- Freddy Ramirez
Getting Up For The Last Events And Some Drama
I like that the LPRT is streaming their matches. I got to watch Maria Jose Vargas and my girl Rajsich in their tough match. Rhonda then had a huge opportunity to make something really big happen in the final against Paola. Rhonda needs to focus a few new priorities in her play, and add some focus to on certain seemingly basic things. (If I only had a voice there...though I would never assume that.)
In my opinion, since they are in a great position to capitalize on this seasons successes of a few of their international players, they need to considerably boost and tighten up their streaming productions. It's a brand, and the players should be thought of playing up to them, not perceived as being driven by their player's successes outside of the tour. Simple sticking a camera in the stands and just turning it on and talking feels kitchy. If they are again having that big Squash Racquetball thing in Mexico this coming September, (hopefully not the same weekend as # Wall Ball in Vegas...) that would be a great time to dial in a comprehensive jump on the media stuff. It could considerably expand their reach worldwide during that event.
I'm also finding it interesting is that neither the LPRT or IRT will be making an appearance at USA Nationals, yet their respective rankings will determine USA player involvement and am curious to know what the top division at Nationals will be playing for in Fullerton. I'm sure things will be made clearer as we get closer to Team USA announcements. Or if someone addresses this on one of our social media postings.
This weekend, the International Racquetball Tour is throwing down in Stockton, California, a hotbed of racquetball. The organizer guys at the 209 have been working hard to make it a happening event on the ground. With a longish layoff and tons of hungry players hitting the qualifying and other the divisions, no doubt that is the place to be this weekend. Spots 5 through 8 will do some jostling. Billed the Ektelon 209 Battle of the Ages, they are saying their sponsors out loud as they keep hyping it up on Facebook. Currently, it's the only game in town. (It seems they are carrying the IRTour on their shoulders for this last stretch of the season...) I dig that place and the people... I'll be watching from here. At least as long as there is stuff coming out of it.
The final IRT event of the season in Portland, is the Pro Kennex Tournament of Champions. Those holding the top eight IRT spots will take part in the IRT Pro Singles division. Don't know if this was intended since the start of the season, but it's not unlike what the Professional Squash Tour does here in the states, their season ending Race For Eight. Though some of those PST players have spots given to them contractually I suppose, because of accomplishments and reputations, not points. The PST is a separate tour than the much bigger and global Professional Squash Association. They've been operating in the States for a few years now, and have seen some growth. But the big (comparatively numerous) events here in the states (and abroad,) with their gorgeous portable court is all PSA.
Seriously missing that big and beautiful showcase portable court of ours.