Closing the Books on 2018 as we head into the New Year!

It was a great fall for the ISRA as Illinois and Glass Court were able to host our first-ever LPRT Tier One Professional Tournament as part of the longstanding Glass Court Turkey Shoot. This 27th Turkey Shoot was a full Singles and Doubles Tier 1 event for the Women Pros and a Tier 5 IRT event for the Male Pros. This was in addition to over 125 amateur players who crowded Glass Court from early in the morning until midnight on Friday and Saturday following an exciting Pro-Am Doubles Shootout on Thursday evening (won by Rick Seaberg and Paola Longoria). As a matter of fact, the Pro Am was just the start of another fabulous weekend for Paola Longoria (Mexico) as she took the Ladies Singles Title over Samantha Salas (Mexico) and then partnered with Samantha to defeat Alexandra Herrera (Mexico) and Carla Muñoz (Chile) in the Pro Doubles Finals.

In other divisions at the Turkey Shoot, Cristina Amaya took the Women’s Open over Adriana Riveros in an all-Colombian final. In the IRT Pro Final, David “Bobby” Horn (California) defeated Jake Bredenbeck (Minnesota) while Natalia Mendez (Argentina) and Bobby Horn bested Daniela Molina (Mexico) and new Illinois resident Thomas Carter in Mixed Open. In Men’s Open Doubles, Bredenbeck and Keith Minor took the title over Carter and John Thorson.

We’re looking forward to some of the big events this spring that you must ensure are on your calendar! All we be competed at Glass Court in Lombard.

– ISRA STATE DOUBLES        January 25-27th
– ISRA STATE SINGLES        February 21-24th
– 34TH ANNUAL SHAMROCK SHOOTOUT     March 14-17th
– NMRA INTERNATIONAL MASTERS     June 26- 29th

We’ll be setting a date for Chicagoland Regional Championships shortly. Additionally, many of you are likely to be interested in the WSMRA Championships, USAR National Doubles, and USAR National Singles – all of which are on the calendar with links to the right!

Remember, this is the time of year for ISRA members to nominate players for the 2018 Male and Female Players of the Year, 2018 Most Improved Player, and the 2019 ISRA Distinguished Service Award. Grab a form at ISRA State Doubles to nominate deserving individuals (deadline Sunday, January 27th at the conclusion of the event). If you would like to receive a nomination form via email, please contact Geoff Peters at petersgeoff@hotmail.com, or simply go to the Awards tab on the ISRA website (www.illinoisracquetball.com) and download the form(s) for Player of the Year or Distinguished Service Award. Remember, with all nominations, the more information you provide, the easier it is for your nominee to be considered.

The ISRA Annual Awards and Hall of Fame Ceremony will be presented at the Glass Court Swim & Fitness Club on Saturday night, February 23, 2019, at State Singles. We generally have a great turnout of past and present recipients and hope that everyone will join us!

Remember Junior Team Illinois (JTI), a USAR/ISRA-sanctioned activity for beginner, intermediate and advanced players ages 6-19, is also underway! It’s not too late to get your kids and their friends involved. JTI learns and practices on Sundays (except tournament weekends and holidays) at The Glass Court Swim & Fitness Center in Lombard. For details, contact Cheryl Kirk at cherylkkirk@aol.com or call The Glass Court and ask to speak to Dan Jaskier or Andy Pitock.

Looking for a few Good Men and Women: The ISRA is looking for players (or family members) who would like to help out at our upcoming tournaments. If you are interested in learning the inner workings of a racquetball tournament – from budgeting to court scheduling, from running the tournament desk, to deciding what the tournament souvenir is going to be, from marketing the event to helping ensure that players are fed – then we want to hear from YOU! If you have an interest in volunteering (for students, we can arrange an internship opportunity), please contact Laurel Davis at laurelmdavis1@gmail.com!

Happy New Year!

— Your ISRA Board of Directors