Handball tournament heads to Worcester Saturday

WORCESTER, Mass. – A handball tournament in the city of Worcester is hoping to grow the popularity of the sport.

Handball is like racketball, but you use your hands to hit the ball against a wall. It dates back to Ancient Egypt. The New England Handballers Association had matches on the court at Green Hill Park Saturday afternoon. Thirty-six participants from across New England played. Nancy Ortiz, who has also served as the state’s chair for the United States Handball Association, says the city has a long history with the game, going back to the 1960s. She says it’s a simple and cheap game. All you need is a ball and a wall.

“It’s a great sport because it works both sides of your body,” said Ortiz. “You don’t need to be six feet tall to play, even though that’s advantageous in the reach, it doesn’t matter what size you are. Short, tall, you’re skinny, chubby, you’re welcome to play. We welcome all players, all skill levels. If you want to learn how to play handball, we offer free handball clinics and offer time for people to reach out to us and play.”

Ortiz says the game is growing thanks in part to social media. She’s hoping Perimeter fencing and resurfacing can be installed at the Green Hill Park handball court. There’s also courts at the corner of Camp and Cambridge streets, and one at Crompton Park.

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