FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE by Fink and Vincent
The WPH Pumps Up Race 4 Eight Handball Tour!
Tucson, AZ (June 11, 2013)-The World Players of Handball Foundation [WPH] is thrilled to announce its most exciting Race 4 Eight [R48Pro] season ever! The WPH will condense the Race-Season into six stops (from eight in 2011/12 and seven in 2012/13), to include the Player’s Championship, in 2013/14, beginning with stop one in Idaho. Additionally, the WPH will increase prize money and move the Player’s Championship from May back to April and change locations of the season finale—all while adding a women’s tour, operating Friday morning to Sunday morning (from Thu-Sat) and continuing with youth clinics and a senior pro tour.
What does Race 4 Eight [R48Pro] mean?
Elite players from all over the country participate in hopes of gathering points. The top eight with the most points after the fifth stop will be invited to the season’s finale [Player’s Championship]. After the season concludes, all Race points are erased and the slate wiped clean with players vying for points beginning with stop one. The Race 4 Eight Tour is called, The R48Pro, named after the ball used by the professional ball strikers, and now entering the third season [R48pro III].
The R48pro III season will kickoff at the Plummer Family Helluva Handball Bash V, Oct 4th-6th, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, then cruise to Southern California for Stop #2 at the Simple Green U.S. Open of Handball, Oct 24-27, in Fountain Valley, CA. The Race will take a break in November and December and focus on Junior events before a return full throttle with Stop #3 in Houston, TX, Jan 24th-26th, 2014, then Stop #4 at the famed New York Athletic Club in New York City Feb 28th-Mar 2nd. Stop #5 will be at the Denver Athletic Club, Mar 21st-23rd in Denver, CO, and The Player’s Championship will be moved from Seattle, WA, to Salt Lake City, UT, Apr 18th-20th, 2014.
WPH to Assure Traveling Pros Earn a Living.
The winner of the Simple Green U.S. Open [stop #2] will receive $10,000; while second place is reported to be in the $6,000 range. The winners of stop #1, #3, #4 and #5 [Idaho, Texas, New York, and Colorado, respectively], will receive $5,000 per, and the winner of the Player’s Championship [stop #6] will earn a record $20,000; meanwhile, second place is estimated at $10,000. Additionally, the WPH will place the Elite Eight under contract; paying $600 per event to each player in the top eight, based on the power rankings at the beginning of the season. $600 will be handed to any player in the top eight that confirms availability at the next race stop (up from $500 in seasons one and two). “This season will truly provide the opportunity for several players to earn a substantial living playing handball and increase the talent and entertainment at each stop,” claimed WPH Executive Director and Race architect, David Vincent. “If a player were to win all six stops, they would earn $50,000. Not bad for eight months of work.”
The Race 4 Eight III features several rules and format changes aimed at maximizing webcast viewer and fan interest, as well as attracting the best players in the game. All Race events will be held from Friday to Sunday instead of Thursday to Saturday. “We know how difficult it is for aspiring players to take two days off from work, and for Irish and international players having to travel a day earlier,” claimed Co-R48pro Creator and Tournament Director David Fink. “By starting the qualifier on Friday morning, we expect strong qualifier fields in every event, and I expect to see top level talent competing on Friday mornings in every qualifier.” The WPH will limit each qualifier to just 16 players—first come first serve, with ranked players being invited to the qualifier before the entry is made public. “I only wish there was a WPH Race 4 Eight Tour 20 years ago,” claimed Hall of Famer and current top 20 pro John Bike.
“Expect the entries and standard of competition to increase because of the increased prize money and Friday start,” claimed the WPHs #1 ranked pro, Charly Shanks. “Also watch out for an influx of young Irish players trying to make a name for themselves. I would expect to see Martin Mulkerrins, Diarmond Nash, Killian Carroll, Caolon Daly, Brian Carroll, Stephen Cooney, Seamus O’Carroll, Darragh Daly, Niall O’Connor, Padraig McGlinchey, and others. All of them are capable of qualifying and making a run to the quarterfinals.”
“I think it’s the best way to get the best talent to attend all or most of the Race 4 Eight events,” claimed 2012 Race 4 Eight Player of the Year Luis Moreno. “It will be interesting to see how the level of play increases. Kudos to the WPH for raising the bar for the best players in the world.”
The R48pro qualifier will run from 9 am to 2 pm on Friday. All qualifier matches will be one game to 25, win by two, with a three-minute halftime when the first player scores 15. The R48pro round of 16 will start at 4 pm on Friday night with the four qualifier winners facing the 5-8 seeds. The qualifier final losers will play the 1-4 seeds and will extend their tournament hopes with a rare but doable chance to win cash and ranking points by picking off one of the top seeds. “Last year, Anthony Selestow lost in the qualifier final and was placed against Sean Lenning in the 16’s,” Vincent remarked. “With a loss, Selestow would have received no points or cash, but with the win he made headlines and earned a big payday.” All round of 16 matches will be one game to 25. Additionally, The number one and number two seeds will be placed on the top and bottom of the draw respectively, and the number three and four seeds will be randomly drawn to the top and bottom of the draw. The five through eight seeds will be randomly drawn as well. The draw will be randomly selected one week prior to each event. “It appears that virtually every player in the draw will be pulled randomly,” claims Vincent. “We created some great rivalries and interesting match-ups with this method last year.” WPH shook up the rankings and tournament outlook at each event with crazy upsets and thrilling finishes in 2012/13 and will be using the same methods at bracketology and seedings in the upcoming season.
The Race quarterfinals will start at 9 am local time each Saturday at a typical Race event. The live webcast will also start at 9 am local time on Saturday, as the WPH will film just Saturday and Sunday at stops #1, #3, #4, and #5 [Idaho, Texas, New York and Colorado]. WPH film crews will begin earlier at the US Open and Player’s Championship, TBA. All quarterfinal matches at a typical Race stop (excluding US Open and Player’s Championship) will be one game to 25. The Race semifinals will start at 4 pm local time w/all semi and final matches using the best of three, 21-21-11 format. All “Playoff” matches for the round of 16 and round of 8 losers will be played back-to-back from 4 pm to 6 pm on Saturday night. All playoff matches will be one game to 25. “We want to identify the best players, but we also do not want the players to be completely exhausted for the semifinals and finals,” claimed Fink. “We feel that the one game format will identify the best player and still leave the players with enough energy to produce incredible handball on the business end of the event.”
The R48pro will introduce a third place match to break ties in what is expected to be the closest points race in history. The third place match will be one game to 25, and will take place just before the Race Final at 9 am on Sunday morning. “The WPH has once again elevated the hopes for today’s top players and tomorrow’s players,” stated three-time Race 4 Eight finalist Naty Alvarado, Jr. “The 2013-2014 Race 4 Eight season will be the most exciting handball tour I have ever been a part of.” The Race Final will take place roughly at 10 am local time, will be the best of three, 21-21-11 games and be alongside Women’s pros, Seniors and the third place showdown on Sunday.
The Race 4 Eight Ranking Points will be the same for every event. The winner of every event will receive 10 points, second place will receive 8 points, third place will receive 6 points, fourth place will receive 5 points, fifth place will receive 4 points, sixth place will receive 3.5 points, tied seventh will receive 3 points, ninth will receive 2 points, tenth will receive 1.5 points, and tied eleventh with receive 1 point. “We cannot express just how important each stop will be,” says Vincent. “No more double points stops and more focus on playoffs and third place will certainly mix it up. Participation from the best is key.”
Every Race event will hold a webcasted clinic, sponsored by Junior WPH, to inspire the next generation of players. “The clinics have been one of the highlights of the tour,” claimed WPH Youth Donor and Development Director David Fink. “We have introduced handball on court to over 500 juniors during the first two seasons of the Race 4 Eight clinics, and we are excited to add to that number in the next season.” WPH has designed the pro tour to inspire all who watch, but more importantly, to those aspiring to improve their game. Clinics will be scheduled at each Race stop in the coming year.
Women and Seniors Added to Roster
WPH will continue the 40+ money tour in 2013/14, named The SR48Pro, with a minimum of three stops, to include a Player’s finale tournament. In 2012/13, John Bike (47) finished the season with the most points even after losing the Player’s Championship to Andy Schad in Seattle. WPH also saw participation from Canadian Legend, Danny Bell, and former and current touring pros, current and former national and world champs: Naty Alvarado, Tyler Hamel, Dan Armijo, John Robles, Chris Watkins, Matt McLaughlin, Dave Vincent, and many local and state champions along the way.
“2013/14 will feature former and current pros,” barks Vincent, “But, our addition of the top women players may just be the most exciting addition.” WPH will introduce a minimum of three stops, to include a finale that awards the best women’s players in the game. “Definitely count me in for one!” says an emphatic Catriona Casey, current All-Ireland Women’s Senior Champion. “That would be fantastic,” remarked Bailey Chandler, pro national doubles finalist. The Women’s Race, coined the WOR48pro, will kick off at the Simple Green US Open of Handball this October and will make a second and third stop along the way. “We will let the women decide what stops they want to play in,” says Vincent. “We want max participation and it will come down to their complete say in the matter.” Women will choose two additional stops after Simple Green between Houston, Denver, New York and Salt Lake City, as the WPH introduces pro women to the roster in the upcoming season.
Webcasting and Filming
In celebration of their 100th broadcasted tournament, the WPH will make the Simple Green US Open of Handball a FREE-TO-VIEW tournament for spectators and the worldwide web. “We have upgraded our technology so much that if you have not seen us lately, you probably wouldn’t believe it,” says WPH Director of Video, Kris Gurrad. “We are all High Def with multiple cameras, graphics, a new broadcast set and integrated commercials and interviews.” WPH offers post and pregame analysis and insights, plus highlights all brackets at each event. The Simple Green US Open will be a FREE event, however, please support the WPH mission and sign up as a webcast member at http://www.race4eight.com.
“Exciting sponsorship and advertising availability exists with the massive R48Pro III tour,” says Gurrad. “We are now extending our coverage to tens of thousands of viewers and our on-demand videos have close to two million views [between Youtube and on-demand pages]. Now is the time to advertise, as we have longevity and reach.” Contact the WPH for availabilities at firstname.lastname@example.org or questions.
Log onto wphlive.tv and race4eight.com for more information on the R48Pro III season, or contact David Vincent or David Fink at email@example.com. WPH, 3544 E Ft Lowell Rd, Tucson, AZ, 85716. (520) 289-8230.
The World Players of Handball 2013/14 Race4Eight Schedule:
Oct 4-6 - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - Plummer Family Bash & WPH R48Pro Stop #1 RESULTS HERE>
Oct 24-27 - Fountain Valley, CA - US Open of Handball/Simple Green & WPH R48Pro Stop #2 RESULTS HERE> *WOR48Pro Stop #1
Jan 24-26 - Houston, TX - State Doubles & WPH R48Pro Stop #3 - *SR48Pro Stop #1 RESULTS HERE>
Feb 28- Mar 2 - New York, NY - NYAC Classic - WPH Race Stop #4 - *WORPro Stop #2 RESULTS HERE>
Mar 21-23 - Denver, CO - State Doubles & R48pro Stop #5 - *SR 48Pro Stop #2 RESULTS HERE>
Apr 18-20 - Salt Lake City, UT - Aces Pro/Am Doubles & R48Pro WPH Stop #6 Player's Championship - *R48Pro Finale - *WOR48Pro Finale - *SR48Pro Finale - RESULTS HERE>
R48Pro = Elite Pros
SR48Pro = Senior Pros
WOR48Pro = Women Pros