This week Wallball World would like to recognize an organization that has made an enormous contribution to the wallball community. They have established themselves as the national governing body for the sport of “handball” and are responsible for hosting over 50+ tournaments a year. Although Wallball World and the United States Wallball Association differ, in that we exclusively assist in the development and promotion of the sport of “Big Blue” wallball, we consider this organization the pioneers of “handball” in the US. Congratulations to our new Players of the Week, The U.S. Handball Association (U.S.H.A.)!
As the governing body, the USHA is responsible for administering and sanctioning over 100 tournaments per year, including the Simple Green Pro Tour. The USHA publishes Handball Magazine, the game’s only national publication and the “Bible” for the sport.
Handball’s first true national championship was staged in 1919 by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and was won by “Murder Ball” Bill Ranft. The AAU continued its reign on handball until 1951 when Chicago developer and handball afficionado Bob Kendler founded the USHA. It was a big move to break away but the players banded together to form a strong association, which has become known as the “players’ fraternity.” Kendler served as the association’s only president until 1982 when he met with personal financial difficulty and poor health.
Once again, the players rallied behind the leadership of Carl Porter to jump start the ailing association and move the national headquarters to Tucson, Ariz. Porter served as president until 1993 and had the USHA in strong financial shape, thanks to new fundraising programs. From the initial “Alive and Well” campaign, the USHA moved toward promotion of the game with the Development Fund, which literally puts balls and gloves in young players’ hands. Since 1984, almost $1,000,000 has been donated for the growth of handball. Proud of the game’s rich history, handball players came through again when called upon to support the Capital Campaign for the Handball Hall of Fame Building in Tucson, where the game’s great players are honored.
The non-profit United States Handball Association is really all things to all its members since it is the only association of its kind for the sport, servicing men, women, and juniors from novice to the professional level. For the past 47 years, local, regional and national tournaments have been sponsored by the United States Handball Association, and over the years, a strong network of handball players and administrators has been developed. Currently, the organization is represented by 50 state Chairmen and 9 Regional Commissioners. Competition is held each year at the state, regional, and national level for both singles and doubles for men, women and children from 11-and-under to 80-and-over. Additionally, competition is held in numerous ability classes, including Novice.
Currently the Association has 8,500 members. The national office is located in Tucson, Arizona. The Board of Directors consists of 15 elected officials.
While we’re very proud of the association and the camaraderie of the sport, handball players are more proud of the game.
For more on the U.S.H.A. visit: www.ushandball.org