Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Brilliant new USA Racquetball website feature

We don't know about you - really, we don't; we're non-judgmental that way - but sometimes we wonder about our place in the world. Like, where exactly do we stand here?

This can be very difficult to determine, leaving us to wonder things like "what did she mean by that?", or "do these shorts make us look fat?", or "where exactly do we rank in the racquetball world?"

Thankfully, the USA Racquetball site allows us to answer at least the last of those questions, and even better it will show us how we got that rank.

Recently, the USA Racquetball association rankings have been integrated with tournaments entered on the R2Sports site, so a player's "Match history" is listed below their current rank. This helps you to remember all those glorious victories and agonizing defeats.

But that's not all.

The match history has hot links to your opponents, as well as to the relevant tournament draw page on the R2Sports site. Thus, you can check out who your opponents played after you bounced them to the consolation side or who they played in the final after they squeaked by you in the semis.

Moreover, you can also use it to scout upcoming matches to see who your future opponent has played. This can be very useful if you're playing a tournament out of town and aren't familiar with the other people in your draw.

For example, you might find yourself matched up against, say, Dave Negrete, to pick a name at random. You can plunk his name into the rankings page, click "Submit" and voila! You'll see that Negrete's current rank is 605 with a winning percentage of 92.31%. Impressive.

This great feature of the USA Racquetball site hasn't been widely publicized; we didn't see any mention of it in the most recent USA Racquetball magazines. But it's so cool to click from one player to another in a 'match history' to see how players have done in their other matches that we want to tell you about it.

We're not as obsessed with our ranking as we used to be, but like all tournament players we're not above caring about it. Heck, everyone who plays tournaments is at least somewhat competitive - otherwise, why bother entering tournaments? - so everyone has some interest in their ranking. The beauty of adding the match history is that it increases the transparency of the rankings by making players' tournament records more easily available.

Furthermore, USA Racquetball has plans to increasingly use the R2Sports system, which will allow for more timely ranking updates. Currently, rankings are usually updated monthly, but hopes are that a greater use of R2 will allow for weekly updates.

So, now we can know where we stand in the racquetball world, and how we got there.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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