Mexico Defend Team Title
San José Indoor Club, Costa Rica was the host venue for the 2017 Pan Am Championship, and what a Championship it turned out to be! Following an opening ceremony that included the presence of the Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís, athletes competed in three days of round robin pool play before entering the single elimination bracket. The outcome of each match contributed to each country's points toward a men's, women's, and a combined team title.
In 2016, Mexico claimed all four gold medals at the Pan Am Championship thanks to Paola Longoria (singles and doubles), Samantha Salas (doubles), Daniel De La Rosa (singles), and the duo of Javier Moreno and Alejandro Landa (doubles). This year, they took one less gold, but remained the team to beat in Pan America.
Fast forward to 2017 and the team remained the same for the women, with Longoria and Salas both playing singles and doubles. In the men's division, Landa was selected to play both singles and doubles, but on this occasion he was joined by singles national champion Javier Mar and fellow doubles national champion Polo Guitierrez.
Perhaps the match of the tournament was the women's singles final, where American Rhonda Rajsich overcame three-time World Champion Longoria in a nail-biting 11-9 tiebreaker to claim gold. It was a terrific match, and in front of a standing room only crowd, the atmosphere was electric.
Mexico defended their title with three gold medals and a silver for 904 points, and USA followed with one gold and two silvers accruing 668 points. Although Bolivia were in no finals, collectively they captured third with 324 points. Guatemala and Ecuador each had 310 points.
The IRF's reach continues to expand, and record numbers watched the matches online. In total, over 250,000 viewers engaged in content during the week, which far surpasses any previous tournament.
As we continue to grow, new opportunities emerge to sponsor and support racquetball worldwide. Interested individuals or companies should contact Tim Baghurst at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next IRF tournament will be the Senior World Championships held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States beginning August 29th. The tournament is open to all players over the age of 35.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3 April 2017 –
The year 2016 was a special one for Alok Mehta. At age 49, he became one of the oldest players to qualify and compete at an IRF World Championships, and did so representing his native India as Team Captain. This, in addition to his many other racquetball achievements in and around Illinois during the year, led to his selection as the 2016 Illinois State Racquetball Association (ISRA) Male Player of the Year.
According to Mehta, his love of the sport and the friendships that are made keep him motivated to compete. “Racquetball is all about having fun and having that community that you can rely on time and again,” he said. “I’m grateful for the many people in my personal and athletic life that have helped me to become the player and person I am.” Click here for an interview with Mehta about India Racquetball recorded during the 2016 World Championships.
ISRA Governing Board Member and IRF Board Officer Cheryl Kirk believed Mehta to be very deserving of the award. “Alok is a fine player and a gentleman on and off the court, always. He and his son Devin, 9, both competed in the ISRA State Singles Championships, and both took home medals for their fine showings. It is a pleasure to have Alok as a member of Team Illinois, and we are proud that he also brings the international perspective through his leadership and participation with Team India.”
Although Mehta may not attempt to qualify for India’s 2018 world championship team, he has and will continue to compete at the IRF Senior World Racquetball Championships, where players compete in their own age bracket. A regular at the event, expect Mehta to be a regular on the podium.
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Kirk.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1 March 2017 – The Olympic Channel today announced that it has reached an agreement with the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) to collaborate on content for the Olympic Channel. The new cooperation agreement makes IRF one of the global platform’s 49 federation partners.
“The Olympic Channel provides a platform for the promotion of all sports and athletes within the Olympic Movement,” said Mark Parkman, General Manager of the Olympic Channel. “We are excited to work together in our collective efforts to help expand the reach of these sports through the creation and distribution of content to audiences worldwide.”
“This is an exciting opportunity for our organization,” said IRF Media and Marketing Director Tim Baghurst. “The Olympic Channel helps us reach new markets and to potentially attract new fans and participants to our sport.”
The Olympic Channel, which recently announced the availability of multiple languages on the global digital platform, is currently scheduled to present nearly 500 competitions across nearly 200 events in 2017. The Channel provides an ancillary platform to distribute content and collaborations to broadcast live events are complementary to current broadcast and distribution arrangements.
In addition, the Olympic Channel is working with International Federations, Recognized Sport Federations and Recognized Organizations to create innovative partnerships encompassing live event streaming, event coverage, highlights, magazine shows, news coverage and original programming as well as technical business solutions. The IRF will begin its agreement with the Olympic Channel by creating highlights and features from the Pan Am Championships in April.
About the Olympic Channel
The Olympic Channel is a multi-platform destination where fans can experience the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round, and is available worldwide via mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and at olympicchannel.com.
About the IRF
The International Racquetball Federation is the international governing body of the sport of racquetball under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee. Founded in 1979, the IRF provides governance, rules, and leadership to its 83 national federation members. A member of GAISF beginning in 1980 and recognized by the IOC in 1985, the IRF offers three events annually and one, the IRF World Championships, biennially. It is the international umbrella organization for racquetball over the Olympic Chain of events such as the Pan American Games, World Games, Central American Games, Central American and Caribbean Games, and IRF Regional competitions.
Find the IRF on Facebook YouTube, or visit www.internationalracquetball.com.
Dr. Tim Baghurst
Media and Marketing Director
tbaghurst [at] live.com
International Racquetball Federation
TO: IRF Member Countries
FROM: IRF Board of Directors
DATE: October 13, 2016
RE: IRF Rules Commissioner
On October 10th, 2016 the IRF Board Members voted unanimously to appoint Gary Mazaroff as the IRF’s International Rules Commissioner.
According to President Osvaldo Maggi, “Mr. Mazaroff has been the foremost authority of international racquetball rules for over 30 years, and he has conducted rules clinics in more than 20 countries worldwide. He has an excellent reputation for administering and interpreting international rules of racquetball. He has been a very dependable and dedicated contributor to the IRF, which are essential characteristics as Rules Commissioner.” In addition, Mazaroff was inducted into the IRF Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport internationally.
General responsibilities of the position are:
For more information, contact: Timothy Baghurst 405-744-4346; email@example.com
Find the IRF on Facebook or by visiting www.internationalracquetball.com.
International Racquetball Federation
TO: IRF Member Countries
FROM: IRF Board of Directors
DATE: August 1, 2016
RE: IRF Rule Changes
On Tuesday, July 19, 2016, the IRF World Congress convened for its biennial meeting at which a quorum was achieved. A number of rule changes were brought for consideration. Following are the rule changes that were ratified by the attendees.
IRF Rule Changes -- Effective September 1, 2016
1. Rule 3.16a -- There will be two timeouts allowed per game (reduced from three in the first two games and two in the tiebreaker).
2. Rule 3.16d -- There will be a two-minute rest period between all games (reduced from five minutes between the second and third games).
3. Rule 3.1 -- The server has two opportunities to put the ball into play in all divisions including the Open division (changed from one serve only in the Open division).
4. Rule A.7 -- Each player/team will be allowed to make a maximum of three "not accepted" appeals per game (changed from five “not accepted” appeals per 15-point game, and three “not accepted” appeals in the 11-point tiebreaker).
*** Please ensure that everyone in your country is informed of these rule changes, including, but not limited to, players, coaches, referees, and delegates. ***
XVIII IRF RACQUETBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
CALI - COLOMBIA
JULY 15-23, 2016
The International Racquetball Federation (IRF) and the Colombian Racquetball Federation have the pleasure of inviting you to participate in the XVIII IRF Racquetball World Championship.
Click on the above file to download specific details.
The International Racquetball Federation has learned that there may be racquets on the market that do not meet IRF specifications.
IRF Rule Reminder
The IRF rule on racquet length is:
Rule 2.4 Racquet Specifications (a) The racquet, including bumper guard and all solid parts of the handle, may not exceed 22 inches in length. No additional tolerance. (e) The penalty for using an illegal racquet is a technical. The penalty for requesting that an opponent’s racquet be measured resulting in the racquet being declared legal will be a technical on the requesting team/player for delay of game.
Any racquet that measures over 22 inches in length does not meet IRF technical specifications.
Therefore, racquets that measure longer than 22 inches may not be used in IRF-sanctioned events.
It is the responsibility of individual players to ensure their racquets and other gear meet IRF specifications before competing in IRF-sanctioned events.
To view Rule 2.4 in its entirety as well as the entire Official IRF Rules & Regulations 2014-2016, please visit: http://www.internationalracquetball.com/rules.html
On July 19, Racquetball will begin competition as part of the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Held every four years, the Pan American Games are the world’s third largest international multi-sport Games; they are surpassed in size and scope only by the Olympic Summer Games and the Asian Games. This year, approximately 6,135 athletes from 41 nations are expected to participate in 36 sports. The dates of the Games run from July 10-26.
This will be the fifth Pan American Games in which racquetball has competed as a full medal sport:
1995 in Mar Del Plata, Argentina
1998 in Winnipeg, Canada
2003 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico
2015 in Toronto, Canada
The Exhibition Centre will offer more than one million square feet of space that will showcase indoor volleyball, roller sports figure skating, team handball, squash, and racquetball. The Centre will be one of the five competition venues that are part of CIBC Pan Am Park on the Canadian National Exhibition grounds.
Racquetball and its athletes will be treated with the same respect and protocols as are afforded Olympic Sports: in the venue, by the press, and in all areas key to the success of the sport. The racquetball venue is located next to the International Press Center, which will potentially provide tremendous international media exposure.
Competition will take place on four portable courts including a four-wall glass court. The four courts will become the property of Racquetball Canada as part of the legacy of the Games.
The professional staff of the IRF will be on hand to manage the competition with the help of 20 certified referees. As of this writing, we are not certain whether racquetball will be streamed since Toronto 2015 holds the rights to streaming and media.
Fifty-six (56) of the world’s best racquetball athletes will first compete in individual events for medals to be earned in men’s and women’s singles and doubles. The final three days will feature countries competing head-to-head, with finals taking place on July 26. Each day will be divided into two sessions with tickets available to the public for all sessions. Visit http://www.toronto2015.org/racquetball for details.
Racquetball players from each of the participating countries will be walking with their countrymen (delegates and fellow athletes from other sports) in the Closing Ceremonies on the evening of July 26.
The 2015 Pan American Games will arguably be the single most exciting and important event ever held in the history of international racquetball. Beginning July 19, be sure to follow all the developments on the International Racquetball Federation Facebook page and on the IRF web site: www.internationalracquetball.com.
A very special thanks goes to all of you who have supported and believed in the future of International Racquetball. Good luck to our great athletes who have made such an incredible commitment.
IRF Official Blog
The IRF newsfeed covers all things international racquetball including interviews, commentary, and news.