Paul Quirk

This is a letter Paul Quirk wrote in 1973 describing the Quirk World’s. Click on the picture to see the full size of the scan.

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The Paul Quirk World Invitational Handball Tournament. This will be the second year we’ve held “The World” [1973]. The opening round is at 4:00pm on July 26th, with the finals being played at 2:00pm on July 28th. Trophies being awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. Defending champs are Pat Kelly & Mark Krotofil. “The World” is growing each year. This year 50 players will compete. The idea to name the tournament “The World Invitational” came to us when one summer we had several players abroad, namely Paul Quirk in Athens, Greece, Joe Teasdale in Ireland, along with Randall Kelly Jr. a native son returning to his home for a few weeks, and John Schmeideler in Israel on a group tour. All players, being adept in the art of playing handball. So upon their return from abroad, we sat down and decided being world travelers, we could also be dubbed world handball players. There upon giving us a name for the tournament. Paul Quirk, the perennial chairman of the group for some 17 years heads up the committee, along with Clyde North Jr. ace publicity director. The theory behind “The World” is to take a good player and team him with a mediocre one to make the teams come out as even as possible. For instance, the current doubles champions for the Mo. Valley are in 4 wall, and in 3 wall outside were split up and given mediocre partners. John Edelman and Jim Cosentino were split up and have to compete against each other. All this keeps the tournament from being a run away for a better team. Also providing a younger player the chance to play with an experienced veteran.

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Each year the game attracts more and more participants, because it gives a new player a chance to win. The handball fraternity around the U.S. is increasing in numbers everyday. Almost 100% of the boys who play outside each summer, will go to their respective clubs and continue to play on the 4 wall inside courts all winter long. But along around the 1st of May they feel the urge to come to the fresh air, sunshine and camaraderie that the outside calls for. A special note at this point to make is, we have 2 empty 55gal plastic drums. They are placed in an area near the courts and one drum is filled with beer, soda pop, Gatorade, and anything to quench your thirst after playing a game in temperatures hovering around 100 degrees in the shade, and the other is a receptacle for trash. The yearly cost to belong to the “Outside Club” is $10.00, which includes the ice, handballs, chairs, and the courts to use. Each player as he arrives will take his offering and put it in the barrel of ice. Once a player has put his 6 pack of beer, or soda pop in the barrel, it becomes community property and goes out on a 1st come, 1st serve basis. This sometimes creates quite a bit of conversation, because someone might put in 3 cans of an off grade beer and start drinking Michelob. The boys will really razz this type of skullduggery. Someone has always asked the question of why do we play handball? My standard answer is if you could attend one of our sessions and listen to some of the startling tales that emit from the conversation, plus get some sunshine and a good workout, you would see very plainly our

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reasons. Our ranks are filled with Priests, Lawyers, Doctors, proprietors, salesmen, bricklayers, insurance men, people from all walks of life. But once on the handball court, they all become very much equal, in that they are trying to outwit their opponent and score the winning point. Handball is a great game and someday real soon, will take it’s place among the major sports.

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