We are getting toward the end of summer with the Labor Day holiday soon upon us, and it is time to turn our thoughts to getting back on the court more seriously and pointing at those great autumn events in Illinois as well as the BIG one in Minneapolis – the 20th Annual United Healthcare US Open. This is truly a Grand Slam Event with over $40,000 in prize money for the men and $20,000 for the women: the biggest paychecks in racquetball. The matches take place on a stadium court at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. Frankly, you can’t find better weather than the beginning of October in Minneapolis, just as the leaves are turning! Some of our top players have been practicing all summer getting ready, and two former Illinois players are looking to make a mark as Ben Croft and Krystal Csuk both plan to be in attendance this year. Add to the mix Keith Minor looking to cash in on the CPRT Tour and Cheryl Gudinas after a summer of rehabbing and getting fit — we are looking at some great local players on the national stage!
Closer to home, the ISRA Travel League is gearing up for the season, and if you are not already part of the nation’s oldest regular travel league, this is the year to get a group of players together from your club and enter. The league will start the second week of October and feature:
- Women’s play on Monday nights
- Men’s Open on Tuesday nights
- Men’s A on Wednesday night, and
- Men’s B/C on Thursday night
Getting a team together is easy! For the men’s leagues, each team competes three singles players (#1, #2 and #3) each week and one doubles team – five players! Most teams have about 12 players on their roster, so you can switch out for matches when conflicts arise. Matches are generally played in the early evening, and competitors and teammates have been known to stop for a refreshing “beverage of their choice” before heading home after play. For more information on how your club, can have a team, please call Pam Grace at (630) 495-2260 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll be glad that you took a minute to do so!
We are actively looking for sponsors for a Professional Men’s Tour Event (IRT) to be held next March in Chicagoland. This is a great opportunity to promote your products and gain visibility across the racquetball and fitness community. For more information as to how you can be a part of this, please contact Geoff Peters at email@example.com or (773) 251-4413.
Check out the updated ISRA Tournament Calendar to the right. We’ll keep current with all sanctioned events in Illinois as well as the national events you may be interested in!
The next local event is the Fall Brawl, October 3-5 at Glass Court, which will be a great warm-up for the US Open the following week. To make this event’s second year even more interesting, the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) will be featured with an impressive number of top players from North, Central, and South America stopping over to tune up before heading up to Minneapolis the following week. You won’t want to miss this one!
See you on the courts,
Your ISRA Board of Directors