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November - December
1999 -- Vol. 10, No. 6

Linda Mojer

by Linda Mojer

Racquetball is a second-rate sport. There I’ve said it. And having done so, I’ve taken a quick inventory of all the personal items I’ve scattered around my office over the past ten years and decided that — with focus and determination — I could have them all packed up and out the door in ... well ... just under a week, tops.

But that’s not my plan. I intend to continue my love/hate relationship with racquetball well into the you-know-what. I still love the sport itself and enjoy the people who take part in it. I hate that it is considered “less sport-worthy” in any way. On the one hand, it’s personal; on the other, it’s business. On the court, it’s all fun and games; in the office, it’s ... well ... less so. Can schizoid behavior be far behind?

So here’s the problem as I see it: there’s just too much playing around — when it should be serious. If we don’t take ourselves seriously, could it be that others won’t either? Does that make the sport second-rate?

When club owners want to maximize their court usage (and revenue), they need to get serious and hire a sport-specific professional to manage the programs that will generate memberships and stimulate interest among current members. Yes, that means salary, but it also carries with it an expectation of return on that investment. If the first hire plays around and doesn’t get the job done, hire another.

When tournament directors want to host an event, they need to get serious and promote it as if it were any other big name sport. From flyers and entry forms to press releases and results reporting, it’s critical to spread the word about racquetball events outside the building. Yes, that means print costs and legwork, but it also promises payoffs in participation, sponsorships and prospective new members. If your press materials are rendered in crayon (or non-existent), stop playing around.

These two items alone neatly address the entire racquetball population, made up of the recreational player and the competitive athlete. Now for the holiday cheer — if you are a club owner seeking an AmPRO certified professional to run your programs in the you-know-what, send me your “help wanted” ad [100 words or less] and RACQUETBALL will publish it at no charge. If you are a tournament director, access our website at www.usra.org | “index” | Media/Public Relations for a wealth of free online materials to help you promote your next event. Nothing second-rate about that ...

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