Racquetball Skyrocketing

Racquetball Skyrocketing

An effective system combined with competent leadership can take any sport wherever it aspires to go. Racquetball is a good example. Throughout the years various players and organizations have stamped their contribution in order to skyrocket the game to fame and glory.

The IRF or International Racquetball Federation facilitates the entirety of the World Racquetball Championships which initially took place in 1981 along with the very first World Games. Three years later players across the world again took the grand stage and since then the event has been done biennially specifically in August. US players have obtained the most titles in World Championship history. The IRF also runs the show for the World Junior Racquetball Championships and the World Senior Racquetball Championships for competitors that are 35 years and above.

In the professional stage there are three organizations that secure the welfare of the sport. The IRT or International Racquetball Tour stands as the men’s professional organization. Most of its events are held in the US but there are some that take place in Canada and Mexico. The WPRO or Women’s Professional Racquetball Organization handles the affairs of female professional players while the CPRT or Classic Pro Racquetball Tour overlooks the activities of 40 years and above who embraced the sport at a young age.

The 70s marked the entry of official and organized competitive racquetball. Male standouts during this period include the likes of Steve Keeley, Marty Hogan, Bud Muehleisen, Jerry Hilecher, Steve Strandemo, and Charlie Brumfield. Hogan continued his heralds in the 80s and went head-to-head with upstarts like Mike Yellen, Brett Harnett, and Dave Peck. The 90s picture showed Sudsy Monchik, Cliff Swain, and Rubin Gonzalez marking their territory in pro tours beating out greats such as John Ellis, Drew Kachtik, and Andy Roberts. A decade later guys like Jason Mannimo, Rocky Carson, Kane Waselenchuk, and Jack Huczek took the over the spotlight.

Female players also provided excitement in racquetball courts. Peggy Steding dominated the scene in the 70s thus being regarded as the greatest woman competitor at that time. Shannon Wright followed Steding’s footsteps as she was pitted against Australian squash player Heather McKay who chose to be involved in racquetball upon residing in Canada. McKay continued her onslaught this time against Lynn Adams who after McKay’s return to Australia took the woman’s racquetball world in her hand for the most part of the 80s.

Michelle Gould conquered the 90s with her astounding display and mastery of the drive serve. During the latter part of the 90s up to the next decade Jackie Paraiso and Cheryl Gudinas were considered as the top players. Then it was Christie Van Hees and Rhonda Rajsich who took the driver’s seat in the middle portion of the 2000s.

The US Open takes the top seat in terms of being the most anticipated and prestigious stage in professional racquetball. It debuted in 1996 and since then it has been held annually in Memphis, Tennessee. For male competitors, Kane Waselenchuk of Canada has bagged the most title with five followed by American standout Sudsy Monchik. In the women’s division both Christie Van Hees of Canada and Rhonda Rajsich of the United States have captured the most number of titles with three each.