USA Racquetball


Otto Dietrich | Phoenix, Arizona
(Contributor, Inducted 2017)
Dietrich, 71, of Phoenix, Ariz. 
served as a State Director and the Rules Commissioner in Georgia for more than twenty years, beginning his long and faithful service to the sport in 1980. In short order, Dietrich was asked to serve on the USAR National Rules Committee (1982) and then, right after being appointed to fill a National Board vacancy in 1985, he was named the sport’s National Rules Commissioner. As a National Board Member, Dietrich served as the USRA’s treasurer for two years until 1998 when the Board selected him to be the USRA’s National President for the next five years. During his active and extensive refereeing career, Dietrich was Chief Referee at every U.S. Olympic Festival and many IRF international events. His lengthy referee resume includes officiating at seven World Championships and three Pan American Games as well as presiding over more than 100 National Championship matches and countless numbers of local, regional, and other national level matches. Many players and fans may recall seeing Dietrich reffing many televised matches in the 1980s that involved both men’s and women’s pro finals, such as the DP Nationals, as well as many USAR National Championships. Chosen to be the U.S. Team Leader for several international team competitions, Dietrich received the prestigious Joe Sobek Contribution Award in 1986 for his many contributions to the sport. Throughout the 80s and 90s, Dietrich organized and ran many local, state, and regional events. In more recent years, Dietrich has become known around the globe for his friendly and efficient running of tournament desks at IRF events as well as at many USA Racquetball national regional, state, and local events. Thousands of players may recall receiving a personal response to their emailed questions on rules and refereeing by this foremost expert on both subjects. Those many questions and answers have often served as the basis for Dietrich’s "What's the Call" column for Racquetball magazine, which Dietrich has written from 1987 through 2020. Dietrich is also known for co-authoring Officiating Racquetball, the sport’s first and only book to interpret a variety of refereeing situations. Further, he has been the public address announcer for the US OPEN from its start in 1998 through 2019. Dietrich has also kept, edited, and prepared the USAR Official Rules & Regulations of Racquetball for publication throughout his long career as National Rules Commissioner. https://www.teamusa.org/usa-racquetball/rules
   

Tim Hansen | Wellington, Florida
(Amateur Age Player, Inducted 2017)
Hansen, 57, of Wellington Florida will be inducted as one of the most decorated amateur age group athletes in history of USA Racquetball. Over his entire playing career the Florida native has won 37 national championship gold medals and 17 national championship silver gold medals. Hansen has also won 10 Georgia state open championships during his early year while living and playing in Georgia. Soon after he then moved to Florida where he currently resides and now has 42 Florida state open championships and still plays local and state tournaments. He is a USA Racquetball National Doubles Open Champion and former member of the U.S. National Racquetball Team.

   

Franklin Wesley "Bud" Held | Los Angeles, California
(Contributor, Inducted 2017)
Held, 89, of Los Angeles, Calif. invented one of the first patented designs for a new racquet stringing machines marking a major advancement in racquet stringing technology for tennis and racquetball in 1964. Soon after, Held invented the world’s first aluminum racquetball racquet called the “Bud Muehleisen” in 1969 after a meeting with Dr. Bud Muehliesen. "The Bud Muehleisen" model was a round-faced, silver anodized extruded aluminum racket that weighed in at 300 grams, almost twice the weight of a 2010 era racket. Held invented the world’s very first oversized racquet, “The Schmidtke XL” in 1970. He also invented possibly the most famous (and best-selling) racquet, “the Ektelon 250 G,” revolutionary for its lightweight, black design. “The History of Racquetball” states, “Ektelon introduced the first hand-laid composite racket, the 250G, in 1978, giving birth to a sport and an industry.” In 1980, Held upended the sport again by developing the top-selling “CBK” racquet, a racquet named for its revolutionary material combination of carbon, boron and Kevlar. Held invented the Magnum, CBK and 250G racquets, all top selling racquets in the sport. In 1984, Ektelon also developed the first oversized aluminum racket adding to his famous firsts.