February is a month of playing. By now, if you play during the indoor season, you've been playing regularly every week, in your groups and have maybe played in a couple of tournaments. Of course, I'm speaking of the recreational player. Though in this sport, in all of its versions, you tend to gravitate towards organized events, and that means competitive play.
If you are a diehard indoor player, you know about USA National Doubles coming up in Tempe, Arizona. It's played at Arizona State University and is probably indoor's most social event. Social in that you're close together. Social in that you're playing doubles. And with doubles getting some new life this season, at least in pro play, this year's event will be interesting to follow along.
Next month is Beach Bash happens. It's the first big national outdoor event of the season. It's developing it's own history and each year it gets bigger and bigger. It's year a defining event for everyone who tries it for the first time. I say that because this an event that changes you and how you see racquetball. No matter who you are. It's a really intimate affair. There is something about being right on the beach. It just feels different. It's without a doubt the most beautiful location for a tournament bar none. And the funnest. Sure.. the playing is somewhat important. It's One Wall, the easiest form of racquetball to play. It's easy to make friends... laugh and have a really fun time on the courts and just off of them. It's easier still, to really get to know each other in that togetherness type spirit thing.
This is also a "must go" type thing. It changes everyone's racquetball life, in one way or another. Always for the better.
Conflict of schedules? Not so much this year for the pro tours. And as with every year, there will be newbies giving it a shot. So far, I've heard some interesting names being thrown around. And in the circles I run in, it's talked about continually. So much so, that I personally try not to think too much about it until it's time to go. It will only make February drag for me...