2013 Junior National 3-Wall Tournament

In 2012 the Greater Cincinnati Handball Associate (GCHA) applied to host the United States Handball Association’s National Juniors 3-Wall Championship.  The process required completing an application form which asks questions to determine the GCHA’s ability to furnish suitable lodging, obtain committed sponsors, provide highly functional playing facilities, and provide a safe, enjoyable environment for the players. 

Using their mission statement “…..to promote camaraderie among its members, provide resources to execute tournaments, support youth handball, and maintain the 3-wall courts in Green Township in partnership with the Trustees” as a guide, the GCHA completed the form – met the requirements - and was awarded the tournament.  

Because of the success of the 2012 tournament, and the favorable endorsement of the players, coaches and fans, the GCHA was asked, by United States Handball Association (USHA), to host the 2013 National Juniors 3-Wall Tournament.  The GCHA accepted the offer, and began preparing for the 2013 tournament.  The first objective was to secure a tournament director.  Will Straw, the 2012 tournament director, was asked to run the tournament – and, he accepted.

Straw felt; for the 2013 USHA National Juniors 3-Wall Championship to be successful, he needed a team of experienced and dedicated volunteers, so he called on members of the 2012 Junior National Championship team, in addition to several local players, to handle the job of planning and running the tournament.  The active team members consisted of:  Joe Barrow, Bob Burkitt, Jack Dean, Denis Hogan, Steve Kehoe, Jim Krailer, Dave Kent, Dave Laxton, Jack Prather, Mike Reilly, Ron Rosselot, Pat Schuller, Tony Upton, and Johnny Walker.  In addition, Mary Parks, Missy White, and Sean Hughes, members of the University of Cincinnati handball team volunteered their time to help in the daily operations of the tournament.

The tournament team held its first meeting in February of 2013, and continued to meet every two weeks until the start of the tournament.  Their main objective during this first meeting was to divide the numerous tasks required to run the tournament into categories, and then assign individuals to complete these tasks.  The categories included; obtaining sponsorship, selecting and preparing meals, working with the Green Township trustees, gaining support from local merchants, establishing and monitoring tournament budget, selecting and procuring awards and tournament shirts/bags, supplying travel and lodging information to players and fans, setting up tents and completing court preparations, and develop schedule for completing daily tournament tasks.

The tournament was sanctioned through the United States Handball Association, and was represented at the tournament by Vern Roberts, USHA Executive Director.  A travel allowance was made available to players from the USHA through the Joe Ardito Fund.  The GCHA matched the travel allowance given to the players.  The states represented by the players included; California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Texas.  The USHA did ask that, any players receiving matching funds, send a “thank you” letter to the GCHA - which they all did.  
The tournament began on Thursday, July 18th and ended on Sunday, July 21st.  A tournament shirt was given to each player; plus, lunch and drinks were provided to the players, coaches, and volunteers.  Everyone was also invited to a Friday night picnic, hosted by Johnny and Doris Walker, which included swimming, canoeing, zip lining, and corn hole.  Individual awards were given the winners and runner-ups in each.  Each winner and runner-up of the 13 and under, 15 and under, 17 and under, and 19 and under bracket was given individual awards.  For tournament results for all brackets click on this link: USHA Junior Nationals Tournament Results.

The success of a tournament like the Junior Nationals is not only measured by the quality of play, or who wins in the brackets; but, also by way the players, coaches and fans are treated, and the memories which remain, once the tournament has ended.  The GCHA would like to take this opportunity to thank all the tournament team members, and local handball players and fans, for your time and support.  Through your efforts we made this tournament a success, and created fond memories for a group of outstanding young players and their coaches, families, and fans.

One of the most important factors in being awarded a national tournament is obtaining a commitment from corporate and individual sponsors, contributors, and supporters.  The companies and individuals listed below gave their money, time, and services, to allow the GCHA the opportunity to present the tournament.  

Beacon Orthopedics
The Kroger Company
Marco’s Pizza – Dent, Oh 
Resolvit, LLC

Contributors and Supporters:  
Ralph Weil, Scott Walker, Bob Sheaf, Johnny Walker, Casey Mayo, Bob Lohmueller, Al Stahl, Glen Gartland, Al Viets, Bob Lohmueller, Mike Reilly (Plumbing), Mario Dolciotto, Will Straw (Construction), Tom Liguzinski, Roger McFarlane, John Allen, Paul Baker, Pat Schuler.
* Special thanks to our Tournament Coordinator, Denis Hogan.

The GCHA would like to recognize the continuing support from Green Township, and the Community Board of Trustees, including Mr. David Linnenberg (Chairman), Mr. Rocky Boiman (Vice Chairman), and Mr. Tony Rosiello (Trustee).  The township has created and maintains one of the best parks in the tri-state area with an outstanding handball facility for Green Township residents and the greater Cincinnati area handball community.  Thank you. 

To all our Tournament Sponsors from Will Straw, Tournament Director

Thank you for your generous donation to the 3-Wall Junior National Championships held on July 18th through July 21st, 2013.

The tournament allowed us to showcase the original courts build twelve years ago, in addition to the new Glen Laque Memorial Challenge court built last year, as one of the premiere outdoor facilities in the country.  The Veterans Park courts have become a symbol of Cincinnati outdoor handball for local and out-of-town players, and continue to build on the sense of community, established through the years.

Many of our local players have dedicated themselves to teaching new young players the techniques and rules of the game; but most importantly, to demonstrate the camaraderie that exists between handball players worldwide.  The 2013 Junior Nationals Tournament gave younger players the opportunity to develop and showcase their skills of the game; as well as, to experience, for themselves, the camaraderie between all the players in the tournament.     

Without your support, hosting the tournament at Veterans Park would not have been possible.

Will Straw, Tournament Director
Tournament Related Links:
To read response from USHA President click on this link: Vern Roberts Letter.

For information on the Green Township’s Services, Parks, and a Calendar of Events go to http://www.greentwp.org/

For additional information on the 2013 Junior National Championship – or upcoming tournaments go to http://www.ushandball.org/