The Men's US team qualifying division at USA National Singles is pointing me to something I've been eluding to since last June. The results point me to the thought that the World Racquetball Tour presents a uniquely different experience for young strong players. Young, hungry, talent loaded players meet up with each other more than the International Racquetball Tour can allow, because the top of the pack is just too strong. Not that they never get to match up, but when they do, it's usually just one match, then they have to move on to the top of the pack, whereas the WRT is more of an even pack.
It's valuable experience because players maintain having to work through their skill sets on an equal footing. They learn what they are capable of doing. These young strong players have something more to lose when they are seen as evenly matched. It's a different and valuable kind of pressure.
Jake Brendenbeck who won the top spot for the US team is a promising young player. From what I know, he's finishing up with school and intending to commit to play all WRT events next season. And Bobby Horn has been hitting the WRT tour full time. They respectively got by Marco Rojas and Jansen Allen in matches that required they dig deep to make the final spots. These results aren't conclusive with what's happening with player experiences, but they are interesting.
USA National singles should have been an opportunity for strong young players to be matching up seriously. I would have liked to see IRT ranked guys like Tony Carson, Alex Ackerman, Nick Montalbano, Charlie Pratt and Brad Schopieray in that draw, that would have been something.
Would Jake and Bobby have made it through then? I think I would have liked their chances.