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George Macris

Accolades & Accomplishments 

3-Wall

Australian Open Singles

- 1949

- 1950

- 1953

- 1959

Australian Open Doubles

- 1950

- 1952

- 1953

- 1959

Australian Team Selections

- 1938

- 1948 (Captain)

- 1949 (Captain)

- 1950 (Captain)

- 1951

- 1952

- 1953 (Captain)

- 1956 (Captain)

- 1958

- 1959 (Captain)

O'Connor Cup Champion

​- 1953

- 1956

- 1959

- 1962

NSW Open Singles

- 1936

- 1939

- 1941

- 1946

- 1947

- 1948

- 1949

- 1950

- 1951

- 1953

- 1959

NSW Open Doubles

- 1937

- 1939

- 1940

- 1941

- 1947

- 1948

- 1949

- 1950

- 1951

- 1952

- 1953

- 1959

- 1961

- 1962

George Macris

George Macris is one of the great patriarchs of Australian handball. He is loved around this country. He is remembered as a superb competitor and leader. He played tenacious handball matches; traditionally tough, hard anc fast matches. He wanted to be the best that he could be. He made great demands on himself. And he became the best in NSW for so long. George was also humble and he smiled. He played the game skillfully and had an enormous power. He had placement, anticipation, bottom brick accuracy and power that had opponents mesmerised and struggling.

 

George Macris always respected his opponent by playing hard and pressured handball. He would never back off out of respect for the opposition and the game itself. A 15 - 0 result was fine if everyone was trying and George tried. He was a man of character. He had integrity. It is no accident that he has been nominated as Captain of Australia on so many occasions nor that our most prestigious trophy is named after him. He created handball friendships, gave us leadership and taught us about loyalty. His rivalry and friendship with Paul Fallon has made this game so much greater.

The first acknowledged National games were played in 1920 and at the time the ball used was smaller than that used today. I can go back to the earliest years of the organised game of handball in NSW and note changes that have occured. It was one and seven eighths inches in diameter and quite hard. It was used into the 1930's and then changed to 2 inches in diameter. The larger ball felt much better on the hand.

Amongst some of the older players in the 1920's there were devotees of the Irish Handball game. I played few games using that ball but did not like it much. It really could only be used on a 4-wall court and was as fast as a golf ball. just as hard and made of sheepskin. I began my Handball using a skinned tennis ball, as most kids did.

first introduction to the little black ball was whilst at school. The Brothers invited me to make up a doubles game. My hand was sore for several days afterwards; such was the different effect between the larger tennis ball and the small handball.

With my partner, Steve Nolan, we won the SW schoolboys doubles in 1932. In those years there was an annual presentation of trophies and a very correct protocol was followed. The first procedure was the least to the reigning monarch, the king in those days, followed by various toasts throughout the meal. The final toast before the presentations began was to "The Game". I feel pretty sure that toast lasted up to the Deghning of World War 2 and unfortunately was never revived. As a schoolboy at my first presentation, I have never forgotten the enthusiasm displayed by the members present. Some guests included priests and brothers who were just as enthusiastic as anyone else.

I know in Australia the game was played only in the Catholic schools, but it entertained so many boys that know if private courts were available the game would have flourished because I have spoken to so many over the years who would have continued playing if the courts had been there. My only regret is that I can no longer play, but I have such wonderful memories of my Handball days and I know that those who keep the game alive will have them also.

George.

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