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A typical paddleball paddle.

One Wall Paddleball is an American ball game that consists in hitting a small rubber ball against a single wall by using paddles. It can be played in singles (1 versus 1) or in doubles (2 versus 2). The general rule of the game is that the ball must hit the wall without touching the court floor more than once in order to be a valid rally. The balls are usually of the colors black, blue, green and originally, the paddles were made of wood, although new materials have replaced them throughout the years (such as graphite and titanium paddles).

The game is popular in places where the weather permits outdoor plays such as New York, Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Puerto Rico, although indoor courts, albeit rare, exist. Tournaments are ruled by the American Paddleball Association.



The history of the game is somehow undocumented, but it obviously origins from American handball which consists of hitting the ball with the bare hands or a gloved palm. However, due to the cold weather in northern American states, the players carved wooden paddles to hit with to relieve the pain from the cold.


The beginning of ONE WALL PADDLEBALL started in up state New York by a handball player name Mr. Beale. The winter of 1940 was brutally cold and Mr. Beale's hands became too brittle & painful too continue playing handball. Mr. Beale substituted a Wooden Paddle with no holes and a taped handle to start the game of ONE WALL PADDLEBALL.

The game was played on one wall handball courts in New York City alongside handball players. The Sport of Paddleball gained popularity in 1950 - 1954. The top players were, Harold Salomon, John Bruchi, Chris Leacakes, and Howie Hammer. They dominated the game in singles and in doubles. They were the outstanding champions. The black seamco ball was in use and was the official ball of Paddleball. Howie Hammer and John Bruchi were the top duo team. As 1960 approached, Bobby Schwarz and Andy Krosnik emerged, so did Steve Rothfield and Barry Sheiber, Marcel (Hoppy) Hopkins, Donnie Ciafone, Arroyo (Shotgun) Louie. The game of Paddleball gained more popularity and many new faces were attracted to Paddleball. Eddie Acevedo, Ray David, Mike Melendez, Craig Ruiz, Anthony Fiorino, Robert Chiell, Ralph Capograso, Bobby Fiorentino and don't forget lefty "Chico" Escuela. These were the players that became champions in the Late 60's and 70's. In The late 70's and mid 80's, Wellington Cabrera, Freddy Diaz, Eddie (flaco) and Mike Petry were at the top of their games and they were the players to beat. Also during this time the 17 ounce paddle was substituted by 15 and 15.5 ounce paddles which made the swing quicker. Also the new Spalding green ball emerged which has a true bounce and for some strange reason no other company can match it.(Spaulding also made Pink handballs, currently Reactor makes the green ball) The green ball is the official ball of paddleball. In the late 80's, New faces emerged, (the kid) Robert Sostre, Sammy Cesareo, Jesus Barretto and the twins, John and Arty Randon. But The kid out shined them all. The kid became the #1 player in no time. He has been on that horse ever since, and no one has been able to take him off to the present time. The kid is known as Robert (The Ice man) Sostre. His paddle design is the orange special edition above.

Lore Written by Maury the K - President: One Wall Paddleball Assoc.

The Ball The newest ball is the Blue 'ACE' currently in tournament use in NYC. The green has been relegated to existing stock which players are slowly exhausting.

Staten Island Paddleball Legends

From the late-1970s to the mid-1980s, one giant figure stood above all others at the top of the Staten Island paddleball world: the legendary Tony Zoid, aka Tony Z., aka "Killer," who roamed the schoolyards of the South Shore taking on - and destroying - all comers, with a dazzling array of shots and an inhuman desire to not only win, but to punish his opponents.

Challengers for the 70s-80s Staten Island paddleball crown included Greg "Fats" Delacan, Mike "Sweats" Damuda, and Bob "Stick" Macktruckin. Though each was legendary in his own right, Tony Z. remains the one true icon of his era - a larger than life hero of the paddleball world.

Other Governing Bodies

There have been a many attempts to package Paddleball as a sport. However, attempts to organize it have had mixed results. The U. S. Paddleball Association was founded in 1960 by John Bruschi & Christopher Lecakes but didn't last long. In the late 1960s, the American Paddleball Association (APA) was organized, only to be challenged by the Paddleball Players Association in 1974. In the Eighties, the P.P.P.A., founded by Ray Gaston, became the dominate governing body and small community based organizations like the One Wall Paddleball Association founded by Murry "DA K" Kushner continued efforts to push the sport forward. In the early 1990s, The National Paddleball Association, founded by Michael G Magnaldi, George Medici and Linda Sales, picked up the torch from the prior organizations. The NPA officially ceased operations in early 2006. All prior organizations eventually became inactive. The APA was reorganized in the late 1990s by paddleball legend Howard Hammer and shortly there after became inactive again.

There are a number of factors that prevent paddleball becoming more of a national sport, not-withstanding the lack of walls outside of the NY region. Part of the problem stems from the experience in NYC with annual tournaments, which when sponsored by companies such as Budweiser (80's) fell victim to forces on tournament courts that turned away further corporate involvement. Another is the speed of the game, which barring technological advancement, prevent televising tournaments. The ball moves too fast and the court is too small for following the action during the live game. Without the revenue stream from television the game is relegated to member fees to enter tournaments which are sponsored locally.

Paddle ball. (2007, September 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:58, September 3, 2007, from File:Masters-50+-07.jpg

Pick-up Games

In Queens, Juniper Valley Park in Maspeth - Weekends and weekday afternoons, Roy Wilkins Park, Baisley Blvd and 120th Ave in Jamaica - Weekends and weekday afternoons, Victory Field in Forest Park, other locations to be added.

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External links



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