As I Thought. And Not Quite.
I'll start with the International Racquetball Tour. Water seeking it's level again, with a healthier Kane. I was able to watch on my phone during the weekend. The stream worked great on the IRT Network and I watched good racquetball. (Though it sometimes gets a bit frustrating on my Android. The link to get the player going is tiny and sandwiched between two MUCH larger banner ads, resulting in too many inadvertent click throughs...which is time consuming. I sometimes just gave up if i was on the move.) Even as I feel I've seen this play before on the IRT, since I've been actually playing traditional indoor, I enjoy watching even more. That's as I expected.
You can get a good breakdown of the action on The Racquetball Blog.
Later this week, the Tour stops in Long Island, New York for the Cactus Salon NYC Pro/Am. (Not exactly NYC...) Kane Wasalenchuk hasn't been there in a couple of years, having suffered his first loss on paper in a long while, due to injury. He's been playing just off of an injury the last two stops. I'll be interested to see just how free he's playing, though this weekend's Kane was the "this is his run" Kane. And it seems there's nothing anyone can do about it. (I have a couple of friends that want to see Kane play this weekend, so, I'll get up there at least one day.)
I play One Wall early saturday mornings Zerega Indoor in the Bronx. This weekend, there was an "Open" tournament, so I stuck around for the day to help out, watch games and hang out with friends, even though I knew it would run late. I thought it would be a good opportunity to start up some conversations, to see just how knowledgeable this group was about USA Racquetball. I went into this thinking that I knew there would be a small percentage that would know all about the USAR. Those players who I felt would know, did, but most of the info they could come up with was slim at best. The players who I would think wouldn't know about the USAR, would immediately say "WOR", meaning the World Outdoor Racquetball. The USAR has no connection to speak of with the majority of these racquetball players, outside of some Facebook mentions. (I once read a post Marty Hogan contributed in a forum which said, if you use a racquet and a racquetball, it's racquetball. Or something to that effect. These ARE racquetball players.)
I wasn't too surprised about what I was hearing. The general feeling ran from positive, to negative to apathetic. With the spread about even. This weekend, I tried to remain neutral in order to get a gauge on where players in this group actually stood. This group is specifically New York City based. And although there are connections with other areas in the Northeast being developed and some exposure to indoor players at events like 3 Wall Ball, this big sub-group is still surprisingly disenfranchised. It wasn't all bad, but there definitely is work to do, that's if, anyone cares. It's also pretty interesting that the word "Kane" rang a bell with people, but most of the players didn't know details, just that he's "supposed to be really good."
I'm still thinking about it.