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January - February
2000 -- Vol. 11, No. 1

Linda Mojer

FROM THE EDITOR: And Beyond ... !
by Linda Mojer

Well, it’s 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 I’ve 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, I’m 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), we’ve 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 we’ve 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 year’s 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 couldn’t 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!

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