Total Pageviews


Search This Blog

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lewis tourney draws top pros in South Dakota

Jack Huczek and Rocky Carson have gone from upstart phenoms in the world of racquetball to seasoned professionals.

Glimpses of their rise have been seen on a nearly annual basis in Sioux Falls, where both will compete in the 32nd annual Lewis Drug Pro-Am tournament today through Sunday at the downtown YMCA.

Carson, 30, is a southern California native who played in his first Lewis event nine years ago. Huczek, 27, a Michigan native now living in Texas, made his Lewis debut eight years ago.

Rivals one minute and doubles partners the next, both players have held the International Racquetball Tour No. 1 ranking at times in their careers.

They have carved out separate legacies side-by-side within the racquetball world. This weekend's event is the latest chapter in a very long book.
"We've played a lot of matches against each other - I really couldn't guess how many," Huczek said. "And we've had a lot of tough matches. We're similar in age - both of us would still be considered young guys, I hope - and we both play with a lot of charisma and passion. I think it's a joy to watch. We both leave it all on the court."

Seven of the top 31 IRT players are competing in doubles and singles at the Lewis tournament. Shane Vanderson, Ben Croft and Andy Hawthorne join Huczek and Carson in the top 10.

Though singles battles between Huczek and Carson have been contentious at times over the years, the rivals maintain a doubles partnership both at the Lewis and on the tour.
They're the reigning national champions as doubles players and have annually used the Lewis as a tuneup for that event.

"He's a great guy to play because he's honest - he doesn't try to take anything he doesn't earn," Carson said of Huczek. "He doesn't say much out there, but when he does it usually puts a smile on my face."
It's common in racquetball for singles competitors to be involved in a heated match against each other one minute and pals the next in a doubles match. But it doesn't automatically work out.

"We're both professionals," Huczek said. "We've been able to leave what happens in singles on the court. We're pretty good at switching gears and taking care of a doubles match."

It has been an annual joke among people close to the tournament that the temperature drops the minute Carson, who has lived in southern California his whole life, gets off the plane in Sioux Falls.
This year, with high temperatures in the teens expected, nothing has changed.

"The people are the reason I come back here," Carson said. "I have real problems with the weather, otherwise I'd probably come back more often. It's refreshing, though, to be around all the good people out here when you're someone from California."
Huczek, who has finished first or second in every tournament he's entered this season, will come in as the favorite - a status he's held coming into the event for all but the first year he entered.

"The event has great sponsors in people like (Lewis Drug president) Mark Griffin and (Howalt-McDowell president) Jeff Scherschligt," Huczek said. "I've developed a fan base in South Dakota by coming back every year, and the tournament people have become my friends."


Racquetball News from MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, California

Staff Sgt. Nelson Leandry (left), warehouse clerk, 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion, awaits a serve from his opponent during the 2010 USAA Pendleton Cup Racquetball Tournament held at the Paige Fieldhouse, Jan. 27

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — More than 30 competitors from units on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton participated in the 2010 USAA Pendleton Cup Racquetball Tournament at the Paige Fieldhouse, Jan. 27.
The event was organized by the Marine Corps Community Services Athletic Department and it was only aimed at Marines and sailors stationed on Camp Pendleton.

“The tournament contributes to our military community by bringing out the best athletes in racquetball,” said Eddie Bolanos, Paige Fieldhouse sports coordinator. “It brings out the thrill of being the last one standing after a grueling cardio-vascular workout.”

After many hours of intense competition, the elimination process brought participants to their last game.

“This tournament has put together a lot of skilled people,” said Pfc. Peter Ninnemann, data network specialist, Combat Logistics Regiment 15. “Competition got harder and harder as we progressed with the matches.”

Marines and sailors were able to take advantage of this tournament in many ways, said Bolanos. Racquetball works on your hand and eye coordination, your physical fitness stamina and, most importantly, it builds on teamwork and esprit de corps to represent your unit, he added.

The results for the men’s open division were Gunnery Sgt. Rod Sharrar from 1st Supply Battalion in first place, Staff Sgt. Nelson Leandry from 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion in second place, and Gunnery Sgt. Derek Cooper from Marine Aircraft Group 39 in third place.

The results for the women’s open division were Pfc. Rebecca Paul from Combat Logistics Regiment 15 in first place, Cpl. Mary Walters from 9th Communication Battalion in second place, and Cpl. Ashley Gilbert from 9th Communication Battalion in third place.

For more information about upcoming tournaments, contact the Camp Pendleton Paige Fieldhouse’s sport coordinator Eddie Bolanos at (760) 763-5519.

All participants must be active-duty military.

1/29/2010 By Sgt. Alvaro Aro, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2010 Pan-Am Championship

The 2010 Pan-Am Championships will be held on March 25-April 3 in Honduras. The Pan-Am Championships, formerly know as the Tournament of the Americas, were established in 1986. The purpose of the Pan-Am Championships is to determine the strongest team from among countries in the northern, central and southern American continents, as well as provide competitive opportunities for developing teams. Individual titlists are also named in singles and doubles. Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals, plus an overall “Americas Cup” and a Friendship Cup are awarded.
For more information, please visit the International Racquetball Federation’s official web site at

2010 World Racquetball Championships Awarded to Korea

The International Racquetball Federation (IRF) awarded the 2010 World Championships to Korea where the games will be held August 13-21. Seven new glass back wall courts will be built for the August event. An all-glass portable court will also be used for the championships.
The World Racquetball Championships, organized by the IRF, were first held in 1981. The second World Championships were held in 1984, and have been held every two years since.

One Year of Firsts: Play Racquetball

It is not how big you are, it's how big you play. ~Author Unknown

All I know is every Saturday my husband disappears for four hours, comes home exhausted, happy, complaining of injuries, bad calls, heroic victories and soul sucking defeats. .

Still, when I asked Phil to teach me to play today he was reluctant. He tried to pawn me off on some pro. NO. I wanted to experience Phil's view of Racquetball. So here we go...

It took a little bit before I started to get the feel of it. I thought it was "action packed" until I saw the video.

It felt great! Bam Bam Bam. Hitting the ball against the wall. Man, take this and that. Wham. No wonder Phil likes this. I can see where this would be great therapy on those day when you just feel like you're beating your head against the wall, but you can whack this ball around a court with power.

You know I'm surprised. I liked it. And I now I get Phil's Racquetball addiction. I don't think I would have tried it if I wasn't doing "firsts".

I always said I didn't want to play because I was afraid I'd get hit in the face. And I was happily slapped in the face again today by the reality it feels good and fresh to step outside your comfort zone and take a good swing at something.

article by LU ANN CAHN- universal NBC

News from Petaluma-California "Junior racquetball starts soon at PVAC"

The next session of junior racquetball begins at the Petaluma Valley Athletic Club on Feb. 6.

The class meets every Saturday until June 12. Beginners play from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by intermediate and advanced players from noon until 2 p.m.

Students are taught the rules of the game, safety and good sportsmanship.

Each week, a different aspect of the game is taught, followed by supervised playing.

The class instructors are Advanced AMPRO-cetified and Ektlon-sponsored Brian Dixon and AMPRO-certified and E-Forced-sponsored Orlando Mayo.

Class cost is $20 for PVAC members and $25 for non-members for the entire season.

Sign-ups may be made at the Petaluma Valley Athletic Club, 85 Old Corona Road.

For more information, visit the Web site at, phone Dixon at 766-9105 or contact him by e-mail at

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tips on Blisters from Racquetball

For a racquetball player is very common to have blisters. The constant movement of your feet around the court, stop and going will cause a lot of friction. Blisters come from friction. Friction, the rubbing of skin against shoe, makes upper skin layers slide over lower skin layers. A cleft forms, and fluid pours into it. Heat and moisture are partners in-crime with friction.
Wet skin is easier to tear and form blisters, so wicking away sweat and keeping your feet dry are another key to preventing blisters. Use cornstarch in your socks or even use antiperspirant on your feet to keep them dry. But your socks are the real key. They must be of wicking fabric, not cotton, in order to get the moisture away from your skin.
You can minimize moisture by wearing thick, acrylic socks. You can find them in sporting-goods stores. Acrylic wicks moisture away from the skin. In a racquetball match would be a good idea to dry your feet and change your socks once the match is over or let your feet dry out on sandals. If you start every match with dry feet and dry acrylic socks, most likely you will not have blisters during the tournament of practices.
Padding provides protection against blisters. You have to be sure your shoe will accommodate the padding. It would be a good idea to get a cushioned racquetball shoe with breathable mesh. Allow for at least half an inch between the end of your big toe and the front of the shoe so you have some room since your toes do need room to expand into as your feet swells during a racquetball match.
If an area is already developing a hot spot or blister, or you know it is an area that will, then covering it with a blister pad is the best way to go.
For a blister that has formed, you can puncture it with a sterile needle to release the fluid, but leave the blister roof in place. It makes a good cover for the raw skin beneath it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Amazing Facts About Cliff Swain

Cliff Swain is the winningest player in professional racquetball history. He began playing the pro tour - International Racquetball Tour (IRT) - in the 1980s and continued doing so into the 2000s. Known for his great drive serve and on court intensity, the left-handed Swain was a dominant player in the 1990s finishing as the #1 IRT player in 5 seasons during that decade. Swain retired from the IRT following the 2006-07 season[2], but did play some tournaments in the 2008-09 IRT season. He also played on the Classic Pro Racquetball Tour (CPRT) for former pro players over 40 in the 2008-09 season. Swain was inducted into the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Cliff Swain was born on March 21, 1966 in San Jose, California and was raised in Braintree, Massachusetts. Swain was introduced to racquetball by his father, Robert "Red" Swain, a competitive handball player when Cliff was 13 years old [3]. Swain was a naturally talented and quickly picked up the game, soon winning Massachusetts State and New England Regional Junior Racquetball Championships. In 1983 Cliff Swain won the US Junior National 16 and Under Racquetball Championship. In 1984 Swain won the Orange Bowl World 18 and Under Junior Racquetball Championship. Swain played on the racquetball team at Providence College in 1984 before turning professional.

Swain's 71 IRT tournament wins is more than any other IRT player (Marty Hogan is second with 60), and he has also played more tournaments 265 than any other player (second is Ruben Gonzalez at 200)[1]. Swain's career highlights are his two US Open Racquetball Championships in 1997 and 2001.[4] Swain was the season end #1 IRT player 6 times: 1990, 1993-95, 1998 and 2002.[1]

Swain won his first professional racquetball title in 1985 at the Tulsa Open in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Swain went on to win the 1985 Ektelon National Championship in his first season on tour, consecutively beating racquetball legends, Marty Hogan, Dave Peck and Greg Peck. Swain was named the Professional Racquetball Rookie of the Year in 1985. Cliff remained one of the top ten professional players from 1985 to 1989. In 1990 Swain finished the year as the number one ranked player in the world for the first time. Swain would go on to finish number one five more times in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998 and 2002. Swain won over eighty tournaments in his pro career including the 1997 and 2001 US Open Racquetball Championships.

In 2003, Swain was inducted in to the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame.[5] In 2004 and 2005 Cliff played the Legends Racquetball Tour winning the Legends 35+ National Championship both years. Cliff Swain teamed with fellow racquetball legend, Marty Hogan to win the 2004 and 2005 Legends National Doubles Championships. In 2008 Cliff Swain teamed with Woody Clouse to win the 40+ USA Racquetball National Doubles Championship.

Swain would likely have won more racquetball tournaments, but in 1990 at the age of 24, he left racquetball to pursue a tennis career at the encouragement[3] of Ion Tiriac, one time coach of Boris Becker. That pursuit lasted two years and although Swain had some success, it was not nearly at the level he had experienced in racquetball.

Amazing Facts About Marty Hogan

Marty Hogan (born January 22, 1958 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a former American racquetball player who won more than 100 international or national titles and six U.S. national championships during his 14-year career. Hogan was ranked either number one or number two in the world from 1976 to 1990.

He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was taught to play racquetball by his mother, Goldie. In 1975, Hogan won the United States Racquetball Association Junior Racquetball Championship. While still a teenager, Hogan relocated to San Diego, California, in order to pursue professional racquetball. He eventually attended San Diego State University.

Hogan is credited with revolutionizing the game of racquetball, with a serve that drove the ball as fast as 142 miles per hour.[1] He won the U.S. indoor professional racquetball national championship on five consecutive occasions, between 1978 and 1982, and won again in 1986. In 1979, Hogan also won the national outdoor (three-wall) championships

Hogan turned professional and won his his first professional racquetball title in Burlington, Vermont, in 1975. He went on to become the first millionaire in the history of racquetball. Hogan was so dominant that he lost only four matches in three years during his prime. He lost only one match in 1977, two matches in 1978, and one match in 1979. Hogan's greatest season was 1979; not only did he win the Pro Racquetball Nationals, but he also won the Outdoor Racquetball Nationals and the Paddleball Nationals.

Hogan is the only player in the history of the sport to win all three titles in one year. He also won a second Paddleball National Championship in 1987.[1] Hogan captured his final national racquetball championship in 1989, retiring the following year.

He returned briefly and won his last professional racquetball title in 1991, 16 years after he won his first professional tournament. After retiring from the professional game, Hogan competed in a handful of national amateur events. He won three USRA National Doubles Championships, 1994 25+ with Jeff Conine, 1996 35+ with Steve Trent and 2001 40+ with Dave Peck. Hogan won the US Open 35+ Singles Championship in 1996.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Irish National Singles Video

Click the link below to watch a clip of the Irish National Finals on women's and men's. The tournament took place at the beautiful city of Kingscourt. The city hosted the World Championships in 2008.

Proper Hydration Tips for Racquetball

Proper hydration is crucial to a successful performance. Water loss through sweat during matches is extreme and a dehydrated competitor will feel very hot, move sluggishly, and may experience headaches. Here are some general tips to make sure that you're hydrated before you compete, avoid dehydration while you play, and get rehydrated afterwards.

Before: - Thirst is not a good indicator of hydration; if you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated - Carry a water bottle and continue to drink water throughout your travel to a tournament even if it means frequent bathroom breaks - Concentrate on increasing your water consumption no later than 24 hours before your match

During: - Drink cool water, not warm or cold (ice) water, as they can cause cramping - Drink during every break/timeout even if it’s just a sip or two - Don’t guzzle; it’ll make you feel bloated and you might cramp

After: - Begin drinking as soon as possible after your match - Aim to replenish the amount of water lost through sweat within a few hours.

by Dr.Timothy Baghurst, PhD

Irish player Edel Coonan makes quite a racquet in the big sporting world

A YOUNG Kilkenny girl has been tipped for big things after representing her country at a major sporting event.
The racquetball world is wide open for Edel Coonan, who made history by becoming the first Kilkenny person to play for Ireland at the World Junior Racquetball Championships. The 12-year-old, who hails from Muckalee but plays for the O'Loughlin Gaels
ADVERTISEMENTracquetball club, was part of a 17-strong Irish team who travelled to the Dominican Republic for the world games recently, taking on players from other countries such as Argentina, Canada, USA, Chile and Mexico.
Competing in the 12 and under category, Coonan made a great start when she beat Mery Nanyely Delgado from the Dominican Republic in her first game in the gold section of the competition. Although she was beaten by the eventual finalist, Bolivia's Natalia Mendez, she got another taste of international competition by playing against American Lexie York in another section of the tournament.
While victory may have evaded her on this occasion, one of Coonan's mentors is convinced that the experience she has gained will stand to her in the future.
Magnificent achievement
"This was a magnificent achievement for Edel," said John Comerford, secretary of the O'Loughlin Gaels racquetball club. "She was the first Kilkenny person to represent Ireland at junior level, and we are all so proud of her."
With Comerford in regular contact, her clubmates were able to get constant updates on Coonan's fortunes in the Caribbean.
"Edel found that the heat was tough going," Comerford recalled. "She was also a bit nervous playing out there but that was natural, given that the players were surrounded by other courts and plenty of spectators. Being on a world stage like that was new to her, but she enjoyed it all the same."
Ireland did well in the competition, finished fifth overall from 19 countries, but Comerford believes their success is like that of another team closer to home.
"Just like the hurling here in Kilkenny the youth programme in racquetball has paid off," he said. "Developing players at an early age has Kilkenny hurling where it is, and the same can be said in racquetball. The national organisation hired American coach Jim Winterton - who predicted big things for Edel - to take charge of the Irish team for a season and his work has filtered down through the ranks."
Although not yet a teenager Edel has plenty of experience playing racquetball, having played the sport for best part of five years.
"Edel began playing at the complex in Muckalee, but as they are not an affiliated club she joined O'Loughlin's to play in national competitions," explained John. "She has won All-Ireland singles titles at 10, 11 and 12 age levels, while she has also won the Irish Open title a number of times."
And Comerford is confident that Edel will pick up more titles as the years go on.
Blazed a trail
"She has blazed a trail through the sport and will continue to do so," he predicted. "She has earned her successes through hard work, while having a very supportive family behind her has also been a huge help."
Next up for the Kilkenny youngster is Moylagh Open in Meath. Edel will also be able to play in that event at adult level, with Comerford hoping she'll play the sport until she is an adult herself.
"The trick to playing the sport for a long time is to keep at it," he said. "So many sports are fighting for the attentions of young people so we're hoping Edel will stick with racquetball."
The sport itself has attracted many people in Kilkenny over the years, and has come a long way since its early days in the county.
"I was in my 30s the first time I played racquetball," John recalled. "We used to play it in a hall at the back of the Club House Hotel, in what went on to be the Euro Gym on New Street."
And the sport wasn't just popular with racquetball players.
"One of the best racquetball players I ever saw was the former Kilkenny hurling goalkeeper and manager Ollie Walsh," Comerford added. "He was one of many hurlers who loved to play the game as it is great for their hand-eye co-ordination. Even now we get plenty of them playing the sport during the Winter months in handball alleys in places like Clogh and Mothel. There is a huge following for racquetball during those months, as people can just go in and play away whatever the weather."
Plenty of success
And success has been plentiful in Kilkenny, with the O'Loughlin's club lifting some silverware of their own lately.
"A team from O'Loughlin Gaels won the All-Ireland novice club championships recently," said a proud Comerford. "Eight teams from places like Fermoy, Templederry and Carrick came to Kilkenny for the competition. We made the final, where we beat Youghal to win the title."
That team included Clogh native John Paul O'Neill, who has played squash for Ireland at the World Transplant Games. O'Neill, who underwent a kidney transplant in 1998, has competed at four Transplant Games including the 2009 competition, where he won a silver medal for squash in Australia to follow on from the gold he won in France in 2003.
And even though it was a different sport, a meeting with an 'old enemy' couldn't go without a black and amber reference.
"Before the final we sang The Rose of Mooncoin, and welcomed the Cork lads to the home of hurling," Comerford laughed. "I don't think it went down too well!"
While Kilkenny has had much success in the past Comerford - who also represented Ireland at racquetball in the Senior Olympics and has played the sport from Antwerp to Las Vegas - is looking forward to the silver anniversary of the Kilkenny Open, which will be 25 years young this May.
"I can't believe we are going to reach this landmark," he said. "It promises to be a great competition."

By Trevor Spillane
Kilkenny People

An Oregon City girl and her partner prove themselves Number One at the Jr. World Racquetball Championships

OREGON CITY – Seventeen-year-old Amanda Lindsay of Oregon City has had a lot of success in racquetball since she first took up the sport at eight years of age.

The Oregon City High School senior was a part of mixed doubles teams that won USA Racquetball Junior National titles in 2006 and 2008, and last year she teamed up with Jessica Munoz of Bellingham, Wash. to win a national title in 16-and-under girls doubles.

Lindsay will be going for her third straight Oregon high school singles title later this month. She was state high school champion in mixed doubles in 2009; and she was national high school runner-up in mixed doubles and in girls singles a year ago.

Lindsay and Munoz competed for their first international hardware last December when they traveled to Santo Domingo with Team USA for the Junior Racquetball World Championships. And Lindsay says she was a bundle of nerves when she and her partner first took to the court in a pool-play match with the favored team from Bolivia.

But she and her partner would later upset both Mexico and Bolivia in championship bracket play to claim the world title.

“I was so nervous [in our pool play match with Bolivia],” said Lindsay. “They kept hitting the ball to me, and I couldn’t do anything.”

Lindsay and Munoz lost the pool-play match to the Bolivian team through a tiebreaker. But it was a different story three matches later, when they met the same Bolivian team in the championship final.

Lindsay and Munoz buried the Bolivians in the first game, winning 15-5. And they followed that game up with a 15-13 win to claim the 16-and-under world title.

“In the finals, [the Bolivians] kept hitting it to me, and we were on fire,” said Lindsay. “We were ready to go. We were underdogs and we really wanted to prove ourselves….

“It took [the Bolivians] a game before they figured out that I could play and they stopped hitting it to me all the time.”

The road to the Junior World title also included wins over teams from Canada, Ecuador and Mexico.

“They were definitely underdogs,” said Lindsay’s mom, Susan Griffith. “I think they were ranked fourth. I know they were definitely not supposed to beat Mexico or Bolivia.”

By John Denny
The Clackamas Review

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

News from University of Florida-Gator Racquetball Orange and Blue Shootout was a Success

The Orange and Blue Shootout was once again a success! With over ninety participants, and five colleges attending, there were plenty of good matches throughout the weekend. The tournament is held annually to support the University of Florida racquetball club travel to Intercollegiates, which is being held at the campus of Southwest Missouri State University. Brad Knudsen, Michael Knudsen, Brad Turetzky, Xavier Pereira, and the entire UF racquetball club would like to thank everyone who came out to support the club and making the tournament one to remember! We look forward to seeing everyone again at next year’s Orange and Blue Shootout!

article by Brad Knudsen-University of Florida Racquetball Team
If you would like more information on the UF Racquetball program/schedule or would like to make a donation to support the team, please contact Brad at

Saturday, January 16, 2010

80 Year Old Racquetball Player

Watch a clip of this incredible 80 year old racquetball player. Mr Burnette Hansen plays racquetball at L.A. Fitness Chula Vista,CA. He amazes everyone for staying in such a good shape, quickness and sharp shots beating young players. He deceives the enemy by playing the "old man" role.

The Racquetball Single Men Final match @ The World Games 2009 Rocky Carson v.s. Jacky Huczek

This racquetball clip took place in Kaohsiung (TPE) at the World Games 2009 and it was the final match for the gold medal in men's singles. The final was between Jack Huczek(USA) and Rocky Carson (USA). It was the first time that racquetball was played at the world games and it was a tremendous opportunity to let more people in Asia know about this fantastic sport. The event was a tremendous success and the scenario with the all glass portable court could not be better. The 8 best racquetball players in the world in men's and women's participated at the World Games and played their hardest and really showed the world what racquetball is really about.

Racquetball News from Korea

When does the love for the sport end as a racquetball player? Many players who are injured or have been told that racquetball can damage them further if they continue to play, still can’t stop playing because their love for the sport. Mr. Oh Young Tek is a Korean racquetball player who was first diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and fought hard for many years before passing away in December of 2008, leaving behind a wife and son.

Throughout his battle with cancer he continued to play and work hard for the development of the sport, and had expressed a desire to have a tournament bear his name. His wife and the Gum Cheon Racquetball Club hosted a memorial mixed doubles tournament in November 2009, which brought over 100 players together and reminded them all that they should work diligently for the development of racquetball. He will be forever missed by all Korean racquetball players

Item submitted by Yuni Cobb.

Racquetball Tournament coming up in Ireland

The 15th Moylagh Open 2010 will be held on 6th and 7th of February in the Moylagh Community Center and two other venues if needed. Though not (yet) a satelite event of the European Racquetball Tour, the Moylagh Open are another traditional event on the green island that promises fun, hospitality and great sportmanship. Further information is available in the entry form below or via Elma Gibney at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Lavely from Ohio wins at JuniorWorld Racquetball Championships

Falls resident Abbey Lavely, right, and partner Kelani Bailey show off their medals after winning the gold in the Girls 14 Doubles division at the Junior World Racquetball Championsships Dec. 20 in the Dominican Republic.

Abbey Lavely, a freshman at Woodridge High School, was crowned World Champion on Dec. 20 at the Junior World Racquetball Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Lavely earned top honors for the Girls 14 Doubles competition along with her partner, Kelani Bailey of Chesapeake, Va. Their win also helped power the Team USA to victory in the girls and overall team titles.

The USA Boys Team also achieved team victory as well Nineteen countries, mainly from North, Central and South America, competed in this year's world championships.

Lavely and Bailey swept through the early qualifying rounds by dominating teams from Guatemala (15-2, 15-4) and Ireland (15-5, 15-4). This earned the girls the top seed in the regular draw for the World Championship title and a first-round bye.

The girls cruised through the quarterfinals, beating Argentina 15-3, 15-1. Next on the agenda was Canada, who proved no match for the Americans --15-4, 15-5 was the final score.

This put the girls into the finals against Bolivia, who beat Mexico to make it to the final round in a close match. Knowing how strong the Bolivian and Mexican teams were, Lavely and Bailey geared up for the final and clinched victory 15-7, 15-10. They were the only team to win every match with in 2 straight games.

Bailey, the No. 1 ranked USA player among 14-year-old girls, played well on her singles competition but was ousted in the semi-finals against Lucia Gonzalez of Mexico. Lavely is the No. 4 ranked US player in this division but did not qualify to play in the singles.

Lavely trains at LifeCenter Plus in Hudson, where she is coached by brother Dan Lavely. She is also a member of the Woodridge girls soccer team. She plans to take a break from racquetball training to concentrate on indoor soccer this winter, but then will resume training for the Junior Nationals competition this summer. She remains in the Girls 14 division in 2010 while Bailey moves up to 16's.

article by

Highpoint PA holds racquetball tourney

Participants competing in the PA Racquetball Associations' (PRA) Southeastern Pennsylvania Juniors holiday round-robin tournament had an evening of friendly competition, food and fun. The tournament was held on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at Philadelphia Sports Clubs at Highpoint in Chalfont. Finishing in first place was Daniel Yahr. Second place went to Ryan Barrett. Many of the participants are active in the PRA juniors racquetball development program, currently hosted at Highpoint. All area boys and girls, ages 10-16, are invited to register for the program. New sessions run every eight weeks. The next session begins Jan. 12. Information on the program can be found by contacting Linda at (215) 822-2303 or by visiting the state web site at Pictured front row (from left to right): Nicholas Rosidivito, Ryan Barrett, Daniel Yahr, Jordan Yahr. Back row (L to R): Ciera King, Tyler Williams, Noah Cweiber, Kyle Barrett, Sean Clinton and PRA Juniors' Coach Daryl Rosidivito.

article by the Reporter

Dittrich to be inducted into MN state’s racquetball HOF

For nearly 30 years, Eagle Lake native Mike Dittrich has been a dominant racquetball player in Mankato. He has not only been the best player in town for more than two decades, but he has served the sport as a board member for the Minnesota Racquetball Association for more than 20 years.

Dittrich’s accomplishments and contributions have not gone unnoticed. On Saturday, Jan. 16, Dittrich will be officially inducted into the MRA Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies will take place in conjunction with the annual Hall of Fame banquet and tournament at Central Courts in Columbia Heights.

“They’ve been inducting one or two people a year, and I guess they got deep enough on the list to finally pick me,” the modest Dittrich said this week. “It’s something to be proud of. I guess it means I’ve been hanging around for awhile.”

Dittrich, 49, started playing in 1979 at the age of 18. He needed a sport to take up out of high school and his father, Les, was already an accomplished player, so it was a natural transition. Within three to four years, Mike became one of the top players in town.

He continued to get better and has proven himself one of the top players in the state since the mid 1980s. He and partner Greg Hayenga of St. Cloud have won more than 20 state doubles titles together.

Dittrich has also won a couple of state singles titles and has reached the state semifinals in his age group too many times to remember.

“I usually lose to (Hayenga) in singles,” Dittrich said. “I always kid him that I’m more tired than he is because he makes me play the left side in doubles and that’s more work.”

The Mankato East graduate has also played in some national tournaments and held his own, often reaching the quarterfinal round before getting eliminated.

“Nationals is a whole different animal,” he said. “Lots of times you run into an ex-pro who’s still pretty darn good.”

Mike said the neatest thing about going into the Hall of Fame is that he will be joining his father there. Les Dittrich was inducted about 15 years ago.

“As far as I know there’s only one other father-son combination in the Hall,” Mike said. “That’s a pretty unique honor. I owe him a lot; he’s the one that got me started.”

Mike and Les always have been close, physically active and competitive. Ten years ago they embarked on an extended bike ride together, traveling from Eagle Lake to Washington D.C. to raise money to fight cancer. They covered 1,756 miles in 17 days before flying back home.

Mike’s immediate goal is win back the Mankato singles title he lost to Scott Schaffer last year. Dittrich had a string of more than 20 straight city singles titles broken by Schaffer, and he’d like the championship back.

“It’s not a disgrace to lose to Scott; he’s a very good player,” Dittrich said. “I’d just like another shot at him this year.”

article by Jim Rueda Free Press sports editor

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2009 MN State Doubles Game 1

Great doubles match from MN. This is the first game of the 2009 MN State Doubles Final between John Goth/Aaron Granberg and Jim Frautschi/Jason Jansen

Racquetball French Open 2009

Match from 2009 French Open between Mauro (Bra) and Phillipe (Fra)

USA is the World Junior Champion

The IRF 21st World Junior Racquetball Championships concluded as nearly 250 of the best junor racquetball players from across the world gathered to compete for individual and team medals. The event kicked-off with an opening ceremony that represented 16 countries and symbolizes the tradition of international competition. The event was held at the Centro Olimpico Juan Pablo Duarte in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Junior Team USA won the boy's and girl's overall team competiton to capture the team title. Team USA won the overall team title in 2008 and repeats as the champion for 2009.
Team USA's Jose Rojas was crowned the winner of the Boy's 18 and under singles division as he would defeat Mexico's Alejandro Cardona in the finals, 15-7, 15-10. Rojas would also add another gold medal to his resume by winning the Boy's 18 and under doubles with partner Jose Serrano as they narrowly defeated Team Ecuador in the finals, 15-3, 15-8.
Team USA's Aubrey O'Brien did not drop a game on her way to the finals as she defeated Mexico's Sofia Rascon, 15-11, 15-4 to capture the gold medal in the Girl's 16 and under singles. O'Brien would also win another gold medal by winning the Girl's 18 and under doubles with partner Danielle Key as they defeated Team Bolivia in the finals, 13-15, 15-8, 11-0.
article from USA Racquetball
for more info on USA Racquetball go to

Jr Worlds Racquetball 2009 Girls 16 Doubles

Match between Bolivia and USA

Jr Worlds Racquetball 2009 Girls 14 Singles

Match between Ireland and USA

Jr Worlds Racquetball 2009 Boys 16 Doubles

Doubles match between Bolivia and USA

Jr Worlds Racquetball 2009 Boys 18 Singles

End of game 2 between Taylor Knoth (USA) and Alejandro Cardona (MEX)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Irish Junior Team has the Best Performance Ever at World's

The Irish Junior Team that competed in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic at the 21st IRF World Junior Championships attained the best ever ranking by an Irish team, with a overall placing of 5th place. The team consisted of 9 girls and 8 boys. The Championships took place in the Centro Olimpico Juan Pablo Duarte, an 8 court facility in Santo Domingo from 15th - 20th December 2009. The Irish Team was coached by Christy Slattery with Pat Keane as Assistant Coach.
Sixteen nations competed comprising of 238 players in all. In the World Cup Team Event(Under 14, 16 & 18 Boys & Girls) The Irish team was in 6th place while in the Esprit Cup(Under 10 & Under 12 Boys & Girls), Ireland took 5th place. As well as attaining 5th place overall, a number of players won individual medals.
Girl's Singles 10 and Under Red Division
Feena McManamon – Gold
Aisling Carey - Bronze
Boy's Singles 10 and Under Gold Division
James Ryan - Top 8 finish
Girls Doubles 10 & Under Gold Division
Aisling Carey / Feena McManamon – Bronze
Boy's Singles 10 and Under White Division
Padraig Carew- Silver
Boys Doubles 12 & Under Gold Division
Darragh Carey / Stephen Quinn - Bronze
Boys Doubles 12 & Under Blue Division
Darragh Carey / Stephen Quinn - Gold
Girl's Singles 14 and Under
Elaine Murphy – Top 8 finish
Girls Doubles 16 & Under
Aisling Hickey / Ciara McManamon – Bronze
Girl's Singles 18 and Under
Majella Haverty – Top 8 finish

Atlanta-Georgia Area Racquetball Tournaments‏

Hello Racquetball Player

This message is to inform you about the next two Atlanta area racquetball tournaments and to strongly encourage you to enter before both the key deadline dates and times are reached.

Next up:

The 2010 Southeastern Regional Doubles

January 15 – 17, 2010 (No matches will start before 6 pm on Friday)

Recreation ATL (in Lilburn, GA, outside Atlanta)

Regular Entry Deadline: Midnight on Sunday, January 10th.

Late Entry Deadline: Noon on Wednesday, January 13th.

Doubles Only – but there’s lots of events, including juniors!

Entries to date: 65 players.


Followed by:

The Shriner’s Hospital Benefit “Caring Hands on a Racquet”

February 5 – 7, 2010 (No matches will start before 6 pm on Friday)

Recreation ATL (in Lilburn, GA, outside Atlanta)

CASH PRIZES IN OPEN events, plus very low, tax-deductible entry fees.

Early Entry Deadline (to Save $10): Midnight on Sunday January 24th.

Regular Entry Deadline: Midnight on Sunday January 31st.

Late Entry Deadline: Noon on Wednesday, February 3rd.

Singles & Doubles – Limited events, but there’s one for everybody.

Entries to date: 6 players.


If you’d like to know more about these events, you can (1) go to the Georgia Racquetball website at where you can get copies of the applications (left of the screen) and find links (right of the screen) that will take you to the specific tournament websites or else you can (2) just go directly to the tournament Websites by clicking on the links above.

However, you are also welcome to enter by simply replying to this email with your basic entry details (which tournament, players names, and in what events) and I will enter you at this end (and also save you the $4.95 on-line service fee if you eventually pay in cash or by check when you arrive on-site).

Please don’t forget to mark your calendars and take advantage of the saving offered. If you have any questions, feel free to email or call me at 770-972-2303 or 678-575-8975 (voicemail available on both).

We sincerely hope that you can make both of these events as they each promise to be as much fun as all the past events at Recreation ATL have been!



Tournament Director

Announcement from the University of Florida Racquetball Club

An announcement from Brad and Michael Knudsen of the University of Florida Racquetball Club: -------------------------------------------------------------- It's Not Too Late!! Orange & Blue Shootout:The University of Florida Racquetball Club is asking for your support at their annual tournament. Proceeds from this tournament aid in sending the club to the Intercollegiate Tournament. The link to the entry form can be found at; or in the Info section on the "Florida Racquetball Tournaments" group page and at; Entry forms can be sent to When: January 15th-17th, 2010Where: Student Recreation and Fitness Center**(NOT SOUTHWEST REC CENTER)** For any questions, contact Brad Knudsen at (904) 534-5608 or

News from Paris-France

A message from Philippe Lecomte
Racquetball coach

Paris Racquetball would like to wish you a happy new year and best wishes for 2010

The City Form Open is a tournament specially designed for beginners, D and C players !

"Come play and have fun visiting Paris"

For this second edition, we wish the City Form Open and all the players who are going to participate in the competitions, a great success! And we wish you all an happy new year!

We really want to support beginners and novices Racquetball, and this is why the City Form Open has been created.

It is very hard to motivate new players to participate in tournaments, and especially in Europe. We hope our event will be the first step for many of them to try their first competition and become the new blood in the European Racquetball Tour next generation

Tuesday, January 5, 2010