NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Barrier Playground

Horace Harding Exwy. Sr. Rd. S., 62 Ave. bet. 102 St. and Yellowstone Blvd.


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This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

Although handball is one of the most popular games in the city and has long been identified with New York, depictions of hand-played ball games have been discovered in Egyptian tombs dated to 2000 BC, and in Arizona and Nicaragua, dated to 1500 BC. Handball also has its place in literature: Homer’s Odyssey describes a handball game invented by Anagalla, Princess of Sparta

Descending from such activities is the modern American incarnation of handball, which was first introduced by Irish immigrants in the late-19th century. The Irish sport, known as hard handball, dates back 1,000 years, and is one of the most popular games in Ireland. Parks-sponsored citywide handball tournaments date at least as far back as 1948. The first was held at Heckscher Playground in Central Park. Bounded by 102 Street, 62nd Avenue, and Yellowstone Boulevard, Handball Haven pays tribute to this enduring game.

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Park Information

Directions to Barrier Playground

  • Barrier Playground
  • Barrier Playground
  • Barrier Playground
  • Handball Haven at Barrier Playground
  • Barrier Playground


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