Wednesday, December 17, 2008

IRF : 20th World Junior Championships - Elimination Round Seedings

The preliminary rounds ended Wednesday at the 20th World Junior Racquetball Championships in Tempe, Arizona, so the seedings for the elimination round have been determined based on the results of three days of preliminary matches. The seedings are below.

Two things of note. One, seedings are based on results in the preliminary round groupings, but those groupings were based on how countries have done in past World Junior Championships. Hence, Jose Rojas of the USA is the second seed in Boys 18 & under because he was in the second group based partly on an American (in this case Rojas himself) finishing second in Boys 18 & under last year.

A Mexican, Ruben Estrada, won Boys 18 & under last year, so this year's top Mexican player - Erick Sandoval - was put in group 1, and as Sandoval won that group, he is the top seed in the elimination round draw. However, Rojas has a higher ranking on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) than Sandoval, so if they were in an IRT event, Rojas would be the higher seed.

Second, there is a rule that players from the same country can't play against each other in their first elimination round game. Denise Haynes (Canada) is the second seed in Girls 18 & under, but Sharon Jackson (USA) beat her in the preliminary round and won the group 2 of that division. However, if Haynes was seeded 6th, she would play fellow Canadian Christine Richardson in their first elimination round game on Thursday. Instead, it'll be Jackson against Richardson.

That doesn't sound bad necessarily, but it puts Jackson on the top half of the draw with Mexican Paola Longoria, the top seed, so Jackson will have to play Longoria - the heavy favorite to win the division - in the semi-finals (assuming they both get that far) rather than in the finals, which she'd be on track to do as second seed (again assuming they both got that far). Bit of hard luck that.

By the by, Girls 16 & under is proving to be the competitive division The Racquetball Blog thought it would be, as there was a three way tie in group 1 of that division between Maria Paz Munoz (Ecuador), Jessica Parrilla (Mexico) and Frédérique T. Lambert (Canada). Munoz beat Lambert; Lambert beat Parrilla; Parrilla beat Munoz. No other group in the six World Cup divisions had a three way tie.

Also in Girls 16 & under, Aubery O'brien (USA) needed a tie-breaker against Yazmine Sabja (Bolivia) to finish top of group 2, ahead of Sabja. Finally, Sofia Rascon (Mexico) won group 3, but needed tie-breakers against both Cristina Cordova (Ecuador) and Brigitte Richard (Canada). Only Danielle Key (USA) finished first in her group (number 4) without losing a game.

The elimination round begins on Thursday and runs through Saturday.

Remember: play is being streamed over the web at

Girl's 18 & Under
1. Paola Longoria - Mexico
2. Denise Haynes - Canada
3. Jenny Daza - Bolivia
4. Christine Richardson - Canada

Boy's 18 & Under
1. Erick Sandoval - Mexico
2. Jose Rojas - USA
3. Jose Martinez - Mexico
4. Danny Lavely - USA

Girl's 16 & Under
1. Maria Paz Munoz - Ecuador
2. Aubrey O'brien - USA
3. Sofia Rascon - Mexico
4. Danielle Key - USA

Boy's 16 & Under
1. Taylor Knoth - USA
2. Carlos Keller - Bolivia
3. Bradley Kirch - USA
4. Marcelo Lora - Bolivia

Girl's 14 & Under
1. Michele Morissette - Canada
2. Maria Jose Vargas - Bolivia
3. Brittany Nelson - Canada
4. Courtney Chisholm - USA

Boy's 14 & Under
1. Marco Rojas - USA
2. Oscar Arias - Bolivia
3. Jose Diaz - USA
4. Sebastian Oña - Bolivia

Follow the bouncing ball....

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