What Is The Biggest Sport In The World latest 2023

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Racquetball – Is it Time For a Change?

How to get more people to play the game? How to get more people (non-players and players) to watch the game? The two biggest dilemmas encountered in racquetball.

I have watched the evolution of the sport from the perspective of racquet club ownership for twenty-nine years and have seen the dynamic improvement in technology and the enormous advancement in the physical skills of top players. . How can they continue to improve? I congratulate them. However; as we age, most of us cannot keep improving. Yet I see that the age demographic has increased and in fact the most common player entering the sport today is one who played ten or fifteen years ago, left to have a family or a career , remembers what a great sport racquetball is. and wants to play and get fit. We can only imagine what it’s like for someone who thought they were pretty good, out of shape, faced with a bigger racquet and a ball that’s moving much faster than they should. never saw. Quite daunting I suppose, and many never come back a second time.

Dilemma number one – How to make the game suitable for the vast majority of gamers which consists of those who are just starting out, those who are trying to pick up their game, those who are working hard to improve but progressing slowly, those who want just enjoying the sport or those competitive gamers who can’t dedicate the time to play well and stay conditioned. Let’s face it; racquetball is a very demanding sport for those who take it seriously. You can’t just walk out onto the pitch two or three times a month, play your best and not suffer for a few days after each game. After a while, people start to choose between pain and golf. I personally believe that the reason more women don’t play racquetball is because it’s so demanding.

Perhaps the answer lies in developing a less physically demanding level of play while developing equally admirable skills like serving the ball at 240 km/h. Those skills being, of course, touch, strategy, deception, speed and maybe even slicing the ball if we get rid of the ridiculous “carry rule”. The answer might be to slow the ball down and keep it in play to create longer rallies. You might even see more diving from some of the old guys if they could get close enough once in a while. It could also improve TV viewing and even allow non-gamers to enjoy watching sports. I know from taking many non-players to watch the sport at its highest level that they can’t follow the ball let alone know what’s going on and that they’re bored and don’t enjoy it.

I’m not suggesting that doing another “dead” ball would accomplish the above. The goal here is to give slower players more time to get to the ball, which makes rallies often last longer and provide more opportunities for sophisticated shot selection. The ball should be bouncy but slower. Can this be done? I think so. Make the ball bigger. Perhaps this innovation, if perfected, could also provide another benefit by making the ball easier to see on TV.

I know most readers of this are probably advanced players and love to see the sport played at its fastest level, but think of yourself a few years from now. Your skill, speed, and stamina will one day decline, but if the game became more skill-based than stamina-based, players might compete more successfully at older ages, not to mention that there might be longevity benefits for elbows, shoulders and knees.

It’s not a radical idea, but a tried and tested one, as one of the oldest and perhaps most popular sports in the world, table tennis, has recently faced the same problems as racquetball. Table tennis players had begun to increase the thickness of the fast sponge layer on their racquets, making the game excessively fast and difficult to watch on television, so fast that it was necessary to bring changes to keep the viewer involved. In 2000, the International Table Tennis Federation instituted several rule changes aimed at making table tennis more viable as a televised spectator sport. First, the 38mm balls have officially been replaced by 40mm balls. This increased the air resistance of the ball and effectively slowed down play, leading to longer rallies and greater spectator appreciation.

In 2001, the International Table Tennis Federation made another change to the rule of play and serve to increase excitement and interest in the game, which brought me to the other racquetball dilemma.

Dilemma number two – How to make games more dramatic, exciting and suspenseful for the viewer?

Here there is also a proven model in table tennis. In order to create more suspense and excitement, they went from 21-point games, changing servers every five points, to 11-point games, winning by two and changing serves every two points. It certainly made games faster and minimized the service advantage. Matches are played any odd number of games, usually five.

This scoring method results in faster point fluctuations, it also minimizes the server’s advantage, and the requirement to “win by two” creates additional suspense and excitement for spectators. Another advantage is the flexibility of the number of games played. He would lend himself to five single-elimination tournaments and three round-robin tournaments. Finally, the most important benefit relates to Dilemna Number One, by shortening the games, skill becomes a more important factor than stamina allowing weekenders, die-hards, beginners, families, old and hopefully- the, more women to enjoy the game simply because the sport is slightly less demanding and even more fun.

I know that most advanced players, simply by their aggressive nature, may object to these ideas just as the Chinese objected to changes in table tennis. They felt it was an effort to end their dominance of the sport. However, today, China still dominates because superior skill and athleticism will always excel, just like in racquetball.

I invite you to search YouTube.com for table tennis clips and see how the ball can be seen even at speeds over 100 mph and over long distances, all without the aid of lights or dimmers. a professional photograph. USA Table Tennis, a sports organization that faced many challenges and issues similar to those we face today, made adjustments, remained an Olympic sport since 1988, and now claims to be the most popular racquet sport in the world. .

Should we just keep asking the same questions and getting the same answers? Getting more kids into the sport, promoting racquetball in high school and college, getting more women to play, getting major sponsors, getting racquetball on TV and in the Olympics, hoping that one day we will get a different result. Not likely.

It may be time to change racquetball.

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