-wall handball courts.

Recent Top Ranking For Top Teen Tyree Bastidas





Recent Top Ranking For Top Teen Tyree Bastidas 





Top 2,000 Combined (1-Wall, 3-Wall, 4-Wall, 60x30, 40x20, International play, Small and Big Ball) Handball Players in the World: 

1David Chapman
2E. Peixoto
3Sean Lenning
4Luis Moreno
5Paul Brady
6Tony Healy
7Alan Garner
8Cesar Sala
9Rookie Wright
10David Fink
11Tyree Bastidas
12Satish Jagandan
13Wille Polanco
14Billy O'Donnell
15Tyler Hamel
16Eion Kennedy
17Charly Shanks
18Yuber Castro
19Michael Schneider
20G Vasquez
21Dan Armijo
22Chip Morales
23Dessie Keegan
24Jon Iglesias
25Armando Ortiz
26Dane Szatkowski
27Joe Kaplan
28Tommy Little
29Naty Alvarado Jr.
30Nelson Quintero
31Danny Bell

Read more.............


Tyree's curse before the World Handball Championships.




Top: T. Bastidas at the ER in Maryland after bumping his shoulder against the wall at the 2009 USHA 3-wall Northeast Regional. He suffered a contusion on his left shoulder.

Above: Jurell Bastidas with girlfriend Na Liu enjoying the summer of 2006 as his brother Tyree shows his injured hand. He slightly broke one of his Knuckles on his right hand

Coincidentally, Tyree Bastidas has gotten hurt bad enough to end up in the hospital six weeks right before the 2006 and 2009 World Handball Championships.

Fifty years later - a giant comparison




It was back in 1958 when V. Hershkowitz won his last three-wall national championship. He'd won nine titles in a row, a record that has not been matched yet. Those were the times when New York players used to rule the three-wall handball courts across the continent.

Carl Obert, Ruby Obert, Oscar Obert , Lou Russo and Marty Dacatur picked up where Vic Hershkowitz  had left off. New York players kept dominating three-wall championships as they took turns as national champions until 1980.

After 1980 New York top players vanished for the next thirty years, with the exception of E. Klarman and K. Ginty. No one knows for sure what kept New York players from passing the torch to each other after such a period of dominance from 1950 to 1980.

Lou Russo was "The last man standing" as he held up the plate as the last New York player to win the three-wall nationals in 1980 in the golden era.

Fast forward thirty years later and New Yorkers are awaking and flocking to the three-wall nationals in record numbers again as 2008 marked a record number attendance for New Yorkers playing at the USHA National three-wall championships.

The year 2008 marked the 50th anniversary after Vic Hershkowitz’s last win at the USHA National Three-Wall Championships. It also marked the time when New York teenager Tyree Bastidas worked his way into the record books on July 20, 2008 in Venice Beach, California by claiming an unprecedented twenty fourth National Championship Title at the USHA National Junior Three-Wall  Championships.

Bastidas’ current goal is to expand his amazing junior handball record of eight consecutive single titles at the USHA National One-, Three-, and Four-Wall Juniors Championship events. He understands that time is running out and he needs to do it right away. He feels the urgency to further cement his legacy as a junior player just like Vic Hershkowitz cemented his.

T. Bastidas’ amazing accomplishment will compare to V. Hershkowitz’s record of nine consecutive single titles in three-wall championships which never got matched while V. Hershkowitz was alive. Bastidas faces the same fate as Hershkowitz, as his record will be hard to duplicate.

New York players, Tyree Bastidas and Vic Hershkowitz will always be remembered among the greatest and the most versatile handball players in America Handball History.

Blending the Past and the Present.




For The Record:

Tyree's most exciting Men's Open doubles match:

The 27th Milwaukee Classic

This match was probably the most interesting and exciting match of the tournament as team S. Lee and M. Munson defeated team Bastidas in a controversial match at point game and advanced to the final to win the championship in two games.

Team Bastidas considers this match the most dramatic and intense match in their handball career as they fought point by point against the eventual champions while hell broke loose in the packed gallery around the bar-restaurant overlooking the courts. Fans from Chicago and New York loudly revived an old rivalry which ran high in emotions as they cheered for their team.

There were at least five NY players in the Open division.