Handball Player Painting Live Longer, Play Glove with

Purdue University HANDBALL Club

An unofficial, non-organization, not currently approved by Purdue University.  Information from 9/10/2008, Last Updated 5/17/2013.

Index: photos | meeting times | history | active players | logos | other site-links
Break out of frames

The Purdue University Handball Club became inactive as an official, recognized organization, but the game is kept alive by a small dedicated group of players. Participation is the ONLY requirement into this group.

These pictures are out of date and many people shown aren't currently with us any more. It may be updated eventually. (dmf)

Purdue Handball Photogallery

Some of the group

Left to right, back:Leon Trachtman, Dennis Hart, Noah Yannie, Pat McCarthy, Gary Bennett; front: Jim Knapp, ME (Dale Forsyth), Ralph Cherry, David Goldberg. Only the front row is both still at Purdue and still playing.  Ralph is not at the W. Laf. campus but joins us occasionally.

MET EVERY Monday, Wednesday and Friday at NOON at the Co-Rec, lower courts. Now meets as schedules permit.

Pre-arranged games are now necessary; email us and make your interest known and you'll be included in singles, cut-throat or doubles, depending on who is present.

Sixteen regulation courts are available, including one with a glass back and viewing area. At noon, reservations are almost never needed. There are also 5 older, smaller courts, left from a time when singles courts were smaller than regulation doubles (according to my information), that are seldom used for handball anymore.

Entry to the Co-Rec is restricted (see regulations). Alumni bring evidence of Purdue graduation. Other visitors must be sponsored: Call or email one of the active participants. The author of this page is regular and will help, too.  (Send me email in advance and I'll help make arrangements (dforsyth@purdue.edu).

History of HANDBALL at PURDUE, as remembered or told to me (dmf).

In the beginning there was handball. It was on five small(er than normal) courts and was played with a black (brick) ball. It was before the invention of racketball (named for the noise it makes and NOT the stringed instrument replacing the hands, I think). AND IT WAS GOOD!

In the old days, 1972 or before, the reigning champion was a local radiologist, Dr. Chad Phelps. I saw him play, but it was after his injury(/injuries) and not at his prime. He controlled the court and killed with both hands well. He was smooth as silk. It would be great if he were still playing, which he would like to do, but injuries (back) make it unwise. His son Tad is a good player and joins us occasionally, when visiting (now seldom).

Others I remember from those days: Steve Ackers: still around and at the gym regularly, but no longer plays, due to injuries or 'worn out parts'. Steve I remember as aiming at the bottom board (our boards are only ~3/4" on side, on those old courts :-) and he was unhappy unless he hit the bottom half of it. Steve Miner also played then.

Martin Stob, from Animal Sciences, was a proficient player, and had a reputation in our department for the game. Martin is retired from Purdue, but still swims at our gym.

Certainly the very most ardent supporter and recruiter of the game at any time at Purdue from 1972 to now was Marc Weineger (spelling may be incorrect). Marc was one of the top players, and spent hours with 'want to be's' and young people in general that might play the game. He was hard for me to get a game with, but would play me about once a month, helping me greatly to improve in the game.

From those earliest times, the players still active THAT I REMEMBER PLAYING were John MacDonald and Dick Hunt. John has recently joined the past-players category due to injuries/worn-out-body-parts . Another that was around, at the bottom of the A ladder, was Pat McCarthy - more about Pat in a minute. Some of our older players were probably active then but I didn't know them then.

We had an active challenge ladder in those early days, 1970's-80's, split into 2 main parts, A and B. I played in B.

I remember when a new Animal Science staff member came and scouted out the club. Mark Diekman played with me in a foursome in an evening call-out. He only ever hit the ball to the ceiling with an underhand fist, that I recall. He was wasting his time with the likes of me, at that time. Mark is a good player but other activities have taken priority and though he's still around and has handball slogans dressing his door, I can't call him an active player.

More recent times saw the emergence of one clearly superior player. Pat McCarthy, when he returned from a sabbatical in California, took over as top dog. He rarely lost a match. Left handed, he killed the ball or sent it to the ceiling almost equally well with either hand. He was a shooter, and some days playing him was like being a duck in a shooting gallery; returning the ball was just to set up his next kill attempt. He hit the ball so hard I expected to see a hole develop someday in both the palm and back of my glove at the same time, with the remainder of my hand continuing with the ball. Only Noah Yannie, recently departing (unfortunately) the Purdue Staff at the Co-Rec, and Jim Knapp, Planning and Engineering, I think, seriously challenged Pat to the point of winning. Pat has moved from Purdue to the Atlanta, GA area now, decimating us of his play.  Noah Yannie was on the Co-Rec staff and played excellent handball, but has left Purdue. 

Dick Hunt passed away after severe blood and muscle disorders.

That's enough about my recollections for now. You've got to love our group or the game or Purdue or all of those to have read this far anyway. I'll revise the previous in response to comments I receive.

Recorded by: Dale M. Forsyth quote:"When I started I couldn't stand in the back of the court and throw the ball with my left hand to the front walll". (Some don't think I'm too much better yet).  On the other hand, on a personal note:  In February of 2008 I attained 2nd place at the Circle City Handball Tournement in Indianapolis in the 60-year-old category, my most successful achievement so far.  (That's after having broken my leg playing squash 2 years earlier, and I tore cartiledge in my right knee in this tournement, from which I'm now about recovered).

Some of the current players: Corrections requested.

I'll make these names hot links to email addresses, in some cases, eventually, if they approve.

Jim Knapp, Dick Hunt (currently on medical leave), Dale Forsyth, David Goldburg, Jim David, Mark Bowman, Josh Randol

(Noah Yannie was here, but has moved East; Dennis Harp moved to California)

Ralph Cherry lives out of town and joins us when he can.

Irwin Treager is no longer able to play, but visits us and supports our sport.  (Gary Bennett and Leon Trachtman have left our sport now for other activities, but I'll keep them mentioned here) (These guys generally played doubles).

Leonard Wood was a dedicated player and played until shortly before he passed away

Currently (2013) regular players include only Dale Forsyth, Jim Knapp and David Goldberg.

Other Handball Sites

http://ushandball.org/  The USHA site

http://www.cohandball.com/ Handball for the entire State of COLORADO.

http://ushandball.org/cgi-bin/db/sites.display.pl The list of handball sites listed at USHA.

http://www.bobsymon.com The Bob Symon Memorial Handball Tournament page

http://www.extremehandball.org/  WPH - We Play Handball - World Pro Handball

This page is a personal page of Dale Forsyth, ANSC, Lilly Hall, Purdue University, phone (765)494-4841 Updated 5/17/13.