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Volume XV, Number 3107

Tuesday, April 25th, 2000



Commissioner Stern, Mayor Giuliani, and President of the Inner City Handball Association Paul Williams hit the court.
Malcolm (Cinema) Pinckney


At a press conference on Thursday, April 20th, Mayor Rudy (Eagle) Giuliani described handball as the “quintessential city playground sport,” enjoyed by many New Yorkers throughout the city. Mayor Giuliani joined Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern at Chelsea Park’s handball courts to announce Parks new initiative to renovate 1,500 handball courts. In addition to the announcement, Mayor Giuliani and Commissioner Stern joined local children for a friendly game of handball in the park. Handball is played at 2052 Parks courts and playgrounds throughout the city. Five hundred courts are in good condition and the other 1,500 will receive necessary renovations.

Through powerwashing, graffiti removal, and removing excess paint, Parks handball courts will soon be better than ever. Every wall surface will be smoothed and painted with new lines to improve playing conditions for our dedicated players. Our borough forces will also repair court surfaces and replace worn out expansion joints. In the past, we filled the expansion joints with tar, but this year we will be using a new elastromeric polyurethane sealant, allowing joints to expand and shrink by 25% of their original width and withstand abrasion and wear and tear.

This new innovation was uncovered by Parks’ Five Boro Technical Services and our Research and Development (R&D) Team. Through our R&D division, we analyze and develop ways to use new technology to improve existing park facilities, like handball courts. Current R&D projects include installing pre-fabricated comfort stations in parks and playgrounds, creating better types of safety surfacing, making handicapped drinking fountains more durable, and installing interactive kiosks in recreation centers.

In celebration of our newly renovated handball courts, Parks will host the first city-sponsored amateur handball tournament in June. On Saturday, June 17th and Sunday, June 18th, singles and doubles players will compete for the citywide championship at six sites throughout the boroughs. Coney Island in Brooklyn, Orchard Beach in the Bronx, Central Park’s North Meadow and Stanley Isaacs Park in Manhattan, 109th Street Beach in Queens, and the Mason Playground in Staten Island will host tournaments.

Handball players interested in the tournament should register by calling Parks at (212) 360-8222, calling the Inner City Handball Association at (516) 481-8950, or visiting the Parks web site at