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Club racquetball increases presence, competes in tournaments

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You’re confined into a 40-by-20 foot court and your opponent has just smashed  the ball upwards of 150-180 mph. You have mere milliseconds to make a snap decision on where to place your next shot, so you and defeat your opponent and get a point.

Am I going too fast? Well, that is what the club racquetball team has done this season and competed in various tournaments this year where they have had to keep up with this fast paced competition.

“Racquetball is a very fast paced game. I consider basketball to be very slow compared to racquetball,” club co-President Michael Meyer said.

The club racquetball team currently consists of six to eight regularly playing members, but it has a roster of 20 members with varying experience levels.

The club team requires no previous experience but want people who want to learn how to play racquetball.

The team has received professional lessons from professional racquetball player Ryan Maher from St. Louis.

The team has also worked with previous racquetball coach at the University of Missouri.

This season the team competed in four different racquetball tournaments including:  The Mike Pohlman Memorial, the Greensfelder, Pinchshot.com Intercollegiates, and MO State Qualifier.

St. Louis has a very tight-knit racquetball community. The sport is very popular in St. Louis for people of all ages.

“The adult and high school leagues here are incredibly extensive, There are hundreds of high school players, and this year, St. Louis University HIgh won Boys nationals and Cor Jesu Academy won Girls nationals. There are dozens of open level players in STL,” Meyer said.

St. Louis has national high school racquetball tournaments every other year and the racquetball hall of fame is in St. Louis.

According to Meyer, one area that racquetball is lacking is in the college ranks.

“Many of the experieZnced, dedicated players will matriculate to the University of Missouri to play for a highly competitive team,” Meyer said.

However, the club racquetball team is attempting to build a strong racquetball culture in the college ranks.  One of the more regular players is Rico Brooks.

Brooks is a sophomore who joined the team after a stressful freshman year.

“It is a hobby that keeps me active. It is something that clears my mind and helps me focus,” Brooks said.

Brooks said that the game has constant movement and describes as a new hobby the helps relieve stress.

Meyer emphasized that racquetball is a “culture” not just a sport.

“Even if one cannot play in a tourney, you still go up to watch a tournament. Even in tournaments, referees are not always used because players are expected to call their own fouls. Everyone knows everyone, and it is a really tight-knit community,” Meyer said.

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