Once upon a time every village in Ireland had a handball alley and we were smug in the knowledge that we Irish had created for the world another great sport along with Hurling and Gaelic Football.
But then we mingled with the people of the world and were informed that everybody else also invented handball, and possibly even before Fionn Mac Cumhaill went a warrioring.
Scotland, Spain, France, England and Italy also invented the game. And so did the Romans, the Greeks and the Egyptians.
Meanwhile before Columbus went a sailing, the Americas were also inventing a game involving a ball and a wall.
The end result is that, well it’s hard to follow, but there’s lots of codes, and variations, resulting in the modern game where you will find Irish World Champions and American World Champions.
Since the 1880s Handball has been played in Ireland under the auspices of the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), and also since that decade Irish handballers have been playing against American handballers.
Over 20 Irish sports stars, Ireland’s top 40×20 handball players, are travelling to Overland Park, Kansas for the US Nationals next week, where Cavan’s Paul Brady will attempt to defend his title in the tournament that runs from 6/16/2008 - 6/22/2008.
Brady however is a Gaelic footballer also, at County level no less, and before he travels to Kansas he’ll be helping Cavan in the Ulster Championship against Armagh on Sunday. In Kansas City you might get to see that game at The Gaf on Tuesday.
Cork’s Tony Healy will also be in search of glory having already collected the Irish and Canadian National titles this year.
There’s more details of the Irish players on Hogan Stand
For information about handball in Ireland have a look at the History of Handball in Ireland on Handball.ie
Visit the 58th USHA National Four-Wall Championships Website for details of the tournament in OP.
Tickets are $100 for a reserved seat for the entire week and you can reserve your seat by calling 1-800-BUY-USHA. Day of competition seats are also available for purchase on first-come first-serve availability for $25.