National Championships Announcement - Cancellations
Last Wednesday, USA Racquetball communicated with you, our members, regarding the upcoming USAR National Singles and National Junior Championships. As stated then and repeated now, our overriding principles are to protect the health of everyone involved and to safeguard the interests of our members.
The Staff and Board of Directors of USA Racquetball are continually monitoring information that comes available on a daily basis, and today, March 23rd, we have made the difficult but appropriate decision to cancel the Nationals Singles and National Junior Championships scheduled for May and June, respectively.
With everyone's health and safety of paramount importance, we don't feel that bringing people into close quarters on flights and in the host clubs and hotels makes sense. We also recognize additional factors such as lack of training opportunities due to club closures and certainly the costs to attend national events when some may find it difficult to do so.
Of course, canceling these two events brings the question: What about the formation of the 2020-21 National Adult and Junior Teams that these tournaments determine? We don't have information to offer yet, but please know that we are discussing approaches to these challenges.
In closing, we all realize that even in the face of what we are facing together in the U.S. and around the world, our sport will continue to be important in our day-to-day lives. As we look forward to the passing of this crisis and return to normalcy, we have some suggestions, to the extent you might be able to help.
Please take the time to review the ideas expressed below and act, as you are able.
Mike Wedel Executive Director USA Racquetball
Moving into the Future -- How You Can Help
Please share this message throughout the racquetball community via email and social media. When able, please post this message where you play.
Club closures and the cancellation of racquetball events are having a significant and possibly long-lasting impact on the sport. USA Racquetball is committed to the health of the sport and supporting its players, event organizers, and club owners.
We are also concerned for the many people and families who have been negatively impacted by the current situation, financially and otherwise. USA Racquetball supports the many efforts being taken to reduce medical impact.
During this difficult time, if you are in a position to do so, please consider taking some of the below steps to help the sport we love prosper in the future.
Continue Making Club Membership Payments
Many club owners have been forced to close. Revenue losses from such closures are putting the very existence of these businesses and the courts they own in jeopardy. Continuing to pay membership fees during closure periods, and encouraging others to do the same, may make the difference between your club and its courts closing temporarily or permanently.
Additionally, maintaining membership revenue will allow clubs to lessen the financial hardship placed on club employees in ways that benefit the long-term health of the club and the greater economy as a whole.
In continuing to make membership payments, let your club know you value the racquetball courts they provide. It is important that club owners understand the value that courts have to their members and businesses.
Support Cancelled Events
Event directors and state associations are the lifeblood of the competitive racquetball community. Most invest significant time and resources, making important contributions to the sport, with little or no financial benefit.
Many event directors and state associations who have had to cancel events have already invested funds in organizing these events. Ask them how you can help them get through these challenging times. Allowing them to keep entry fees may be helpful. Committing to sponsor, attend, or otherwise support their next event may be appropriate. Whatever you can do to help keep valued event directors and state associations healthy and invested in the sport is important and greatly appreciated.
Join or Rejoin USA Racquetball as a Member
Membership revenue is the lifeblood of USA Racquetball. Without it, USA Racquetball is not able to conduct national championships, administer player rankings, sanction and support local events, fund state associations, manage the rules, foster player development, or fund TEAM USA as it strives for gold on the international stage.
USA Racquetball has canceled three 2020 national championships: National Intercollegiate Championships, National Singles Championships, and National Junior Championships. The cancellation of these championships, combined with the same for many regional, state, and local events, is anticipated to have a significant financial impact on the Association that puts its future in jeopardy.
Joining or rejoining USA Racquetball, whether or not you plan to compete in a sanctioned event in the near future, will provide valuable support to help the Association get through these difficult times. Further, if you are in a position to do more, please consider a tax-deductible donation to USA Racquetball to help ensure it can support and promote the sport into the future.
Together, as a racquetball family, we can weather these difficult times and continue to enjoy the sport we love long into the future.