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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Live Longer Playing Racquetball

You play to win the game. Not that you can't get more out of sports than that.
Jerry Northwood will be 73 years old in December. "Chronologically only, you understand," he said. Northwood, who has lived in Williamson Valley for 29 years, is an avid racquetball player. He strives to be the best in the world in his age group and might not be far off.
Earlier this month at the World Senior Racquetball Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., Northwood took the bronze medal against competition from across the country and the world.
It was a bit of a disappointing result for a guy who has won numerous titles before. Especially when he beat the man he feels is the best in the world in the 70-plus age group, Ron Adams from California. But again, there's more to racquetball than just being the best.
A 91-year-old man competed at that same tournament, playing down against the 80-plus group.
"Hopefully I'll still be playing when I'm that age," Northwood said.
That is a big reason he is an advocate for the sport is because of what it does for your health, as evidenced by his elders still competing in their 80s. "They're still out there, they're playing and they're having a good time," Northwood said. "They're having fun and they're staying healthy."
He takes the sport very seriously, playing for a couple hours three days a week, working on fundamentals three days a week and exercising each and every morning. "It keeps me in shape, obviously," he said. "You have to watch your nutritional pattern and your conditioning pattern to be ready for a tournament. When you go to a tournament, win lose or draw, you're in better shape than you were before." Once upon a time, handball was Northwood's game. He went to Cal State Fullerton on a football and baseball scholarship and the baseball coach required all players to play handball for their hand-eye coordination. But Northwood got drafted, went into the service and hurt his left arm in airborne training. "I couldn't play the same," he said of needing both arms equally in handball. "Fortunately, racquetball came along. At first when I was introduced to it, I thought 'I don't want to do this, I'm a handball player.'
"Quickly I saw that it was considerably easier on your body with considerable more strategy."
He got introduced to the game when he was asked to warm up a top player at the YMCA before a tournament. "Because I had some basic knowledge, I had some immediate success playing this guy," Northwood said. "But nowhere near his level at the time, which was the greatest thing that could ever happen to me." "Since I was scoring a few points, he then decided to take me to the cleaners for about four or five straight games. Then I got really interested because I could see how you could play the game." He went back to handball the next day and realized how much his hands hurt and he now had a new and better option. And he dove in headfirst. Northwood is a part of Team Ektelon, one of his sponsors. He is writing a book called "The Keys to Championship Racquetball." And he teaches others to play at the Prescott Downtown Athletic Club. He stays busy and says he doesn't necessarily have the very top skill level.
"My main claim to fame in the sport is conditioning because I've been in it all my life," he said. "There isn't anybody in the sport that's in better physical condition."
So he tries to wear down his opponents, which he'll do next week in St. George, Utah, at the Huntsman Senior World Games. It's one of about five or six tournaments he makes in a year.
He joked that it's one of the few sports where you actually look forward to getting a year older and moving up in an age bracket. "Because the other ones start dying off and being injured," he said. Northwood plans on being around and competing in racquetball for a while longer.

Monday, September 28, 2009

IRT Update for 2009-2010 Season

The IRT kicked off the 2009-10 season in downtown Denver September 9-13 at Skyline Park and the 16th Street Mall. The event was the Motorola IRT World Racquetball Championship presented by Verizon Wireless. It was be held outdoors and played on the all Lucite stadium court. Hats off to Eddie Meredith and his crew for setting up the court. They put in 14 hours a day to build the stage for the IRT players to showcase their skills.

This was the second year for this event and was a very successful event.The tournament experienced a first in the sport of racquetball as we had to reschedule out Saturday semi-final matches to Sunday due to rain. The players then had to play the semi's and final on Sunday.

Kane Waselenchuk won the event again playing some great racquetball all weekend. Kane played Jack Huczek in the final and the match was a good one and will most likely begin the rivalry that had been created in 2005 and 2006 between these two. They would meet again in the final at the Lawler Sports Pro Am the following weekend September 19-20 in Terre Haute Indiana at Indiana State University with Kane winning again.Playing at ISU was a great experience and great exposure for the sport and the IRT. The event was well run by Manny Rodriguez and the Indiana Racquetball Association.we look forward to coming back again next year.

Both events were streamed live on The IRT Network is a new partner of the IRT and will be streaming our upper tiered events this season.The coverage was excellent and commentary by John Scott was fantastic. I hope you all subscribe to the new network and catch all the IRT action this season

Both events were missing two of its star players. Alvaro Beltran suffered an knee injury lin late August and could be out for the season. Beltran is scheduled for surgery this week to repair his ACL and meniscus tear.Ben Croft will be out for three events due to a suspension handed down by the IRT board after an incident in Chicago. Ben will be back in action at the US OPEN. Both players will be missed but it will open the door for some new stars to shine on the tour. Juan Herrera took advantage and made his first quarterfinal of his career in Terre Haute, eventually losing to Kane. Juan has always played tough on the tour and his play at ISU proves that he has what it takes to be a top eight player on the IRT.

We will have a satellite event in Kansas City September 25-27 then we are off to Bowling Green Kentucky and Western Kentucky University for our next tier one October 9-12.

Keep your eyes on the IRT website for updates. and remember to catch all the action at

US OPEN 2009

The 2009 14th US OPEN Racquetball Championships will be held October 21-25, 2009 in Memphis, TN at the Racquet Club of Memphis and will feature all of the top men's players of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), the women's players of the Women's Professional Racquetball Organization, (WPRO) and the Classic Pro Racquetball Tour (CPRT). The US OPEN is racquetball's original and largest "Grand Slam" event and the most prestigous tournament of the season. The event will also offer amateur divisions for men and women and attracts players from all across the world.
Last year, nearly 70 US OPEN champions were crowned and awarded the one-of-a-kind US OPEN gold medal that weighs nearly 2 pounds. Leading the entry list for the IRT is world No. 1 Kane Waselenchuk, defending US OPEN champion. Leading the women for the WPRO is world No. 1 Paola Longoria also the defending US OPEN champion. The Classic Pro Racquetball Tour (CPRT) will also feature Jimmy Lowe who will attempt to defend his US OPEN championship.

Don't miss out on this exciting event as all of the top professional racquetball players in the world will be playing on the new four wall Lucite racquetball court.

Vincent Gagnon (CAN) wins Hamburg Open 2009 in Germany

Vincent Gagnon from Canada is the winner of the 26th Hamburg Open 2009. he defeated Germany's Trevor Meyer with 15-3, 15-9 to win his first European title ever. Yvonne Kortes (Germany) claimed another Hamburg Open victory by defeating teammaid Lara Ludwig.

In mens doubles, former European Doubles Champions Trevor Meyer and Joachim Loof were once again a class of their own; they defeated Marcel Mein and Torsten Krieger in a one-sided doubles final with 15-4, 15-6.

The 2009 Hamburg Open were the first event of the 2009/2010 European Tour and also the first event that used the Ektelon Classic Ball as the official tournament ball. Ektelon and the European Racquetball Federation have recently signed an official ball contract and at this years premiere in Hamburg the ball was well received by the great majority of the players, tournament organizers daid.

Other 2009 winners:

Mens A: Bernd Dröge (GER) def. Torsten Krieger (GER) 15-3, 15-2
Mens B: Jan Jensen (GER) def. Jan A. Peters (GER) 15-12, 15-1
Mens C: Jan A. Peters (GER) def. Janet Ullmann (GER) 15-4, 15-7
Masters 40+: Bernd Dröge (GER) def. Torsten Krieger (GER) 15-4, 15-7
Veterans 50+: Jörg Ludwig (GER) def. Karel Matla (NED) 15-13, 15-9
Juniors 15U: Niklas Krieger (GER) def. Lasse J. Süchting (GER) 15-3, 15-2

Full draws can be found at

Monday, September 21, 2009

French Open 2009

The French Open 2009 brought us more than expected !

Players from around the world participated and made this tournament a great one : USA, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Catalonia, Belgium, Holland, Germany, England and also from pays basque and Paris. We hope this annual meeting brought you joy and good time included sore body . We want to say thank you to everyone for coming.

We witnessed a great moment of racquetball watching the Open final with Cliff Swain 6 times number 1 on the pro tour and Patrick Jauvin one of the best Canadian player today..... The walls of center court are still shaking . Thank you to both for this souvenir.

Thank you very much to our sponsor Dale Wielgus as he made the venue of Cliff possible. Dale, your are a gentleman and a real racquetball fan! To the president of our association Jean-Pierre Boudart "merci" for the get together dinner at his africain restaurant O'Maquis. It was a real treat.

Our friendly thoughts and fast recovering wishes to Yann Le Penven who hurted himself during a match and to all those who walk like ducks today (just as I do) for having run so much during the week-end !

Completed charts will follow shortly together with pictures and a few videos.

By the way, we invite every one who has interesting images to send them to us by e-mail et we will be happy to have the best ones on line. ( contact@paris-racquetball.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Men's Open
Cliff Swain (USA) beats Patrick Jauvin (CAN)

Men's B
Ricardo Soto (VEN) beats Niklass Deboutte (BEL)

Men's C
Marioly Caballero (CAT) beats Nicolas Mufraggi (FRA)

Men's 35+
Philippe Lecomte (FRA) beats Mauro Barbosa (BRA)

Mike Guidry Named Head Coach of U.S. National Team

USA Racquetball named Mike Guidry as head coach of the U.S. National Racquetball Team. Guidry is one of the most decorated U.S. players in amateur competition and is a former top ten professional player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT).
As a player he captured the USA Racquetball National Men’s Doubles championship in 1999, 2001 and 2002. In 2002, he also won the USA Racquetball National Men’s Singles championship. Guidry is a three time doubles champion in the Pan-American Games (2002, 2003 & 2005) and seven time member of the U.S. National Adult Team.
Guidry brings passion, energy, and an overall knowledge of the international landscape to the table that is second to none.

Halloween Tournament in Lakenheath, England

Lakenheath, England will be once again the venue for a traditional Halloween Tournament on October 24-25, 2009.

Contact Lorraine Botwright at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots.

AERA Tournament

Register for the first AERA tournament of the 2009-2010 RB season:

Dates: 26-27 Sep 09
Location: Ramstein AB, Germany

NOTE: R2 or online registration will not be used for this tournament.

Complete the registration form and send to SSgt Hart via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If you have additional questions contact SSgt
Hart via email or phone: DSN 314-480-3270/8085 or commercial

If you require lodging, contact SSgt Hart via email NLT 1200 tomorrow (12 Sept
09) with your lodging dates.

The registration form will be posted on the AERA web site NLT 13 Sept 09.

NOTE: This tournament will be the first AERA tournament of the 2009-2010 RB
season and points will be awarded to all participants.

NOTE: The Hamburg Open is being conducted from 25-27 Sep 09 in Hamburg,
Germany. If you are considering playing in the Hamburg Open, please contact
Mike Mesecke at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for additional information.

Irish Tournament Calendar Published

The Racquetball Association of Ireland (RAI) has released the 2009/2010 tournament calendar for the green island with many events around the country. Check out the complete calendar at the Irish Racquetball Website at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Guatemalan Juniors Women's Team

The Guatemalan Women's Team, including a group of 35 up-and-coming junior hopefuls, were treated to a visit by Mexican Team Coach, Aaron Palomino in August. The coach was on hand to assist the team in preparing for the VIII Central American Games. Although the team only has access to two courts, its successful junior program has regained strength and is growing.

World Senior Championships Concluded

Wrapping up its 21st consecutive year of play, the World Senior Championships crowned singles champions in 12 men's divisions and 9 women's divisions, at the close of the Labor Day weekend. The event was hosted in a series of venues and played out in flighted round-robin formats to maximize playing time. It's an annual best-seller among senior athletes who enjoy traveling, good friends and great competition.

Next World Seniors Event Coming Up ... The 2010 World Senior Doubles Championships will be held in Ireland, June 9-12, at the Kingscourt site of the 2008 IRF World Championships.

DVD's For Sale

The IRF recently announced the release of over 35 hours of videotaped action from the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung. A complete set of 16 DVDs can be purchased for $160 (shipping incl.) by contacting Luke St. Onge for ordering instructions.
In the men's final, USA teammates faced off, with Jack Huczek defeating Rocky Carson in a tiebreaker. Among the women, Mexico's Paola Longoria also went to three games to defeat USA's Rhonda Rajsich. Throughout the championship week abroad, thirty of racquetball's best athletes, from eleven countries, competed on the glass portable court. The top 16 men and women to qualify represented Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the USA.
Luke'se mail in case you would like to order the DvD's is