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​Worlds is a ‘tremendous opportunity’ says leading NY official

Leading New York handball official Jared Vale is coming to Limerick for the World Wallball Championships this August – and he believes the buzz is building Stateside for what promises to be a spectacular event.

“There is always a lot of buzz and interest amongst our community when a World Championship comes around,” Vale confirmed this week.

“Everyone I speak to would love to attend. But of course there are challenges, including financial, which will limit who can actually make the journey.”

As well as being a very good player himself, Jared is a very busy official and a sponsor who contributes hugely to the sport in New York and the United States on an ongoing basis.

“I am currently a Board Member of the USHA representing the Northeast region,” he explained.

“I also serve as the Vice President. I am also a board member of the Inner-City Handball Association (in New York).

“I am responsible for running 10 events a year in NY including the USHA Adult Nationals (Big Ball and Small Ball) and USHA Junior Nationals (Big Ball and Small Ball).

“One of my major initiatives is promoting unified rules and referee certification. I also am attempting to keep the small ball one wall game alive! I support most of the local associations and require they use USHA rules including wearing eye guards if financial support is to be granted.”

Jared began playing handball at the age of nine and, he says, “it was love at first sight”.

“There was a park around the corner from my house. All of the kids played regularly. As I got closer to high school age, I learned there were high school teams that played with a ‘small ball’. My older brother was an excellent player and he encouraged me to practise with the alternative ball and to try out for my high school team. I earned the first singles position and was appointed captain.”

Jared will be attending this year’s Worlds in Limerick and will be making the most of the opportunity to enjoy a family holiday while he’s here.

“I am coming to Limerick! My entire family and immediate extended family is making a vacation out of it! They are excited to visit and to see me play. I am very excited to participate and to see the professionalism that the Europeans are bringing to the game.

“I plan to play in Wallball events, 50 singles and 50 doubles. Also Open small ball doubles.”

The hope is that some of the top players from America and across Europe and further afield will attend the Worlds and ensure a truly international, high-quality field.

“Will we see some of the top NY players entering? I certainly hope so! I have been promoting and sharing the information the GAA has made available. I have been communicating with some of the top players and am pushing for financial support and other incentives to get our best players to show up.

“I do feel this event has a tremendous opportunity to drive the development of the support. The Irish handball community is very professional and has the support of its players and the GAA to showcase this event to the world! It is the best opportunity our sport has had in many years. I am confident that it will deliver."

View our dedicated World Wallball Championships page, including entry portal, here.

Make sure to enter early and avail of the earlybird discount!