An Overview Of Racquetball

It's hard to imagine the modest beginnings of racquetball because the sport has experienced such a surge in popularity since the year it was created. Played by fervent fans around the globe, racquetball began as a simple idea. Over the years, the game, the equipment used and the organizations that oversee tournaments have gone through several changes. This article offers a brief overview of racquetball.

The Birth Of Racquetball

The idea behind racquetball was born in the mind of Joseph Sobek in 1948. Dissatisfied with squash, handball and tennis, he created a game that comprised elements of each. He designed the equipment to be used and formulated the size of the court in which it was to be played. Since that time, organizations such as the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) have risen to prominence, overseeing and conducting tournaments around the world.

Racquetball Equipment Basics

Only a few pieces of equipment are needed to play racquetball. Tournament play is done in a racquetball court with a length of 40 feet, height of 20 feet and width of 20 feet. A small racquetball and two racquets are required for a singles game. Most courts and tournaments also require that each player wear racquetball goggles to protect their eyes. Also, though not required, many experienced players prefer to wear gloves while playing. The size of the racquets and the thickness of the strings can vary, giving an edge to those players who learn to leverage the differences.

Serves, Points And Shots

The server is required to stand in a section of the court called the service zone. He can strike the ball after it has bounced once on the floor. From that point, a rally between the players begins. The shots made during serves and rallies often require a significant amount of skill and accuracy. Experienced players try to deliver serves as well as offensive and defensive shots that can catch opponents off-guard and make it difficult for them to make a legal return.

Rallies end when one player fails to make a legal return of the ball. Points are usually only rewarded to the player who served. Professional players typically play 5 games to 11 points, with 2 points required to win a game. The best of 5 games wins.

Racquetball Tournaments

The IRF organizes and oversees the Racquetball World Championships. This tournament is played every 2 years with a different country hosting the contest each time. The tournament is open to all players from countries that are members of the IRF. Also, continental and regional championships are played in other countries. For example, the Asian Championships, European Championships and Pan American Championships are held in those regions and organized by groups affiliated with the IRF.

The Future Of Racquetball

Fans around the world are playing and watching racquetball games in ever-greater numbers. The championship tournaments and organizations that oversee them work tirelessly to promote the game, the players and the spirit of competitiveness amongst them. Each year, racquetball attracts new fans in every country. Some simply watch the games. Others dream of competing in the championship tournaments. The future of racquetball remains as bright, if not brighter than ever.