It’s My Park: Handball at W. 4th St. Courts


Handball is a serious game in New York. Nowhere do they take it more seriously than at the West 4th Street Courts, where you can usually find some pretty intense competition. Handball is an all-American game, and I absolutely love this game. It is the most fabulous game in the world. The games are wonderful. You have acrobatic maneuvers, agility you’ve never seen before. I love just the intensity, the stamina, the endurance, the whole thing about the game itself. Handball is one of the most difficult games to play. You need two hands, good speed, and a good brain. You have to use your whole entire body. You have to use your mind. And all you need is a little blue ball, and that’s it. Handball is free. You don’t need expensive equipment. You don’t have to pay anything. You don’t have to bring any elaborate clothing; just some sneakers and a t-shirt. I’m in the handball college, as you can see. The only unfortunate thing I see about it is once you start playing, you become addicted. So if you don’t like addictions, don’t come over here to play handball. Once I started playing it, I got hooked. I’ll go to bed, I dream handball, I’m practicing handball, so when I wake up first thing in the morning, once I get dressed and I’m ready to get to the court–I get on the court and I’m ready to just play. Because I’ve already practiced in my sleep. You serve the ball–you get two tries to get it over the short line. The person in the back has to hit it to the wall somewhere away from you, If you miss the ball, you go in the back and they go in the front. Only the person in the front can score. 72 years old, and I can outrun anybody here. And I can out-think anybody here. You play handball, you live longer. I have a handball clothing line, so that’s one of my slogans. 20 years ago, I was one of those guys who was on top of one of those lists they used to have here, called the pyramid. Now I’m just trying to hang on, for the love of the game. Practice always makes perfect. After all, I couldn’t become a legend after thirty-something years if I didn’t practice every day. And you have guys that are 60, 70 years old, still playing handball. But you don’t have a lot of guys 60, 70 years old playing basketball. But playing handball? They’re here. I would actively encourage people to play handball because it’s good for the sport, and it’s good for the exercise. A lot of our kids today are not in shape. You can hit that ball as hard as you possibly can, and you just feel gratified. Your hands, they become used to the feeling of hitting the ball. If you’re not playing handball, you start getting nervous. You gotta channel your energy somewhere else. But where do you go that’s free? The handball court. If you have a bad day at work and you hold it in, and then you get to the handball court, it’s like as soon as you get on the court, that adrenaline starts flowing, and you just want to play, and by the time you finish playing, you forgot all about what you had stress about. It’s like, if you were in an argument or something, you’d just go and play handball, and it would just make you feel so much better. It relaxes you. You can go into a park at any given time on a nice day, and just get a pickup game. You see a handball court, you walk on, and you do what I do: You say, “Anybody got next? Who got next?” and then you see, “Oh, him, him, him, her,” and you get in the back of the list. And that’s how you do it. If there’s nobody there, bring a friend. It’s a seasonal thing, but when the summertime comes, everybody’s ready, feining for handball. I personally thrive off the crowd when I’m playing handball. The crowd gives you a lot of feedback. If they see somebody that’s really playing great, and they’re really into the game, and it’s a good game, they’ll cheer on, they’ll shout for who they want to win the game, they’ll shout for who’s making a save


38 Responses

  1. PhillieEm

    September 14, 2009 1:05 pm

    lol i was there today..competition was weak today tho i stayed on the a court all time i challenge rookie to singles

  2. chinita41

    December 1, 2009 12:52 am

    this is fantastic because so many that are not from new york don't know what handball is.. and yes it is addicting, i played since i was a child and was undefeated, good for a female.big ups west 4, luved playing in CI also…I GOT Next lol..:)

  3. steven

    September 15, 2010 9:58 pm

    Is that the same yolanda monroe that plays at burns park in massapequa Long island? Ifso I've taken her down before in mixed doubles shes really good though

  4. ORANGE BOY 714

    November 11, 2010 7:16 am


  5. BrooklynHandBall10

    January 25, 2011 12:13 am

    To see the best Handball videos ever made, come to my channel and see for the subscribe button as well 😀

  6. mavrik707

    March 31, 2011 10:59 pm

    I love this damn game!! First started in late '93/ early '94 For those that have never played, give it a chance before you try to disregard it.. I moved to Tampa FL from NYC about 5 years ago and am bummed that there aren't that many handball courts out here. It's A LOT more than just hitting a ball on a wall, it's strength, endurance, strategy, speed, technique and just overall will. It's also a TERRIFIC way to stay physically fit. I absolutely LOVE IT!!

  7. paddleballmag

    February 14, 2012 12:09 pm

    Most great Paddleball players were former Handball players, Love the game.. Realizing that most of the nation plays 3 or 4 wall handball. There is nothing like one wall. Truly the tuffest game to play.. If the ball gets by you….. It's all OVER !!

  8. Ace

    April 7, 2012 12:15 pm

    /facepalm, while you're at it, look up athletes too. the previous comment was indeed correct, you are a dumbshit 🙂

  9. Ace

    April 7, 2012 12:19 pm

    oh by the way, looking at others' reply to your retarded comments from other vids, the rest of youtube community hates you too. get a life, you suck at trolling.

  10. dchen345

    May 17, 2012 6:42 am

    Linebackers don't weigh 350 lbs you moron. Linebackers are far superior to any handball athlete. You're thinking of linemen and they weigh 300 lbs. They are faster and stronger than you because their body composition is more muscle than you can ever hope to have. Can you run under 5.00 seconds for a 40 yard dash?

  11. dchen345

    May 21, 2012 4:07 am

    I'm sorry if you've been conditioned by TV and internet to think six pack abs correlate with athleticism.

  12. dchen345

    June 22, 2012 9:08 pm

    Top linemen run under 5.00 seconds. Linebackers run 4.50 seconds. Wideouts and backs run less that 4.40 seconds. …shows what a non-athlete knows about sports.

  13. Zero Archer

    June 23, 2012 1:47 am

    linemen runs under 5? you must be smoking lol. Nfl linemen are pretty top tier, and they run a 5 second average. Your linebacker info is correct as well as your WR, and RB. Besides not every athlete must know sports. Ever seen the Olympics? Pretty sure the gymnastic participants do not even know what a kickoff return is, and they are athletes.

  14. dchen345

    June 25, 2012 1:54 am

    I can name 15 defensive ends with 40 yard dashes under 5 seconds from the 2012 draft class.

  15. Zero Archer

    June 25, 2012 5:58 am

    pretty sure you can man, with the internet as help lol. 15 def ends does not make up for the entire average being under 5 secs. w.e you are smoking you should probably lay off it

  16. dchen345

    June 25, 2012 7:26 am

    Who said anything about average? The only thing being smoked is your stupid ass in this conversation. Of course you defend handball, you're probably a fatass too.

  17. Zero Archer

    June 25, 2012 7:52 am

    mhmm I'm stupid? scroll up this conversation, then reply. When in the entire conversation have i defended handball? lay off the opium dude its fcking with your brain. Thought this would be an intelligent conversation till your last remark. Now you are just coming off as stupid. Also judging by your history you seem to spend a lot of time commenting online. Goes to show that you might be a "fatass" as well.

  18. Zero Archer

    June 25, 2012 8:15 am

    how did i mirror what you said? you said "umadbro?" while i said "nah I'm not. umadbro?" In what way are those two comments reflections of each other? Seems you are a bigger dumbass than i thought.

  19. Art Vandelay

    January 1, 2016 8:43 am

    It's been awhile since West 4th was any kind of mecca. I was there today at 2:30 and it was empty. Meanwhile, Broadway had a game on every court as always.


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