AKA Women Making Racquetball History Now!
We will feature another woman making racquetball history every Wednesday. Do you know someone else we should be celebrating with this interview and feature process? Drop us a line on Facebook!
Name: Mary Schoumaker
Are you a pro player, coach, association board member, tournament organizer, or racquetball broadcaster AKA why do racquetball players know you?
I am a player, tournament organizer, and promoter; but most know me on Facebook as the one who rounds up the ladies to get out, have fun, and play tournaments!
Where do you promote racquetball on social media and the web?
Country of Origin: USA
Place you consider home: Huntington Beach, California
Did you play as a junior? When & how where you introduced to the competitive side of racquetball?
I was in middle school when it became popular to play at the newly built Marina Park outdoor racquetball courts in Huntington Beach, CA. I was already playing many school sports at the time, so it was a perfect free summertime activity.
Playing hand: Right
Year you started playing racquetball: 1979
First female mentor or idol in racquetball:
Without a doubt, watching Lynn Adams play Outdoor Nationals at Orange Coast College gave me the inspiration to become a better player. (Side note: Last year at WOR National Championships I was honored to receive the Sheffield Award alongside Lynn as she was being inducted into the WOR Hall of Fame)
Favorite racquetball shot: Out the Door!
Motivation for the game (what keeps you playing): 35 years of friendships built on the courts.
Love most about racquetball: After playing for so many years, players become family.
Preferred equipment: I’ve played with many brands over the years, but about 6 months ago I picked up the Gearbox GBX1 170 Quad and haven’t put it down since! I’m excited to try out their new line of M40 racquets for 2018-2019!
Favorite event: 3WallBall World Championships in Las Vegas is by far my favorite event. I host an annual ladies night event with my good friend Kris Kaskawal. It’s always a memorable experience (AKA lots of shenanigans… ”What happens in Vegas…”) Plus, who doesn’t like Vegas???
Best results at tournaments you’ve played in: I plead Alzheimer’s! I’ve been playing so long I can’t keep track of results. I’ve won in everything from C’s to Pro divisions in WOR events, but what stands out the most is the many great partners I’ve had and the venues I’ve played.
Day job: Work with my husband in our IT business.
Family shoutout: Husband Darin, and son, Chase, daughter, Cady… and my 4-legged kids Joey and Lucy
Other sports played in addition to racquetball: Pickleball, softball, hiking
What can we do to activate more female players? Make it a fun social experience for the women in racquetball, rekindling their love for the sport, and sharing with new players.
What is your hope for the future of racquetball? My hope is that our racquetball community can band together to make it grow. Having media exposure and sponsors interest to feature our sport as a healthy and fun activity would also help.
How do you feel is the best way to help grow the sport of racquetball? Juniors. We need to spark interest in the juniors to keep this a vitalized sport. Cities with one wall or 3 wall courts could foster community programs to teach the game and provide kids the opportunity to play against their own age/skill group.
If you could bring one thing back from racquetball past – what would it be and why? At its peak in the 70’s and 80’s, there was a lot of interest in the sport because it was very popular, and prize money in tournaments would draw out the competitors.
What do you do to train? Lately I’ve been training with stretch-bands. After so many years of playing, I’ve found daily stretching even more important to prevent injuries.
What is the biggest challenge you face right now as it comes to racquetball, and how do you work to overcome that challenge? Definitely maintaining my physical health by keeping up with a regular training regimen is so important to prevent injuries as you get older.
Do you know someone else we should be celebrating with this interview and feature process? Drop us a line on Facebook!