November 29, 2022
A Message from the USA Racquetball Board of Directors and Executive Director
The USA Racquetball Board of Directors has undertaken a restructuring of its operations in line with current and projected membership revenue and revenue from other sources. For instance, Mike Grisz is currently serving as USA Racquetball’s executive director in a volunteer capacity – a role that is expected to continue through at least 2023. Beyond one paid staff member, USA Racquetball is currently an organization comprised of dedicated volunteers taking on a number of tasks and responsibilities.
Several factors have contributed to USA Racquetball’s present situation:
-- USA Racquetball memberships are hovering at just under 5,000. This is half of what we had in 2019, before the pandemic changed everything.
-- Indoor racquetball participation was significantly hampered during the pandemic. While we are thankful for the many members who have returned to the sport, many more stopped playing competitively and/or moved to other recreational activities. USA Racquetball’s membership revenue is down $125,000 per year from pre-pandemic levels.
-- National championship tournaments in 2022 operated at a loss of $170,000, with the most significant of these losses occurring at the recent 2022 US OPEN Racquetball Championships. This level of loss, particularly at the US OPEN, was a blow. While the leadership of the association was aware the US OPEN would operate at a loss, USA Racquetball felt the continuation of the event was important for the sport and its members. As a result of unforeseen expenses incurred during the event, the financial loss was more significant than expected.
USA Racquetball faces a financial situation where we must raise nearly $100,000 by the end of the year. Doing so will provide a fresh start in 2023 with a focus on championship event profitability and operating expenses in line with membership numbers and revenue. While it is difficult to share this information with our racquetball family, we believe it is important to be transparent and forthcoming about our financial situation.
Simply put, we need the help of the entire racquetball community. We seek aid and support to help the association weather current financial challenges and continue to perform the many functions we serve in the sport.
There are many ways individuals and organizations can assist. Some of these can be found below, and we would be grateful to discuss any other ideas you may have. USA Racquetball is a 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax deductible.
Large Donation Matching Gift
Executive Director Mike Grisz and Board President Stewart Solomon have each offered to donate up to $10,000 in the form of a match of large donations. If 10 people make donations of $5,000 or more, Mike and Stewart will each match the average of those donations. These donations would be used for immediate general operating support. For those interested in making such a donation, please contact Mike at email@example.com.
Giving Tuesday is November 29, 2022. Any contribution you make will be deeply appreciated.
What else can you do?
Whether or not you are a current USA Racquetball member, purchasing or renewing your membership (https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Racquetball) now will help the Association move into 2023 and beyond. Please consider your membership an investment in keeping our sport alive vs. simply a competitive license.
Direct a Sanctioned Event
By hosting a sanctioned event, you can help support USA Racquetball by encouraging members to join or renew their memberships.
Thank you for your consideration at this crucial time in our history. We desire nothing more than to survive and bring racquetball to future generations.
Together, We Are Racquetball
About USA Racquetball
USA Racquetball, founded in 1969, is recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport. The organization annually conducts six national championships and sanctions hundreds of tournaments for players of all ages and skill levels. The organization also organizes the Adult and Junior National Racquetball Teams, oversees the Official Rules of Racquetball, administers National Player Rankings, manages a college scholarship program, and supports the introduction of new players to the sport.