Sudsy Monchik Chats Live With USA Racquetball Directors

On Wednesday May 20th, 2020, Sudsy Monchik hosted a live Facebook Q&A session with USA Racquetball Executive Director Mike Wedel and Board of Directors President Dan Whitley.

Discussion with USA Racquetball

Discussion with USA Racquetball!

– Mike Wedel, Executive Director of USAR
– Dan Whitley, President of USAR Board

Where we are today, where we are going.

We Are Racquetball #weareracquetball
USA Racquetball

Posted by Sudsy Monchik on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Topics (time stamps are approximate, FB does a horrible job letting the viewer know how much time has passed in the video, they only show the amount of time remaining in the video):

0:05 Intros

5:23 Who are the USA Racquetball staff, and what do they do
– Mike Wedel, executive director
– Renee Isherwood, director of operations, runs the office
– Rachel Hyman, social media, website design, graphic design, customer service
– Connor Shane, director of national championships

9:30 USA Racquetball’s plans to grow long term youth participation
– Step 1: high school racquetball “in a box” program coming out
– Step 2: college racquetball “in a box” to get programs started up on campus
Fitness Forever Program in Stockton mentioned, next steps for middle school and elementary school needed

14:50 Randy Root donation, what is Leo’s role moving forward
– COVID affects: 20-30 percent of revenue is from sanctioning events and membership renewals
– the donation will pay for salaries for the 4 employees so that they can continue making things happen
– connection between the state associations and USAR needs improvement
– donation expected to make a significant difference for the next few years
– Leo’s “part of our team”, expect to sign him to another contract for streaming all national events, valued part of team

19:45 US Open
– still on, make refundable travel arrangements as rescheduling may be required

21:45 Question about International events and rest of the year
– (another thanks to Randy, and forgivable PPP loans for payroll were acquired)
– reiteration of plan on going to US Open
– all other events decisions will have to wait until closer to the time of the event

25:50 Will USAR withhold sanctioning for a local event
– Not if the local / county / state / federal government regulations are followed
Things To Consider documents discussed
– written by Dan and his task force, with guidance from health organizations and other national governing bodies
– insurance company has been consulted, so long as government guidelines are followed, sanctioning is allowed
– a sanctioned tournament in Tennessee has already been held, following the local guidelines

29:55 Any worries for state associations sanctioning events
– this was repeated: insurance company has been consulted, so long as government guidelines are followed, sanctioning is allowed, and there are no reasonable ways to prove that an illness was acquired at the event and not in the travel to/from the event, liability is low

36:00 Outdoor racquetball
– purchase of World Outdoor Racquetball was 2 years ago
– anecdote of children learning to play on outdoor court even though father manages 2 indoor facilities
– great way to bring people into racquetball
– 3 independently run outdoor championships
– plan to stream them
– parks are looking for programs to fill their program guides, WOR and USAR volunteers can run sessions to teach the game

40:30 Eighteen racquetball committees
– list not discussed in depth, full list here:
– most only work when there is work to do, election committee, rules committee, etc.
– enthusiastic volunteers
– some only meet once or twice a year, others meet once a month
– a good way to work on your area of interest

43:00 Junior world championships
– scheduled for November in Guatemala
– there is a committee working on how to choose the representatives since the national tournament was cancelled

46:22 How will USA R make more use of the former greats in promoting the sport
Brian Pineda · switch gears on a topic never talked about. Every sport does a great job of including their entire tapestry of Lineage of the Men and Women who have been distinguished in our game for being a player, director, commentating, etc….what are we doing to include our former greats both on and off the court? Examples: Susie Torres, Charlie Brumfield, Dr. Bud Muehleisen just to name a few
Brian Pineda · By including them, I meant beyond the HOF. How do we integrate them into being a figure in coaching, commentating, interviews, attending national events

– Hall of Fame committee mentioned
– Not answered well, doesn’t seem to have been understood
Nomination process discussed

52:40 USA Racquetball membership sale
– 20% savings can be applied to the Auto-Renew 1-year membership, the Lifetime membership, and the Senior Lifetime membership.
– details:
– act before June 15th
– discount does not come out of the money that goes to the state association ($10 per player)
– credit card fees paid by USAR, not charged to the player

56:30 Multi-organization meeting
– There is a grant from the US Olympic & Para-Olympic Committee to hold a meeting in Colorado Springs
– 16 industry leaders, IRT, LPRT, etc.
– was scheduled for May
– tentatively set for September
– not going to be a Zoom meeting, because of the USOPC grant as the USOPC will be moderating the meeting
– not coming out of the USAR budget
– USAR Board is strategic, not operational, goal of the meeting is to set long-term guidelines that won’t change each time the members of the board change

1:07:00 final words
– junior growth is critical
– state support needed, club sport needed, get back into clubs as soon as you can, participate in tournaments when you can
– 2021 national events will be big
– outdoor is critical
– lot of work being done on R2, rules, etc.
– need national donors for the championship events, will be showing how USAR works so that all donors are getting a better picture of what is going on