Annual Awards

The USA Racquetball Annual Awards are maintained to recognize those athletes and contributors who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in competition, leadership or sportsmanship. All awards, other than the Joe Sobek award, recognize achievements from the past twelve months. The Joe Sobek may recognize achievements over an extended period of time.

All Annual Awards are presented by the USA Racquetball Board of Directors on behalf of the Association Membership and racquetball players across the Country. The Hall of Fame and Annual Awards Committee evaluate nominations from the membership and analyze contributions and performance based on the specific criteria outlined below. The Committee recommends award recipients to the USA Racquetball Board of Directors for presentation at each year’s National Singles Championships.

Please nominate an athlete or contributor if you know someone who should be considered for an Annual Award. All nominations must be submitted by March 1 and may only be made by a current member of USA Racquetball. Award winners will then be selected in time for the ceremony at the USA Racquetball National Singles Championships. Annual Award nominations should be submitted to Committee Chairperson, Jim Hiser via email at: with a copy to

The general membership may not nominate players for the Female and Male Athlete of the Year Awards and the Female and Male Age Group Awards since these awards are based on the results of specific tournaments.

This Award is based on an outstanding commitment to the sport of racquetball.

The Joe Sobek Outstanding Contribution Award (Sobek Award) is presented to an individual(s) who dedicated significant time, energy and effort that impacted the sport of racquetball. This award is intended for individuals who worked tirelessly to influence the sport of racquetball. It is not intended to recognize playing ability but rather those contributions that may have been made “behind the scenes” with very real and lasting impact on the sport.

  • Hall of Fame Members cannot be nominated for this award.
  • An individual who receives the Sobek Award may later be nominated for induction into the Hall of Fame.
  • Each nomination must include a description of the individual’s contributions with dates, metrics and additional corroborating evidence to support the impact on the sport.
  • The Sobek Award will be given to a maximum of one individual(s) each year. If multiple people are recognized, it will be for the same contributions (example: a partnership that resulted in a significant program being developed to drive participation or player growth).
  • It is possible the Sobek Award may not be presented in any given year.
  • A nominee must have participated in, and completed various, significant noteworthy accomplishments, not including playing, over some period of time. These accomplishments must have directly contributed to development, progress or success of the sport at the National level.

This award is presented to the State President who has exhibited outstanding organizational performance in their State. A nomination must include two letters, or more, of recommendations that specifically address:

  • Vision and leadership abilities
  • Relationships with people in their State
  • Accomplishments and challenges
  • Specific metrics that demonstrate success (e.g., membership growth or participation
  • Nominations or support from the USAR office will address:
    • Number/Increase in memberships
    • Number/Increase in tournaments
    • Number/Increase in the number of juniors and women players.
    • Quality of the State Website, Newsletter and Communications

This award recognizes an athlete who exercised an exceptional gesture of fair play during the year or for an athlete who has consistently demonstrated a spirit of fair play during their sports career. A nomination must outline a specific act of fair play by the nominee at an event during the previous year. The nomination should clearly describe the action including the event, match and specific details explaining how and why the action merits this recognition.

A nomination may also be for a sports career during which the nominee consistently demonstrated a spirit of fair play and whose behavior extends off the court into activities that contribute to good sportsmanship in the sport. The nomination must be clear and detailed in describing the extraordinary fairness and sportsmanship exhibited by the nominee during their career. A nomination must outline the fruitful and lasting endeavors of the nominee to promote fair play.

An outstanding female and male athlete, age 35 and over, is selected on the basis of her/his performance for the preceding year.

These two awards will be selected by the Hall of Fame and Awards Committee based on, but not limited to, the seven (7) tournaments listed below.

  • USA Racquetball National Singles Championship
  • National Masters Racquetball Association (NMRA) International Championships
  • International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Senior Championships
  • USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships
  • US Open Racquetball Championships
  • Women's Senior Master's Racquetball Association (WSMRA) National Championships
  • National Masters Racquetball Association National Championships

Awarded to the most outstanding female and male athletes based on demonstrated performance in the previous twelve months.

These two awards will be based on competitive performance at the highest level of the sport, particularly in the U.S. Team Qualifying/Open Divisions of the events below. Also, the highest- ranking performances on the Professional Racquetball Tours will be considered. A player must be a citizen of the United States to win this award.

  • Pan American RB Championships (PARC) formerly Tournament of the Americas
  • USA Racquetball National Singles Championship
  • IRF World Racquetball Championships (Every two years on the even years)
  • Pan American Games (every four years)
  • US Open Championships
  • USA Racquetball National Doubles Championship

The Racquetball Lifetime Award recognizes an individual who, over a career of many years has demonstrated exemplary achievement in areas of contribution to the sport of Racquetball. This passion can extend to various areas that include, service work, teaching, coaching, education, writing, development work, referring, tournaments directors and state directors among others.

This award may include individuals that have been employed within the Racquetball industry or in a combination within the sport and/or volunteering. This achievement must be outstanding in nature and have had a profound effect on fellow racquetball players. These works can be on a local level, regional, national or a combination of all levels.

These rare individuals, who have contributed and demonstrated for a minimum of 35 years, bring a special achievement to the sport of racquetball. We would like to honor these individuals with the Racquetball Lifetime Achievement award. The sport of racquetball is fortunate to have such outstanding people among our ranks.

  • The nominee must have been involved with the sport of Racquetball for a minimum of 35 years.
  • Hall of Fame members are not eligible to be nominated for this award.
  • An individual who has received a Lifetime Achievement Award may be nominated for induction into the Hall of Fame.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award will only be presented to one individual each year. It is possible the award may not be presented each year, depending on the nominations.

USAR Board Members are only eligible to receive "Annual Awards" which are based on performance criteria. The "Annual Awards" they are not currently eligible for include the: Contribution, Presidential, and Fair Play Awards.

Salaried employees cannot receive an "Annual Award" for "Contribution". For example, salaried employees are individuals receiving pay for a forty-hour workweek performing the actions they are considered for nomination.

Committee Chairpersons cannot receive an award of any kind given out by the committee chaired by that person.

An award winner who attends National Singles will receive up to two (2) complimentary banquet tickets. In other words, if the person enters the National Singles, they already receive one (1) ticket to the banquet with their entry; therefore, they will receive one additional complimentary ticket. If that award winner does not compete at National Singles but attends the banquet, then they will receive a total of two (2) complimentary tickets.

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