5 years running and 3 Wall Ball is proving to be a winning concept. Over 500 players participating in a weekend of seriously competitive play and fun off the court. It's Vegas.
Some things on the racquetball side that jump out to me about this year:
Rocky Carson. I have to start with him. 5 years in a row, he has come out with the top racquetball prize. Outdoor pros and rotating IRT players through the years stepping on the court and Rocky keeps coming out on top. The guy knows how to win on these courts. No doubt.
Janel Tisinger. She's owning Women's Pro Singles at 3 Wall Ball, as well as the WOR Chips. She would benefit, in my mind, from deeper draws. She's solid.
Robert Sostre. That guy can make any pro doubles final on any chart... with anybody.
Daniel De La Rosa. He's legal now and seems to be maturing into his potential. It's always interesting when he meets Alvaro Beltran in a pro singles draw. There is definitely a Mexico legend-young gun vibe every time they meet. The numbers say that this time, Daniel was full on over the hump of that, "legend in his mind" thing. (I don't feel I'm being as descriptive as I'd like to be here... simply trying to say, he may be over any sub-thoughts that Beltran should beat him.) De La Rosa made the Pro Singles final and went 3 with Rocky. I didn't see it, so I don't know if Rocky just started late or was able to put things down at the end... or both. But this kid killed outdoors this year.
Daniel and Michelle Key. No secret these two are tight. They both killed outdoor this year. Michelle won Women's Pro Doubles at WOR's Chips with her sister Danielle and won 3 Wall Women's Pro Doubles with Rhonda Radsich. Add to that... together with De La Rosa, the duo made a bit of history for WOR here. Let me explain a bit... They won Pro Mixed Doubles at 3 Wall Ball. And they won Pro Mixed Doubles at Beach Bash, which is a One Wall event. (There are plans to beef it up even more as a major this coming year.) They are the first team to win "major pro draws" in both formats. (De La Rosa is the first to make finals in Pro Singles in two formats in majors.) World Outdoor Racquetball facilitates crossover for growth. If that is indeed their mission, this is the kind of thing they want to see for growth. And telling these stories. (I won't go into that.) But these two are dedicating to both outdoor and indoor. More of this by young professionals could be a huge part of a recipe for growth.
ESPN3. Exposure is exposure. Right?