Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Wright Answer

Last week, The Racquetball Blog asked you which of 5 women's pro players had won the most tournaments in their careers: Heather McKay, Jackie Paraiso, Rhonda Rajsich, Christie Van Hees or Shannon Wright.

Twenty-one people responded to the quiz, and their responses were divided relatively evenly between the five players with each player receiving at least three votes, and McKay getting the most at 6 followed by Wright at 5.

What is the correct answer?

Paraiso has played in the most finals (43), but she hasn't won the most finals. Paraiso won 18 of those 43 finals (a 42% winning percentage).

Rajsich and Van Hees both have winning records when they reach the finals, but again neither of them has won the most. Rajsich has won 18 of her 33 finals appearances (55%), and Van Hees 15 of 26 (58%).

McKay's racquetball record is very impressive (18 wins in 37 finals, 49%), especially considering she didn't play racquetball until her late 30s. Her squash record is unbelievable, as she lost two (yes, 2!) competitive matches in a career that spanned over 20 years; no, we're not making that up; you can't make stuff like that up!

Shannon Wright, though, is the answer to our quiz question. Wright won 19 professional tournaments in her career, and was in the finals six other times (76%). In the late 1970s, Wright was the successor to Peggy Steding, racquetball's first great woman player. Steding, like McKay, began playing racquetball relatively late in her life, so when their rivalry began, Steding was giving up two decades to Wright.

So, in order it's Wright with 19 wins, McKay, Paraiso, and Rajsich all with 18 wins each, and Van Hees with 15 wins. These women are, respectively, the fourth through eighth winningest women's racquetball players of all time.

But their totals are well behind the three winningest players: Cheryl Gudinas Holmes has won 38 tournaments, Michelle Gould (Gilman) 41, and Lynn Adams is the winningest women's player in racquetball history with 43 tournament titles to her name.

But more about those three players another time.

Note: these records are the best The Racquetball Blog has now, but we don't have complete records, so these stats may not be entirely accurate. If you can help us with completing the record of women's pro racquetball results, please contact The Racquetball Blog via theracquetballblog AT

Follow the bouncing ball....

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