FROM THE EDITOR: And Beyond ... !
Well, its that time again ... the start of a new year. That,
combined with all the excitement surrounding the start of another hundred
years, forces me to admit that Ive sorta got a little Buzz
Lightyear thing going on here (but it could just be the coffee) ...
So in terms of and beyond ...! the USRA has been on
the receiving end of a series of pitches by companies looking for sport content
for their websites over the past twelve months. WorldSport.com and
Ticket2sports.com have already contracted with us to develop content for a
major international site and an internet broadcast offering
(respectively) in the coming year. Additional projects to provide online
instructional, sanctioned event registrations, and portal services are also in
the works. Granted, Im not sure exactly where all of this is headed, but
it certainly is gratifying to see that internet media moguls seem to view
racquetball as a viable source of material for narrow-casting use. It seems
that, by commiting to a website presence when we did (96), weve
been able to effectively level the playing field among our peer
sport organizations. We found that several of these projects came to us as a
result of web-searching and finding www.usra.org and
www.racqmag.com. So weve learned alot in just a few short years, not the
least of which has been that what racquetball has to offer is just as good
if not better than anything else on the cyber-market.
This years Promus U.S.
OPEN featured nearly-live internet coverage with Ed Arias
racq-cam from atop the sound-staging scaffold. People online ate it
up. Last year (amid complaints about not being able to follow the ball in any
televised coverage, no matter how big the screen ...), Ed uploaded some
videoclips that ran on a 1 square RealPlayer on the monitors of countless
surfers, and they couldnt get enough. Our website statistics from
Excell.net show a routine jump in viewer numbers whenever a new companion
e-version of the magazine is due [I try to get it out on the first day of the
issue month, fyi], and the very thought of not having our national tournament
draws online throughout any given event is enough to fill my inbox with emails
expressing flabbergasted disbelief and disappointment.
So, yes, we got game. Not only on the courts that we all know and
love, but also within the framework of the virtual reality that we face in Y2K.
Buzz and I are ready!