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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jr Worlds Racquetball 2011 Boys 18 Doubles USA vs Mexico Game 2

IRT Pro Racquetball Bowling Green 2006 R16's Beltran vs. Monchik

2010 Rball Nationals: Vanderson vs Hawthorne - MTQ Qtr

Racquetball Pro - Shane Vanderson (Ranked #5) VS Anthony Montanez (#110)...

Registration open for 2012 Angel Tree in Heidelberg

Registration is now open for the next event on the European Racquetball Tour: The 2012 Heidelberg Angel Tree tournament will be held 8th and 9th of December. As usual, the Campell Baracks courts will be used for this event that historically has drawn participants from all over Europe and even from stateside. This is a charity tournament, all proceeds will be donated to the Heidelberg Army Community Services Angel Tree Program! Please do not wait to register for the event as we are expecting a high number of participants in this year's event! Just go to

Pascal Matla wins Dutch Nationals

Pascal Matla from Zoetermeer is the winner of the 2012 Dutch Nationals (Nederlandse Kampioenschappen) that were held last weekend at the Westvliet Racket & Welness club in The Hague. Matla defeated last years National Champion Erik Timmermans in the final in 2 straight games. It is Pascal's 10th National Singles title. On the ladies side, Carola van der Meer claimed her first National Singles title this year. The 2012 Dutch Nationals have been one of the more successful tournaments in recent years as it attracted more Dutch players to compete.

Check out all results at

no 1 racquetball player in Europe

Donna Ryder from Newport, Co. Mayo, is a Sports Scholarship student at IT Sligo and is currently ranked the no 1 racquetball player in Europe. She was conferred with a Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Leisure at the 2012 IT Sligo Conferring.
Mayo graduates were among more than 1,800 graduates conferred at IT Sligo at its annual Conferring Ceremonies last week. President of IT Sligo, Professor Terri Scott, said encouraged the graduates to be entrepreneurial in their outlook.
She quoted the President of the USA Barak Obama who said that “focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realise your true potential.”


Jordan Barth and Justus Benson won the boys' 14 doubles title at the IRF World Junior Championships, which ran from Nov. 11-17 in Los Angeles.

Spirited Racquetball Ball Club Seeks New Members

There may not be many sports that can rival the competitiveness of racquetball. Playing one on one in an enclosed court brings out the competitive spirit in everyone, regardless of who the opponent is.
The Arkansas racquetball club embodies that competitive spirit.
For those who do not know, racquetball is an interesting sport that is a fast paced mixture of tennis and wall-ball.
Players hit the ball against the wall and it has to bounce back behind the short line, the line behind the server, when the other player volleys it back. Competitors play to a specific amount of points, either 11 or 15.
The club practices in the HPER, where there are courts and free equipment rental for any student that would like to give the sport a try.
The history of the racquetball club dates back only a few years, when now team president Calvin Godwin’s brother founded the club.
“After he graduated, the club kind of fell apart, and so when I got up here last year as a freshman I took over the presidency,” Godwin said.
Since then, the club has been in a rebuilding stage, but has a strong core of members that really enjoy the sport.
The racquetball club is looking to expand its number of members, especially after losing a large number to graduation last year.
The team is down from 15 last year to four this year, but each of the members have some kind of prior experience. Godwin himself has been playing as long as he can remember.
“I’ve been playing my whole life, and one other girl has been playing since high school, and two began playing last year as freshmen,” Godwin said.
“I started playing because my dad got me into it. Ever since I could walk I have been playing racquetball,” he added.
In Godwin’s tenure as the club president, the team has attended five tournaments in Arkansas and St. Louis. The team hosted a tournament in the HPER last year, giving it the title of Razorback Classic.
“I think we brought in 50 to 60 guys from Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas that played in the tournament. We raised a lot of money for that,” Godwin said.
The money raised from the tournament helped alleviate some of the costs of traveling to tournaments, paying for hotels and tournament fees.
As of right now the club doesn’t have any dues, as the main goal at the moment is to increase membership.
If the club can gain more members, it will more than likely be able to host the Razorback Classic again this season.
The club is affiliated with Arkansas Racquetball as well as United States Racquetball Association. They plan on sending members to the 2013 National Collegiate Racquetball Championships in California.
“It depends on how many members we get, but right now we do have enough to send a few members to nationals in California,” Godwin said.
The more the merrier for the racquetball club, as they sincerely encourage any and all students to join the racquetball club. There are flyers for the club in the racquetball courts in the HPER, and students can also check them out on Twitter, @RazorbackRB.

Garrison claims second consecutive singles racquetball trophy

Robert Moore, 795th MP Bn., right, hits the ball back to his Garrison Command opponent, Anthony Powers, on Court 3 in the championship round of the Commanders Cup Singles Racquetball Tournament Nov. 8 at DFC.
Garrison Command successfully defended its title as the post’s reigning racquetball champions, earning their second consecutive Commander’s Cup Singles Racquetball Tournament trophy Nov. 8 at Davidson Fitness Center.
The Garrison team of Anthony Powers, Dave Faulkner and Renard Ellis overwhelmed the competition from their first game in the second round of the four-day tourney (they earned a bye in Round 1), allowing no more than nine points from any opponent in games played to 15.

“It’s just looking for different styles, trying to play your game and not deviating too much from your game plan,” Powers said. “There are always new players coming on, so you never know what to expect when you walk in there. You have to give your best and scope out the competition as you get close to the final to see what their strengths and weaknesses are, just like they are (doing to) you.”

From left, Garrison Command player Renard Ellis is congratulated by Danny Howell, FMWR sports specialist, as his teammates Anthony Powers and Dave Faulkner look on.
The 795th Military Police Battalion team of Robert Moore, Aaron Poulin and Mike Lynch were the tournament runners-up, fighting their way past the 169th Engineer Battalion, the two-time runners-up Dental Activity team and the 35th Engineer Battalion to advance to the final.

“We took second — that’s not too bad,” Poulin said to his teammates as the tournament drew to a close.

In the championship round, Ellis was the first Garrison player to emerge victorious, exiting Court 3 with a 15-9, 15-2 win over Lynch. Faulkner assured Garrison would take home the trophy win with a 15-2, 15-5 win over Poulin on Court 2. Powers then gave his team the sweep, defeating Moore, 15-1, 15-2.

The 92nd Military Police Battalion team of Jim “Doc” Blair, Damien Bangle and Brian Moreno finished third in the tournament, defeating the 35th Engr. Bn. in the third-place round.

“We had a good solid team. We came in without a lot of practice or a lot of notice, but we were able to pull some wins out,” Blair said.

Blair expressed the players’ appreciation for the quality of the tournament and the sports programs hosted by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

“This year’s tournament was great. (FMWR sports specialist) Danny (Howell) and the gang always put on a good show for us,” Blair said.

Bangle said the tournament represented not only a chance to represent his unit, but also an opportunity to meet other players.

“A lot of these guys, you might not have even bumped into before the tournament, but I’ve had a chance to make a couple of friends here — the guy I just played, we’ll probably play each other again, just because we know it’s a challenge,” Bangle said.

Powers and Faulkner, who were also last year’s doubles racquetball champs, play on a regular basis at DFC. Powers said he hopes to bring more players to the courts.

“One thing I wanted to do this year more than any other is to try and be an ambassador for the sport and try to get more new players interested in racquetball,” Powers said. “You don’t want to wait an entire year between Commander’s Cup tournaments to play. So, I hope we’ll see some new faces and be able to get new players some more experience.”

“This game is a blast. The rules are simple to learn, but it will take you years to master — there’s always a new complexity or wrinkle to unravel,” he added.

Harb, Iwaasa win silver at World racquetball finals

Los Angeles, Calif. – Coby Iwaasa of Lethbridge, Alta. is World Junior Champion in Boy’s 16 and under, winning the title Saturday (Nov.17) at the 24th International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Racquetball Championships in Los Angeles, California. Iwaasa defeated Costa Rican Andreas Acuña in the final, 15-11, 15-13.
Iwaasa had a chance to do be a double gold medalist, as he and Sami Harb (Burlington) were in the Boy’s 16 and under doubles final. However, they fell to the Mexican team of Rodrigo Montoya and Francisco Javier Mar Garcia, 15-8, 15-12. So, Iwaasa will come home with two medals: gold in singles and silver in doubles.
He did so last year also, when he was a bronze medalist in singles and doubles in Boy’s 14 and Under.
Iwaasa is the second Canadian to win the 16 and Under title after Kris Odegard (Saskatoon) in 1997 and the first Canadian boy to win a World Junior title since 2000 when Eric Desrochers won in the 14 & under category. Odegard went on to win the Canadian National title twice, so Iwaasa’s win bodes well for his future.
The win also gives Canada gold medals in singles in consecutive years, as Frédérique Lambert (Montreal) won the Girl’s 18 and under title last year.
Iwaasa turned 16 this year so he’ll be eligible for the 16 and under division again next year, as the IRF rules stipulate the players’ eligibility age for World Juniors is what they were on Jan. 1st of the year of competition. Iwaasa will still be 16 on January 1, 2013.
Canada’s other medalist in the World Cup competition was In Girl’s 16 and under, where Michèle Morissette of Baie Comeau, Que. was a bronze medalist. That follows up her bronze medal from last year’s World Junior Championship.
There were also competitions for younger players (called the Esprit Cup) and for non-Junior Team players (called the Challenger Cup), and Canadians did well in those also.
In Girl’s 10 and under, Grace Killins of Vancouver was a bronze medalist in singles and a bronze medalist in doubles with partner Abby Drury of Saskatoon.
In Boy’s 16 and under in the Challenger Cup competition, Nicolas Bousquet (Montreal) and Michael Leduc (Valleyfield, Que.) were gold medalists in doubles, and Connor Culhane of Coquitlam, B.C. was a bronze medalist in singles.
In Boy’s 18 and under doubles in the Challenger Cup competition, Sebastien Juteau (Boucherville, Que.) and Matthew Swaine (Etobicoke.) were gold medalists.

Bouncing back: Vets teach vets racquetball skills in new program

After practicing his serve, U.S. Army veteran Terrance Quigley stepped off a racquetball court at the Prescott Downtown Athletic Club and said he likes playing the game with fellow veterans.

Quigley is one of 20 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder taking part in the 8-week Military Racquetball Federation rehabilitation racquetball clinic taught by Jerry Northwood, a world senior racquetball champion and veteran.

"The game is fast and participating helps us mentally," Quigley said. "It's a really big deal."

Six U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps bases host rehabilitation racquetball clinics for injured veterans, but the Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System is the first VA medical center to make it part of their adaptive sports program, said Steven Harper, executive director of Military Racquetball Federation.

Harper, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, recently gave a demonstration in Prescott to veterans in the program.

"I like that it's competitive, high speed, and uses strategy," said Robert Bowers, a program participant and U.S. Navy veteran who served in a helicopter combat support squadron during Desert Storm. "You have to pay attention. This isn't for couch potatoes."

Northwood said he heard Harper talk about the racquetball clinics on military bases, thought it would be a good idea for Prescott, then talked with the Prescott Downtown Athletic Club and the Bob Stump Memorial VA Medical Center in Prescott about it.

"When Jerry called me, we talked about it, and we thought it would be a great thing for the veterans for their physical health, the recreation program, helping them deal with stress, increasing camaraderie, and teaching them new skills," said Paula Moran, supervising recreational therapist, at the Bob Stump Memorial VA Medical Center.

The program helps veterans suffering from the mental and physical effects of combat, and teaches them a sport they can play throughout their life, Northwood said.

"I played before mostly for fun, but not at such a level," said Brad Chee, a participant in the program who served in the U.S. Army's airborne artillery in Iraq in 2003.

Georgia Walton McGee, owner of Prescott Downtown Athletic Club, said she watched participants at the first racquetball clinic.

"It was just wonderful to see them and the fun they had," McGee said. "It is such an honor for me to be able to provide these men and women the use of my facilities for such a great cause."

Each Saturday, the veterans spend the first hour of practice learning skills and then play matches against each other for the last hour. They can only score a point by using the skills they learned that day.

"You can see they enjoy it, that they're learning, they improve each week, and it's neat to see them compete against each other," said Ben Sialega, a volunteer with the program who works in the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office in detention. "It's like a dance in that square box, and they get out of each other's way."

Veterans use a softer safety ball at first that doesn't sound so much like a gunshot when it bounces off the court's walls, and moves a little slower to give them more time to react, Northwood said. As their skills grow, they progress to the traditional racquetball.

"I played racquetball a while ago, had a coach who really challenged me, and competed in military opportunities," said Dorice Dickerson, a participant in the program who served in a U.S. Army's ordnance unit overseas. "I'm glad to have this opportunity to get back into it. Jerry teaches us the techniques and he explains why. It's back to basics."

Peppy Bolfango, recreation therapist with the Bob Stump Memorial VA Medical Center in Prescott, said veterans like the sport because it's competitive and keeps them focused.

"It also helps them go to sleep easier at night, since they're physically tired," Bolfango said. "Veterans with PTSD often have trouble going to sleep."

Ernest Davis, who served in the U.S. Army and has played racquetball for years, said he enjoys volunteering and helping fellow veterans with their game.

"I enjoy giving back, the camaraderie, and knowing I'm helping fellow military people," Davis said.

After hearing about the program in Prescott, the Durham and Fayetteville VA Medical Centers in North Carolina and the Northport VA Medical Center in Long Island, New York are considering adding racquetball programs, Moran said.

"It would be great to compete against other VA teams and play in tournaments," Quigley said.

McGee, whose oldest daughter served in the Gulf War and whose father was a career officer in the U.S. Army, offered the veterans in the program a free year's membership at the club so they can continue enjoying the sport.

"I would like to give back in anyway I can to somehow acknowledge the sacrifices these men and women have made for our country," McGee said.

Over time, the program will expand to include disabled veterans and first responders, Northwood said.

Delta teammates meet in racquetball final

STOCKTON - Jose Diaz got his wish: an all-Stockton singles final in the 2012 World Junior Racquetball Championship. But he was on the losing end of a 15-4, 15-9 score to teammate, friend and doubles partner Marco Rojas in the under-19 competition at the International Racquetball Federation event in Southern California. Diaz said earlier this month that competing against Rojas for the title was his dream matchup. The two men, both Franklin High graduates and Delta College students, joined forces to win the world doubles championship in their age group. They defeated a team from Bolivia.

Racquetball becomes more than a game for Kaua‘i resident

SAN DIEGO — While racquetball is a fun recreational sport for some, for Kaua‘i resident Sgt. Phil Eliana, the game brings an entirely new meaning. Eliana recently participated in the 5th annual 2012 All U.S. Military Racquetball National Championships, hosted by the Military Racquetball Federation, Nov. 2 to 4 at the 32nd Street Naval Base in San Diego. Eliana, who is assigned to the 293 Combat Communications Squadron at Pacific Missile Range Facility and also a member on the elite All U.S. Air Force Racquetball Team, competed in two divisions at this event. He played with his brother in the doubles tournament, and the two made it to the semi finals. “It’s great to team up with my brother,” Eliana said in a letter to The Garden Island. “But winning the singles 50-plus age division is what I was really aiming for since placing second in this event two years ago.” He came away victorious in the 50-plus age division and the victory was extra sweet for other reasons: Eliana’s older brother Sterling, who is from Guam, was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and died earlier this month. His funeral is this week. “This win is for you big brother,” Eliana said. Additionally, since the relocation of Kaua‘i Athletic Club in May, Eliana has not had any racquetball courts to train on, which means he had to train differently these last few months to prepare for the event. “It’s great to attend a U.S. National Championship event, not really knowing how well I would do and then coming home with a national title,” Eliana said. “It’s an amazing feeling and achievement, especially at age 53.” Eliana said that the Military Racquetball Federation is an organization with a mission to help support and fund the Wounded Warrior Project. Besides hosting tournaments at military bases around the country and overseas, the organization is focused on expanding and hosting a new program: Racquetball Rehabilitation Clinics. This program is the only rehabilitation program designed to focus on both physical and mental attributes for the war-fighter suffering from the affects of combat (post-traumatic stress disorder/traumatic brain injury /amputees and wheelchair bound patients). This MRF program is partnering up with Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics around the nation. Although racquetball is no longer a growing sport here on Kaua‘i, as the only certified professional level Instructor in both the American Professional Racquetball Organizationand United States Racquetball Association here in Hawai‘i, Eliana hopes to be a big part of this RRC program when it does come to Hawai‘i.

PVAC's Lloyd reaches senifinals in World Racquetball Championships

An injury to his partner took Petaluman Sawyer Lloyd out of the World Junior Racquetball Championships as the tem was on the verge of playing for a world title. Petaluma's Sawyer Lloyd reached the semifinals in doubles play at the World Racquetball Championships before an injury to his partner forced the team to withdraw. Lloyd and his partner, Adam Manilla, represented the United States in the tournament after winning the national 16-and-under title. Lloyd and Manilla went 3-0 in pool play, and were seeded No. 3 in the playoff draw after beating teams from Ecuador, Guatemala and Costa Rica. As the No. 3 seed, they drew a bye into the quarterfinals where they defeated Bolivia in two games to reach the semifinals. Manilla was also playing singles and reached the semifinals. He was ahead in game one of that match when he injured his knee and had to forfeit. Manilla's knee would not permit him to continue, and he and his Petaluma partner had to forfeit their semifinal match against Canada. The winner of the U.S.-Canada match would have taken on Mexico. At the World Championships two years ago, Lloyd and Manilla lost a close tie breaker to Mexico in the finals. Lloyd plays out of the Petaluma Valley Athletic Club and is coached by Brian Dixon, who runs the youth program at PVAC. Jose Diaz and Markie Rojas, both from Stockton and partners in doubles play, met in the 18-and-under singles championship, with Rojas winning in two close games. As a doubles team they won the title.

Kitsap Splat racquetball tournament draws international competitors | Bremerton Tennis and Athletic Club

The Kitsap Splat racquetball tournament drew more than 50 competitors from as far away as Bolivia and Columbia to the Bremerton area on Nov. 3-4.
The tournament was hosted by Bremerton Tennis and Athletic Club, a nonprofit, member-owned club that opened in 1970.
The club regularly hosts tournaments for both tennis and racquetball. Julie Jablonski, the club’s manager, said many of the tennis tournaments they offer throughout the year are sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association, but this is the first time they’ve had a professionally sanctioned tournament for racquetball.
Adam (Rocco) Vega, one of the club’s members, had the idea for the event and set out to bring the plan to life.
“I wanted to bring a sanctioned tournament to Kitsap County because we had not had any,” Vega said.
Vega’s father, a competitive racquetball player, died a few years back. When Vega began work on the Kitsap Splat, he looked for a way to commemorate his father through the event.
A nod to Vega’s father can be found in the tournament’s logo, a picture of Wile E. coyote holding a racquet.
“We loved watching Wile E. Coyote together when I was a kid,” Vega said. “It was something fun that I could do to remember him.”
The event’s name comes from a type of shot in racquetball called a splat, where the ball comes off the side wall and hits the front wall, making a “splat” noise.
The event drew more than 50 competitors. There were a number of local entrants, but many competitors came from abroad to compete in the sanctioned competition.
When players compete in a sanctioned tournament, their results at the event influence their professional standings, so players were competing for more than just prize money and bragging rights.
The tournament offered prize money in every division, which Vega believes is a state first for a sanctioned tournament.
Jablonski said the club has actually hosted much larger tournaments than the Kitsap Splat. The club’s racquetball league has more than 80 players that compete every Tuesday.
Jablonski said even though their numbers are often higher, the Kitsap Splat had excellent turnout for a first-year tournament.
She attributes much of that turnout to the club’s facilities and hospitality.
“Not many clubs host like we do,” Jablonski said.
Bremerton Tennis and Athletic Club has four racquetball courts along with areas for spectators. Competitors were offered catering by Outback Steakhouse of Bremerton and Juanito’s Taco Shop.
The club is the home court of Grace Hughes, one of the world’s top-ranked female racquetball players. According to Jablonski, Hughes both plays and teaches at the club.
Hughes was participating in a sanctioned tournament in Mexico at the time of the Kitsap Splat, so was unable to attend the local tournament.
Gear Box, a racquetball equipment company, was responsible for bringing in many of the international professionals to compete in the tournament, like Sebastian Franco, who ranks 33rd in USA Racquetball Association’s national ranking. Franco won the men’s singles open bracket, beating the highest ranked player in Washington state, Jeff Star.
“(It was) fabulous to see that level of play,” Jablonski said. “It was simply exciting.”
Despite the tough international competition, Jablonski said local players performed well. Vega and his partner, Steven Dark, placed third in the men’s doubles open bracket.
Vega competes each year at a number of tournaments throughout the state and said the level of competition was “about as good as Washington will see throughout the season.”
Jablonski said the club hopes to host the same tournament again next year, once again sanctioned by USA Racquetball Association. Now that the tournament has established itself as a success, she said, they hope to see more local turnout next year.