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BALLS TO THE WALL

The Brooklyn Paper
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The 2002 Citywide Big Blue Handball Championship was held the weekend of June 14, attracting 1,200 entrants.

The contest takes its name from the soft, blue racquetball that city players smack against a 16-foot by 20-foot wall.

On Saturday, contestants competed at Lincoln Terrace Park, on Buffalo Avenue at East New York Avenue, and at Asser Levy Park, on West Fifth Street at Surf Avenue in Coney Island.

In Coney Island, William Polanco (far left) lost to Cesar Sala in the men’s open singles semifinal match.

Sala, the 2001 small-ball world champion, was favored to win by the noisy crowd, but was later defeated by Ray Lopez in the finals. (Bottom left) Lopez poses with his medal.

The series was sponsored by the city Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the New York Handball Alliance and the U.S. Handball Association. The competition offered $3,000 in total prize money.

There are 673 handball courts in Brooklyn where you can practice your technique for next year’s tourney, including McCarren Park, Bayard at Leonard streets (16 courts); Commodore Barry Park, Flushing Avenue and North Elliot Place (8 courts); McLaughlin Park, Tillary and Jay streets (2 courts); Red Hook Park, Lorraine and Clinton streets (8 courts); Sunset Park, Sixth Avenue at 41st Street (3 courts); Dyker Beach Park, Bay Eighth Street at Cropsey Avenue (12 courts); and Shore Road Park, 95th Street at Shore Road (6 courts).

For a complete listing of Brooklyn handball courts, visit www.nyc.gov/parks on the Web.
Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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