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Sunday, February 28, 2010

German Open 2010: Registration NOW open!

Registration for the 2010 German Open in HAMBURG is now open. The event will be held 26-28th of March in the Sport Department in Hamburg. This will be the 29th edition of the German Open which as a major event on the European Racquetball Tour (ERT).

More information available at the event website

News From France

The French National Racquetball Championships are now scheduled for 8th/9th May in Paris. It will be the first French National Championship for more than 15 years. Only French passport holders are allowed to compete in this event. More information will soon be available.

There are some more good news coming from France as well: The most remarkable being a record participation of 43 at the recent friendship and beginner tournament in Nanterre, France. And amongst those participants: six female players as well. The event only lasted one day (with over 100 matches!) and obviously was not easy to organize in such a short period of time. However, congratulations to Paris Racquetball for once again setting the standard for other events like this in Europe.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

News from Schererville, IN

Omni 41 Health & Fitness at 221 U.S. 41 in Schererville is hosting an open racquetball tournament with singles and doubles divisions for all ages. It's a weekend affair March 5-7 with door prizes, souvenirs for each player and use of club facilities.

That's not all. It also includes Friday dinner, three meals Saturday, a party that night and Sunday brunch.

There's even $1,125 in prize money. Mail-in signup ends Friday. Get a form at the service desk or online at . For more information call Jane Powers at 865-6969.

Omni 41 is also proud to offer Junior Racquetball Lessons. Lessons start January 8 and run through April 16. Lessons are every other Thursday. (There will be no lesson on March 5) Beginner Lessons are from 6 – 7pm and Advanced Lessons are from 7 – 8pm. Lessons are for kids ages 8 – 15. You must sign up at the Service Desk. Cost for members is $15 and $20 for non-members. Call 219-865-6969 for more information - Ask for Tom in the Sports and Activities Department.

News from Arkansas

Racquetball winners Calvin (from left), Randy and Jamin Godwin of Mountain Home all took first place in their respective divisions at the Razorback Racquetball Championships held over the weekend at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Calvin Godwin won the Men's "A" Division, Randy Godwin was tops in the Men's 45-and-up Division and Jamin Godwin won the Men's Open Division. The tournament was a fundraiser to help send the Arkansas racquetball team to the Intercollegiate National Racquetball Championships at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Jamin Godwin Ñ a 2006 graduate of Mountain Home High School Ñ is the No. 1 singles player at the University of Arkansas

Congratulations to the winners

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Great Balls of Fire is Almost Here in Miami-Fl

The Great Balls of Fire Tournament is coming again to University of Miami bringing the best female players in world. The tournament is a Pro Stop for the women's but also attracts the best male and female players in the world at all levels in the amateur divisions. In the open divisions you might find current and formers pros on the men's and women's.

Please come and support our local players and the women's pro division. The tournament is free to attend and is played in one of the top racquetball facilities in the country which is the wellness center at the University of Miami. If you can't attend the tournament you can go to and watch the games live.

If you need more info please go to If you come to watch you will not be disappointed because the action is non stop.

Hope to see you there.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Racquetball is the way to go

Known as the best racquetball player at Guilford, Physical Education Center supervisor Mike Merkel began playing in 1978 after taking a beating from one of his former girlfriends.

"I thought because she was a girl I would beat her," said Merkel. "She kicked my butt." Merkel began practicing up to seven hours a day over the next five years. "Because of all the YMCAs in Illinois, I could play after I worked," said Merkel.

Merkel played in pro-ams across the country until one fateful day when he lost to a 12-year-old in a match. "I had a realization after that match that I had reached my potential," Merkel said.

After taking considerable time off to let his mental wounds heal, Merkel got back on the horse and now plays several times a week.

"Racquetball is a lifelong sport and a great game," said Merkel.

Men's head soccer coach Jeff Bateson began playing at Alma College in Michigan and, like Merkel, he got his butt kicked the first time he played.

"Racquetball is just a fun sport in general," said Bateson. "You learn something new every time you play."

Bateson especially enjoys just being on the court, and uses racquetball to stay in shape.

Men's associate head basketball coach Matt Parke began his racquetball career in 2000 when he and his friends were driven from tennis by cold weather.

"What I like about racquetball is that it's a game that anyone can play, but that is very hard to master," said Parke. "There's always another shot to learn or move to make."

Parke also said he enjoys racquetball because it's good exercise and a way to keep in good shape. Parke describes his favorite times playing racquetball as any time he beats his fiancée Liz Dornbos.

Associate head athletic trainer Liz Dornbos began her illustrious racquetball career two years ago and now plays two to three times a week.

"I enjoy the action," said Dornbos. "You're always moving and trying to make shots."

Dornbos plays mostly with Parke and said she especially enjoys hitting the perfect shot. That is, hitting a shot which bounces off a sidewall, then the front wall, then dies before her opponent can reach it. Her favorite times playing are whenever she can score on Parke.

Senior Chet Levine got into racquetball through his high school squash team.

"I had played sporadically throughout high school," said Levine. "I was the captain of my squash team so I learned about racquetball through some of my teammates."

Levine enjoys racquetball because of the competitive nature of the matches.

"I also love finding activities where you can get a workout and have a lot of fun in the process," said Levine.

Levine is currently riding a scintillating four-match win streak and has no problem letting his competition know about it.

"It has been pretty nice to rub that in the face of my opponents," said Levine.

article by-Will Cloyd, The Guilfordian

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Message From the 11th Annual Great Balls of Fire ProAM‏ @ University of Miami-Fl

Dear Racquetball Players,

The deadline is fast approaching for the upcoming "Great Balls of Fire ProAm" Tournament. Your entries must be in by next Friday, February 19th. You can find all necessary information regarding the tournament at: "Great Balls of Fire ProAm" We will be having an introductory free clinic starting at 2:00 PM on Saturday along with a M.U.D.C.A.T. training Clinic following at 3:00 PM that you can sign up for. Both Clinics will be taught by WPRO #9 player and AMPRO Clinician Jo Shattuck. You can find more information at our website. If you are interested in attending, please make sure you get your entries in by the deadline. Hope to see you all there!!!! Lynne Olvey and Vivian Gomez Great Balls of Fire Tournament Directors
for more information please go to

College News-Apperson, Bryan team up to win MERC Tournament title

Zach Apperson and Nick Bryan of Zanesville -- 2006 graduates of Rosecrans High School -- teamed up in doubles for Baldwin-Wallace College and were champions in the Mid-East Racquetball Conference (MERC) Tournament.

Bryan also is a three-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference golfer for the Yellow Jackets.

The Baldwin-Wallace College seniors were the top seeds in the MERC Tournament. They were awarded a bye in the first round.

In the second round, they defeated Jason Daugherty and Devin Johnson from Akron University 15-1, 15-1. In the third round, they beat Allen Springer and Jordon David of Akron University 15-9, 15-1.

The semifinals saw them whip Chad McGuffey and Aaron King of the University of Cincinnati, 15-9, 15-4. In the title match, they won over Justin LaBelle and Galen Reding of Baldwin-Wallace, 15-9, 15-13.

Apperson also captured the MERC singles title, beating Don Lavely of Akton in the title match. He is a former state and national junior racquetball champion and has competed twice in the Racquetball Junior Olympics.

Congratulations Zack and Nick

article by:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mexican pro Javier Moreno is ready for nationals

Javier Moreno from the city of Chihuahua-Mexico is ready for the Mexican Racquetball Nationals that will be taking place at the city of Monterey. Javier's goal is to guarantee a place on the Mexican Racquetball squad for the international competitions coming up in 2010.
Here is a small summary of Javier's biography.

Name: Javier Moreno Ramos

Age: 32 years old

Sport: Racquetball


9 medals in Central-American Games

3 medals in world championships

2 medals in Pan-American games

IRT rank- 12 th

Mexican Nationals Coming Up

"La Casa de Raquetas del Centro Estatal de Alto Rendimiento (CARE) del Parque Niños Héroes" will be the host for the next Mexican racquetball nationals that takes place on february 24th-28th. The best Mexican racquetball players are supposed to attend this important event. The event also serves as Mexican national team qualify for international events. This is the first of several qualification events that the Mexican Racquetball Federation will be using to come up with the National Mexican team for 2010. The final qualify tournament and the final determination will be in may. The athletes will be competing for spots to represent Mexico on the Panamerican Games 2010 in Honduras, The world Championships in Korea 2010 and The Centro-America Caribean Games 2010 in Porto Rico. The Mexican Nationals will have all divisions including junior's.
The Mexican team is one of the best in the world and always represent their country really well. In the Racquetball Pan-American Games 2009 that took place n Cali-Colombia the men's final was between two Mexican players, Álvaro Beltrán and Leopoldo Gutiérrez
Good luck to all the athletes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It Is Time To Play In Italy

Time to go to Italy this year: The 5th Italian Open 2010 will be held on March 6th/7th in Brembate, in the north of Italy. Italian Racquetball President Marco Arnoldi invites all players from Europe and worldwide to come to Italy.

All information on this event can be found at the official Italian Racquetball website at Entry deadline will be Friday 28th February. The Italian Open are an official ERT event.

Racquetball News from Ireland-Moylagh Open Results

Seventeen year old Joe Dillon (Kingscourt) won his first major Championship at senior level when he won the Mens Singles at the 15th Moylagh Open in Moylagh and Oldcastle, Ireland. Joe defeated current National Champion Noel O`Callaghan(Fermoy) 15-7, 13-15, 11-6.

In Womens Singles, Majella Haverty (Castlebar) won her third Open Singles competition when she defeated Susan Neary (Arklow)15-9, 15-10. It was Susan`s first competitive tournament after an absence of over 2 years.
Congratulations Joe and Majella to Rebrand as on April 4.

ESPN will rebrand its live sports centric Web property as starting on April 4.

Executives at the sports media giant said that the name change reflects the way the company increasingly views the site, as a full-fledged third network that complements ESPN and ESPN 2.

"We have approached this as a network for years, and as users have become more accustomed to engaging with content across various screens,it made sense to make adjustments that reflect both the product’s and the industry’s evolution,” said Sean Bratches, executive vp, sales and marketing.

However, will continue to be available only as part of subscription packages offered through specific Internet service providers, not to the general Web public. Yet ESPN says that the audience base for has grown considerably in recent years, and now encompasses 50 million homes.

When is relaunched in April, it will also roll out several new viewing enhancements, said officials. Currently the network allows fans to jump back and forth between up to 20 different sporting events in a single video player.

Sports featured on run the gamut, from the NBA to Major League Lacrosse to Professional Racquetball.

article By Mike Shields-mediaweek

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Top 12 Reasons to Play Racquetball

Top 12 Reasons to Play Racquetball

12. You can't play racquetball and smoke at the same time.

11. Racquetball offers skill-building opportunities.

10. Racquetball can be played any hour of the day.

9. Racquetball is a game that can be played by same sex or mixed sex on somewhat equal terms-it's a real friendship maker.

8. People of all ages, 6 to 90 can play the game-and do so competitively.

7. Racquetball takes just one other person to play and have a great workout.

6. Being an indoor game, racquetball can be played year around, so fitness maintenance does not need to be interrupted.

5. Racquetball develops or maintains motor skills of agility, balance, flexibility, hand/eye coordination and reaction time-skills important to health and safety in the senior years.

4. Racquetball develops cardiovascular and muscle endurance.

3. Racquetball is a high calorie burner and staves off obesity and osteoporosis.

2. Racquetball is easy to learn. No special skill level is required in order to reap most of the values of playing racquetball.

1. PLAYING RACQUETBALL IS FUN! Make it your lifetime activity!


• Running (9-minute mile) - 858 calories

• Racquetball - 792 calories

• Cycling (racing) - 750 calories

• Running (11:30 mile) - 600 calories

• Swimming - 570 calories

• Tennis - 486 calories

- SOURCE: Fitness magazine

Message from Jason Mannino-IRT Commissioner

Hello Racquetball World,

After speaking with IRT's Director of Marketing, we have decided to reach out to the racquetball community to create our NEW logo. My feeling is: who knows the essence of the IRT's identity better than you? Here is the criteria:

- be clean, and crisp
- represent racquetball as a whole, as well as the IRT
- capture the identity of the IRT
- be creative

Here are a few things to note:

IRT Vision Statement
Men’s professional racquetball will be recognized as the fastest, most athletic and exciting racquet sport in the world.

IRT Mission Statement
The IRT is the governing body of men’s professional racquetball.
Our mission is to:
~Showcase the world’s top racquetball talent at the best venues
~Create greater public awareness of the IRT and its players
~Facilitate revenue generating opportunities for professional players
~Operate with a foundation of strong governance and financial conservatism
~Relentlessly pursue the elevation of the game

If we use your logo, the grand prize is a full 1 hour lesson/play with the IRT's #1 ranked player in the world - Kane Waselenchuk at the Tier One or Grand Slam Event of your choosing.

The decision will be made and the winner announced on February 25th, 2010.

Please email me your logo entry at no later than February 21st, 2010.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

message by:

Jason Mannino
International Racquetball Tour
home of the world's
best racquetball players

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Interesting Facts About La Fitness

LA Fitness is a privately owned American health club chain with over 300 clubs and over 1.5 million members across 21 US states and Canada as of 2009. The company was formed in 1984 and is based in Irvine, California. The american and canadian La Fitness chain has nothing to do with the English chain also called La Fitness.

The company's fitness clubs offer a variety of exercise equipment, swimming pool and spa, basketball and racquetball courts, indoor cycling, personal training and a children's area called "Kids Klub". LA Fitness also provides corporate wellness programs; and group fitness programs.

LA Fitness is a privately owned company, owned by private equity firms Madison Dearborn Partners, Seidler Equity Partners and CIVC Partners. Madison Dearborn Partners was founded in 1992 and is based in Chicago, Illinois. The founders of Madison Dearborn had previously made private equity investments for First Chicago Bank.

Madison Dearborn's chairman, John Canning, Jr., is also a minority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team and submitted an ultimately unsuccessful bid to buy the Chicago Cubs.
MDP has 14 billion dollars in assets and on May 2007 paid 600 million dollars for the rights to manage the health club.

Seidler equity partners have 1 billion dollars under their management and La Fitness is one of the companies under thier portofolio.

CIVC is another private equity firm that has 1 billion dollars in assets. La Fitness is one of their largest investments.

La Fitness alone has a revenue of about $ 647,820,00 a year.

High School News from Oregon

Beaverton wins title; Salem Academy squad places seventh.
Sprague's coaches knew that this season they had to build a larger roster to compete with schools such as Beaverton, which fields a squad of as many as 70 players.
The Olympians brought 46 players to the Oregon state championships and competed strongly, finishing second overall behind Beaverton.
The Beavers' boys and girls teams totaled 4,528 points, with Sprague finishing second at 4,021 and Salem Academy seventh at 1,458.
The Olympians girls and boys both finished second to Beaverton. It was the highest boys state finish for Sprague since the Olympians won the title in 1997. Sprague's girls were seeking their third consecutive state title.
"Beaverton had 60-70 kids," said Sprague head coach Ryan Edmiston. "We had to bump up our roster just to compete with them."
"Kids are the best recruiters," said assistant coach Don Kerzel, who singled out player Saurabh Mahajam, who brought in eight prospective players.
"Kids that have had success with it tell other kids," Kerzel said.
Sprague wouldn't mind having the same success this year that they did last season. After finishing second to Beaverton at the 2009 state tournament, the Olympians broke through at nationals, winning their second consecutive title.
"I think we are set up pretty good for nationals," Edmiston said. "We were just a tad above 500 points behind (Beaverton). In racquetball, that's not a whole lot different."
Also helping the Olympians at nationals, which are Feb. 24-28 in Portland and Beaverton, will be looser rules on participation.
Players can compete in three events at nationals; the maximum is two at the state meet.
Eight Sprague players took home first-place trophies at the state meet:
-Junior Josh Heater and senior Ethan Nicholas won the No. 2 boys doubles bracket.
-Seniors Austin Baker and Alex Black won the No. 3 boys doubles bracket.
-Freshman Jamie Stell and sophomore Kelsie Provancha won the No. 3 mixed doubles bracket.
-Heater captured the singles title for No. 5 players.
-Junior Tonya Ulloa won the girls singles bracket for No. 2 players.
-Freshman Stephanie Herschbach captured the No. 4 girls singles bracket.
Fifteen of Sprague's 16 girls players won medals, and eight of them were first-year players.
"For the team in general, everyone surpassed what we thought we would do," Edmiston said, "especially having so many first-year girls."
Kerzel and Edmiston also expressed appreciation for the generosity of Courthouse Athletic Club, which provided practice facilities as often as four days per week.
Assisting Kerzel and Edmiston were coaches Bill Edmiston, Dan Goettsch and Stacey Witenberger.
Salem Academy's Kyle Lebow took third in the bracket for No. 1 singles players to help the Crusaders to their seventh-place finish, up three spots from last season.

article by: By James Day • Statesman Journal

Sunday, February 7, 2010

News from France

Come try Racquetball FREE the last saturday
of each month*, from 2:30pm to 7:00pm

* 31 january, 28 february, 28 march, 25 april, 30 may, 27 june

At the reception desk, say : Découverte Racquetball
Come dressed to sweat, we provide all the equipment !
Beginners welcome

at the Forest-Hill City Form in Nanterre
Street address : 85, avenue François Arago
How to get there : take the RER «A» line
to the «Nanterre Prefecture» stop
Then a 7 mn walk to the club
For all informations,
contact Eric Johnson - 06 82 99 44 27

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Racquetball News from Mexico

In a tremendous racquetball battle a fifteen year old from Chihuahua takes the open title at the Annual Tournament played at the Sports Club Lince. Rodrigo garay bit Jaime Martel 11-7 on the tie-breaker. With the victory Rodrigo raise the stats on jaime by being 15-0 against him in tournament matches.
Congratulations to Rodrigo Garay.

Racquetball News from Bolivia

February 26 to February 28 th Cochabamba will be the host for the first Bolivian national tournament of the season. The tournament will be played at the Cochabamba Country club and according to Bolivian national Coach and Bolivian Racquetball Director Conzalo Amaya, the best players of the country will be present at the opoening season tournament.

Mr. Amaya also announced that this year the matches will be played in two locations. The divisions Open, A and seniors wil be played at the Cochabamba country club while the B, C, D and junior divisions will be played at the Public Racquetball Complex of Sarco.

The Racquetball Complex is a public facility that has 12 courts and it was inaugurated on December 2008. Two of the courts have stadium seating with capacity for 1,300 people. The complex also has two training rooms, a press room, a restaurant, full size locker rooms with showers and other facilities. The hours of operation are from 6 am to 10 pm since the Bolivian Government wanted to make sure that everyone will have a chance to play.

The Complex was actually inaugurated by Mr. Evo Morales who is the president of Bolivia. On the inauguration day, the opening ceremony was a racquetball match between Mr. Evo Morales and his prime minister Mr. Gonzalo Terceros which in fact are regular racquetball players. After the match, the National Bolivian Junior tournament took over the complex.

The first Open tournament of the year played at the Cochabamba Country Club had Jorge Zambrana and Yasmine Sabja as winners.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Oregon High School Racquetball State Championships

Results from the 2010 Oregon High School Racquetball State Championships (provided by Oregon Racquetball)

Overall Team Results: (Place, School, Points) -- 1, Beaverton, 4528. 2, Sprague, 4021. 3, Lincoln, 2956. 4, Oregon City, 2863. 5, Southridge, 2652.

6, Central Catholic, 1588. 7, Salem Academy, 1458. 8, Gresham, 1261. 9, Sandy, 957. 10, Rex Putnam, 874.

11, Sunset, 770. 12, Centennial, 560. 13, La Salle, 311. 14, Clackamas, 156. 15, Franklin, 141.

16, Catlin Gabel, 140. 17, Tualatin, 118. 18, Newberg, 21. 19, Barlow, 13. 20, Reynolds, 5.

Boys Team Results: 1, Beaverton, 2222. 2, Sprague, 1996. 3, Lincoln, 1920. 4, Oregon City, 1744. 5, Southridge, 1297.

6, Salem Academy, 1213. 7, Putnam, 874. 8, Central Catholic, 786. 9, Sandy, 615. 10, Centennial, 189.

11 (tie), Gresham, 156. 11 (tie), Clackamas, 156. 13, Sunset, 137. 14, Tualatin, 118. 15, La Salle, 100.

16, Catlin Gabel, 84. 17, Newberg, 21. 18, Barlow, 13. 19, Franklin, 11.

Girls Team Results: 1, Beaverton, 2306. 2, Sprague, 2026. 3, Southridge, 1355. 4, Oregon City, 1120. 5, Gresham, 1105.

6, Lincoln, 1036. 7, Central Catholic, 802. 8, Sunset, 633. 9, Centennial, 371. 10, Sandy, 342.

11, Salem Academy, 245. 12, La Salle, 211. 13, Franklin, 130. 14, Catlin Gabel, 56.

Boys Singles Final: Dylan Reid (Lincoln) d. Joshua Hungerford (Putnam) 15-11, 15-14

Girls Singles Final: Amanda Lindsay (Oregon City) d. Kaitlin Inglesby (Central Catholic) 15-9, 15-7

Boys Doubles Final: Dylan Reid / Sam Reid (Lincoln) d. Rick Charbonneau / Ryan Charbonneau (Oregon City) 7-15, 15-3, 11-4

Girls Doubles Final: Rachel Creel / Kristen Kenck (Beaverton) d. Patricia Billette / Augusta Herman (Points: 300) (Southridge) 15-3, 15-2

Mixed Doubles Final: Amanda Lindsay / John Lindsay (Oregon City) d. Joel Barshaw / Kaitlin Inglesby (Central Catholic) 15-11, 6-15, 11-0

Note: The USA Racquetball National High School Championships will be held at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland, Feb. 24-28.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dick's Sporting Goods Taking up a Notch with Racquetball Courts at Their New Headquarters

After three years of design and construction, Dick's Sporting Goods plans to fully occupy its new corporate headquarters by the end of February.

Employees are starting to move in now; about 1,200 Dick's employees will occupy the space initially.

The $150 million, 670,000-square-foot complex occupies 116 acres of land beside the main runway at the Pittsburgh International Airport in Findlay. The center is the first phase of what eventually could be a 2 million-square-foot complex.

The complex, which is pursuing LEED certification, includes a large hanger for the company's fleet of jets, as well as extensive recreational facilities and amenities for the staff. Highlights include a full health club with a basketball court, a couple racquetball courts, exercise machines and a running track as well as outdoor basketball courts and an outdoor soccer field and baseball diamond. There are also walking trails around the site, and a large lawn where Strada architect Edward Shriver says Dick's market researchers will be able to test equipment sold in the stores.

Strada assisted developer Horizon Properties as the architect, site planner and landscape architects. Mascaro Construction Company served as contractor, and DL Astorino was involved in the interiors.

"There's a very healthy lifestyle sort of culture at Dick's," says Shriver with Strada. "When we talked about the space itself, their idea was stadium meets lodge, so we used a lot of stone and wood elements to achieve that. And it was important to us to make a connection between the inside and the outside. The waterfall-like fountain in the every-season hall goes outside and feeds into one of the existing streams in the area, and from the hall there are views into the woods and out over the lawn."

The new Findlay complex is Dick's third corporate headquarters since moving from New York state into the Pittsburgh region about 15 years ago. Dick's now operates about 420 Dick's Sporting Goods stores in 40 states. The company also owns Golf Galaxy, Inc., with 91 stores in 31 states, e-commerce websites and catalog operations.

Dick's most recent former headquarters was about 200,000 square feet, says Shriver. "They were completely filled, converting filing and copy rooms into offices. They knew they needed more space. Dick's growth over the last 10 years has been phenomenal. They decided to make this 2 million-square-foot masterplan to make sure they have enough room to keep growing."

Writer: Caralyn Green
Sources: Edward Shriver, AIA, CCS, principal, Strada; Jeff Hennion, EVP & chief marketing officer, Dick's Sporting Goods

News from Germany-8th title for Martin Klippel at German Nationals

Hamburg's Martin Klippel is the winner of the 29th German National Championships that were held last weekend in Hamburg. Klippel defeated Oliver Bertels (also Hamburg) 15-10, 15-11 in an exciting final to claim his 8th National singles title. No other male player has ever won the German Nationals more often: Jörg Hanold won the Singles title seven times in a row (1983-1989) while Joachim Loof earned six singles titles in his career (1991-1993, 1995, 2000, 2001).

This years' German Nationals have been extremely successful with more players than in recent years, especially in two junior divisions but also in a C/D division that attracted many local players that usually would not compete in a national event.

All finals and finishers:

Mens Singles
Martin Klippel (Barsbüttel) – Oliver Bertels (Hamburg) 15-10, 15-11

Mens C/D
Christopher Czempisz (Hamburg) – André Dobberstein (Barsbüttel) 15-9, 15-4

Mens Doubles
Oliver Bertels & Arne Schmitz (Hamburg) – Bernd Dröge & Mike Mesecke (Hamburg) 15-7, 15-9

Seniors 30+
Bernd Dröge (Hamburg) – René Pierre-Ciura (Willinghusen)) 15-7, 15-11

Seniors 35+
Mike Mesecke (Hamburg) – Torsten Krieger (Grönwohld) 15-7, 15-11

Seniors 40+
Bernd Dröge (Hamburg) – Torsten Krieger (Grönwohld) 15-7, 15-11

Juniors 15U
Stefan Langmeier (Bad Tölz) – Steve Wagner (Bad Tölz) 15-7, 15-1

Juniors 17U
Jan André Peters (Hamburg) – Timo Harms (Hamburg) 15-3, 15-8

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

32nd Annual Lewis Drug Pro-Am at the Sioux Falls YMCA was a Success

Troy Stallings of Sioux Falls sets up to take a shot off the back wall during the men's doubles Pro/Open third place match Sunday morning at the Lewis Drug Pro-Am at the YMCARacquetball's finest were on display Sunday for the conclusion of the 32nd Annual Lewis Drug Pro-Am at the Sioux Falls YMCA.

Avid fans and players traveled from 14 states, Canada and Colombia to witness seven of the top 31 professional players on the International Racquetball Tour, including third-ranked Rocky Carson.
The Ladera Ranch, Calif., resident took the men's singles pro title by defeating Ben Croft of Lake Bluff, Ill., in four sets for his first singles championship in 2010.

Carson also claimed a doubles title with Jack Huczek (Trophy Club, Texas) as the longtime partners beat the duo of Croft and Shane Vanderson of Tampa, Fla.

"We've been playing together for about six years," Carson said. "We've got a few titles under our belts, so we have a lot of confidence in each other going into any match."
Legendary racquetball player Ruben Gonzalez was also a winner, teaming up with Lewis Drug President Mark Griffin to claim the men's 45-and-over doubles title in two sets over Joe Eckert and tournament director Troy Stallings.

"It was great to be able to play with Mark," said Gonzalez, 58, who has been playing for more than 40 years. "He is such a great supporter of racquetball and does so much for the sport. He runs a great tournament. It's more relaxed and there's no pressure - you just come in, play and have fun."

Griffin says the reason that the Lewis Classic, the longest running racquetball tournament in America, has been so successful is because of the extra effort put into developing friendships with the players.
"We have gotten great participation from the pros because we make an extra effort in terms of hospitality," said Griffin, who attributes low turnouts over the last couple of years to economic challenges and time commitments.

"Some of the top pros have been coming to us for 10 years. They think this is one of the best all-around tournaments to attend because of the hospitality and because it gives them a chance at the pro level to get ready for national tournaments like the doubles in Arizona next week."
Added Carson: "The people here are always great to us. We love the support we get from the people who come to watch us."

The local success didn't stop with Griffin, as the doubles team of Bill Webb/Tom Murray of Sioux Falls won the Men's doubles title in a third set tiebreaker over Dave Dunlap and Jerry Muston.

Webb and Murray, who also play out-of-town tournaments to gain experience of championship matches, were amazed at the talent level of the professionals and their abilities on the court.

"I can't believe some of the plays they can make - the spectacular is routine for them," Webb said.

Added Murray: "It's not just that they can get to certain balls, but that they can do something with it and make a great hit."
However, the biggest - and youngest - surprise for racquetball fans was 10-year old Jordan Barth, who claimed the men's 'A' title by defeating Greg Cantine of Milbank in two sets.

"It was really cool to be able to win," said Barth, who has been playing for six years. Besides being the future of the sport, the Cold Spring, Minn., resident is also the world's top-ranked player for 10 and under.

"You have to love this tournament," said Gonzalez, who has a few years on Barth. "I love the competitiveness - it's what keeps me young. I could quit anytime, but why would I? I could still be playing when I'm 80."

article by: Justin

News from Canada-Pan Am time for Saunders again

It has become an annual trek that Jennifer Saunders is proud to make for Canada and she'll make it again this year.

Saunders, 33, won the women's singles title at the 2010 Canadian National Racquetball Singles Selection Event last Sunday in Brossard, Que., just outside Montreal.

With the win, she qualified for the 2010 Pan American Racquetball Championships in San Pedro, Honduras, March 24-April 4.

The Racquetball Canada website notes an alternate site of Sucre, Bolivia has been secured in case of "ongoing political unrest in Honduras."

The location won't matter to Saunders who will compete in her fifth straight Pan American Championship. That event will be main qualification event for the 2010 World Racquetball Championship in August in Soeul, South Korea, which is Saunders' ultimate goal for this year.

"It means that I'm establishing that I'm still the No. 1 player in Canada, and it's a stepping stone in my goal to win an international event," Saunders said.

A former resident of Thompson, Saunders won silver in the team event and bronze in the singles at the 2006 world championships.

At the 2009 Pan American Championships, Saunders reached the quarter-finals where she was defeated.

In Sunday's final, the winner was decided by a series of round-robin matches of which Saunders was the clear-cut winner going undefeated.

Saunders beat her longtime doubles partner Josée Grand'Maître of Longueuil, Que., by scores of 15-2, 15-5 and Frédérique Lambert of Montreal 15-10, 15-0. In her last match, Saunders defeated Brandi Jacobson Prentice of Montreal 15-12, 15-6 to win the event.

"The toughest one was against Brandi for sure, she played really well on Sunday and put a lot of pressure on me," said Saunders, in a telephone interview from the airport in Montreal as she waited for her flight home. She is also the defending national women's singles and doubles champion and recently was ranked No. 7 in world, the highest so far in her career.

article by Ashley Prest- Winnipeg Free Press