August 11, 2020
Greetings, Team Illinois!
The good news is that we are hearing from more and more people who have found a way to get back onto the courts, either at the limited facilities that are operating their courts like many of the LA Fitnesses, Park Districts, Glass Court, Forest View, Willow Recreation Center and other indoor clubs, or at either LaGrange or Rainbow, each of which has three outdoor courts and a dedicated cadre of players. Check out Facebook to connect with information on the dates and times that folks are playing at both outdoor locations. I think it is fair to say you can play almost every day of the week at one location or the other – although we share the courts with some dedicated handball players at both locations!
Glass Court is continuing to offer their summer special – and with COVID-19 scaring off some of their regular fitness members, they can certainly use our support as racquetball players. You can buy a “summer” three-month membership that includes unlimited racquetball, so you can use a court to drill and improve your game or play singles (no doubles at this time). Of course, you’ll also have the use of weight and cardio equipment as well as the outdoor and indoor pools, bar, and fitness classes (all with appropriate social distancing), and you won’t find a place that cares more about your health and safety. Temperature checks, face coverings, and constant cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces are the order of the day. Glass Court needs our support, so consider joining!
As you get back on the court, USA Racquetball has published some considerations for safer play, so you might want to go and review them before competing or practicing. Visit www.usaracquetball.com. Simple ideas include using your own ball for play (you don’t actually ever pick up the other ball, you serve your own ball and keep it in your pocket while the other player is serving). Sounds hard, but once you do it, it’s really easy.
The 3WallBrawl took place last weekend at Rainbow Beach, and Tournament Director Joey Logan had a turnout of 64 players from 10 states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Maryland, Florida, Arizona, California, Virginia, and Maryland). The weather was great, and players received t-shirts and masks along with their own personal hand sanitizer. And, this year he added a private porta-potty to improve the experience of those who spent the entire day at the park! Of special note was Danny Ortega of Taco Burrito King with his portable grill and tacos (beef, pork, and chicken) for everyone! This event gives back to the community as well – Joey and his volunteers traditionally put together back-to-school backpacks for kids on the south side. Check out the results by clicking on the R2 link on the right – the tournament runs offline, so it often takes a little while to get everything posted!
Continue to visit this website to see what events we will be able to hold this fall and winter. We are hoping to be able to run indoor events as well as outdoor, but we want to ensure that we do so safely. With the 25th Annual US Open postponed to 2021, the 3WallBall Championships in Las Vegas look to be the biggest event of the Fall Season, and you might want to consider a road trip in the middle of October to enjoy Las Vegas and some outdoor racquetball.
Both the ISRA and USA Racquetball are dedicated to ensuring that racquetball not only survives but grows and prospers as we move forward. The pandemic will end, and the programs being developed now for our next generation of players; the work being done to maintain courts; the Instructors Program to teach and mentor players; and the competitive tournaments in the US and across the world will make the difference in racquetball being one of the sports that comes out of this stronger and more united than ever.
Please consider renewing and extending your membership during these trying times if you can – we need your support to keep moving forward, and members are the lifeblood of both USA Racquetball and the ISRA! Thank you for your support!
Be sure to check out the next USA Racquetball monthly newsletter––Serving Up the News––due to be published Saturday, August 15. In the State of the States feature, the ISRA is highlighted in an article authored by ISRA Treasurer Dolores Lamberson. There’s a lot to be proud of here in Illinois!
Here’s hoping we can all get back on the courts soon!
— Your ISRA Board of Directors