July - August 2001
Vol. 12, No. 4 | Contents

FROM THE EDITOR: Couch Potato!
by Linda Mojer

Notoriously, when tournament directors arrange to host a sanctioned event in any given club, a small segment of that club’s membership will take up arms about being required to join the USRA in order to take part. The debate centers on the premise that these club-level participants never venture outside their own environment to compete. They don’t play in, or travel to, other tournaments. But since the event is in their own backyard, they want to take the opportunity to see how their skills stack up. But they’ve already paid their club membership to play on those courts, doggone-it, and they’re not going to pay another dime!

In other words, they’ve purchased a television (club membership) to receive network broadcast signals (court time). Maybe they’ve had to climb up on the roof to install an antenna to boost reception (join a league to get more frequent and regular play). Later they may want to receive the benefit of expanded offerings, so they’ll invest in basic cable (more club events). Then there’s that expanded digital cable or satellite dish, bringing hundreds of stations right into your living room (a sanctioned event, that reaches out and invites USRA members to your club — and brings the competition to you). 

Of course, to take full advantage of all the channels (your membership) you’ll need to learn how to program your VCR (study technique in the magazine), or even buy a DVD and disks (travel to higher level events). Still, it’s impossible to watch every channel (or win every game), yet people willingly invest in costly enhancements to the environments they enjoy. With TV, you’re a couch potato … with racquetball, you can be an athlete. 

So how much do you have invested in vegetating? TV ($200-$800); home theatre ($1500+); satellite dish ($200); VCR ($200); DVD ($200); surround sound, flat screen? Basic cable: $25.00 per month. Expanded cable ($40.00/mo); digital cable ($60.00/mo); dish service ($15-$75/mo.). Your 56k internet connection: $20.00/month; DSL? We live in a society that enjoys its leisure, and works hard to pay for it. 

Through the remainder of 2001 … for the low, low price of $20.00 (less than one month of basic cable service), you can join the USRA for an entire year. And even after next year’s fee increase, membership will still cost less than a single month of expanded cable service. Then, once you’ve signed on, you can choose how best to maximize that membership by competing as little as once a year in-house — or as often as you like, wherever you like. USRA and state association member benefits will be there. Sanctioned events will be there. Other USRA members will be there. RACQUETBALL magazine will be there (right next to the remote, if you like). All you have to do is tune it all in.

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