Racquetball: Double Donut Studios | Racquetball Action Photography

Photos – 2008 IRT World Racquetball Championships

The IRT season started with a bang this year, with Grand Slam events, return of top players, live streaming on ESPN360.com, and an "all glass" court hosting matches in a open downtown metropolitan area. Congrats to Kane Waselenchuk for winning both of his first two events this season, I think he’ll be setting the high mark all year long.

Mike Boatman, from Mike Boatman Photography was lucky enough to be shooting on the new court in Denver, and got some great racquetball photos to start off the season. Mike is a consummate professional, and national commercial photographer for his day job.  Check out his website if you’ve got any photo related needs!!

Here is the gallery of his shots (ALL COPYRIGHT MIKE BOATMAN):

http://www.doubledonut.com/v/2008_worlds

October 1st, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

IRT and ESPN

There have been MANY rumors surrounding an affiliation between the IRT (Men’s Pro Racquetball Tour) and ESPN, to provide live video streaming of the events.  On May 8th, the IRT sent out a newsletter, part of which is copied below.  In summary, ESPN360.com will provide live video streaming for all Tier 1 IRT stops next season!!  This move by the IRT should provide a HUGE increase in exposure for the sport, and we can only hope that things continue to move in this direction.  Next season should be a VERY exciting year for the sport!

I’m still not sure why ESPN360.com is only available to certain ISP’s (licensing fees?), but any increase in viewership is a good thing, IMO.

ESPN360.com will become the official home for live IRT action this fall. A deal was signed before the Motorola IRT Pro Nationals presented by Verizon Wireless between ESPN and the IRT to broadcast all semi-final and final matches at all tier one IRT events in the US. Also as part of the deal ESPN will air the Motorola Pro Nationals in Chicago and The Motorola World Championships in Denver on ESPN Classic on a tape delayed basis. Air times will be in primetime and re-aired in prime time. More details are coming so keep your eyes on the IRT website.

ESPN360.com is ESPN’s signature broadband sports network, delivering more than 2,500 live global sports events per year. The service offers a mosaic of screens that allow users to follow multiple events simultaneously, and expanded controls including live-event pause, rewind and fast forward.   ESPN360.com is currently available in nearly 23 million homes nationwide via more than 20 Internet service providers including AT&T, Verizon, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and more.  Additionally, it is available to approximately 18 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel (fans accessing ESPN360.com from computers connected to an on-campus educational or military network – those with “.edu” or “.mil” domains).

Consumers wanting more information about ESPN360.com, which high speed Internet services currently provide it, and how they can get it should go to www.espn360.com.

May 12th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

ESPN360.com and the IRT Pro Nationals

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!

espn360_pro_nationals

April 27th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Twitter Digest – 2008-04-26

  • Jack Huczek and Jason Mannino both advance to the semis, where they play each other tomorrow at 330PM EST (live on http://www.espn360.com)! #
  • Rocky Carson advances to the Semi’s after a win over Chris Crowther. Looks like no upsets in the quarters! #
  • Saturday 4/26 430PM EST on http://www.espn360.com IRT Pro Nationals Racquetball LIVE Semifinal – Jason Mannino(3) vs. Jack Huczek(2) #
  • Saturday 4/26 600PM EST on http://www.espn360.com IRT Pro Nationals Racquetball LIVE Semifinal – Rocky Carson(1) vs. Alvaro Beltran(4) #
  • Pictures from the 2008 NW Regionals are processed, and will be online VERY soon! #
  • Huge thanks to the REDBULL girls for handing out FREE Redbull at the 2008 NW Regional Racquetball Champs. Your backpacks were SWEEET! #

April 26th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

2008 IRT Pro Nationals

IRT Portable CourtThe 2008 IRT Pro Nationals is getting ready to kick off this weekend in Chicago, IL. This event also serves as a regional qualifier for the 2008 USA Racquetball National Singles Championships, and there are over 300 participants competing in many age/skill divisions. This event debuts the much anticipated “portable court” for the IRT, which features all four walls comprised of glass. From the photo, it appears that the front wall has been masked with the IRT Pro Nationals logo, and covered in white. It was once mentioned that such a masking could be applied, and that viewers from the outside could see through the masking, while players would see the white surface. I’ll confirm this as soon as I make contact with media personnel at the event. The other huge news story from the event is a new partnership between ESPN and the IRT, which will result in the semis and finals being broadcast LIVE on www.espn360.com, and then other matches tape delayed on ESPN Classic.

When the draws get posted for the event, you can find them HERE. The official event website is www.irt-pronationals.com.

April 23rd, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

IRT Pro Nationals

Next weekend in Chicago, IL, the men’s pro racquetball players on the IRT Tour will be in action at the IRT Pro Nationals – the last big event of the year. While the US OPEN was broadcast several months after the event on The Tennis Channel, the Pro Nationals will air live on espn360.com!!

It is your last chance to enter the biggest and most exciting event of the season April 23-27 at the 2008 Motorola IRT Pro Nationals and USAR Adult Regional Racquetball Championship presented by Verizon Wireless. The deadline is approaching fast this Friday April 18th. Don’t miss the top IRT players in the world compete on the new “All Lucite Stadium Court” and if you cannot make it you can watch the semi’s and final live on www.ESPN360.com or later this spring in ESPN Classic.

There will be a rockin’ party on Friday night in the Motorola Players Village featuring “Ellis Drive” playing classic rock hits from Motley Crue, Poison, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Kiss and many more. Saturday will rock at the Rock with the pro’s bash at Entourage in Schaumburg featuring live music from the Renaissance Band playing more of your favorite classic rock tunes.

The event will also offer you a chance to win $10000 dollars with the “Money Ball” promotion sponsored by Motorola and Verizon Wireless. Click here for details!

Once again don’t miss this opportunity to witness the best in the world!!!!

For ticket info you can visit http://www.irt-pronationals.com or they can be purchased at the event.

Dave Negrete
IRT Commissioner

April 19th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

RB Update

Just wanted to send congratulations out to Kara Mazur, University of Alabama, and Tony Carson, Colorado State University – Pueblo, for their victories last weekend in the #1 Gold Division at Intercollegiates. Those wins have earned each a 1 year appointment to the US National Team.

Still awaiting word if Kara will now go on to New Orleans and the Chemtech WPRO World Championships presented by Ektelon April 17-20. This one will be a great event as Rhonda Rajsich and Cheryl Gudinas Holmes fight it out for the coveted year end #1 ranking. You can enter online for this one at:

http://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=3645

The IRT is currently in Tijuana, Mexico, and 3 Herrera’s have made the main draw. Last week’s beaten finalist from the Men’s #1 Gold, Anthony Herrrera, has rebounded nicely to qualify into the main draw where he plays Rocky Carson.

There are some great matches slated for this tournament this weekend, so check out the results at:

http://www.irt-tour.com

This all leads up to the Big One…The Motorola IRT Pro Nationals presented by Verizon Wireless. All I can say is, get to Chicago if you can. Rocky Carson and Jack Huczek will be bringing all they have to win the year end #1 ranking. The brand new Lucite Court will make its debut and ESPN360 will be there, as well as ESPN Classic. You can check out the website at:

http://www.irt-pronationals.com

entry forms are available at that site. I didn’t see an online entry there, but you can download the form. If I can find the online entry, I will send that along.

April 4th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

News Categories

Tags