RANGELY I In the space of a 20-by-40-by-20-foot racquetball court, a single player can do drills. He or she can improve skills and anticipate hypothetical moves.
But there is no playing racquetball alone.
That’s why competition in the sport thrives and, as it has done for the last two-plus decades, will take shape again as the 23rd annual Rangely Racquetball Tournament, set for March 4-6.
This year’s event will likely have a strong local showing, tournament organizer Shirley Parsons said.
“Local play is up a lot,” Parsons said. “We have 10 to 12 people coming during ‘open play’ on Monday and Wednesday evenings, which is more than the two courts can handle! But we rotate in and have a great time, and I think people like knowing they can come at that time and have someone to play.”
Throughout the weekend, beginner through elite players not only match up against competitors on the Western Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation Center racquetball courts. Between matches, they also watch other games, visit with fellow players and build a camaraderie that has long characterized the event.
Parsons said that while some returning players have competed against each other for decades, those newer to racquetball are welcomed to the competitive side of the sport. It’s that friendliness—along with the food, prizes and giveaways throughout the weekend—that make the event special, she added.
There’s only limited time to sign up, however.
Participants must enter by noon on Monday by calling in their registration and credit card payments to the WRBM District at 675-8211 or by submitting the registration form (available at the recreation center) and payment to 611 S. Stanolind Ave. First-event registration is $35, with $15 fees for subsequent events (register for up to one singles and one doubles event).
Drop-down, double-elimination or round-robin bracketing will be used depending on the number of entrants in each singles event. Play begins March 4 at 5 p.m. and at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Trophies will be awarded for first and second place in each division along with tournament souvenirs for all players. For more information, contact Parsons at 675-5360 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s event sponsors include the WRBM Recreation and Park District and Colorado Northwestern Community College.
Parsons invited community members to come and watch tournament matches throughout the weekend.
“We’d love for people to come watch and see what racquetball really looks like,” she said.