Gearbox Racquetball just sent out a notice about some new commercials they’ve produced to be aired during the ESPN Racquetball Broadcasts (dang, now I need a blog post about that, too). Hey, if a Gearbox racquetball racquet can make a blind guy with a seeing eye dog or a an actual hamster good at the sport, I’ll take one
And Rafeal, I REALLY hope you guys post some photos or behind the scenes video from the “Hamster Court”!! Please!!
Gearbox Hamster – For the record, my guess is that the hamster with the Red shirt is played by Javier Moreno, and the one in the blue shirt is either Alvaro Beltran or Rafael Filippini
Gearbox Champion – Pretty funny, but the “unrated version” seems to be getting tons more hits
Just as I logged in to www.racquetballonline.tv to catch some of the action for the 2008 USA Racquetball Junior Nationals, I noticed that Pablo and Angela have also been hard at work publishing some new content to the Video on Demand section of the site. If you’ve got some free time, I’d HIGHLY recommend checking out some of the action from the the 2008 USA Racquetball National Singles Championships. So far, they’ve got the Men’s Finals (Rocky Carson def. Jack Huczek), Men’s Semifinal 1 (Jack Huczek def. Mitch Williams), and Men’s Semifinal 2 (Rocky Carson def. Shane Vanderson).
If you’d like a little background information on some of the "top contenders" for this weekend’s 2008 USA Racquetball Junior Olympic Championships, Racquetball Warehouse has some really good interviews / play clips for some of the local players. Featured in the videos are Jose Rojas, Jose Diaz, and Aubrey O’Brien.
Just follow the link to Racquetball Warehouse’s Videos, and scroll to the bottom for the player interviews. While you’re there, you might want to check out some of the other content featuring the top players of the IRT and WPRO, as well as instructional info and equipment reviews. Great stuff!!
The first photo slideshow / video of Kane Waselenchuk’s return to the IRT Tour has been posted to YouTube. There sure were ALOT of bells and whistles for only being a Tier 2 IRT Stop I’m really liking the limo that Rocky Carson and Andy Hawthorne stepped out of, and the fog machine for the player intros was a nice touch (I’m a BIG fog machine fan!). Great job to the organizers of the 2008 Steadman Hawkins IRT Greenville Open!
Through some discussions with Mike Boatman, I learned that the IRT was distributing IRT Pro Player Trading Cards at the 2008 IRT Pro Nationals in Chicago! It looks like the top 10 players were included, but it’s not clear if they are intended to be for the 2007-2008 season or if they are more of a “one time thing”. These cards will apparently be sold through the IRT Store, however they weren’t listed on the site at the time of this post. I’m very curious to see the details (like cost and how many are available), so if anyone has an inside line, please comment below!
As racquetball claws its way back into mainstream sports media, Rhonda Rajsich is scheduled to be interviewed in ESPN News to talk about dominating performance on the women’s pro tour this season. If any is successful recording this, I’d love to have a copy to post on the site! Here’s a press release from Shannon Feaster of the WPRO:
#1 WPRO Pro Rhonda Rajsich will appear on ESPNEWS’ “The Pulse” this Saturday (May 3) between 1-3pm ET to discuss her recent victory in New Orleans at the 2008 Chemtech WPRO World Championship presented by Ektelon! Rhonda will also talk about her career accomplishments and how she got to be #1 in the world for the third straight time. Rajsich won the last four major WPRO events to close out the 2007-08 season. We will try to send an update on the approximate segment time if we can but please set your VCR’s, DVR’s and Tivo’s to record the show! For more information about Rhonda, visit her Web site at www.rhondarocks.com.
Next season’s schedule will be posted on the tour’s Web site the first week of June, so please check out www.wpro-tour.com to see when the top WPRO pro’s will be in a city near you! On behalf of the WPRO, thanks for your support an d we hope to see you soon.
The 2008 IRT Pro National Racquetball Championships finished this weekend, with defending champion Jack Huczek(2) defeating Rocky Carson(1) in a LONG 5-gamer. Although a BIG win, Rocky Carson still sealed the deal for a year-end IRT #1 ranking with his second place finish. There were TWO huge additions to this year’s event – a new portable court with 4-wall glass, and LIVE video streaming via www.espn360.com.
The court looked great (from what I saw on the live ESPN feed), and it appears the front wall was covered with the IRT Pro Nationals logo. There were also two logo banners on either side wall of the court. The commentators made some comments about “the dark left wall”, where players were having some troubles immediately seeing the ball. It will be interesting to hear further reports from players who spent some time on the court this weekend. From what I understand, this will be the court used for all future IRT Grand Slam events.
The streaming on www.espn360.com was great! As with any internet feed, there was some intermittent “pauses” in the audio/video, but the overall quality made it easy to follow the action. It was exciting to see the ESPN logos around the video score banners and other areas This could be a HUGE relationship for the IRT, and I hope to see ESPN bring racquetball to people who haven’t experienced the sport. The matches from this weekend are currently available in the “archive” section of www.espn360.com, and I HIGHLY encourage anyone to spend a few minutes checking them out!
Although my posting habits have been lacking this season, I’ve been continually thinking about ways to make www.doubledonut.com better for when I’ve got more time to really start posting again. As luck would have it, my time will start to free up right around the 2008 USA Racquetball National Singles Championships. This is going to be a special event, as USA Racquetball is planning some BIG things for the Saturday night banquet in honor of the Hall of Fame members. With the help of some new tools, I’ll be able to cover this event in a whole new way.
One tool that has been taking the web by storm lately, is Twitter. Twitter allows groups of people to communicate easily and efficiently with small bits of information, which are sent via the internet, or SMS text messages. A really cool (and short!) movie describing Twitter is here:
By having the ability to update to my site with these “mini posts”, event coverage at big tournaments will see a whole new light. Now, instead of having to log into the internet to post a blog entry, I can easily send an SMS Text with score updates, or anything else happening at the club. This info will automatically get sent to anyone who wants to receive it.
I’d love to see someone at EVERY SINGLE big USA Racquetball, IRT, or WPRO event with a Twitter account, keeping the rest of the racquetball community up to date on the action.
If you’d like to get updates from Double Donut Studios, just go to Twitter, get an account, and “follow” me here www.twitter.com/doubledonut. If you set up your phone, you’ll get text messages for any updates I post. You can also subscribe to the included RSS feed to get the content automatically in your RSS reader (like My Google, My Yahoo, etc), or just check out www.doubledonut.com periodically (my “Tweets” are listed on the right hand side as “mini posts”).
Even if you don’t “follow” Double Donut, I would HIGHLY recommend Twitter to keep up with friends and family!!
Anyone watch the first match aired last week on the Tennis Channel? It was the 2008 quarterfinal match between Alvaro Beltran and Shane Vanderson. IMO, it turned out great! I will admit the (non racquetball related) commercials got a little tiring, but it awesome to see our sport on TV. I know an HD broadcast is a little much to ask for at this point, but I have my fingers crossed if we ever make it on ESPN.
Tomorrow night, Wednesday Frebruary 27, 9:00PM EST, is the next match. I would HIGHLY recommend tuning in if you have the Tennis Channel!
The matches are located under the USAR tab. Among the matches available are the Women’s Pro Final between Rhonda Rajsich and Angela Grisar and the Men’s Pro Final between Rocky Carson and Jack Huczek. They also have one of the Men’s Pro Doubles semis featuring John Ellis and Double Gold Medalist from the recent Junior Nationals, Jose Rojas.