The U.S. HANDBALL First ACE® Development Program aims to provide new and emerging handball initiatives with financial and equipment support to aid in their growth towards strong and sustainable handball programs. Bill Bohr First Ace Grants target new development in clubs, youth service organizations, schools and colleges with the ultimate goal of creating self-supporting programs that continually promote the game to new players and markets. The First Ace Development Program also aims to provide existing programs with financial support and replacement equipment and travel grants. Separate forms are available for Travel Grants, Equipment and Replacement Equipment grants.

First Ace Development resources are available to all school, club and other programs led by a USHA-Certified Handball Instructor in the United States. Requests for new or emerging programs and/or existing programs can be made to assist with administration, equipment, or other start-up related costs. Requests should be made by the primary coach/administrator for the program. If an application is approved, Development grants will focus on new or emerging programs with a goal for them to be self-supporting over a five-year period. U.S. HANDBALL reserves all rights related to the acceptance of grant proposals.

All program participants must be U.S. HANDBALL members. For the first year, U.S. HANDBALL will offer a free pair of gloves to participants who pay the regular membership dues. For new grant program recipients, a free one-year online membership (gloves not included) is available for participants who provide contact information. See membership requirements for other available grants. Eye protection is required for all programs and their participants.

To apply for a Bill Bohr First Ace Development grant, please submit an application following the guidelines below. Once completed, email to samesser@ushandball.org with “First Ace Grant Application” as the subject. Applications are due Dec. 20 each year. Grants are reviewed by the First Ace Development Committee which recommends funding amounts to the USHA Board of Directors. The committee’s recommendations are reviewed and approved by the USHA Board of Directors during the annual board meeting in January.

Other Available Grants: (separate forms required and available below)

o Wafe Risner Travel Grant (must submit application 10 days prior to the event)
o Equipment Grants (May submit application at any time)
o Replacement Equipment Grants (may submit application 1 year after first equipment grant)

Bill Bohr First ACE® Development Grant Application

Please be as detailed as possible and complete all questions. An online Grant Application form is available HERE. Online and emailed grant applications are preferred; however, hard copies can be mailed to:

Read more about Bill Bohr, his passion for being a handball mentor and his contributions to our game.

Attn: Bill Bohr First Ace Grants / Sam Esser
2333 N. Tucson Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716

1. Basic Information:
• School/Program Name:
• College, Club, Middle School or High School:
• Private or Public School:
• Primary Coach/Administrator Contact Name:
-Email: Phone #:

• Secondary Contact (Optional):
-Email: Phone #:

• How many years has this program been in existence?
• How many participants will be involved this season?
• When and how long will the program run this year?
• What is the status of the program within the school (varsity, club team, not officially recognized, etc.)?
• In the event a grant is awarded, please tell us to whom the check should be written, as well as the proper mailing address:

2. Financial Status:
• What is the annual budget of the program?
• What are the primary areas of cost for the program? Please be as specific as possible, including dollar amounts.
• Please provide details about funding sources for the program or team, including parents, school funds, other grants, etc. Give as much detail as possible about the amount and nature of support from each group.
• Are any of the above sources of funding still pending? Please provide details.
• What specific areas of this program will be supported by funding from a First Ace Handball Development Grant?
• Are other sources of financial support expected to become available? Will the current sources of funding remain in future years? Are there specific benchmarks to be met to secure these funds or maintain current funding?

3. Detailed Program Information

• How will the program measure success in the coming year (competition against a set number of teams, play in local, regional and national tournaments, etc.)?
• Provide a description of all of the activities in which the program will engage, including handball and any other off-court plans.
• Does the program have a coach? If so, paid or volunteer?
• Will the current administrators/coaches of the program be in place in future years? If not, what plans are in place to find appropriate replacements?
• What facility does the program use for practices/matches? How often are practices held?
• What methods does the program use to find and select its players? Is everyone accepted into the program or are cuts made?
• Are there further requirements for participation (costs, qualifications, etc.)?
• If a, youth service or secondary school program, are there local adults programs in the area that players can feed into once they reach leave school?
• How many other youth programs exist in the area? Please list them. Have connections been made with these programs to arrange collaboration and play in the coming season? Is there a competitive schedule in place?
• Is the program a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or affiliated with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization?

Further comments (attach additional sheet if needed).

4. Program Feedback and Review:
• If a grant request is accepted for funding, the recipient must sign and agree to terms with the U.S. HANDBALL Bill Bohr First Ace Grant Agreement. At mid-year and at the end of the program’s season the administrator will be responsible for reporting on the accomplishments of the year. These details will be compared against stated plans, goals, and financial outlook as reported on this application.

Please submit this application to handball@ushandball.org with “First Ace Grant Application” in the subject line. U.S. HANDBALL and our First Ace Supporters wish your program success in the coming year!

Other Available Grants through First Ace®

The following Grants may be applied for at any time during the calendar year by a “qualified” program and are subject to the approval of the USHA First Ace Sub-Committee. Please follow the guidelines for the specific grant and email your application to handball@ushandball.org .

  • Wafe Risner Travel Grant: USHA will fund Junior or Collegiate Programs for travel to USHA Sanctioned or Sponsored events (see UPDATE):

Online Form for Wafe Risner Travel Grant

  1. Must submit requet 10 days prior to the start of the event.
  2. Participants must be USHA Members, event must be USHA sanctioned and tournament participation will be verified after the travel has occurred.
  3. At the rate $20 per player up to a maximum of $300 to any USHA Sanctioned or sponsored event. The travel grant will not exceed $300.
  4. This funding will be in addition to the annual program funding.
  5. Programs with players eligible for Joe Ardito Travel Funds are not eligible to apply for Wafe Risner Travel Grants to the same event. (Due to the extreme popularity of Wafe Risner Travel Grants, each program is capped at $500 maximum total for Travel Grants funded each calendar year).
  • Equipment Grant: These grants are available for the Annual Beginning Programs as well as any program of opportunity to develop new handball players. It is intended that these grants will enable qualified coaches and instructors to take immediate advantage of any emerging local interest in handball at any time. Upon request by a “qualified” person, equipment will be provided at the maximum rate of $15 per new player. For Beginning Programs, this funding will be in addition to the annual program funding. It is again emphasized that eye guards are mandatory for all programs.

Online Form for Equipment Grant

  • Replacement Equipment Grant: These grants are available for any program that has the opportunity to develop new handball players. It is intended that these grants will enable qualified coaches and instructors to take immediate advantage of any emerging local interest in handball at any time. Upon request by a “qualified” person, equipment will be provided at the maximum rate of $15 per new player. Programs are eligible to submit Replacement Equipment Grants 1 year after receiving initial Equipment Grant. It is again emphasized that eye guards are mandatory for all programs.
  • Note: Additional equipment beyond the maximum cited above and replacement equipment for Intermediate Programs is available at reduced prices through the USHA’s First Ace Fund.

Online Form for Replacement Equipment Grant

Thank you for your interest in spreading the joy of Handball, the Perfect Game. Any questions? Contact: Matt Krueger or Sam Esser via email or call direct at (520)795-0434.