Crowd wowed at the NYC Big Blue Tournament
The second annual NYC Big Blue Championship sponsored by the NY Department of Parks and New York's top handball associations was a smashing success. Mother Nature provided perfect June weather for the event. There were approximately 750 entries in the tournament, 40% more than last year. Competition was fierce, some of the games were legendary (see Doubles Story).
NYC Parks June 9,10 2001
Each of the boroughs was well represented and for the first time, players from nearby handball centers (including Philadelphia) came in for the competition.
The following list shows the top 2 players from each of the categories.
Men Open Singles
1- John "Rookie" Wright
2- Emmitt Fitzpatrick
Women Open Singles
1- Karen McConney
2- Gladys Miranda
Men Open Doubles
1- Ray Lopez/ Shawn Conrad
2- Ervin Irizzarry/Robert Sostre
Women Open Doubles
1- Gladys Miranda/Karen McConney
2- Taraisha Simmons/Dana Everett
Men B Singles
1- Joe Thompson
2- James Reinninger
Women B Singles
1- Sara Sookdeo
2- Mimi Skipper
Men B Doubles
1- Robert Ortiz/James Agnilera
2- Wally Amaro/Minerva Marrero
Women B Doubles
1- Mini Skipper/Lattis Bruce
2- Evette Amador/Anna Rivera
Mens C Singles
1- Fred Knox
2- James Rivera
Women C Singles
1- Cathy Marshall
2- Annie Huang
The following sites were used for this year's competitions:
- Van Cortland Park, and Orchard Beach in the Bronx,
- Lincoln Terrace and Coney Island in Brooklyn,
- Central Park in Manhattan,
- Midland Park in Staten Island
- London Plane Tree Park and Far Rockaway Park in Queens,
Sunday's finals took place at London Plane Tree Park in Queens.
The Parks Department is sponsoring the Championship in conjunction with its restoration of handball facilities throughout the five boroughs.
The City has 2052 handball surfaces (constituting of the 1 wall surface and the painted court area) citywide; 406 in the Bronx, 673 in Brooklyn, 277 in Manhattan, 640 in Queens, and 56 in Staten Island. Crews from each borough are bringing the courts back into their original state through powerwashing, graffiti removal, and filling expansion joints and cracks. Every wall surface will be smoothed and painted with new lines and Park leaves added. During the course of the restoration approximately 1500 courts will be restored. Over 500 were restored last year.
THe NYC Big Blue Tournament is a jointly sponsored event between the NYC Department of Parks and the New York Handball Association (NYHA). NYHA is a coalition of the City's largest handball organizations and includes ICHA (the Inner City Handball association), OOHA (Our Own Handball Association) and SAHA(St. Albans Handball Association).
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