History of Racquetball Publications
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION FOR THE OFFICIAL NATIONAL RACQUETBALL ASSOCIATION – A BRIEF HISTORY
Throughout the years, there have been numerous magazines, newspaper type periodicals and similar magazines that cover the sport or simply include racquetball articles. At one time, there were three or four racquetball type magazines in circulation. Some of these different magazines included Racquetball, Killshot, Club Industry, Racquet World, National Racquetball just to highlight a few. On some occasions, an event like the National Racquetball Championships might be covered in several magazines but there was always just one ‘official publication’ for the National Racquetball Association. This organization was the only official national governing body of the sport. At times, the official Racquetball National Association published its own magazine or newsprint tabloid. On other occasions, the association would only have a section in a different publication. The evolution of the official publication over the years of the National Racquetball Association, as national governing body, is outlined below. This outline is intended to provide the historical facts to facilitate an understanding of how the official racquetball publication evolved over the years.
Racquetball Nov. 1972 - April 1982
Racquetball in Review July/Aug 1982 - June/July 1987
(newsprint paper “tabloid” instead of a regular magazine)
AARA in Review Jan. 1988 - Oct. 1989
(an eight-page section in National Racquetball Magazine)
Racquetball USA Feb/March 1990 - Nov/Dec. 1990
Racquetball Magazine Jan/Feb 1991 - July/Aug 1997
Racquetball Sept/Oct 1997 - current
International Racquetball Association
Established in 1969
American Amateur Racquetball Association
Established Oct. 17, 1979
United States Racquetball Association
Established Jan. 1, 1997
Established Jan. 1, 2004
*Names of the national governing bodies as it evolved over time with each replacing the former on the dates indicated.
It is interesting to note that a February 1972 HANDBALL Magazine had on its cover THE OFFICIAL VOICE OF HANDBALL, RACQUETBALL & PADDLEBALL. At that time, Robert W. Kendler was the President of the National Paddleball Association (NPA), President of the United States Handball Association (USHA) and President of the International Racquetball Association (IRA). These facts are all stated in the February 1972 HANDBALL Magazine.
The very first racquetball magazine was published in November 1972. The magazine was called RACQUETBALL and it was the Official Publication of the racquetball’s national governing body at that time which was the International Racquetball Association (IRA).
The first National Racquetball was published in September 1973 after Bob Kendler left the IRA to form the National Racquetball Club (NRC). This magazine was The Official Voice of Pro-Am Racquetball. In September 1974, Bob Kendler formed the United States Racquetball Association (USRA) to deal with amateurs alongside the NRC. The USRA/NRC was a competing association with the IRA (which was actually the Official Racquetball Association at that time).
USRA/NRC declared bankruptcy after 14 years and sold the magazine (NATIONAL RACQUETBALL) in October 1981. Reference in July 1982 – NATIONAL RACQUETBALL – page 16. (The last issue of NATIONAL RACQUETBALL was October 1989).
The information provided above intended to clarify the history and some background of ‘official’ racquetball publications as they related to all other publications covering the sport. The fact that the publication is produced by the sport’s official national racquetball association, national governing body, makes the publication the only recognized ‘official publication’. Finally, eight photos of a sampling of these publications are included below.
Previous Racquetball Covers