The USA Racquetball Board of Directors, at the recommendation of the selection group responsible for analyzing submissions and conducting interviews, has approved Dan Horner of Ankeny, Iowa, as USAR’s National Rules Commissioner, effective May 24, 2021.
Dan is the successor to Otto Dietrich, who first assumed the role in 1988 and retired on January 1st of this year. A USAR Hall of Fame Member (Class of 2017), Otto has been a staple in USA Racquetball across multiple generations, and USA Racquetball once more extends its gratitude for his immeasurable contributions to our sport and our members.
On his new role, Dan commented, “I am honored to accept the position of National Rules Commissioner. Over the last few years I have enjoyed learning alongside the great Otto Dietrich. While I know it is nearly impossible to fill the shoes he leaves behind, my main goal will remain the same as his has been over the last few decades, which is to educate and inform players of all levels on what the rules are and how that applies to their game play. I will be focused on keeping the greatest sport ever invented safe to learn, fun to play, fair to compete, and exciting to watch. I personally invite you to send any questions or suggestions for rules changes to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan has served on the National Rules Committee for several years and will now become its Chair. With a deep knowledge and understanding of the rules of the game, he will indeed welcome questions from members and respond timely along with featuring some each month in a USAR Serving Up the News resurrection of the popular feature “What’s the Call” that Otto made popular in Racquetball magazine over many years. Look for that feature to begin later this summer!
USAR Executive Director Mike Wedel said, "I have known Dan Horner for many years, and I know he will be a great rules commissioner. Dan is one of the most detailed and thorough individuals I have ever met, and that will serve him well in managing and applying the rules of racquetball. He has spent a great deal of time shadowing Otto Dietrich over the years and, of course, he couldn’t have had a better teacher and mentor along the way.”
Stewart Solomon, Vice President of the USAR Board of Directors and Chair of the selection group, added, “During the interview process I could really get a sense for Dan's passion and respect for the rules. Dan will make short work of the transition into his new role, and I look forward to seeing what he will bring to the position!”
Dan is supported in his racquetball endeavors by his wife, Melissa, and their children Kelsy, 27, Benjamin, 15, and Zane, 5. Kelsy and her husband Alexey are expecting their first child later this year. Benjamin is a multi-year member of the U.S. National Junior Team and has competed in three IRF World Juniors competitions. Little brother Zane will follow right along if Dan has any choice in the matter!
A player for 20 years and a Level 2 Certified Referee, Dan also serves as President of the Iowa Racquetball Association. He and a team of hardworking volunteers will comprise the Local Organizing Committee that will provide “boots on the ground” leading up to the mid-July 2021 National Junior Championships & Adult Team Qualifying Presented by Penn.
Tune in to the Real Racquetball Show on Monday, June 7, at 8:00 pm CT (USA Racquetball Facebook) to meet Dan and hear more about his thoughts on taking the National Rules Commissioner role!