Thursday, December 20, 2018

10 years of top 10 lists

If you’ve been following the bouncing ball loyally, then you know that The Racquetball Blog had its 10th anniversary this past July. Each of the last 10 years we have complied a "Best Stories of the Year” list, and this year will be no different.

However, this year’s list will be out next week. Today - because it’s a Throwback Thursday! - we’re going to review our decade of "Best Stories.” Two people have been newsworthy enough - in our ever so humble opinion - to be in the top 10 each year: Paola Longoria and Kane Waselenchuk.

Usually, Longoria and Waselenchuk have been so notable that we’ve put them in the top three. Longoiria’s been #1 five times (2011-2014) and Waselenchuk three (2008-2010). Three times they were #1 and #2 (Longoria was ahead each of those years). Waselenchuk’s always been in the top three, but in 2010 we put Longoria 8th! What the what?!?

The next two most frequent racquetball newsmakers of the past decade are Rhonda Rajsich and Rocky Carson, who have appeared on our year end list 8 and 7 times, respectively. Alvaro Beltran has made the list 4 times and Samantha Salas 3. Other players who have had notable years in the last decade include Cristina Amaya (2013), Kristen Bellows (2009), Ben Croft (2010), Krystal Csuk (2012), Daniel De La Rosa (2013, 2014), Sebastian Franco & Alejandro Herrera (2014), Ruben Gonzalez (2011), David Horn (2017), Jack Huczek (2010), Brenda Kyzer (2008), Frédérique Lambert (2016, 2017), Jason Mannino (2009, 2010), Gabriela Martinez (2016), Sudsy Monchik (2015, 2017), Charlie Pratt (2017), Jose Rojas (2013), Aimee Ruiz & Janel Tisinger (2016), Veronica Sotomayor (2008, 2015), Cliff Swain (2015) and Maria Jose Vargas (2013, 2014).

We have highlighted performances at the International Racquetball Federation’s (IRF) World Junior Championships by Bolivians (2009, 2017), Mexicans (2013, 2017) and the USA (2008). Other international competitions have also been notable in the past 10 years, including the Pan American Games (2009, 2011, 2015), and the World Games (2009).

There have been significant developments in the pro racquetball over the decade also, which has put each of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) - which was the Women’s Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) back in 2008 - and World Racquetball Tour (WRT) in our year end top 10 more than once.

All in all it’s been quite a decade, and when we look back over the top 100+ stories of it, it’s pretty amazing. In 2008, the US Open was still in Memphis, there was no World Racquetball Tour (WRT), and video streaming of matches over the internet was just beginning. Now, video streaming is common place, the US Open is in Minneapolis, and the WRT — actually, we’re not sure what’s going on with the WRT.

We do have a handle on what will be on The Racquetball Blog’s Top 10 Racquetball Stories of 2018, and you can probably guess who two of the year’s newsmakers will be, but we’ll reveal the entire list next week.

Follow the bouncing ball….

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