The International Racquetball Federation (IRF) is the official governing body for all racquetball tournaments and events. Developed in the 1950s as a crossbreed of handball and tennis, racquetball is a fast game where balls can travel as fast as 150 mph in a 40 x 20 x 20 enclosed court.
The players can compete in Singles or Doubles competitions. They play side-by-side with the main goal of returning the ball to the front wall of the court before it bounces twice on the floor. In racquetball, all sides of the walls are used (including the ceiling).
Racquetball is played in 3 rounds. If a player wins the first two rounds, he/she wins the game. But if there is a tie, a third round is played. The first two are played to 15 points, while the tiebreaker is played to 11 points.
Awards in various international events are usually based on a combined team score.
Racquetball Tournaments and Events in 2018
Here are some of the major racquetball tournaments in 2018.
1. U.S. Open Racquetball Championships
This is one of the biggest racquetball events in the world. It’s a Grand Slam tournament where qualifying participants from various national tournaments compete against each other. Amateur divisions for novice players are also available.
In 2017 alone, over 700 participants were registered.
The 2017 event was a tremendous success. It was the 8th time the event was held since 1996 and the 6th consecutive time that United Health Care sponsored it. Doug Gamin is the tournament’s head director. He is a former professional player on the International Racquetball Tour and a multiple World Champion in Doubles.
The U.S. Open is held annually in October. It was initially held in Memphis, Tennessee, but moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2010.
The 2018 U.S. Open will be held from October 3rd to the 7th.
2. Racquetball World Championships
This tournament is also organized by the IRF and was first held in 1981. The next event was held in 1984 as part of the International World Games Association. Since then, it has been held every two years.
The last World Championship was in 2016 and was held in Cali, Colombia. This was the second time the event was held in South America – the first was in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 1998.
Until 2014, the team’s standings were ranked according to team-to-team competition where the top teams at the group stage proceeded to the medal round. Today, teams are ranked based on a player’s performance.
The 2018 Racquetball World Competition was supposed to be held in Haining, China, but the IRT announced that the venue will be changed due to unavoidable circumstances. Stay tuned to find out the new location this year!
The National Junior Olympic Champions is aimed at nurturing the racquetball skills of kids and teens (aged 10 to 18 years) who are interested in the sport.
This year, the tournament is going to be held at Wellmark YMCA in Des Moines, Iowa. Mark your calendars for June 20th-24th!
If you’re interested in participating, the deadline for entry registration is June 8th. Don’t miss out!
4. Pan American Racquetball Championships
This racquetball tournament is held yearly during the spring – with the final play just a day before Easter. Initially, the event was called the Tournament of the Americans and was organized by the Pan American Racquetball Confederation.
This year’s Pan American Racquetball Championships were held in Temuco, Chile from March 24th to the 30th. Bolivia’s Carlos Keller defeated USA’s David Horn to take home the Men’s Singles gold, while Rhonda Rajsich defeated Mexico’s Paola Longoria for the second consecutive time to take home the Women’s Singles gold.
Mexican teams won gold in both Men’s and Women’s Doubles.
The 2019 Pan American Championships will be held in Peru. Book your tickets and hotels soon before they get snapped up!
5. National Singles Racquetball Championships
This year’s National Singles Racquetball Championships will be held at the ClubSport in Pleasanton, California from May 23rd to May 28th.
Medals will be awarded in divisions that have a minimum of three participants. If the divisions are combined, medals will be awarded on the basis of placement order within a specific, combined division.
6. USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships
This national racquetball tournament was held on the 8th February at the Arizona State University. With over 340 participants and over 500 matches held, the 2018 event was a huge success.
As the winners of the National Doubles Champions, David Horn, Mauro Daniel Rojas, Rocky Carson, and Sudsy Monchik secured their places on the USA National Team and will represent the country at 2018 IRF World Championships.
Check Out the R2 Racquetball Events Calendar
There are many racquetball events that take place each and every month. So that you don’t miss out on the action, check out the R2 racquetball events calendar for any tournaments and events that might be happening near you.
Participating in various events is the best way to hone our racquetball skills.