Hall of Famer
Dr William (Bill) L. Ball
Martin Cleary writing in the Ottawa Citizen, Thursday, March 22, 1979 commented that Dr Bill Ball was”…the total skier – alpine, cross-country, jumping, author (on skiing), innovator and executive – and was often referred to a the Herman Jackrabbit Smith-Johannsen of alpine skiing”.
1932 Alternate member on the Canadian Olympic Team at the Winter Games held at Lake Placid, N.Y., U.S.A.
1936 Member of the Canadian Olympic Team at the Winter Games held at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
1936 Honorary Coach, McGill University ski teams.
1937 Chairman, Canadian Amateur Ski Association’s Ski Instruction Committee.
1937 Chairman, Canadian Ski School Committee.
1939 Contributor to the Canadian Ski Manual, the first ski instructors’ manual published in Canada.
In the 1930s, he was arguably Canada’s most proficient all-round skier, participating actively in both alpine and Nordic events. In the ratings of the Laurentian Ski Zone, he was the only skier to be rated Class 1 in all four events – cross-country, jumping, downhill and slalom. Among his best showings were a 2nd place finish in the Canadian Nordic Combined, 2nd place in the Quebec Kandahar, 1st place in the Quebec Slalom Championship.
Bill Ball was the author of “I Skied The Thirties″, (Deneau Publishers & Company Ltd.)
Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments.
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(W.L. [Bill] Ball explains how he learned to climb using the herringbone in his book ‘I Skied the Thirties’, p.4).
In cross-country skiing, the technique seen here is known as the “herringbone” and is often used for climbing steep hills. “The instinctive thing you do when you start to slide back (after you have passed through the phase of allowing your skis to slide back from under you and dropping on your face) is to put your skis in a V as soon as the backslip starts. From there it is natural to continue climbing with the herringbone V until you reach level ground and no longer backslip.”
Bill Ball alpine skiing c. 1936. CSHFM Collection.
Bill Ball, Harry Pangman, Jack Houghton – St. Moritz, Switzerland 1933. CSHFM Collection.
Bud Clark (far left) and Bill Ball (2nd from left) in Germany, competing in 1936 Olympic Winter Games. CSHFM Collection.
McGill Intercollegiate Team Seigneury Club [L to R]: Col. Bovey, W.B. Thompson, Bob Patterson, W.Billingsly (manager), Bill Ball, Ray Stott (snowshoer), Jack Houghton, Peter Renold, Walter Dorken, Col. Stack. Front row: Frank Campbell, Bill Tait, Major Forres, ?, ?, Ron Deaton c. 1933. CSHFM Collection.
Bill Ball alpine skiing. CSHFM Collection.