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Monday, October 12, 2009

International Racquetball Federation Update First nine months 2009

Dear All,

I would like to take a moment to bring you up to date on the developments within the IRF during the first six months of 2009.

1 We have just come from what can be arguably the best International Racquetball competition ever. The World Games exposed the sport for the first time to International Olympic Committee Members as well as over 70 countries worldwide.
Led by IRF President Keith Calkins the IRF contingent of 60 plus made up of players from 13 Countries , 10 officials, and many coaches and delegates showcased Racquetball to the World over 4 days.
Racquetball was showcased on the Korean Racquetball Federations all Glass Portable Court as well as the first new Racquetball Court built in Taiwan in 25 years.
The Taiwan Racquetball Federation believes that this Event will bring a boom of court building in Taiwan and could exceed Squash in the future.
The World Games is a IOC supported Multi-International Sports competition for non Olympic sports founded in 1981. Racquetball was a founding sport competed in 1981 in Santa Clara , California.
The World Games is a major step towards the inclusion of Racquetball in future Olympic Programs.
The 2013 edition of World Games will be held in Cali, Colombia and once again Racquetball will be a full medal sport on the program.
For complete results please go to the IRF web site— www.internationaracquetball.com

2 Racquetball has been confirmed as a full medal sport for the Central American Games to be held in mid December 2009 featuring the seven counties in Central America. Competition will be held in San Pedro Sula , Honduras.

3 Racquetball has been confirmed for the Central American Caribbean Games in mid July 2010 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 4 new Racquetball Courts are being built at the University where the competition will be held. They will be a lasting legacy for the sport.

4 The Pan American Sports Organization-PASO – has approved the quadrennial coaches seminar under the IOC Solidarity Program. 22 Coaches from 14 countries in the Americas will meet under the auspices of IPRO and Gary Mazaroff for a week in Guadalajara, Mexico. This is a major program under PASO to continue the development of Racquetball and all Pan American Sports. The entire seminar is funded from IOC Solidarity funds.
The program is administered through each countries National Olympic Committee.
Supporting Gary are Ron Brown, Miguel Perea, Coach Moreno, David Ellis, Jo Shattuck as well as experts from the Mexican Olympic Committee.

5 Racquetball is once again a full medal sport in the Pan American Games that will be held on the beautiful 5 glass courts at the Olympic Complex in Guadalajara , Mexico –October, 2011. More on this at a later time.

6 The IRF has signed a 4 year agreement with Penn as the “Official Ball “of the IRF. We would like to thank Doug Ganim of Penn for his and Penn’s continued support of racquetball worldwide.
Penn joins E-Force as a major Sponsor of the IRF and its major World and Regional events.

7 The IRF held a strategic Planning Session in February to chart the course of the IRF for the future. It was great success with major participation from all major areas of the International Racquetball Partners.
The goals and objectives that came out of this exercise can be found on the IRF Web Site.

8 The 4th Annual World Seniors Doubles Championships were held in Vancouver, British Colombia. Over 130 competed and it was a great success. We are currently negotiating with Ireland to hold the 2010 edition of the World Doubles. Look for more information as it becomes available.

9 The WSRC which is one of the longest running year to year International Racquetball Competitions will once again be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The entire event has been restructured and the committee is most excited about this years Worlds.
To date 12 countries are sending competitors. We expect up to 20 to compete.
The WSRC are World Racquetball Championships under the umbrella of the IRF. The WRSC is open to all racquetball players worldwide.

10 The IRF World Juniors are on schedule for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for this December.. For all information please go to the IRF Website.

11 The 2010 IRF World Championships are shaping up nicely for Seoul, Korea. The all Glass Portable Court used at the World Games this year will be featured as the championship court located in a nearby shopping center with 7 other portable Glass Back Wall courts installed in a Exhibition Hall nearby. The courts will be used to promote Racquetball throughout Asia after the Championships.

12 The Korean Racquetball Federation has been recognized by the Korean Olympic Committee which is a big step towards having Racquetball included in the Asian Games.

13 The IRF will make a decision on how to upgrade its web site to make it interactive and user friendly at its Ex Committee meeting to be held in conjunction with the Junior Worlds in the Dominican Republic this December.

14 The IRF with the support of the IOC, PASO, and ARISF will embark on a major level 3 certification of its coaches and officials through its IPRO coaching and certification arm. IPRO is recognized by the IOC, PASO, and ACODEPA for coaching and official certification.

15 The IRF will continue its out of competition testing using the Regional Games to test its athletes under the World Antidoping Association.( WADA )

16 The World Senior Doubles Racquetball Tournament has been awarded to Kingscourt, Ireland, the home of the 2008 World Championships.

17 The IRF is working on a plan to Web Stream all of its major events. The first event will be the Bolivarian Games this November.

18 The IRF will be hosting a International Racquetball Federation Reception Wednesday evening as part of the U S Open. This is the 10 year that the IRF has hosted this reception.

19 IRF President Dr. Keith Calkins will be meeting with the Government of Catalonia regarding the building of a new Court Facility . Catalonia is a province of Spain. When this happens it will be the first new courts built in Europe since Ireland.

Please feel free to contact us at anytime regarding any of these developments at lstonge@internationalracquetball.com

Regards,

Luke St Onge

Sec General—IRF-PARC

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Paris Racquetball, tout pour le Racquetball !

Message from the French Racquetball Association

We are a non-profit association; our only goal is to contribute to the developement of Racquetball.

We help you, free of charge, to discover our sport and help finding playing partners, we lend material and answer all questions related to Racquelball.

If you wish to know more, do join us to our "Saturday discovery" clinics or our friendly tournaments or other activities we organize regularly at the Nanterre Forest-Hill.

Learn more about Racquetball, the american game that takes 2, 3 or 4 players. Dynamic and easy to learn, it is perfect for beginners, children as well as adults men and women.

Contact us at Paris-Racquetball for any question or suggestion.




Paris Racquetball
C/O Forest-Hill City Form
85, avenue Fran├žois Arago
92000 Nanterre

http://www.paris-racquetball.org

Friday, October 9, 2009

Racquetball on Game Party III


Warner Bros. Interactive has announced the release of Game Party 3, which hits stores across North America today. The game is the third installment of a series that has sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Game Party 3 includes 19 mini-games, 8 of which are brand new. Some of the newcomers include Mini Golf, Billards, Racquetball and even a remake of Root Beer Tapper.

Game Party 3 releases today for $29.99.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Racquetball Circles

Racquetball is the fastest indoor sport in the world. The benefits and entertainment provided by the game are well known by its players and fans. However in order to grow the sport again and bring back the coolness of this former famous activity from the 80’s, a lot still needs to be done. Racquetball is still a closed circle that a lot of regular people do not have access to it. In addition is also a circle that is hard to break in even for the ones who know that exists. For the people inside the circle is also hard to see what is going on outside or what is going on in other circles around the world. The circles need to be broken and the different groups need to communicate with each other and work as a team in order to find the best ways to help grow the sport.
The biggest cluster of circles is perhaps the United States. The sport is played by about 5,000,000 people and only about 15,000 of them are regular competitors in tournaments. By looking at the numbers mentioned above, it is already noticeable that most of the players for some unknown reason, do not play tournaments or compete at all. For sure lack of tournaments and accessibility to them is not an issue. There are several tournaments all over the country year around. It is definitely not good for the sport that the leading country for the game does not have the majority or not even a quarter of their players competing. In order for the sport to grow again the first thing that needs to be fixed are those ratios. More people need to play tournaments in all divisions. Tournaments and events like the US open, for example, are crucial for the exposure of the sport. The tournaments bring sponsors, TV time, photos, videos and newspaper articles that bring info about this tremendous sport worldwide.
The unknown reasons are difficult to point it out since people have different preferences and priorities when it comes to sports and hobbies. However one simple theory might be the answer why most of the people do not participate. Most of the people do not know that racquetball associations even exist. The only people that know are the people already inside. Therefore it is important for us to do whatever it takes to break these circles and let the info leak out to all players nationwide. It is also important for us to work hard and let the benefits, entertainment information and success stories, also spread out to non racquetball players. If an average person finds out about racquetball and have someone to show them the basics or have someone to help them get started, they will play the sport with frequency.
It is up to the players to spread the word and help the people around them. 15,000 out of 5,000,000 is not a good number however 15,000 people nationwide wearing racquetball shirts, taking pictures of events, putting videos on you tube, discussing tournaments with family and co-workers, blogging, helping random people at the gym with the basics, is a very good number. Now imagine the same effect worldwide. In Paris, for example, there is a gentleman that works really hard to promote the sport in his part of the world. He was able to convince the club to build 4 courts and he already has about 50 people playing regularly at the club. He already runs a very successful tournament once a year that brings players from all over the world. He even run tournaments just for beginners so people don’t feel left out or discouraged to continue playing. That is the real racquetball spirit and good example of a complete open circle. Of course there are a lot of people around the world, and mostly in the USA, that do as much as the gentleman in France, however we need more people like them.
We need more people to help promote our sport not only here but worldwide. Racquetball will sell itself if more info is available around the world. If nobody does anything and the circles continue to be closed our sport will die slowly in the near future.

Bishop Carmody goes for 7 in a row tonight

By Mike Baird

Church and state unite to fight diabetes to raise awareness and funds

CORPUS CHRISTI — Bishop Edmond Carmody will face Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi on the racquetball court at 6 p.m. Thursday at Omni Bayfront Racquetball Court to raise awareness for diabetes.

Church and State Unite to Fight Diabetes tickets are $5 and will benefit American Diabetes Association to help the more than 40,000 people in Nueces County living with the disease.

The 75-year-old religious leader is undefeated in the past six annual contests, having bested a former sheriff, mayor, police chief and city councilman among others.

Hunter has said he has never played racquetball, but insiders say he is a formidable tennis player with hand-eye coordination. He has Type 2 diabetes and works to control it with diet and exercise, yet said he expects to join the ranks of the Bishop’s previously defeated opponents.

Carmody, who plays to win and is well known for his skill on the court, has used the competition for his charge to decrease the impact of diabetes on the community.

“The important thing is getting people with diabetes to be aware of the need to take care of themselves,” Carmody said in August. “We’re trying to sensitize people to the danger of diabetes, so we can be more successful in eradicating it.”

In 2008, Carmody thwarted then-City Councilman Mike Hummell so severely in the first two games that a third match wasn’t needed. The year before Carmody had former Police Chief Bryan Smith pleading for mercy, beating him in the first game 15-0. Other victims include Jesse Garcia with Citgo Refinery, former Sheriff Larry Olivarez, former Mayor Henry Garrett and JJ Gottsch, president of Corpus Christi Hooks.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

LA Fitness Coconut Creek Florida USA is a Hot Spot


For those of you that enjoy a good game of racquetball and enjoy great scenery, you should definitely check out the La Fitness facility in Coconut Creek Florida. The level of players is great with several Open, Elite and A players playing 3 to 5 times a week in different times. So you can definitely find the crowd that fits your schedule. The C/D and A/B leagues are also available on Mondays and Thursdays from 6pm to 8 pm with good players in all levels. There is also a crowd of new players that are very enthusiastic about the game and are always looking for new partners. So regardless if you are a beginner, mid level or a more advanced player, you will find a good challenge game at La Fitness Coconut Creek. If you are not a member, a guest pass will cost $ 15 dollars for one day or $ 80 dollars for one week. The membership fees are about $ 35 dollars per month and are good state wide.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ERF/ERT Rankings updated


The European Racquetball Rankings have been updated and so far do not show any major changes at the top: Germany's Yvonne Kortes remains No. 1 in the ladies rankings while Timothy Hardison (USA) shares the No. 1 spot in the Mens with Trevor Meyer (Germany). The next event on the European Racquetball Tour will be the Dutch Open in Schinnen, The Netherlands. Check http://www.racquetball.nl/ for further information on this event.


Open Singles

http://www.european-racquetball.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=49

Seniors and Masters

http://www.european-racquetball.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72&Itemid=51

Dutch Open 2009 in The Netherlands



Next on the European Racquetball Tour (ERT) are the 2009 Dutch Open that will be held October 23-25 in Schinnen, The Netherlands. Entry for one of Europe's oldest racquetball tournaments will be accepted until October 13th.

Since the event will be held on a US military base, some requirements have to be fulfilled by all participants. Please check the Dutch website http://www.racquetball.nl/ for further information.