Relieving A Racquetball Past
Throughout time man has continually find ways to lessen the burden of everyday stress. Engaging in sporting activities and competitions is one of the most common methods used. With this in mind let’s flip the pages of one of the most fast-paced game in the planet, racquetball.
Joe Sobek is the man behind the birth of racquetball whose initial name was actually paddle rackets. He was said to be both a professional tennis player and handball player. Sobek wanted to come up with a game that is exciting but easy to learn and play. He was able to create a set of rules based on other racquet sports like paddleball, handball, and squash. He then designed the first ever strung paddle.
Sobek continued to improve the game by establishing a system of rules which was printed out in a booklet. In February of 1952 he created the NPRA or National Paddle Rackets Association. His dedication and continuous efforts to promote the sport lead into an increase in its popularity and acceptance. The presence of around 40,000 handball court in YMCAs and JCCs also contributed to the game’s cause.
In 1969, the International Racquetball Association or IRA came into being via the efforts of Robert W. Kendler who was the president-founder of the US Handball Association. Moreover, in this very year the IRA took the spot of the NPRA in facilitating the national championships. Four years later Kendler was involved in an argument with the IRA board of directors which resulted into his formation of a pair of racquetball organizations. Nevertheless the IRA remained the game’s top organization as mandated by the US Olympic Committee.
The IRA kicked off the first ever professional tournament in 1974 and in the same year stood out as a founding member of the International Racquetball Federation or IRF. During the latter stages of the 90s the IRA came to be known as the American Amateur Racquetball Association or AARA. Its name was then altered to USRA or the United States Racquetball Association. In 2003, the identification shifted to USAR or USA Racquetball based on standards of Olympic sports associations.
Kendler further made his mark on the sport by utilizing his publication named ACE for promotional engagements. In the early stages of the 70s the fitness boom helped the game rise to higher levels. By 1974 there were around 3.1 million players who took the court for the racquetball experience. This resulted into the establishment of more clubs and courts. Manufacturers of sporting goods also took the liberty of providing equipments particular to racquetball.
US racquetball reached British lands in 1976. Ian D. W. Wright came up with racketball which utilized a less dynamic ball as compared to the American version. There were some rule differences like the ceiling being out-of-bounds and the start of service after a bounce on the floor. The squash scoring system was adapted at the same time having a point-a-rally scoring up to 15 points.
Just like any sporting spectacle, racquetball took a steady flight to the top. It sure wouldn’t be enjoyed by many across the globe if the likes of Sobek, Kendler, and Wright became content on just conventional strokes of their racquets.
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