Say Things That Need To Be Said
For the last couple of days, I've been engaged in following up on feed back from players and the engaged regarding my last post. I'm interested in the range of views, pointing me to other perspectives and takes. I've been encouraged to say things that need to be said. I'm pretty sure some good will come out of it - worth talking about, because I remain encouraged about possibilities.
I'll start with home. Something I haven't shared much on the blog is my views on my own personal group of players and game, here in NYC. Mostly because it's One Wall and a relatively small part of racquetball as a whole to date. One Wall's biggest event happens in Florida, even though the heavy majority of players reside in NYC. Partly because of the beautiful courts at Garfield, but mostly because the game has been languishing in NYC since it started hitting big here in the mid 90's. How can I say "languishing" when the number of people that actually play just keeps growing strong? This is evident when local parks and courts at the beach have wait lists that can set you back a couple of hours on those fun, smile and laughter filled days. The state of events and interest from the outside does not reflect the relatively huge numbers inside NYC.
WOR has been involved in NYC One Wall since around 2005 or so. And is the custom, WOR engages and relies on local leaders to help build the sport, with a hoped result of getting players from other states interested in engaging in play across the country. By default, WOR deals in dysfunction. They aggregate different local players and rules, draw indoor players outside and dealing with what those things bring to the table. A big part of this type of work is dealing with how to handle the negative with the positive. And since last month's Beach Bash, the relationship between WOR and NYC players has hit some frigid (frigged) and rough waters. (Apparently, WOR noticed that I "deemed the WOR website content to be irrelevant and static". I guess I did.)
The impression that WOR is now dealing with is that NYC is filled with players with a sense of entitlement that players from NYC believe One Wall belongs to them. It doesn't. Some NYC players think this. When you look at the numbers, the vast majority don't. NYC has had the game for some time now, and the group just hasn't been able to capitalize on the growing interest. Some players (and good people,) step up and create events, which is the only thing that provides organized competition in NYC right now. They stick to NYC rules, which satisfies players. Somewhat. Without these people, who often deal with our unique dysfunction, there would be no competitive pulse in the city.
Somehow, I've been separated by some in NYC because of my stance and position on some things regarding One Wall. My stance is how I conduct myself. On and off the court. Something, I won't ever compromise on. My position is... at this point, I don't care what some think. Hey, some of you players in NYC... when you fight and carry on during games, when you complain instead of doing something yourselves, when it's all about you or money, when you buy into the guy next to you complaining and blowing the negative things up - out of proportion, you're part of the problem. No growth? No building interest? Why is that? I will say, the NYC group is my family. I'll say what needs to be said, as you do with family.
It's beautiful here today. I'm gonna ride my bike for the first time this Spring. My racquet will be in my bag.