Monday, June 28, 2010

2010-2011 WPRO Schedule

The Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) has released its tournament schedule for the 2010-2011 season. There will be 10 Tier 1 or Grand Slam events next season. That's two more than this past season. Three of the 10 events are new with 7 returning from last season.

The season begins and ends as it did last year starting with the Ektelon WPRO Texas Open in Dallas and ending with the WPRO Ektelon World Championships in New Orleans. The New Orleans event is one of three Grand Slams. The others are the World Professional Racquetball Championship in Cali, Columbia and the US Open in Minneapolis. Both of those events will also be International Racquetball Tour (IRT) events, so they will be true Grand Slam events in the sense of having both the women and men pro players competing.

The Cali event is a new one for the WPRO, as is the Puget Sound Challenge which will be in November in Olympia, Washington. The other Tier 1 event this season was on the calendar last season, but not as a Tier 1. However, the Great Balls of Fire event in Miami will return to Tier 1 status this season, as it has been for several seasons in the past.

The timing of the Texas Open on August 27-29 will make it difficult for any players competing at the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in South Korea, as Worlds ends August 22nd. Anyone flying back to North America after being in Korea will still be jet-lagged the following weekend, as it takes about 1 day of adjustment for every 1 time zone that you coming from.

Thus, the top women's players - such as Paola Longoria, Rhonda Rajsich, and Cheryl Gudinas - who are playing in Korea will not be at their best in Dallas. And some players may opt to pass on the Dallas event simply because it's too close to Worlds.

We understand that the WPRO was aware of this scheduling, but apparently the August 27-29 weekend was the only one that worked for the host facility.

Aside from the awkward timing of the first event, the 2010-11 WPRO season has good spacing between events and we're looking forward to it.

2010-2011 WPRO Tournament Calendar
Tier 1 (T1) and Grand Slam (GS) events

Ektelon WPRO Texas Open - Aug. 27-29 - Dallas (T1)
World Professional Racquetball Championship 2010 - Sept. 16-19 - Cali, Colombia (GS)

US Open Racquetball Championships - Oct. 20-24 - Minneapolis (GS)
Pudget Sound Challenge - Nov. 19-21 - Olympia, Wash. (T1)

Christmas Classic - Dec. 10-12 - Arlington, Virginia (T1)
Great Balls of Fire - Feb. 25-27 - Miami (T1)

Terrapin Shootout - Mar. 18-20 - Laurel, Maryland (T1)
Miller Lite Open - Apr. 1-3 - York, Penn. (T1)

In Shape Sport Championships - Apr.29-May 1 - Stockton, Calif. (T1)
WPRO Ektelon World Championships - May 12-15 - New Orleans (GS)

Follow the bouncing ball....

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