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HomeNewsPrince George men handily win gold at Canadian National Handball Championships

Prince George men handily win gold at Canadian National Handball Championships

Two Prince George men have been crowned national champions.

Frank Rossi and Russ Allen have been competing in 4-wall handball, a sport with similar rules to racquetball – played with your hands instead of a racquet – for decades, and just won the over 50 age group title in Calgary.

“We attend a lot of these tournaments throughout the years,” Rossi told My PG Now. He said they have won a national championship before, back in the late 90s.

“The rules are similar to racquetball, you are in a racquetball court… the games are to 21, if you split your first two games you play a tiebreaker until 11,” he explained.

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Rossi and Allen dominated in the playoff bracket – winning their two semifinal games 21-0 and 21-2.

They won the finals in two games as well, 21-9 and 21-12.

Rossi said the team they beat in the finals was coming hot off a US National Handball Championship victory.

This win is made more impressive by the fact that Allen and Rossi, as well as every other handball player in Prince George, have no court to practice on.

“Russ and I, we go to a wall and we play outdoors… We just find, usually a school wall with nice asphalt, and we play there,” Rossi said. “It was a nice accomplishment for Russ and I.”

There were 100 participants in the tournament spread across the various divisions.

For anyone looking to get into the sport, Rossi said it is great exercise and great for coordination.

“Years ago, a lot of coaches in hockey and other sports would cross train into handball because it was good for your footwork, but it was also good for both sides of your body,” he said. “You have to use your left hand if it is in the left corner, right hand if it is in the right corner. It takes a little bit of skill.”

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However, getting into the sport is especially difficult when Prince George does not have a facility to play.

“I wish we could have a facility,” he said, while recognizing the game is in “decline” he said there are still 20-30 people locally who would use a court. “It is a great game to hone, it is not an easy game.”

Rossi said their championship trophy is supposed to arrive in the mail later this week.

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