Saturday, April 4, 2020

USAR's New Board Members, Coaches of the Year, and 2021 World Games

USA Racquetball announced its newly elected Board of Directors: Mike Grisz, JD Shelton - both new board members - and Cindy Tilbury, who was re-elected. Grisz is also the President and CEO of the International Racquetball Tour.

Three athletes were also elected to the USAR Board to be the Athlete Representatives. Michelle De La Rosa, Danielle Maddux, and Charlie Pratt, will be the athletes’ voices on the board. They succeed outgoing representatives Aimee Ruiz and Jose Diaz.

All of these newly elected board members will serve three year terms.

USA Racquetball Coaching Awards

Coaching is an important activity, but rarely awarded. But this week USA Racquetball announced its Coach of the Year award recipients. Brian Ancheta - Head Coach at Barlow High School in Gresham, Oregon - is the High School Coach of the Year. Sara Moulton - Assistant Coach at Brigham Young University - is the Intercollegiate Coach of the Year. Also, Dr. Tim Miller of Baldwin Wallace University received the Collegiate Lifetime Contribution Award.

Congratulations to all three coaches.

2021 World Games, now in 2022

The 2021 World Games that were scheduled for July 15-25, 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama will now be played July 7-17, 2022, because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to postpone the 2020 Olympic Games to summer of 2021. That change meant there would have been an overlap in dates with the 2021 World Games, so the World Games also pushed back its event by a year.

This, of course, is all due to the COVID-19 virus situation that is ongoing across the world. The World Games change seems like the right thing to do, and we look forward to seeing racquetball players participating a multi-sport event in the USA for the first time ever.

We hope that you are staying safe during this crazy time. Best wishes.

Follow the bouncing ball….

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Racquetball News - Longoria part of Athlete Commission & 2021 World Games

Paola Longoria of Mexico was named to the Athlete Commission of the Pan American Games. The objective of the Athlete Commission is “To represent the voice of Pan American athletes in Panam [sic] Sports and ensure that all needs for their development are met.” For example, the Athlete Commission recently put out a statement supporting the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) decision to postpone the 2020 Olympic Games.

It’s great for a racquetball athlete to be part of this commission, and Longoria is the only athlete from a Pan Am Games only sport to be part of the commission (the other members are from Olympic sports).

2021 World Games

With the change in dates for the 2020 Olympic Games from this year to 2021, we indicated that might effect the 2021 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, where racquetball will be on the program. Today comes word confirming this, as the dates for the Olympics now conflict with the World Games dates.

The new Olympic dates are July 23 to August 8, 2021, and the World Games dates were July 15-25, 2021. Not a large overlap, but still enough for the World Games to “urgently review alternative options.” The World Games and International Olympic Committee (IOC) have been in “close contact” with the IOC pledging to help the World Games overcome the challenges created by this change in dates.

The possibilities that the World Games are considering are changing “to similar dates in 2022 or to slightly earlier dates in 2021.”

Hopefully, this can be worked out, and racquetball players can participate in a multi-sport event in the USA for the first time ever.

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, March 27, 2020

Canadian Championships cancelled

Today Racquetball Canada announced its “made the difficult decision to CANCEL [sic] the 2020 Canadian Championships” that were scheduled for May 17-24 in Brossard, Qu├ębec. They “hope to hold a selection event to crown our Open 2020 Canadian Champions in singles and doubles … and select our National team.”

Not a surprising announcement, and confirms that another big event has been effected the current COVID-19 situation.

With this cancellation, Racquetball Canada will be unlikely to send a team to the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships if those go ahead as scheduled in August. They would also need to figure out how to determine a team for the IRF World Junior Championships, if that event goes ahead in November.

As with other cancellations due to COVID-19, this is a sad decision, but the appropriate one given the current conditions.

We're not sure how this situation is going to end, let alone when. But we look forward to once again being able to...

Follow the bouncing ball….