by Cindy Tilbury
Can you believe it’s February already? We just had an amazing 33rd Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Association (WSMRA) Championship in Tucson, and we missed YOU. The 48 ladies (ages 42-82) who joined us as players and friends enjoyed beautiful weather and intense, friendly competition. Everyone got a great workout, good food, and time to lay in the sun by the pool. Renee Sitter is the manager at Tucson Racquet Club, and she was our wonderful host, letting us use the 11 great racquetball courts for the weekend of January 12-15, 2023.
If you were already booked for that weekend, I know you will want to mark your calendars for the 34th WSMRA Championships in 2024. MLK weekend will be January 12-14, with the actual Monday holiday being our travel day. Where will we go? Hey, let’s return to Glass Court in Lombard (Chicago)! The local hosts there can’t make any promises on the weather, but we know they’ll show you a great time!
Here’s this year’s lay of the land (stats and format): 48 players traveled to Tucson from 21 states plus Guatemala; 8 divisions (3 singles, 5 doubles). Thirty-nine of the 48 players competed in two divisions. Look here on R2Sports.com for the results.
With all divisions being round robin, there was plenty of racquetball for all players! We had winners of women’s singles and doubles in five-year divisions and all age-skill divisions.
The Saturday evening banquet was fun, and it included birthday cake with a little dancing. DJ Eddie Myers was our special guest. Then the final matches were played Sunday. Everyone was pretty tuckered out as they headed to the airport Sunday night!
I had great volunteers and Head/Penn as our equipment/ball sponsor. Thanks to Fran Davis for the Penn balls. My sister, Linda Lindberg, drove the shuttle for everyone. My Minnesota friend, Lois Palmer, ran the tournament desk so I could play. Linda Moore arranged all of the food. Nidia Funes, Carol Gellman, and Paula Sperling handled all of the fundraising and meet-and-greet doubles. Jane Snyder took care of the awards (artfully designed bag tag awards for first and second places). Lynn Yeazell (Response Graphics & Embroidery) took care of getting the jackets made. Cheryl Kirk helped me check in people and keep on track all weekend. Of course, Terry Rogers and Kendra Tutsch are the heart of this yearly event and of the organization—all of the publicity and formatting has been put together by them. Unfortunately, they couldn’t be in Tucson this year—fingers crossed for next year. I did the fun parts—I scheduled the matches and handled a few other tasks. What a great team!
You may remember that the premier WSMRA event was in 1991 in Madison, Wisconsin. We are all a little older and wiser now, but we’re still as enthusiastic for women-only round-robin, self-refereed racquetball. The organization’s website, wsmra.com, has all of the photos and background. Watch for the 2024 event to be set up on R2Sports.com soon, where you will be able to sign up and ask for a doubles partner. Contact Cindy Tilbury (303.888.4461) or Terry Rogers (650.245.8743) with questions—especially if you have never before played in a WSMRA tournament. We will take good care of you!
P.S. from Cheryl Kirk: All players were grateful for the tournament staff’s hard work and for the friendship and fun we all enjoyed in Tucson. Cindy Tilbury led this great group with grace and good humor, and we could never say enough about her skills, experience, dedication, and heart in support of the WSMRA as well as the NMRA, USA Racquetball, and anywhere else she is needed in this entire sport. Come next January, we’ll try to make her proud in Chicago!