Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dividing does not always lead to conquering

When you're in a small community, it's important for you to pull together with your neighbors. Excellence is created by concentrating resources, so if people in small communities are not putting their resources together then opportunities can be squandered.

Racquetball is a small community, so it's important for all of us to pull together. However, racquetball is an individual sport so it's easier for people to try to do their own thing than in a team sport, because in team sports you need many more people for (a) your team, and (b) your opponent's team. Without team-mates or an opposition side, there's no game, so there's more incentive to co-operate with others, because more others are needed.

Thus, it's easier to put on a racquetball tournament or league than, say, a baseball or football tournament or league, because there are fewer people involved. This point is illustrated by the failures of football (a team sport) leagues to rival the National Football League in the USA while boxing (an individual sport, like racquetball) continues to have a few different sanctioning bodies, which have undoubtedly contributed to the demise of boxing's popularity (if some people are saying Adam's the champ, while others say it's Issac and still others say Zach's the champ, well the casual fan soon loses interest, because the issue is clouded, suggesting that the people running the show don't know what the heck they're doing).

Of course, once any system is established, some people will dislike it and want to change it. This is natural, and all systems will need to change from time to time to stay current. The question is should such changes be revolutionary or reformatory? Revolutionary changes would be to throw out the current system, whatever it is, while reformatory changes would be alterations within the existing system.

Revolutionaries try to create their own system. Reformists try to make the system their own.

It can be easier to start fresh in some cases, but if you're going to end up at the same place, one wonders if re-inventing the wheel is really necessary.

In the history of racquetball, there's been a few revolutions in the professional game, although the end product was basically the same. With Dave Negrete and Shannon Feaster leading the men's International Racquetball Tour (IRT) and Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO), respectively, there is little reason to think that any revolution is needed in professional racquetball.

However, word comes that the European Racquetball Federation has separated itself from the International Racquetball Federation. We're investigating this issue, but we think everyone who's concerned about racquetball internationally - and yes, Virginia, that should include those interested in getting racquetball into the Olympics - should be concerned about this division.

We're concerned about this, because it's another example of people in racquetball not all pulling together. As we find out more details, we'll report them here. 

Follow the bouncing ball....

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