ActivePaper Archive OSU to host team handball - Ohio State Lantern, 4/24/1986

OSU to host team handball

By Louis Fabro

Lantern staff writer

The best of a relatively unknown sport will visit Ohio State this weekend to participate in the men's and women's National Team Handball Championship tournament at Larkins Hall and St. John Arena. Teams from all over the United States will be divided into upper and lower divisions and will play a round-robin format. There are 29 teams in the tournament —10 men's teams and six- women's teams in the "A" division. The "B" division consists of nine men's teams and four women's teams.

Two titles will be awarded. Both the National Team Handball Champion and the NCAA champion will be crowned. All participating teams are eligible for the national title, but only the collegiate teams are also eligible for the NCAA title.

Ohio State faces its first opponent, East-Ridge Tennessee, at 11 a.m. Friday morning in the blue gym at Larkins Hall. Later that day, they will play the University of Wisconsin at 4 p.m.

Ohio State's handball coach Mark Telthorster will be especially busy this weekend. He will also be playing on the Mid-Western Handball Team.

Although Telthorster is a graduate student, he is eligible to play for OSU. But Telthorster is at a higher level than his team members because he has played the game for eight years. He prefers to give younger team members the playing time. "We have a lot of younger guys playing on the team, a lot of freshmen and sophomores," Telthorster said. "I'd like to see these guys get to play together and get a lot of experience.'' Team Handball is an official Olympic sport and many of the players on the upper division teams were members of the 1976 and 1984 Olympic teams. One team in particular, the Master team, is made up of players who are over 30. Most are former Olympic players. Scouts from all over the country will be in town to observe players. Some will be invited to play in the U.S. Olympic Festival in July. The game is played on a court 161 feet long and 132 feet wide. There are two goals at opposite ends of the court and players attempt to move the ball by passing and dribbling it. There are seven players on a side. The object is to throw the ball in the opponents goal. The game usually consists of two twenty-minute periods. The first two rounds and the finals will have two thirty-minute periods. Membership requirements vary as much as the skill levels of the teams, which is illustrated by the two-division format of the tournament. Membership for OSU's club requires that a person be either a faculty or staff member, or enrolled as a student at Ohio State. Rankings for the championships are determined by how well the team did in last year's tournament. Cal-Heat University is ranked first, and is the two-time champion. Ohio State finished twelfth in last year's competition. Teams to watch are the Air Force Academy in the lower division and in the upper division: The Masters Team, Cal-Heat, and the team from Colorado. Tom Cartwright, a sophomore from Wapakoneta, said he enjoys playing the game because of the teamwork involved and because of its fast-paced action and high energy. "It gives you a chance to blow-off steam and have some fun," Cartwright said. Telthorster said that not everyone has seen the sport or even heard of it. "But when they do, they enjoy it. It's a fast-action, fairly physical kind of game, yet it's played with a lot of finesse," he said. The tournament will be played through Sunday when the finals will be held at St. John Arena. Admission is free.