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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Racquetball Tournaments Coming up in Florida

Sarasota YMCA- Cash in the Open, Great food, fantastic racquetball.....what more can you ask for? We will have some sort of Saturday night party, so that the regular drinkers won't revolt. (you know who you are)

Kim is doing another junior jamboree the same weekend at the B & R, so bring the kids....drop them off....and come play/party.

Contact me if you have any questions

Chad Bailey 941-545-5802

JCC-Davie-The DPJCC tournament is over a month away and we are HALF SOLD OUT. If you have sent your registration in already, thank you! If you have not you may want to send it in ASAP.

Entry forms must go to the JCC FIRST. They are taking care of the payment and paperwork, then they forward it to me. I hope no rball friends are going to get shut out.

Registration form is attached or can be downloaded at
The JCC's fax number is 954.434.1714

If you have an questions, please shoot me a email.


US OPEN Racquetball Championships Moving to Minneapolis

Colorado Springs, CO (March 24, 2010) – After 14 years in Memphis, the US OPEN
Racquetball Championships will be moving to the great City of Minneapolis in 2010 and
beyond. The announcement was made today at USA Racquetball’s headquarters in
Colorado Springs, CO.

US OPEN Event Director Doug Ganim stated, “This is an incredibly exciting time in the
history of the US OPEN. Due to the explosive growth of the event, we found ourselves
with the challenge of identifying a new host city that could handle the size and scope of
the tournament now and into the future. We were already using four different clubs in
Memphis and found that we needed to add a fifth club. One was just not available.”

A long-term agreement was signed with
and the City of Minneapolis to become the new hosts for the
US OPEN Racquetball Championships. “The facilities are absolutely amazing!”
exclaimed Ganim. “LIFE TIME FITNESS was able to provide us more courts in three of
their centers than we would have had in five clubs in Memphis, and that was just the
beginning. The quality of their centers, which are much more like resorts, is second to
none. Our players will enjoy the very finest health and fitness amenities at

The main location and nerve center for the US OPEN will be located in downtown
Minneapolis at the fabulous LIFE TIME FITNESS Target Center, the same building in
which the Minnesota Timberwolves play. All pro matches and many of the amateur
matches will take place at this facility, located in the center of the exciting Entertainment
District in Minneapolis. Restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, and world class shopping are
located all around the club. Just two blocks away is the second LIFE TIME location that
will be utilized, the Minneapolis LIFE TIME Athletic Club. Lastly, a short eight-minute
complimentary shuttle ride to the third location – LIFE TIME FITNESS St. Louis Park, will
complete the rotation.

“In addition to the incredible facilities LIFE TIME FITNESS has to offer, we were
attracted to many other benefits in the City of Minneapolis, including a major
international airport, a 24-minute train ride from the airport to Target Center for just $2, a
strong corporate sponsorship community, and a high concentration of racquetball
players in Minnesota and surrounding states,” said Ganim. “The US OPEN is now
positioned for continued growth and we could not be more excited to begin this new

The 2010 US OPEN is set for October 20-24, 2010. An Entry Form/Ticket Application
will be released in May with complete information available after May 1st at For sponsorship opportunities or Gold Box information,
contact Event Director Doug Ganim at (614) 890-6073.

The US OPEN Racquetball Championships is wholly owned by USA Racquetball, the
National Governing Body of the sport of racquetball and Group A member of the
United States Olympic Committee. USA Racquetball is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization with its main offices in Colorado Springs, CO.

Livan Hernandez and Racquetball

Just about everyone knows Livan Hernandez at his L.A. Fitness club in Miami, located in a predominantly Cuban area of the city. The familiarity led to a discovery that led to Hernandez arriving at Nationals spring training in prime condition. One morning this offseason, someone recognized Hernandez and challenged him to a game of racquetball. Hernandez had never played, but he accepted anyway.

"Somebody called me out," Hernandez said. "Some guy said, 'You want to play racquetball?' I said, 'Oh, let's go play.' He beat me 15-1, 15-2. I said, 'Okay, this is not easy.' But I started liking it and liking it."

Hernandez's new regimen - racquetball every morning - helped him arrive in camp in shape. After tonight, Hernandez's place in the Nationals rotation seems secure. He allowed the Yankees, playing with full lineup, three hits, two walks and one run over five innings of a 3-1 Nationals loss. He struck out three, including Mark Teixeira twice. His ERA for the spring now sits at 2.25.

"He's really competing well to earn one of those spots," Manager Jim Riggleman said.

By this weekend, the Nationals will decide their five-man rotation, Riggleman said. Hernandez has a chance owning in part to, of all things, racquetball. After that first game, Hernandez started playing every day, usually three or four games a day. He played eight one day. He played, and lost, against 60-year-old men, those annoying opponents who know how to play the angles and nestle the ball into corners. One ball smacked him in the face, and another left his back bruised.

"It's a tough game," Hernandez said. "It's not easy. There's a lot of good players there."

The daily games added up. Before the offseason ended, Hernandez was in great shape.

"It was important, because he was trying to get a job," Riggleman said. "If he'd have come in out of shape and said, 'Let me just pitch and I'll be ready by the time the season starts,' we couldn't have taken that chance. He came in, his weight looked, his arm was in good shape, and he was ready to go."

Hernandez's knee, which gave him problems for the past two years, feels back to normal. He feels like he added a couple miles per hour to his four-seam tonight. Tonight, he used it for his first strikeout of Teixeira.

Hernandez has a lot of tread of tires - no one in the last decade threw more pitches or more innings. But he's still 35, an honest-to-God 35, he said. "If I'm cheating on my age, I'll give you a million bucks," Hernandez said. If Jamie Moyer is still out there pitching, why not Hernandez?

"I don't know how old he is," Riggleman said. "He just found an arm slot to throw from where he's always going to be comfortable. Certain guys are like that."

By Adam Kilgore-Washington Post

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Interesting Facts About Number 5 in the World

Shane Vanderson spends 40 weekends a year slamming a ball into a wall. Split-second decisions are a necessity for the racquetball professional. The hollow rubber ball can travel as fast as 180 miles per hour.

Ranked fifth on the International Racquetball Tour, Vanderson says his father introduced him to the sport.

"I think he got me started because he thought it would help in the other sports I played," Vanderson noted. "He always recognized the benefits of racquetball: the hand-eye coordination, the quick movement, and a good bit of cardio work."

The 28-year old grew up excelling in five different sports. But racquetball, proved to be Vanderson's passion.

"I got started real young. I played my first junior national tournament when I was six."

At age eight, Vanderson captured the first of his six USA Racquetball National Junior Age Division championships. He continued to compete while he was a student at Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio. Vanderson says he reached a defining moment in his life after graduation.

"When I graduated college, I went on a couple of job interviews," Vanderson said. "I was like, 'eh, I don't really know if I want to go this route yet.'"

The Tampa resident decided to turn pro. He joined the IRT and won the 2003-2004 Rookie of the Year Award.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Four white walls and a blue rubber ball

During the fall, I’d text Ryan Steinkamp — among several others — trying to initiate a pick-up basketball game at the YMCA.

The “several others” responded with a variation of yes or no.

Steinkamp texted back: Have you played racquetball yet?

Know this: Disagreement and disapproval is how Steinkamp and I get along.

So, I responded ... by not playing racquetball.

Months down the road, the game kindled my curiosity, though. That, and Steinkamp’s excessive reminder each weekend. He’s a damn racquetball salesman.

We printed the rules, a good friend of mine and I borrowed rackets and began playing regularly.

We received plenty of exercise early. We had no idea the trajectory the blue ball was taking.

And we both failed geometry, obviously.

The rubber ball angled off the side wall and we’d over run the ball or under run. Or we’d be exhausted, and wouldn’t run.

We pelted each other — the legs, upper back, lower back, ear, earlobe ... face.

Not hard enough for bruises but hard enough to contemplate the $10.50 eye wear the YMCA sells.

The YMCA has assembled a racquetball league now. It’s had good response, about 20 people. And may have future sessions.

Before the salesman, before curiosity, I’d never ran across racquetball or desired playing. For those healthy enthusiasts — the game, invented by Joe Sobek, burns from 640 to 820 calories per hour.

Those lost calories work for me — I work at a desk, pecking at a keyboard. Old, middle-aged, male, female and young can play and, for the most part, they don’t need segregating.

I’m proof.

Roxanne Carroll ran me back, forth and sideways one week ago. In the end, I was the one more tired.

Racquetball is not regularly taught in schools, at any age. So, most are not familiar with the game.

But it’s worth trying once.

Who’s the salesman now?

World's Senior Doubles Comes to Ireland

Irish Goverment Minister Brendan Smith, Gary Mazaroff, International Racquetball Federation and Councillor Clifford Kelly along with members of Kingscourt Handball & Racquetball Club at the official launch of the 5th IRF World Senior Racquetball Doubles Championships.
Ireland will host the 2010 International Racquetball Federation World Senior Doubles Championships in Kingscourt, Co Cavan, site of the 2008 World Racquetball Championships.

The Championships will be held from 9th - 12th June 2010
for more info please go to

News From Costa Rica

May 20‐23, 2010
The Costa Rica Country club Racquetball Committee and the Costa Rican Racquetball Association is proud to invite you to the very FIRST COSTA RICA OPEN (TIER 4).
Adolfo Orellana
Mauricio Fabian
MAY 20 – 23, 2010.
Costa Rica Country Club
San Rafael, Escazu
Phone: (506) 2208-5000

Racquetball News From Turkey

The Turkish Open 2010 are coming up in Istanbul this weekend. Check out all information at For any further information contact Ayten Kececi at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The Turkish Open are an official ERT Event.

French Open is Coming Up

This years' French Open will be held in June. On June 12th and 13th, this traditional and one of the most attractive racquetball events in Europe will be held in the City Form club in Nanterre again. Check out all the important information at For any further questions send a mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Joe Dillon & Clodagh McManamon are new Irish Champions

In one of the closest Mens Singles finals ever, Joe Dillon of Kingscourt was crowned champion before an enthusiastic home crowd at Kingscourt Hadball & Racquetball Centre last weekend. Dillon defeated Sean Keane(Fermoy) on a score line of 14-15, 15-14 and 11-10. The match ebbed and flowed throughout with never more that 2 points separating the contestsants at any point. In the tie breaker both players had opportunies to seal victory but it was Dillon who got the winning point on his fourth attempt.

Clodagh McManamon(Newport) took over from her twin sister Ciara who was the defending champion to win her first Nationals Singles title. She defeated Donna Ryder also from the Newport club in Co Mayo by 2 games to 1.

Another notable achievement over the weekend came from Ray Breen of Arklow who won both the Mens Novice Singles and the Mens D Singles. Niall Nevin(Fethard) was the winner of the Mens C while Ruardhi O`Rourke from the home club won the Mens B Singles. Majella Haverty(Castlebar) won the Womens B title and Elaine Murphy(Templederry) is the new Womens Novice Champion. In the Juniors, Sean Keane took consolation in defeating Dillon while Aisling Hickey(Rossmore) is the new Girls Under 18 Champion.

More Irish News at

Italian Open Results

Angela Burth (USA) and Philippe Lecomte (France) are the Open winners of the 5th Italian Open 2010 that were held last weekend in the Centro Communale Sportivo in Brembate, Italy. Burth defeated Consuelo del Prato (Italy) 15-4, 15-5 while Lecomte crowned his first Italian Open appearance with a 15-5, 15-9 win against Ron Briggs (USA). Congratulations to Racquetball Italia President Marco Arnoldi for once again hosting a great event in Bella Italia!!

Mens Open
Philippe Lecomte (FRA) def. Ron Briggs (USA) 15-5, 15-9

Ladies Open
Angela Burth (USA) def. Consuelo del Prato (ITA) 15-4, 15-5

Mens B
Niklaas Deboutte (BEL) def. Marcus Rieger (GER) 13-15, 15-11, 11-2

Seniors 35+
Steve Ackett (USA) def. Victor Farrier (USA) 15-13, 7-15, 11-9

For complete draws and event pictures go to

Health benefits of racquetball a pleasant side effect

Rick Chrys Anklam serves the ball against Sharon Hunter during a game of racquetball at the Woodson YMCA in Wausau.
Drury was a junior in high school when his father taught him how to play racquetball.
Drury found the game to be an addicting mix of speed, strength, and physical and mental agility, and it has been a part of his life ever since. The 51-year-old Rib Mountain man is a certified coach, instructor and referee, and the game has helped him stay fit. A knee injury -- not related to racquetball, he's quick to point out -- temporarily has him sidelined, but he's aching to hit the court again.
"It's a lot of fun," Drury said. "There's a lot of camaraderie, and I've developed a lot of friendships on the court.
For many people, a bout of exercise is a chore. But for racquetball enthusiasts, the game is so enjoyable that fitness is an afterthought, a side effect.
Make no mistake: Racquetball can get a person in good shape. Drury quotes USA Racquetball statistics that put a rousing game on the same plane as running at a 10-minute-per-mile pace or a session of vigorous aerobics.
There are, however, some fitness caveats regarding racquetball, said Corey Huck, an assistant professor at the School of Health Promotion and Human Development at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Players need opponents who are around their same skill levels to get a quality aerobic workout session. If one player dominates another, neither works up much of a sweat.
But if players are matched well, there's plenty of running, stopping, jumping and lunging, and the game offers a lot more than just a heart-healthy workout session.
"It helps with neural adaptation," Huck said. "It stimulates faster connection between brain and muscle movements."
It also means the body's nervous system incorporates more muscle fibers in a given movement, and that can help an athlete off the racquetball court. A person develops quicker reflexes, and becomes generally stronger. It can even help runners develop a more efficient stride, Huck said.
Racquetball is a fitness mainstay for Shirley Hughes, 53, of Junction City, but she augments it with sessions on the StairMaster and yoga.
She finds racquetball satisfying on so many levels.
"It's nice to hit something, and it's OK to hit something, in this case," Hughes said. "It's competitive, and I like that."
She especially likes it when she soundly beats a man 20 years younger.
"It's a blast," Hughes said. "It's awesome."

Upcoming Tournaments in Montana

The Montana Racquetball Association State Doubles Championships are March 26-28 at the Peak Health and Wellness Club in Great Falls. Tournament director is Bucky Lindstrand (727-7325) and application deadline is March 22.
The State Singles Championships will be April 9-11 at the Broadwater Athletic Club in Helena. Tournament director is Josh Doniak (457-8359) and application deadline is April 5.

Junior from Texas signs with ProKennex

David Ryon plays racquetball at the YMCA by himself on Wednesday. Ryon participates in out-of-town tournaments and recently got a contract to represent ProKennex.

David Ryon had no idea when he first walked into a racquetball court that he'd have such a hard time walking out.

Ryon took up the sport to pass the time between football and baseball.

He no longer plays football or baseball, but is ranked among the top 60 junior racquetball players in the nation and the top 10 in Texas and recently earned a sponsorship from Pro-Kennex.

The junior at Memorial placed second in the men's C Division and reached the finals in the 18-and-under division before losing to the nation's top-ranked player at the prestigious Longhorn Tournament in Austin earlier this year.

He's preparing for the United States Association for Racquetball national tournament this summer in Houston.

"It's hard to explain how fun the sport is," Ryon said. "I think what I like about it is you have to depend on yourself to win. It's not anybody else's fault if you lose. You know it's your fault."

Ryon has won more than he lost since he took the suggestion of his father, Mark, and signed up for a racquetball course taught by Bill Dunn at the Victoria YMCA.

"He came in a said he wanted to try it and I knew he was an athlete," said Dunn, who has won his share of national titles. "We noticed he hit the ball harder than anybody we had seen, but didn't have the slightest idea of where it was going."

Ryon learned how to control his shots through hours of practice. He spends at least five days a week on the YMCA courts, either playing or practicing.

"For certain shots, I'll do 100 for the backhand and 100 for the forehand," he said. "Then, I'll move to a different shot and do the same thing over and over again. It's a whole lot of repetition."

Ryon's success in racquetball came quickly. He started playing in 2007 and won his first tournament at the YMCA in 2008.

He was invited to the Elite Junior training camp at Baylor University in Waco in 2008, and competed in the USA Junior Olympics Racquetball Championships in Michigan last year.

Ryon has learned to balance the time he spends playing racquetball with doing his schoolwork and spending one weekend a month in Corpus Christi fulfilling his obligation to the National Guard.

Ryon hopes to attend Texas-San Antonio and continue playing racquetball for its club team.

"The thing that impressed me about David was his tremendous work ethic," Dunn said. "He's up here every night just drilling, drilling, drilling, drilling. So many of our good players have just kind of adopted David. I definitely think he could win a national. He's right to the point of winning a national."

Ryon's biggest improvement has come in the thinking part of the game.

Ryon description of racquetball is an indication of how much he values the mental part of his game.

"Racquetball's like chess at 100 mph," he said.

Ryon prepares for tournaments by studying his opponent and the court where the match will take place.

"When I'm competing, I'll go through what needs to happen in my head," Ryon said. "It used to be I'd be talking to myself telling myself what I needed to do and when it didn't happen I would get further and further down on myself. It helps just to stay positive.

"You kind of talk yourself through the shots what you need to do. You have certain shot selection for whatever they may come at you."

Ryon's sponsorship with Pro-Kennex not only helps him acquire equipment it also gives him an edge at tournaments.

"It's partially a matter of respect," Ryon said. "People see you walking around with all the gear and they can tell this guy means business. He knows a little about what he's doing or they're intimidated. If you're going to intimidate somebody before the match, that's half the work done."

article by: Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or, or comment on this column at