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Friday, April 30, 2010

News from the Secretary General

Update: 2009 - 2010


The following is a quick overview of IRF activities over the past 12 months. We would like to thank and congratulate everybody for the great effort everyone has made on moving the IRF forward.

PASO-Pan Am Games
Both Osvaldo and myself attend the PASO meetings on behalf of PARC as well as my position as noted above in ACODEPA. The Organizing Committee for 2011 is experiencing serious financial and political issues. However our participation next year is not in jeopardy. Other sports may find themselves having problems as 2011 comes closer to the Games but we are OK.

I am sure that Osvaldo will go over the format and the athlete allocation that is totally dictated by the PASO technical Committee. There may format and athlete quotas that will be different from those Pan Ams that we have experienced in the past. In regards to 2015 the Pan Ams will be in Toronto, Canada. We feel that we will be on the “Official Program” but we will have to go through the process for inclusion all over again. Our being on the 2015 program will be dictated largely by how we conduct ourselves at the Games next year. I am sure that Osvaldo will go over the staff and officials and how they should dress, etc. Qualifying for 2011 will take place at the PARC Championships next year in Tijuana, Mexico

Central American Games
This is a fluid situation but we are still on as I write this for the middle of April in Panama. Special thanks once again to Osvaldo who has traveled several times to work with the LOC as well as Lucy who has been the driving force behind the development of Panama Racquetball and the CAGs for our sport.

Central American Caribbean Games
On schedule for mid July in Puerto Rico at the Mayaguez University, with four new courts. Big development for our sport. Once again Osvaldo, Rafa, and Pucho are on top of this event. It will also be critical for PARC that this event come off in a most professional manner.

Bolivarian Games
Held in November in Sucre, Bolivia. Very successful. Once again Osvaldo was present representing PARC for the 10 day event.

E-Force & Penn Sponsorships
The IRF is currently in negotiations with E-Force to have racquetball equipment donated for development of Racquetball Worldwide. If this happens it will be administered through grants by the IRF. As part of the IRF’s ongoing effort to support the development of Racquetball World wide it is making available to each of its Regional Federations a $1000 grant in the year that it holds a regional championship. This revenue comes from the E-Force and the Penn sponsorships. This new grant is effective in 2010.

Streaming
PARC has recognized the importance of streaming our major events and has purchased a high quality Camera to allow us to stream these events. Hopefully the hookup in Honduras will allow PARC to stream the key matches.

Junior Worlds—2009 Dominican Republic
The 2009 edition of the Junior Worlds were held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic this past December. It was very, very successful with 17 countries sending full teams. A very special thanks to Rafael Fernandez who represented the Local Organizing Committee which did a great job of organization as well as showcasing the hospitality of the people of the Dominican Republic. Anyone who has even thought of hosting the Juniors knows how tough it is to do. Again thanks to Rafael Fernandez for a job well done.

World Senior Doubles
Will be held in Kingscourt, Ireland June 9th to 12th.If you ever wanted to spend your evenings in a 16th Century Castle and see Ireland, and at the same time play Racquetball in a World Championships this is the one for you. The hospitality of the Irish is second to none.

World Senior Singles-August 30 to Sept 3
This is the major fundraiser for the IRF and without doubt the most fun tournament on the circuit. Once again it will be held in the host city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Once again if you ant compete in the best Senior/ Masters round robin World championship and at the same time support the IRF this is an event that you have to attend.

IRF World Championships Kang Nam County, Seoul, Korea—August 13 to the 21st
All shaping up nicely under the direction of Tournament Director Osvaldo Maggi, Operations Manager Gary Mazaroff , and IRF Liaison Yuni Cobb. A site visit is scheduled for the end of April which will finalize all of the arrangements for the Worlds. For planning purposes August 11th the IRF Ex Committee will meet, the IRF General Assembly will be on the 12th, and the coaches meeting and opening ceremonies on the 13th. Play begins on the 14th. The LOC will have the World Championship web site up by the first of April.

World Games-2009
The WGs were a great success for our sport. Racquetball was showcased to the world and many countries and key IOC people who have never seen the sport were exposed to racquetball. The Korean Portable court was used –4 wall glass—it was really an excellent way to showcase the sport. I am sure that some of those who were there can give you a on site update. The 2013 WGs will be held in Cali, Colombia and the initial arrangements have begun with the LOC.

Asian Games
Under the direction and leadership of Yuni Cobb there is a good chance that Racquetball will be accepted into Future Asian Games. The real test will be the number of Asian countries that will compete in this Summers IRF World Championships. This will be a big step forward for the sport when it happens.

2010 Junior Worlds
Will be held mid December at the Spectrum Club, Los Angeles, California, USA
The Spectrum Club features 20 plus Racquetball Courts and all the amenities of a full fitness club. More on this as additional information becomes available.

IPRO
Under the umbrella of IPRO and PASO the best coaching clinic that we have was held this past summer in Guadalajara, Mexico. Over 22 coaches from across the Americas were in attendance and it was a great success. PASO covered the expenses of the clinicians and the coaches who attended. There is still some expenses for our clinicians that is outstanding but that was the only issue with the program. IPRO under then direction of Gary Mazaroff has also held 3 other rules and coaching clinics in the Hemisphere.

Referee Certification
PARC has identified that our greatest challenge is certified referees for all of PARC’s major event with the immediate goal that no athlete will have to referee a match. Osvaldo will go into how we are going to accomplish this goal. This has to be of the highest priority for PARC.

WADA and Antidoping
We continue to support the WADA goals as well as have out of competition testing Many of our member countries have out of competition testing through their National Olympic Committees. However PARC and the IRF will continue out of competition testing as well as in competition testing.

IRF Constitution
The IRF has appointed a IRF constitution Committee who will be submitting changes to bring up the IRF constitution up to date. Osvaldo Maggi( Who is a member of the committee) will have the revisions at this meeting if anyone would like to see what is being proposed.

In summary there has been a tremendous amount of activity within the IRF and I would like to thank all of our members for their continued support and effort in moving the sport forward.

Regards,

Luke St Onge
Secretary General—IRF-PARC

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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pueblo Athletic Club sets event for Cinco de Mayo


The 12th annual Cinco de Mayo Shootout racquetball tournament this weekend at the Pueblo Athletic Club boasts a new wrinkle.

Try professionals.

Along with the usual amateur divisions, the tournament will feature a pro division as a stop on the International Racquetball Tour circuit.

"We've had the tournament before, but we've never brought in the pros," club owner Danny Beaudry said. "We were only allowed to bring in two of the top-ranked pros on the tour, and we have two in the top eight."

Those two are familiar names to the Pueblo racquetball scene. Ben Croft, ranked 6th in the world, and Mitch Williams, ranked 8th, are former national champions from the Colorado State University-Pueblo club team.

"Because of our classification, we could only have two. Obviously those are the two we wanted to come," Beaudry said. "And they will bring in the competition. We have 20 pros playing this weekend."

The pro-division winner earns $1,000 — a nice prize in racquetball — and there are singles and doubles levels. Also, there is a talented pool of amateurs playing as well, Beaudry said.

Also in the tournament is Felipe Camacho, the No. 1-ranked player in Costa Rica and a student at CSU-Pueblo. Camacho recently played in the Pan-American Games in Honduras and the Central American Games in Panama.

Action begins at 5 p.m. on Friday. It runs all day Saturday and Sunday on the club's five courts. Beaudry said the top players and key matches will be scheduled for the challenge (or showcase) court and that the public is invited to watch any or all of the matches free of charge.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ladies Playing Racquetball

Jackson Wins Two Gold medals At Collegiate Nationals


Waldron High School graduate Sharon Jackson, a nationally ranked racquetball player, is ascending to new heights during her quest to win an Adult Racquetball championship.

After winning two gold medals at the National Collegiate Racquetball Championships earlier this month, Jackson is out to become the No. 1 player on the adult tour. She is now a member of the United States Adult Racquetball Team.

Having played since she was 5 years old, Jackson is a member of the D-I University of Alabama's racquetball team. She has won six national titles in the past year-and-a-half, and has competed in several professional and college tournaments while at Alabama.

Overall, she has won 23 national titles and one world racquetball title, earning her a No. 20 national ranking and No. 28 worldwide.

Jackson said she wants to help lead her team to a national championship after finishing runners-up last season. Individually, she also envisions a No. 1 singles championship and a doubles title with teammate Kara Mazur.

"I hope to do that again, the next few years," she said. "I also want to be No. 1 on the tour."

The daughter of Shelbyville's Frances Jackson most recently competed in the National Collegiate Racquetball Championships in Springfield, Mo., on the Missouri State University campus. She won the Division 1 women's singles and doubles titles.

Play began on April 7 and lasted until April 10. Jackson was seeded No. 2 on the draw of 27 participants. She placed first last year in the No. 2 division, giving her the No. 2 ranking in D-1. In her run for the title, she defeated girls from universities in Utah, Iowa, Oregon, and in the title game from Arizona State University. In the final match, Sharon was behind 8-2 in the first game, but rallied to a 15-10 victory.

The second game was hard-fought, but she won 15-8 for the D-1 women's singles title. She also competed in the doubles division with Mazur and defeated girl's teams from University of Oregon, West Point, University of Cincinnati, and Baldwin Wallace of Ohio. The duo won the title 15-5, 15-6.

There were 349 participants in the tournament from 50 colleges around the country and world. Each college team consists of six men and six women who can participate in singles and/or doubles divisions.

Team Alabama won second place in overall team competition. The women placed second and the men placed third in D-1.

Jackson played the No. 1 spot in the women's division. The men and women D-1 single winners would represent all college students on the United States Adult Racquetball team.

Jackson's accomplishments have opened more doors for her. She is preparing for the adult tour in Houston, Texas in late May.

The USA Racquetball team participates in the Pan American games and the International Racquetball Association World tournament. The team also travels to several other countries to compete as a team.

Jackson said she enjoys meeting people from around the world and that it makes her a more well-rounded person.

"It's really fun getting to know people from other countries," she said.

If racquetball was in the Olympics, this would be the team taken from the United States. The USA Racquetball Association is currently in negotiations to try to get racquetball in the Olympic games.

In the professional racquetball divisions, the speed of the ball can reach 200 miles per hour, with balls going one-eighth of an inch from the floor for a "kill shot," it makes it difficult to watch on television. Much research has been done on the color of the ball, and other aspects of the game, for better viewing.

In some South American countries, racquetball is the second most popular sport behind soccer. Participation has grown more than 20 percent in the past two years. It develops coordination, great footwork, speed and quick reaction times. It also is a great cardiovascular workout, burning 700 calories an hour.

Jackson said she has spent many hours at the Shelby County Athletic Club on the racquetball court, which also helped her speed and quickness for other sports.

"I just love working out," she said of staying physically fit all-year round. "I'm a self-motivated person."

Part of her motivation lies in preparing to face top players from around the world, including Paola Longoria from Mexico.

"It makes me train a lot harder," she said.

She also competes on several intramural teams at UA, is an officer of the Alabama Racquetball Team and is a coach for the "Rumble Racquetball Camp," held each summer at UA.

Her major is business with a pre-med minor. In the near future, she wants to pursue a career as a chiropractor.

Jackson has appeared on the president's list (4.0 GPA or above), and is a member of three college honor societies. She was just selected for the Alabama Business Honor Society, which allows only the top two to five percent of all UA business students.

Jackson said she wants to thank her mother and the Al Taylor family for their support.

"I'd like to thank my mom for supporting me," said Jackson. "She's only missed two tournaments, ever. She's my biggest fan."

article By Nick Gonnella, Greensburg Daily News, Ind.

Executive Racquetball 1

Executive Racquetball 2

Sunday, April 25, 2010

From Europe-AERA Invitational Tournament 2010 information available


Complete information for the 2nd AERA Invitational Racquetball Tournament 2010 in Ramstein, Germany is now available. Check out the link below for further information. The event takes place 24th/25th of April at the Ramstein Air Force Base which offers 7 courts in total, great competition, work-out, fun and hospitality is guaranteeded.

The American European Racquetball Association (AERA) is the official organization for US military racquetball players currently stationed in Europe. For further information on the AERA please visit www.racquetball-aera.com.

Florida Junior Regionals Coming Up


Junior Regionals

Racquetball Tournament

June 5-6, 2010 (Sat/Sun only)

Harbour Island Athletic Club & Spa - Tampa, FL

Questions? Contact Kim Roy at 603-491-1494 or kimberly_roy@hotmail.com

Team HEAD Tops Podium at 2010 USAR Intercollegiate Nationals


Springfield, Mo. – Team HEAD’s arsenal of young players showed its muscle once again at the 2010 USA Racquetball Intercollegiate National Championships, held on the campus of Missouri State University.

University of Alabama’s Sharon Jackson won her first National Collegiate Singles Championship. The win adds to Jackson’s (Shelbyville, Ind.) impressive racquetball resume which includes 16 National Titles, one World Title and the 2008 USA Racquetball Female Athlete of the Year award. Prior to matriculating to Tuscaloosa for college, Jackson was a six sport (basketball, volleyball, soccer, track, tennis and racquetball) star at Waldron High School in Indiana.

Jackson teamed up with fellow Team HEAD member and Crimson Tide teammate Kara Mazur (Avon, Conn.) to capture the duo’s second consecutive National Collegiate Doubles Championship. On top of those titles, Mazur won the 2008 USA Racquetball Women’s Singles College National Championship. She also holds a National High School title as well as several national and world junior championships. Jackson and Mazur lead Alabama to a second place finish in the Overall Team competition.

Taylor Knoth, a freshman at the University of Oregon, shook up the Men’s Singles bracket en route to a second place finish. Knoth (Milwaukie, Ore.) knocked off the No. 3 and No. 2 seeds on his way to the finals. Taylor’s racquetball career has amassed 15 National Junior Titles, 4 Junior World Titles and 3 National High School Titles. His finish paced the Ducks to a fifth place ranking in the Overall Team competition, the highest ever for the school.

With her win in the Women’s Singles division, Jackson earns a one year appointment to the USA Racquetball Adult National Team pool of players. Players from that pool will represent Team USA at all international and world competitions, including the International Racquetball Federation’s World Championships this August in Seoul, Korea.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Costa Rica Dominates Centro-American Games in Racquetball


Costa Rica proved to be the strongest country in Central America when it comes to racquetball by winning gold medals in all divisions.

In women's singles, the Costa Ricans Andrea Ortiz and Naomi Sasso, took the gold and silver, respectively, while Diana Maura from panama and Sierra Pamela from Honduras took the bronze.
In the men's singles draw, Ivan Villegas won gold, followed by compatriot Joaquin Solera (silver), the Honduran Raul Banegas and the panamanian Roberto Cantos took bronze.

On the other hand, in the women's doubles, Costa Rica won the gold medal, the silver Honduras and Nicaragua completed the podium with the bronze medal. Same results occurred in the men's doubles with Costa Rica (gold), Honduras (silver), Nicaragua and Panama (bronze).

In mixed, the Costa Ricans maintained the supremacy winning gold, the silver medal went to Honduras and Panama took the bronze.

In the divisions for both male and female teams, Costa Rica won the gold, Honduras thesilver and Panama the bronze.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Montana Racquetball Results


Max Majxner of Bozeman successfully retained his Montana State Racquetball Open Singles championship Sunday, beating Butte’s John Kennis in the finals, 15-11, 15-5.

The tournament, which was held at the Broadwater Athletic Club, ran for three days and attracted 70 players from Montana and Canada.

In the Open consolation finals, Glenn Yeretz of Calgary beat Lethbridge’s Coby Iwaasa.

The Class A champion was 15-year old Andy Eckbald of Great Falls, who defeated Brandon Iwaasa. Bozeman’s Eric Larson bested Dodd Lowe of Missoula in the consolation finals.

Isacc Hirschfeld of Choteau captured the Class B title, beating Helena’s Nick Retz in the chipper. The conso finals was won by Brad Dockter of Great Falls, over Ken Krantz of Helena.

In the Class C division, Carroll College student Eli Johnson of Billings beat Cut Bank’s Rod Burns for the championship. Matt King (Great Falls) claimed the consolation finals over Hukden Nielson (Helena).

The Womens’ Open championship was garnered by another member of the Lethbridge Iwaasa family – Cathy, who prevailed over DeeAnn Mooney of Missoula for the crown. Mooney was forced to withdraw with a knee injury.

Sunburst’s Paula Friesen beat M. Olszewski of Carroll/Helena for the ladies novice crown.

Age-group champions included Alexis Iwaasa, girls 12-under; Brandon Iwaasa, juniors 13-17 Open/A; Josh Friesen, juniors 13-17 B/C; Kaleb Dale (Helena), 18-34; Kennis, 35-plus A; Ken Krantz (Helena), 35-plus B; Paul Riley, 45-plus; and Larry Gazelka, 55-plus.

article By CURT SYNNESS Independent Record

UConn Racquetball


When Jonathan Bailey wakes up in his dorm room in Towers, he knows there’s one thing he needs to do before anything else – call the student recreation facility.

“Whenever we wake up, we just get on the phone and start calling the cage,” Bailey said.
Bailey, a 6th-semester chemical engineering major, is president of the club racquetball team at UConn. He and vice president Prasant Venimadhavan, a 6th-semester accounting and math-stats double major, know they need to get 15 team members to call the gym if they want their typical request of three courts for three hours for practices on Monday, Thursday and Friday.

“We have to call 15 different times to reserve,” Venimadhavan said. “They don’t let student organizations reserve courts. It was kind of annoying at first, but we eventually got used to the idea.”

The UConn club racquetball team joined the echelon of club-status in February 2009 after being a student organization known as “Club Racquetball” for a year before that.

Both Bailey and Venimadhaven had never previously played competitive racquetball before coming UConn. They were simply recreational players, playing at the YMCA club in their hometown, Norwalk, Conn. and even that was an event of chance.

“I was signing up for the YMCA just to use it as a gym and I happened to walk by and some people were playing racquetball,” Bailey said. “I said, ‘that looks like fun.’”

The idea to form a UConn organization came when Bailey and Venimadhavan were playing racquetball at school, where they eventually met several other racquetball players.
“We started trading contact info with people who were kind of serious about it and from there we got a student organization started,” Bailey said.

After coming together as an organization, the team went out and got the one thing every team needs – a coach.

When USG granted funding to the team for a coach, Bailey and company hired Russell Palazzo.

According to USA Raquetball, Palazzo is ranked No. 412 in the country, even as a 60-year-old man.

“He’s won five gold medals in his age group in the national championships,” Venimadhavan said. “He’s 60-something years old, but he still kicks all of our asses.”
The team, headlined by eight men and four women, competed in several competitions within the Eastern Collegiate Racquetball Conference (ECRC) this year and entered the National event held at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.

In the national event, UConn competed against other Division I schools. A team’s standing is based on what Division their school’s basketball or football program falls into.
The team finished in 17th place overall, and placed better than any other team from the ECRC who competed at the national event.

“It was a lot of tough competition because out in the west, kids start playing at age 10 and by the time they get to our age, they’re nasty,” Venimadhavan said. “For our first year, we did really well. Considering this is our first nationals event and we placed best of our conference, it really shows how we’ll do in the conference next year.”

Both Bailey and Venimadhavan attributed the team’s success this year to Palazzo.
“Once we got the coach, we started skyrocketing with our improvement,” Bailey said.
“Coach has been the biggest factor,” Venimadhavan said. “I don’t think we would have been top four in any of the tournaments we went to if it weren’t for coach.”

With this season coming to a close, the team is actively searching for recruits to join both the men’s and women’s club racquetball teams. Bailey said that with most of the team being upperclassmen, there are many open spots on the teams that he’s looking to fill with underclassmen.

Kierstan Lurcott, a junior human development and family studies major and captain of the women’s racquetball team, was especially excited to bring in new players.

“I can’t figure out what I did last semester before I started playing [racquetball] all the time,” Lurcott said. “It’s really fun. One of the things coach always tells us is that it’s a life sport. I hope I can be as nasty as him when I’m old.”

By Marc Gauthier-The Daily Campus

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Racquetball champ ready for canadian nationals


Kira Brereton gets ready to hit the ball during a racquetball practice at the Racquet & Fitness Academy. The 13-year-old athlete won the provincial raquetball championships in March and will be competing in the nationals at the end of April
Kira Brereton is, in most respects, just your average seventh grader - she's loves Facebook, she's addicted to her new iPhone, and aspires to become a marine biologist one day.
But on the racquetball court, the 13-year-old Hollycrest Middle School student shows a focus and talent way beyond her years, said her coaches.

"She's motivated, she's passionate, and she's willing to put in the hours. She's a tough cookie who works hard - a coach's dream," said Sue Swaine, who, along with Tony Dawson, coached Kira to her second consecutive provincial junior championship in Kitchener late last month. "There's not many others Kira's age playing at her level - maybe only six in the province."

"It's her ability to focus when it comes time to play that is one of her biggest assets," added Dawson. "Plus, her serve, for her age, is very, very accurate."

Next up for the humbly talented teen is the Canadian Junior National Racquetball Championships in Burlington later this month. There, from April 26 to May 1, she and the rest of her team at the Etobicoke Racquet and Fitness Academy will vie individually for the chance at a spot on the junior national team.

"If I can do that, it would mean I worked really hard and achieved my dream," Kira said between practice matches this week at The West Mall-area academy, where she trains two to three times a week.

The run-up to the nationals, she said, has brought with it a whole new focus to her game.

"I'm not training more often, but I am training harder, more intensely. I'm a lot more focussed," she said. "I don't get nervous, just more focussed."

Formerly a competitive figure skater, Kira took up racquetball just four years ago, following in the footsteps of both her mother and her brother. It was the sport's individual play that attracted her initially, but its competitive fun and cardio workout have kept her hooked, she said.

While often compared to squash, racquetball has its own set of unique rules and characteristics that set it apart - the rackets are shorter and wider, the balls are bigger and bouncier, and there are less restrictions on playable surfaces within its enclosed court, among other differences.

It's also an intense sport that, if not practiced in moderation at a young age, can lead to premature burnout amongst even its most talented athletes, said Swaine.

"Racquetball is a later development sport. Athletes don't usually peak till they're in their late teens, so what we try to do with younger players is encourage them to take a break from racquetball in the off-season (usually from May to August)," she said. "They need to get away from it, otherwise they'll burn out both physically and mentally."

"Kira's one we had to hold back from playing all summer - it had to be forced upon her," Dawson added with a laugh.

Confident all their young charges will do well at the national's, both Swaine and Dawson said they were hopeful Kira could bring home the girls singles national title in the 12 and under division.

"The most important thing, though, is that we all support each other and play as a team, even though it's an individual sport," Swaine said. "If someone is on the courts in competition, we're all there cheering that person on."

article by: CYNTHIA REASON insidetoronto.com

Saturday, April 17, 2010

USA Nationals


After 28 wonderful years in Houston, don’t miss this "Finals Farewell," in true Texas fashion, at the National Singles Championships!
May 26th- 31st

YMCA Downtown Houston

The entry deadline is Wednesday, May 5th – enter online at http://www.usaracquetball.com/.

IMPORTANT:

Don’t forget to book your room at the Hyatt asap! The deadline to reserve your room at our tournament rate is Wednesday, April 21st (USA Racquetball will not be the only group in the hotel, so rooms are booking up fast). Note: That's this coming Wednesday!

The rate is $104 per night (mention USA Racquetball) by calling 713-654-1234. Or...reserve your room online at HTTPS://RESWEB.PASSKEY.COM/GO/2010USRA

Did you vote???

Remember that the deadline for the Board of Directors election is this coming Monday, April 19th. You should have received a ballot separately in the mail A postage stamp, your membership number and your signature is all that's required to weigh in. For your convenience, your membership number is located on the front of the card above your name and address. You can review the candidates' statements in the most recent Racquetball magazine or by going to: http://www.usaracquetball.com/Portals/18/docs/elections/2010usarnominees.pdf.

We would also like to receive your non-binding vote on the proposed rule changes, also located on the ballot card. For a full explanation, again refer to the magazine, or go to:

http://usra.org/Rulebook/ProposedRuleChanges.aspx.

If you wish to provide a more detailed viewpoint, write to Otto Dietrich, our National Rules Commissioner, at ODietrich@usra.org.

Please make a difference in our sport by voting today!

World Senior Doubles Racquetball Championships, Kingscourt, Ireland‏


The 5th World Senior Doubles Racquetball Championships will be held in Kingscourt, Co Cavan, Ireland from the 9th - 12th June 2010. Kingscourt was the site for the IRF World Championships in 2008.
The 2010 World Senior Doubles Championships will have competitions for both men and women starting at over 30 doubles and continuing with 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+, 60+ 65+, 70+, 75+, 80+ divisions. There will also be mixed doubles divisions. Closing date for entries is 30th May




http://www.wsdracquetball.net/

Sunday, April 11, 2010

News From Ireland-26th Arkow Irish Open - sign in now


Entries are coming in fast for the 26th Arklow Irish Open Racquetball Championships. It is now possible to enter online, go to the Racquetball Ireland website at www.racquetball-ireland.com and click online enry. Entries are limited again for this years Irish Open and half the entry quota has already been filled! Be sure to enter as soon as possible before it's too late. On line entry is the easiest and fastest.

AERA events in Heidelberg and Ramstein coming up


The American European Racquetball Association (AERA) just anounced two events coming up this April, both to be held in Germany - in Heidelberg and Ramstein.

While next weekend's Heidelberg tournament will be a doubles only event, the 2nd AERA Invitational in Ramstein on April 24th/25th will offer the traditional competions and divisions.

The Heidelberg Racquetball Doubles Tournament this weekend will be held on Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg. The RB tournament is scheduled during the weekend of spring break and most players have already made arrangements to be with their families. If you can play, please sign up before 8 April 2010, on the AERA website: http://www.racquetball-aera.com.

Entries are also accepted for the 2nd AERA Invitational Racquetball Tournament.
Dates: 24 and 25 April 2010. Location: Ramstein Germany.

Go to this link to register and for additional information. http://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=6966.

Contact the Ramstein Board Members for any additional information
.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Racquetball Rally in Florida for Jake Bratten


SEBRING -- Gold Gym's Winter Haven is teaming up with its facility in Sebring to host a racquetball tournament in order to support the Bratten family.

Jake, as he's known to his friends and family, was involved in a motor vehicle crash on Feb. 23 while on his way to work. During the crash he was thrown from the vehicle and suffered from crushing injuries to his pelvis and leg.

As a result of the crash, Jake was flown to Lakeland Regional Hospital where he was immediately prepared for surgery.

During these surgeries doctors had to remove his severely injured leg in order to save his life.

He has endured many surgeries to help repair his crushed pelvis. Once "Jake" has finished all of his surgical procedures there will be the long arduous task of recovery.

Jake's first job in the realm of law enforcement was working for the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). He worked for the DJJ for eight years before meeting and marrying his wife, Amy. Jacob and Amy were married in March 2002 and went to work for the Avon Park Police Department as a Police Officer in April 2002. After working as a Uniformed Police Officer for three years, he was transferred to Criminal Investigation Division (CIU) in 2005. While working as a Detective in CIU, Jacob and Amy adopted Regan (13) and James (11) in July 2007. After working as Detective for two years, he was promoted to Sergeant, where he was then reassigned to the Uniform Patrol Division and is currently still assigned.

Gold Level Sponsorship - Donation of $200-plus includes Company Logo on shirt. Silver Level Sponsorship - Donation of $100-plus includes Name on shirt. Tournament Sponsorship includes: Tournament shirt with Name or Logo, one tournament entry, food provided throughout the weekend. Bring friends and family for a day of racquetball to support Jake and his family.

Deadline for sponsorship is Friday, April 16.

Tournament will be pool play within appropriate division preceding a single elimination bracket-style finals round.

Matches will be self-refereed (Novice division may request referee). Eye guards are mandatory and must be worn at all times. Official tournament ball: Penn Blue Location: Gold's Gym Sebring, 1720 U.S. 27 North, Sebring, FL 33870.

Matches will start 5 p.m., Friday, April 30 and will continue through Saturday.

Start times will be e-mailed out Wednesday, April 28 after 7 p.m.

Tournament entry information: Minimum entry donation: $25 (Make checks payable to: Jake Bratten Medical Expense Fund. Entry deadline Monday, April 26.

Contact Ray Baumbach e-mail: raybb66@msn.com or call (863) 412-8652

Racquetball on the new Deca Sports 3

San Mateo, Calif. – April 9, 2010 – The hit DECA SPORTS franchise is back with DECA SPORTS 3 to stir up new fun on Wii™ in Fall 2010. Published by Hudson Entertainment, the North and South American subsidiary of HUDSON SOFT, DECA SPORTS 3 will introduce 10 completely new sporting events, with support for the Wii MotionPlus™ accessory.

“We’re creating another game that’s fun for the whole family,” said Mike Pepe, Director of Marketing at Hudson Entertainment. “Players who love a variety of sports will be amazed by what’s included this time around, from lacrosse to logging, as well as online multiplayer, a team editor, and Wii MotionPlus support.”

DECA SPORTS 3 marks the return of the best-selling and award-winning DECA SPORTS series to Wii. Players will compete in springboard diving, indoor volleyball, giant slalom, racquetball, air racing, kayaking, lacrosse, logging, halfpipe and fencing. Simple controls allow families and friends to quickly pick up and play together with up to four players, while all-new advanced controls allow expert users to take advantage of Wii MotionPlus. Customizable teams are back with the Team Editor, which allows players to pick the name, colors, emblem, style and attributes of their teams. Players can also play online using the Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection for indoor volleyball, lacrosse, racquetball and fencing.

For more information on DECA SPORTS 3, as well as other titles from Hudson Entertainment, please visit www.hudsonent.com.

Hudson Entertainment is the North and South American subsidiary of Hudson Soft, an international provider of games and entertainment content founded in 1973. Hudson Entertainment focuses on three key businesses: console retail games, digital download content, and music. Hudson introduced best-selling videogame franchises including Bomberman, Bonk, Military Madness and Deca Sports. Through numerous partnerships with record labels, Hudson has become a leading provider of digital music and video content. For more information on Hudson Entertainment, please visit www.hudsonent.com.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cold Spring-MN racquetball champ racks up success


Jordan Barth, 11, on March 8 at the Suburban Racquetball Swim and Fitness, has been playing racquetball for years in tournaments
Jordan Barth never went to day care when he was younger.
No, when Barth, 11, was in need of something to occupy his time after he began walking, the racquetball courts at Suburban Racquetball Swim and Fitness became his safe place.
His mother Meadow Barth has worked in different positions for the club for the better part of Jordan’s life.
“He grew up hanging out here,” Meadow said of the Suburban, where she helps organize tournaments. “I still see people who say that they remember seeing him here in his car seat, hanging out.”
Jordan grew up within a few miles of the club and enjoyed the game right away.
“It was competitive, something to do,” he said.
Not surprisingly, both of Jordan’s parents — Meadow and Chris — are racquetball players. In fact, Chris is one of Jordan’s doubles partners.
Yes, the fifth-grader at Cold Spring Elementary School is his dad’s partner in the men’s “A” division at the Suburban. That is the second-highest level for amateurs.
National team member
That is not the most impressive part of his racquetball resume, though. In December, Jordan was on the United States team at the 2009 Junior World Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Jordan, the lone Minnesotan on the team, took first place in the 10-and-under gold division singles and second place in doubles with his partner Justus Benson of Sun Prairie, Wis.
It was the second straight year that Jordan has made the team. Earlier in 2009, he won the USA Racquetball Championships singles title in his division, and he and Benson took second in doubles in East Lansing, Mich.
In 2008, Jordan reached the semifinals in singles of the world championships in Tempe, Ariz., after qualifying by taking second at nationals in Concord, Calif.
“I like the competition and when I beat somebody and go on to the next round, they watch me,” Jordan said of his favorite parts about the sport. “I like when a lot of people watch me (play).”
One of the keys to Jordan being a strong player is his level of attention to his opponent. He plays in a number of tournaments where he has not played his competition before, and at world championships he often plays opponents who do not speak

article by: Mick Hatten • mhatten@stcloudtimes.com

Friday, April 2, 2010

Roth recognized for devotion to racquetball


At a glance

The story line: Rochester man Jim Roth has been playing racquetball in amateur tournaments for 26 years, and has also provided financial sponsorship for local tournaments. He will be inducted into the Rochester Athletic Club's Racquetball Hall of Fame on April 17.

You should know: An estimated 5 million people play racquetball worldwide, the large majority of those in the United States. There are about 25,000 USRA members (tournament players) in the U.S. Joe Sobek, an American, is credited with inventing the sport in 1940.

Jim Roth isn't too old to enjoy a well-earned trophy, and he isn't too proud to accept an honor when it's bestowed — even when he's not 100 percent sure he earned it.

The 63-year-old Rochester man already has a den full of trophies that he has accumulated over 26 years of competing in amateur racquetball tournaments, and now his peers want to acknowledge his commitment to their sport locally.

Roth will be inducted into the Rochester Racquetball Hall of Fame on April 17 at the Rochester Athletic Club, an honor that he sheepishly says is probably more for his years of indirect financial sponsorship of the local tournaments than it is an acknowledgment of his racquetball skills.

"It sure is a nice honor, but it's actually not that big of a deal," insisted Roth, who has been playing racquetball in Rochester since 1984. He is the only inductee into the hall of fame this year, and the 22nd person to be inducted since it began in 1989.

Roth will be retiring soon after a long career with Davies Printing of Rochester. In 1995 he persuaded the company to sign on as the primary sponsor of large regional tournaments that were drawn to the city, and the company has continued to support racquetball events here ever since.

"It's more about the sponsorship than my great playing ability," Roth said with a chuckle. "Every year the fees kept going up, and the money was needed to jumpstart the big tournaments."

The RAC, which has five racquetball courts, will typically host three to four large regional racquetball tournaments each year, drawing amateur players from throughout the upper midwest. Each tournament will draw up to 130 players.

While Roth downplays his own conquests on the racquetball court, the truth is he has had his share according to Wendy Miller, who is the racquet sports coordinator at the RAC.

"I think Jim is being a little modest," Miller said. "He has been a very good player for a long time."

Amateur players are divided into divisions based on ability, from Open (the best), to 'A' , 'B' and 'C'. Roth has typically played in the 'B' division and has qualified for eight state tournaments over the years, most recently in 2007. He placed third in the state at age 45, his best finish.

Two years later he placed second in his division in a national tournament for senior level players.

"I've got a place where my wife makes me keep them all," Roth said of his many trophies. "She doesn't really like dusting them."

Roth said his devotion to racquetball is more about staying in shape than winning.

"I'm a little competitive; I feel good when I have a good shot," said Roth, who still typically plays three times each week during the cold months. "But I don't have a fit if I lose.

"To me the benefit of playing racquetball is healthwise," he continued. "I'm 63, I'm 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, I don't take any pills of any kind, and my blood pressure is low."

Younger players missing

Roth said his one regret is that racquetball doesn't seem as popular as it used to be, especially amonger the younger generation.

"There used to be a lot of 20-to-30-year-olds who played regularly at the club, but I guess they have all had families and children," Roth said. "Now it's just us old buggers, and that's big-time disappointing to me."

Miller said the actual numbers in the RAC's racquetball club has remained pretty constant at around 110 in her 11 years at the club, but it hasn't kept pace with the city's rising population.

"The '70's and '80's were the racquetball heydays, that's for sure," said the 45-year-old Miller, who has played the game since she was 15 and preceded Roth into the hall of fame in 2002.

Miller said that only about 15 percent of the regular racquetball players at the RAC are female, and she thinks that's a shame.

"I'd rather spend an hour on the racquetball court than 45 minutes on a treadmill, that's for sure," she said


article By: Donny Henn
The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN