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At 1st and 1st, A Distinctly Local Sport

Handball washed up on the shores of New York about 150 years ago in the boats of Irish immigrants. It has since exploded in the city, as players of all backgrounds have adopted the sport as their own. When the weather breaks, tens of thousands flood the 2,500-plus handball courts in the city to take part in this fun, local game.

Players from all over the city convene in the East Village at the East First Street and First Avenue courts, citing the fierce competition, ethnic diversity, convenient location as reasons to travel to the courts. The courts are a preferred place to get in shape, improve your skills and even win a few bucks on the side.

NYU Journalism’s Greg Howard reports.