|May 4th (and 5th if needed)||BAY AREA SENIOR GAMES – Men and Women (50+),
Round Robin, Singles and Doubles, at the Page Mill YMCA in Palo Alto, CA. |
Online registration deadline April 24, 2013.
|July 17-20, 2013||NMRA International Championships – Men and Women (45+),
Round Robin, Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles, in West Allis, WI.|
|August 27-31, 2013||IRF World Seniors – Men and Women (35+),
Round Robin, Singles and Mixed Doubles, in Albuquerque, NM.|
National Masters Racquetball Association
(Mar 21, 2008) The annual NMRA National Championship tournament was held in Orem Utah from March 5th through the 8th. Although the draw was down a little from previous years, the two playing venues were top notch and for those of you who have not visited the Provo-Orem area, it is spectacularly beautiful. I know I have touted these tournaments before, but the value you get is amazing: great hospitality, round robin or pool play until you are ready to drop, great sportsmanship and competition. The 2009 NMRA National Championships next March will either be back in CA (Canoga Park) or Portland from what I’ve heard, so look for the upcoming dates at http://www.nmra.info/.
Because of the coming of age of the Baby Boomers, senior racquetball has become a big part of the sport we all love so much. There are many organizations which support senior racquetball. I will be reporting on some of those activities and individuals in the hope of getting those of you “of age” participating in these wonderful organizations. Our website will also be listing some of the senior tournaments you might want to consider.
For starters, the National Masters Racquetball Association (NMRA) is a first class organization which sponsors two exceptionally run and exciting tournaments a year. Typically the first event of the year is held in the Western part of the United States within the first two weeks of March. This year the event will be held in Orem Utah (about a half hour from Salt Lake City) from March 5-8. NMRA tournaments begin early on Wednesday and end midday on Saturday. They attract around 250 players for singles and doubles. The NMRA definition of “senior” begins at 45-49, 50-54, through 80-85. Their tournaments are all round robin or pool play; therefore, participants enjoy three days of intense racquetball with no possibility of elimination. The fourth day is to determine the winners and about a quarter of the field qualifies for the quarter finals. The second tournament of the year is typically the last Wednesday of July through Saturday and held in the Midwest.
I have played in four NMRA tournaments and have to admit it is very difficult to play a singles and doubles events because of the large turnouts and difficult fields. There is a great deal of parity between the players which is what makes it fun. The matches are all self-refed, which is one reason I like it so much. In other words, there is very good camaraderie and sportsmanship. Racquetball at a high level with parity and sportsmanship—does it get any better than that!For more information, the website is www.nmra.info.
One of the least known gems in senior racquetball (until now) is the State Games organizations under the auspices of the Senior National Games. Every year a number of cities, usually through a recreation department, will hold state games throughout the year. Typically singles will be held on a Saturday and doubles on a Sunday. Every two years (odd years) the Senior National Games are held. To qualify for that event, which in 2009 will be held in the Bay Area, you have to qualify in 2008. The qualifying event for 2009 will be held this coming June 8 and 9 in Pasadena. You can email me for specific information about that event if you want. Each of the participating organizations that support Senior State Games usually has its own websites and information. I will be working with California State Senior Games Board to try to get racquetball at all the state events venues, which for California is about six locations. However, only one event is the actual qualifying event for the National Senior Games. The others are just for fun and bragging rights, which for seniors is pretty much what it is about anyway: fun.