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Racquetball Racquetball is a racquet sport played with a hollow rubber ball in an Racquetball indoor or outdoor court. Joseph Sobek[1] is credited with inventing the modern sport of racquetball in 1950,[2] adding a stringed racquet to paddleball in order to increase velocity and control. Unlike most racquet sports, such as tennis and badminton, there is no net to hit the ball over, and, unlike squash, no
  Racquetball Racquetball racquet and ball Highestgoverning body International RacquetballFederation (IRF) CharacteristicsContact No Team members Singles or doubles Mixed gender Yes, separate tours & mixeddoubles Type Racquet sport Equipment Racquetball ball, racquetballracquet Venue Indoor or outdoorracquetball court PresenceCountryor region Americas Olympic No Paralympic No Racquetball Racquetball  is a racquet sport played with a hollow rubber ball in anindoor or outdoor court. Joseph Sobek [1]  is credited with inventing themodern sport of racquetball in 1950, [2]  adding a stringed racquet topaddleball in order to increase velocity and control. Unlike mostracquet sports, such as tennis and badminton, there is no net to hit theball over, and, unlike squash, no tin (out of bounds area at the bottomof front wall) to hit the ball above. Also, the court's walls, floor, andceiling are legal playing surfaces, with the exception of court-specificdesignated hinders being out-of-bounds. [3] Racquetball is very similar to 40×20 American handball, which isplayed in many countries. It is also very similar to the British sport Squash 57 , which was called racketball  before 2016 (see below for acomparison). HistoryUnited KingdomGoverning bodiesEquipmentBall coloursRules ScoringHindersGame variations Shots of the game ServiceOffensive shotsDefensive shots StrategyMajor competitions and players US OpenOther championships Comparison to racketballSee alsoReferencesExternal links ContentsHistory  Joe Sobek is credited with inventing the sport of racquetball in the Greenwich,Connecticut, YMCA, though not with naming it. [4]  A professional tennis andAmerican handball player, Sobek sought a fast-paced sport that was easy to learnand play. He designed the first strung paddle, devised a set of rules, based on thoseof squash, handball, and paddleball, and named his game  paddle rackets .In February 1952 Sobek founded the National Paddle Rackets Association (NPRA),codified the rules, and had them printed as a booklet. The new sport was rapidlyadopted and became popular through Sobek's continual promotion of it; he wasaided by the existence of some 40,000 handball courts in the country's YMCAs andJewish Community Centers, wherein racquetball could be played.In 1969, aided by Robert W. Kendler, the president-founder of the U.S. HandballAssociation (USHA), the International Racquetball Association (IRA) was foundedusing the name coined by Bob McInerney, [5]  a professional tennis player. That sameyear, the IRA assumed the national championship from the NPRA. In 1973, after adispute with the IRA board of directors, Kendler formed two other racquetballorganizations, yet the IRA remains the sport's dominant organization, recognized bythe United States Olympic Committee as the American national racquetballgoverning body.In 1974, the IRA organized the first professional tournament, and is a founding member of the International Racquetball Federation(IRF). Eventually, the IRA became the American Amateur Racquetball Association (AARA); in late 1995, it renamed itself as theUnited States Racquetball Association (USRA). In 2003, the USRA again renamed itself to USA Racquetball (USAR), to mirrorother Olympic sports associations, even if Racquetball is not an Olympic sport.Kendler used his publication  ACE  to promote both handball and racquetball. Starting in the 1970s, and aided by the fitness boom ofthat decade, the sport's popularity increased to an estimated 3.1 million players by 1974. Consequent to increased demand,racquetball clubs and courts were founded and built, and sporting goods manufacturers began producing racquetball-specificequipment. This growth continued until the early 1980s, and declining in the decade's latter part when racquet clubs converted tophysical fitness clubs, in service to a wider clientele, adding aerobics exercise classes and physical fitness and bodybuildingmachines. Since then, the number of has remained steady, an estimated 5.6 million players.In 1976, Ian D.W. Wright created the sport of racketball based on U.S. racquetball. British racketball is played in a 32-foot (9.8 m)long by 21-foot (6.4 m) wide squash court (8 feet (2.4 m) shorter and 1 foot (0.30 m) wider than the U.S. racquetball court), using asmaller, less dynamic ball than the American racquetball. In racketball, the ceiling is out-of-bounds. The racketball is served after abounce on the floor then struck into play with the racket. Scoring is like squash with point-a-rally scoring of up to 11 points. [6]  TheBritish Racketball Association was formed on 13 February 1984, and confirmed by the English Sports Council as the sport'sgoverning body on 30 October 1984. The first National Racketball Championship was held in London on 1 December 1984. Thesport is now played in countries where squash is played, Australia, Bermuda, France, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, NewZealand, South Africa, Argentina, Ireland and Sweden. Currently, racketball also is played in parts of North America.In 1988, the British Racketball Association merged with the Squash Rackets Association. England Squash & Racketball is nowrecognised by Sport England as the English national governing body for the sports of squash and racketball. [7]  There is now anestablished UK Racketball Tournament Series consisting of 8 events around the UK, which forms the basis of the national rankingsalong with the National Racketball championships held annually at The Edgbaston Priory Club. [8] In 2016, World Squash Federation announced an international 're-branding' of racketball as Squash 57 , the 57 referring to thediameter of the ball, in order to emphasise both its membership of the 'squash rackets' family, and its distinctiveness from the U.S.racquetball [9] People playing racquetball United Kingdom  The International Racquetball Federation (IRF) governs the World Racquetball Championships, which were first held in 1981 inconjunction with the first World Games. The second World Championships were played in 1984, and since then have been heldbiennially in August. Players from the United States have won the most World Championship titles. [10] The IRF also runs the World Junior Racquetball Championships that occur annually in either late October, or early to mid November,as well as the annual World Senior Racquetball Championships for players who are 35 years of age or older.Racquetball has been included in the World Games on five occasions: 1981, 1989, 1993, 2009 and 2013.The sport have a high appelin the Americas,because this racquetball has been included in the Pan American Gamesin 1995, 1999, 2003, 2011 and 2015.And willbe part of the games again in Lima 2019. There are three professional racquetball organizations. The International Racquetball Tour(IRT) is the men's professional organization that began in the 1980s, with the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) starting more recently.The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) is the women's professional organization.This court and equipment are required for playing racquetball: A racquetball court; fully enclosed indoor or outdoor with afront wall. The standard racquetball court is rectangular:40 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 20 feet high with red linesdefining the service and serve reception areas. The service box is formed by the short line  (a solid red line runningthe court's width parallel to the front and back walls at a distance of20 feet) and the service line  (which runs parallel to the short line andis 15 feet from the front wall). Within the service box there are twosets of lines perpendicular to the short and service lines.One set of lines is 18 inches from, and parallel to, the side walls.Along with the short line, service line, and side wall these linesdefine the doubles box, where the non-serving doubles partner standsduring the serve; 36 inches from the side wall is another set of lineswhich, along with the short line and the service line, define an areathat the server must not enter if he wishes to hit a drive servebetween himself and the nearest side wall. The receiving line  is aparallel dashed line 5 feet behind the short line. [11] Other equipment needed: A racquetball; a dynamic (bouncy) rubber ball of 2.25 in.(57 mm) diameterA racquetball racquet; no longer than 22 inchesRacquetball eyeguards (mandatory during competitions;some recreational players play without eyeguards but thisis not recommended, as being hit in the eye by the ballcan cause permanent vision damage). [12] Racquetball differs from other racquet sports as most competitiveplayers wear a glove on their racquet hand for the purpose of gettinga better grip on the racquet (similar to golfers using a glove whendriving), but gloves are optional equipment. Also, players usuallywear a comfortable short sleeved shirt and shorts, as well asracquetball court shoes designed for enabling quick lateral as well as forward and backward movement. Governing bodiesEquipment The court dimensions  Racquetballs are manufactured in a variety of colors such as blue, green, purple, black, red, and pink, and some are for specificpurposes (e.g., outdoor play and indoor play), but the differences are unlikely to matter for recreational play. Beginners arerecommended to use a blue ball by Penn, Ektelon, or Wilson. The blue ball is the most commonly used and it is the most neutral ballfor average speed and accuracy of contact. Green balls are similar to blue balls. In the United States the main choices of ball are blueand green for tournament play. In some cases the International Pro Racquetball Tour (IRT) will use a purple Penn HD ball as theofficial ball. A black ball is often used in tournaments for senior players because the ball is designed to be slower moving and allowsfor longer rallies. The red ball is the fastest in production, and they are known as Red Ektelon Fireballs. This ball is heavier andallows for a quicker pace.Balls do break occasionally, and will lose their bounce over time even without breaking. To keep balls around for a long time it isbest to keep them in a room temperature setting and keep them out of extreme cold or heat because this will cause the balls to becomless effective and lose their bounce.Play begins with the serve. The serving player must bounce the ball on the floor once and hit it directly to the front wall, making theball hit the floor beyond the short line; otherwise the serve counts as a fault. [13]  The ball may touch one side wall, but not two, priorto hitting the floor; hitting both side walls after the front wall (but before the floor) is a three wall serve, and a fault. Also, servingthe ball into the front wall so that it rebounds to the back wall without hitting the floor first is a long serve, and a fault.Other fault serves include a ceiling serve, in which the ball touches the ceiling after the front wall, and serving before the receivingplayer is ready. Also, the server must wait until the ball passes the short line before stepping out of the service box, otherwise it is afault serve.If the server hits the ball directly to any surface other than the front wall the server immediately loses serve regardless of whether itwas first or second serve.After the ball bounces behind the short line, or passes the receiving line, the ball is in play and the opposing player(s) may play it.Usually, the server is allowed two opportunities (called first serve and second serve) to put the ball into play (two serve rule),although elite level competitions often allow the server only one opportunity (one serve rule).After a successful serve, players alternate hitting the ball against the front wall. The player returning the hit may allow the ball tobounce once on the floor or hit the ball on the fly. However, once the player returning the shot has hit the ball, it must strike the frontwall before striking the floor. Unlike during the serve, a ball in play may touch as many walls, including the ceiling, as necessary solong as it reaches the front wall without striking the floor.If the server wins the rally, then the server scores one point and continues to serve. If the opposing player wins the rally, then no pointis scored, but that player then takes over serving.Under USA Racquetball rules, matches are best of three games with the first two games to 15 points and a third game to 11 points, ifnecessary. USA Racquetball rules do not require players to win by two, so a match score line could read 15–14, 14–15, 11–10.Racquetball Canada matches are also the best of three format, but require a winning margin of at least two points.International competitions run by the International Racquetball Federation are like the USA Racquetball scoring system: two gamesto 15 with a tie-breaker to 11, if necessary, and win by one. However, the men's and women's pro tours play matches that are the best-of-five games to 11 points, requiring a two-point margin for victory. Ball coloursRules Scoring
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