Last year Yuber “Pee Wee” Castro dominated the NYC handball scene by snagging most major events including the world famous King of Courts. Shortly after returning the the US, Castro has shown no signs of slowing down defeating top professionals Ceasar Sala, Carlin Rosa and Pooch Garnet in this year’s 2012 FrontBall Pro Tour.
Check out Pee Wee this month as he battles it out on the courts to defend his title as King of the Courts, July 21st at Liberty Park, NYC.
Congratulations to our new Player of the Week – FrontBall Champion Yuber “Pee Wee” Castro!
For additional information on the sport of FrontBall and the Pro Tour, visit their official website – http://www.frontball.com/
Exclusive video premier of “Open Walls” – The FrontBall Project – visit our video gallery
2012 U.S. FRONTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
By Ben Brighton
Many events, discoveries, inventions and cultural landmarks have had very humble origins and beginnings. Bands started at home in the living room became the Beatles and Beach Boys. Apple’s founders started operating the business out of a garage. Famous chefs fine tuned their recipes in their kitchens. In sports the NY Marathon began in the 1970s with a few dozen runners and under the guidance of Fred Lebow now features tens of thousands of runners.
In 2009 a small group of 1-wall handball players tried their hand at Frontball. Saturday, with temperatures approaching 100F and better suited for beach going and air-conditioning 60-70 players braved the oppressive heat to participate in the 3rd Annual U.S. Frontball Championships inConey Island.
For those not familiar with this 1-wall version of Pelota Basque the rules are quite different from handball. Basically no aces or kills. In a nutshell it is like playing tennis against the wall. It becomes a game of attrition. Our elite players haven’t developed the fine points and strategies which the more experienced pelota players have mastered over the years. But even so under these oppressive conditions the matches were quite enjoyable to watch as the handball players transferred their skills to frontball.
In the quarterfinals defending champion PeeWee Castro defeated the always dangerous Cesar Sala in two straight games while the other 3 matches all required tie-breakers. CarlinRosad. Jurell Bastidas, Pooch Garnet d. Tyree Bastidas & Dave Rojas d. Mike Schneider.
Niether semifinal match required a tie-breaker as Castro d. Rosa & Garnet d. Rojas.
From the start PeeWee had stated that Pooch would be his opponent in the final. Castro cemented his reputation as the premierUSfrontball player by successfully defending his title with a 10-4, 10-7 victory over Garnet.
This year saw the addition of 4 new divisions. Amateur, Boys 19 & Under, Womens Pro & Girls 19 & Under. The short matches and use of rally scoring ensured that most of the matches would be close and thereby exciting too. In the Womens Pro Jessica Lopez survived tie-breakers with Dori Ten & Danielle Daskalakis before earning the championship with a hard fought victory over Jasmina Dukanovic. In the Amateur Jon Camacho grinded out three 15-13 wins before his luck ran out and he lost to Ralph Romano is the final. In the Boys Ted Mleckowski beat Matt Chu. Lastly, the girls division saw Amy Fung beat Grace Chow.
The Frontball organization has many plans on how their sport will progress. Jean Michel Idiart had visited many countries planted the seeds and starting frontball schools. Next year he plans to add a Masters division. A frontball rulebook is in the works & there has already been discussion about a frontball exhibition at the 2012 World Handball Championships inIreland& increasing the annual number of US tournaments.
Special thanks to Anna Calderon, Dori Ten Shou Su Yu, Na Liu & Annie Huang for manning the tournament desk throughout the day. Paulie Angel, Tony Roberts, Ariel Garcia & Henry Santiago braved the heat while officiating the huge majority of the day’s matches. Danielle Santiago who drove in from NJ to sing the national anthem & Monster Energy Drinks for showing up and distributing free product to the players and spectators. Last but not least let us not forget Nissan’s sponsorship of the event and Jean Michel Idiart’s imagination and tireless efforts in promoting frontball around the world.
Event Host – Albert Appuzi
President & FrontBall Founder – Jean Michel Idiart
FrontBall Journalists – Michel Arribehaute & Nicolas Arribehaute
Players & Spectators
Ceasar Sala & Jurell Bastidas
Jasmina & Lenny
Mike Scheider vs Dave Rojas
Carlin vs Andy