Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy 35th Birthday Jason Thoerner!

It's been a good year for you. In May, you were in the top 10 at the end of the 2007-08 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) season, which was your third consecutive top 10 season ending finish.

Then in August, you were part of Team USA at the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in Ireland, where you played doubles with Mitch Williams. The two of you won gold in both the individual part of the competition, defeating a strong Mexican team in Gilberto Mejia and Javier Moreno, as well as the team competition, as the USA swept up the men's, women's and overall titles.

It was your fourth appearance on Team USA. You've played singles twice - first at the 2002 World Championship then at the 2003 Pan Am Championships, and doubles twice - at the 2005 Pan Am Championships with Mike Guidry as well as this year.

Also, you're off to a good start this season, reaching the quarter finals in each of the first four IRT events. That's led to a move up the rankings from 9th to 8th, which is a big deal, because it means you don't have to play a qualifying match in those Tier I events.

Finally, you serve as the main referee for the IRT. Refereeing racquetball is a very difficult task, because the discriminations that a referee must make (e.g., did that shot skip? was that serve short? was that a hinder or an avoidable?) are difficult. It's so difficult we think anyone who referees a racquetball match and believes they made all the calls correctly is a fool, because we think it's simply impossible to get all the calls correct.

We don't think you're that foolish, but we know you have to put up with some foolish behavior from the other IRT players when you're refereeing. The kind of behavior that's unbecoming of professional athletes. We wouldn't mind seeing you dole out a few technicals, and not just for taking time-outs when players don't have them.

Yes, it's been a good year for you, and we wish you many more.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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