I have 3 events on my mind from this past weekend.They are The International Racquetball Tour's NJ Open, Paola's Invitational in Mexico and the World Racquetball Tour's event inEastlake Chula Vista, California. On my mind in that, I'm still processing, as I rethink what I actually experienced Thursday and Friday in New Jersey as I tried to follow along with the other two.
Ok, Kane is the most exciting player to watch in racquetball. No doubt at all. Add the action that happens on the IRT in the quarters and semis, and you have the fastest, most dynamic play available to watch. So, looking at the New Jersey Open on paper, it was a success. The largest draw in NJ in a long time and a Tournament Director that is hungry to make things work.
Yet, I will chalk up some of my feelings on the weather. Heavy snow made getting to the venue tough to get to, so that severely minimized fans just going to watch. But at one point on Friday, I heard someone watching say, "Why do I have to talk so quietly?" I may not have the actual words exactly right... but it was exactly what I was thinking. Kane was completely dominating Tony Carson, on fire and just on another level. And you could hear a pin drop. Not to say, the people watching weren't commenting, they were. "Wow". "That was ridiculous." Etc. But quiet and polite. There was of course applause during and at the end of the matches, but the match the fans were engaged with watching and not becoming engrossed in it or better to say, interactive with it. I wanted more for the action that was happening in the box.
Paola took her day. She came out the big winner of the Paola Longoria Invitational in Monterrey, Mexico. Not just as the winning player, but as the sports top view. She managed to work those who back her into creating a Grand Slam event for her. It's luster definitely spilling over to the women of the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour who made it out there to participate, creating some interesting action in the draws. Portable glass court, check. Mexican press, check. Paola gets the check, check. No doubt great for the sport.
On the Left Coast, the WRT played and had fun. The top four finishers could throw fits in the main draw of the IRT, so there was some great racquetball action on view. Cardona, Landa, Gutierrez and Herrera definitely put out some game. I know the WRT and Gearbox are all about making it fun and accessible, and knowing the light show, speakers, music and just do it style, I'm pretty sure it was a loud affair. They had the live stream showing outside the venue, which is cool. They may be spread a little thin with what they actually want to get out there though. I say that because I saw some video but was expecting to see more from here. (They're getting good at producing them...)
As always, great technical breakdown by The Racquetball Blog.
Looking back on what I just wrote, I notice it may be perceived a bit on the negative side. To that I would say, it's not. I see a lot of shaking being done. Steps. And it makes me want to play more.
After finding my way onto a racquetball court yesterday for the first time since my bus trip in Mexico, I realized I brought what I watched onto the court with me....