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September - October
1999 -- Vol. 10, No. 5

Linda Mojer

FROM THE EDITOR: Where are They?
by Linda Mojer

With only four months to go, I’d like to jump right in with both feet to become one of the many millions of people who will reflect on the past — while looking toward our future — as the millenium approach-eth. Well, there might not be quite so much of that on the subject of racquetball, but I wanted to get my two cents in early anyway.

So, as much as we talk about racquetball being a “community,” shouldn’t we face facts? If it were truly one big, happy family, there wouldn’t be quite so many distant cousins, twice-removed, wandering around without any feel for their “roots.” You know, players who don’t even know that there is any organized structure for the sport they enjoy? Don’t know their “Gee-neology?” [Gee, there’s a national office? Gee, and a state association? I can buy an official rulebook? A magazine? Attend major tournaments? Gee!] If we accept the most-conservative data, which sets the number of regular racquetball enthusiasts at roughly nine million, we’re left with about 8,975,000 long-lost relatives wandering around looking for the picnic. How do we invite them?

At the beginning of the summer, our thought was to have those of you “in the know” spread the word through a membership drive. Our office was practically faint at the prospect of just doubling our membership base (leaving 8,950,000 still at large). We offered some incentives to bring in new members (balls for everyone!), and prize drawings (there’s plenty left ...) then waited to watch our numbers grow. Let’s just say that we are all still fully-conscious.

The point? The membership drive is entering its last phase and our little community remains just that. Where are all our league, shuttle, mixer, pick-up game and once-a-week-at-six-am brethren? Reaching them one-on-one is effective, but slow. Entire league sign-ups are quicker. You, or your club’s league director, can make multiple copies of the .pdf form and use them to claim a can of balls for each new member you sign up. Quick, easy, and you could end up with a case-ful to yourself!

So, I reflect on the time when racquetball was a much larger community. And I hold out hope for a bright future in which the USRA will provide services to ... oh, let’s say one percent (yes, 1%) of the estimated playing population. By my count, that would be a whopping 90,000! You know, I may faint ...

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