End of 2015/16 Report (including rankings)
What a fantastic year it has been on the European Wallball ProTour. What started just over a year ago as a collaboration between 5 nations, has grown to 7 nations – all with common purpose: to promote and grow the sport of Wallball, giving as many people access to the sport as possible, regardless of background. The tour is designed to standardise the game in Europe, to professionalise the image of Wallball and most importantly, to unite players from different countries. Some of the friendships formed will be for life and it really is a pleasure to see people bonding both on and off the court.
The representatives of each country have run brilliant events this year. It isn’t easy to run a tournament for so many people, speaking so many different languages and everyone is learning and improving each time. We are indebted to all the volunteers who make the ProTour possible – it is a huge team effort and a collaboration of the highest level. Huge thanks to everyone who organised, helped run or volunteered at any tournament this year!
And to the players – without you none of this would be possible. We’ve seen people come from around the globe to unite with Wallball in common. Although the events only tour Europe, we’re open to any player from any country around the world and were delighted this year by the great effort made by our Argentinian, US and Australian friends who came to play and support. There’s been great sportsmanship on court and camaraderie off it. Wallball is inclusive and it is fantastic to see the top players inspiring the next generation and running clinics for beginners.
Over the coming year we have a lot to work on and improve. We’ll be looking at doing the following:
- Standardising and simplifying the rules.
- Introducing a code of conduct for players AND spectators.
- Make more ranking points available to players in the B & C grades.
- Introduce Doubles rankings and >40s rankings.
Finally to the rankings. The huge numbers of players entering tournaments mean that the rankings are now swelling. Over 100 people in the Men’s and almost 60 in the Women’s.
In the Women’s division is was Miranda Scheffer of Holland who maintained her top position, leading a group of Dutch ladies, though things are not so easy now. Monroe from the USA made great inroads, but couldn’t catch Miranda due to her historical success (ranking points degrade over 3 years). The Spanish girls also made a great impact, rocketing up the rankings with exceptional performance from the likes of young Mar. The Irish too had their moments with Lorraine Havern almost winning the UK and Sinead Hanley remaining solid. Lower down the new players started to make appearances from Zhang of GBR to Aubert of BEL. And who could forget the two young Dutch superstars, Zeinstra and Monfils. Next year is sure to be a great one.
In the Men’s it was all change this year with truly amazing performances every step of the way. Grant started of no.1 put was quickly pipped off the top by Polanco. Then, for the first time in almost 5 years, a European won one of the events as Mcelduff of Ireland realised his potential and took the Dutch title. This started a string of European victories, which really demonstrate the growth of the game in Europe. Tristao of GBR won on home soil at the UK and then our new top player Sacha Kruithoff of Spain, who had been nosing at the door, came away with two classic victories in France and Italy. He ends the year no.1.
Further down the rankings new guns like Kavanagh and Quish started to make impact, leading a huge swathe of Irish results, as well Potrick, Van Stalle and Dautrebande, who made excellent leaps. Next season is sure to be fantastic if this standard continues.
Well done to everyone and good luck in the future. Play hard and make the Kill Shots – but above all, have fun!