Up North: Northshore Handball Tournament returns to Duluth

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People in Duluth were treated to top handball talent from across the Upper Midwest earlier this month at the fourth annual Northshore Handball Tournament. Taking place this summer at the Duluth Area Family YMCA’s downtown branch.

“You need cardio, you need hand eye coordination strength flexibility intelligence. It really requires a lot of people especially with beginners, to help them with their general athleticism because it challenges you too use your weak hand, as well as your strong hand,” claimed Tournament Director Josiah Hakala.

One of the star athletes in attendance was Junior National Champion Ray Ure, who currently attends Minnesota State University Mankato. A team that won the Collegiate National Championship last season.

“I’ll play around three times a week against my coaches and teammates at Minnesota State. To try and keep up with my shot selection and ability,” added Junior National Champion Ray Ure.

Similar to racquetball, handball is a low-cost sport played at all skill levels and ages. However there is a finesse and mental side to the game as well.

“There is defensive shots, trying to push the opponent to the back of the court and prevent them from scoring points. Then there is offensive shots, which is going for the low kill shot to score points immediately. So trying to decide when you want to do each takes a ton of practice,” added Rat Ure.

For anyone interested in the sport, the YMCA also holds clinics for members every Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m.

“Everyone can get into it all you need is a pair of gloves and some eye guards and you can play. It is one of the reasons they have the tournament is to get people interested in playing handball. It really test you, it is hard to be good at the beginning but with a little practice, it’s fun,” concluded handball enthusiast Tom Ure.