Letter from President

by Stewart Solomon

Greetings, Racquetball Family,

Last month I spoke about how it takes a village to help a family to grow and develop. In my racquetball experience I have run into many selfless people that are looking to put the good of the sport ahead of themselves. Perhaps it was to sacrifice their own place within a league to allow a junior relatively new to the sport to take their place for added court time and exposure. Or people stepping up to be first-time tournament directors looking to host a tournament that focuses on players new to the sport or just new to tournament play. Or even those looking to donate their time to give free introductory lessons to members at their gym. This unconditional selflessness is what builds the foundation of family.

With any family there are ups and downs, but through it all, family sticks together and supports one another through the good and the bad. They sing praises and give accolades or simply give a pat on the back with a “good job” when there is excitement and good news. And they support, nurture, and give a simple hug when news is not so good. At this year’s National Doubles & Singles Championship, there were a lot of uplifting and encouraging words heard throughout the event and surrounding the execution of event. Players traveled from around the country to a family reunion in Texas, and it was a pleasure to see courts filled with players and to interact with inquisitive non-racquetball gym goers asking what the event was all about. The family reunion continued up to Iowa where the indoor Championship season was rounded out with the National Junior Championship and the naming of the 2022-23 U.S. Junior Team.

Now we look forward to the next indoor championship on the schedule: the 26th US OPEN Racquetball Championships returning to Minneapolis. As you see on the tournament website, the host facility is the University of Minnesota rather than the Target Center. Since moving to Minneapolis in 2010, this will be the first time the Target Center will not be the host facility, and as of this writing there will be no glass stadium court set-up. As many are aware, the US OPEN’s management infrastructure that was in place for the event in 2021 was the final year for nearly all of the previously established sponsorship agreements. Now I am just as weary of the pandemic being used as an excuse as the next person, but the truth of the matter is that economic issues faced here and around the world have impacted our ability to secure financial commitments ahead of this year’s event.

So that’s what this year’s US OPEN isn’t going to be, i.e., “not so good news.” But read on for what it IS going to be. A dedicated staff and experienced volunteers are reimagining this year’s US OPEN with fresh and unique ways to make this final indoor family reunion of 2022 one hell of an experience for players and fans alike.

=> It remains a GRAND SLAM event bringing out the top athletes from around the world to compete for the title of US OPEN Champion.
=> It continues to have one of, if not THE, richest purses in the sport.
=> The University of Minnesota has two show courts with a side glass wall, similar to Texas A&M and ASU, providing exciting up-close-and-personal interactions with the pros.
=> The new host location is in a thriving section of the metropolitan area.
=> The host hotel is listed as the #2 hotel on Trip Advisor in the University area.

If you’re like me, I don’t get to travel around as much as I’d like to, to play in different areas, so when I get a chance to attend a championship like National Singles or the US OPEN, I’m equally excited to go and compete in my amateur divisions and to hang out with my second family.

With all of this said, I ask you, the racquetball family, for your patience and support as we manage through this rebuilding phase. Come join us in Minneapolis to support the sport, USA Racquetball, the pros, and each other!

I also come to you with hat in hand asking that if you are someone looking to help through sweat equity before or during the event; through sponsorship support; or through providing contacts with others who might be interested in supporting via sponsorship, please reach out at my email below and I’ll promptly be in touch!

I continue to look forward to connecting with many of you in the coming months and years, to hear of your frustrations, successes, and ideas. We are the village that will take Racquetball forward to future generations!


Stewart Solomon
USA Racquetball Board of Directors

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