19 Sep 2003 20:00:14
Cary
World's Fastest Racquet Sport

I rechecked the 2003 Guinness World Record Book. Here are the facts.

* Fastest speed a projectile moves in a ball game: 188 mph, jai alai

* Fastest badminton shuttlecock: 162 mph

* Fastest tennis serve: 149 mph

* Fastest squash ball: 144.6 mph


Here are the ONLY racquetball specific records.

* Most Men's World Championship Titles: USA, 9 ('81, '84, '86 w/
Canada, '88, '90, '92, '94, '96, '98)

* Most Women's World Championship Titles by an Individual: Michelle
Gould, 3 ('92, '94, '96)


I believe the USRA and/or the IRT should OFFICIALLY pursue these
"World's Fastest Sport" records. Racquetball would certainly be the
fastest racquet sport, and maybe could even surpass jai alai.

Seems to me the official title of world's fastest sport would work
well with the new USRA mantra (fast, furious, fitness). Being able to
advertise racquetball as the official world's fastest sport as
certified by Guinness would certainly open up numerous creative
marketing opportunities. I may send a note to Hiser and Negrete,
depending on the feedback. How can racquetball best market the
"world's fastest sport" tag? Is the Guinness effort seriously worth
pursuing?

Cary




Here is my original post:

According to the Guiness Book of World Records (2003 edition) the
world's fastest racquet sport is squash with a measured speed of 169
mph. The book also references badminton in the 160's mph.

Seems to me that the sport of racquetball could capture some
always-needed promotion by being able to OFFICIALLY market the sport
of racquetball as the WORLD'S FASTEST RACQUET SPORT. There are
countless ways that being the Guiness-recognized fastest racquet sport
can only help our sport.

Who knows FOR SURE how fast the hardest racquetball hitters can
register on the radar gun? 180+? 190+? 200+ (doubt it...)? Certainly
higher than 169 mph.

What is the highest radar reading you have personally seen? Remember,
Guiness would require a documented, calibrated radar gun and
measurement methodology and certain numbers of witnesses, etc....

Certainly seems like something the IRT and/or USRA should pursue! My
vote would be to put the speed gun on these folks first:
Suds/Elli/Swain/Kane/Fredenburg/Dennison.

Cary


20 Sep 2003 05:03:25
Kathy Geels
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

irt_fan@yahoo.com (Cary) wrote in message news:<c24f3d12.0309191900.3640abe0@posting.google.com >...
> I rechecked the 2003 Guinness World Record Book. Here are the facts.
>
> * Fastest speed a projectile moves in a ball game: 188 mph, jai alai
>
> * Fastest badminton shuttlecock: 162 mph
>
> * Fastest tennis serve: 149 mph
>
> * Fastest squash ball: 144.6 mph
>
>
> Here are the ONLY racquetball specific records.
>
> * Most Men's World Championship Titles: USA, 9 ('81, '84, '86 w/
> Canada, '88, '90, '92, '94, '96, '98)
>
> * Most Women's World Championship Titles by an Individual: Michelle
> Gould, 3 ('92, '94, '96)
>
>
> I believe the USRA and/or the IRT should OFFICIALLY pursue these
> "World's Fastest Sport" records. Racquetball would certainly be the
> fastest racquet sport, and maybe could even surpass jai alai.
>
> Seems to me the official title of world's fastest sport would work
> well with the new USRA mantra (fast, furious, fitness). Being able to
> advertise racquetball as the official world's fastest sport as
> certified by Guinness would certainly open up numerous creative
> marketing opportunities. I may send a note to Hiser and Negrete,
> depending on the feedback. How can racquetball best market the
> "world's fastest sport" tag? Is the Guinness effort seriously worth
> pursuing?
>
> Cary


Cary -
is it worth it? IMO, not if we have to pay for it. Racquetball
doesn't lack the ability to set itself apart. It's the funnest
easiest sport. I have played tennis and badminton on an intramural
level. They both take time to ramp up and develop speed. The
disadvantage rb has is that it's simple to fun ratio is not properly
touted. instead, all current emphasis is spent delivering a repetitive
message to the existing player base. WE know it is fast. If you have
played other racquet sports, you know that the only game that demands
the same kind of reflexive speed is ping-pong. In that sense, RB is
the fastest game, because the speeds are so high, but the element of
angles is added to the mix, so you have to be able to "think fast",
not just act fast. Tennis is not played like that, nor badminton.
They both have wide open playing spaces and the shuttle-cock
trajectory is pretty one-dimensional. In Squash, the ball loses it's
velocity exponentially so you don't have the same energy multiplicator
going on...

I think getting the tag of "fastest sport" would have some kind of
novelty, but as Jordan mentioned, intimidation is an inhibitor to new
players. And we cannot jump from sitting on the porch to running with
the big dogs. You are asking that we try and compete for macho-ness,
and at this juncture, that is laughable. There is not enough of
awareness of the skills needed to play the game to compete for
macho-ness in the recreational market. That is dumb. That will not
work. People will laugh.

A nice steady promotional path is to introduce to as large a group of
people as possible how easy it is to play the game, and how much
weight you lose playing. Once you get people aware of it, once a lot
of people know how to play it, then you can start marketing to elite
athletes. It may be one of the most demanding sports around. But we
already know that, and we are already top-heavy in that as many elite
athletes as recreational players participate. That is why there is no
commercial value. Build up the cheer-leader base that just barely
knows how to play, and that would build up the commercial interest.

Hope you don't mind the opposing view. It's just theory for the fun of
it. I think it would be great to get IN the Guinness book, even
listed would have nice promotional value. But to spend money to get
there, or to adopt it as an official tag, I would say that's not a
practical marketing decision. But that's just me. Nice topic.

Kathy


24 Sep 2003 04:54:43
BigG
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

Well Said Kathy:

I have seen as of late a number of novice players on courts who are
just out there having a blast. I can stand back and analyze their
technique or encourage them to keep playing, get some eye protection,
offer them some lessons, and have Rball players 20 years from now. I
play because I love the game, the friendships, the workout, and yes
the speed. Once your hooked, it's a life sentence!

Gary E. Gaiotti
Team HEAD Florida
Certified AmPRO Instructor
Premier Racquetball Club


27 Sep 2003 21:21:25
Zoey
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

there is a formal way of doing this and I'm positive Ivan know how to do it.

First you segment the customer base
then you find out the discriminating variables around each segment and their
drivers
then you create messages to resonate with the target, articulating what is
driving customers to be in the group
then you position messaging around the marketing elements you choose to use

in other words... the official tag of "fastest sport" is only worth paying
money for IF it is part of the brand that resonates with the target audience
that the USRA is trying to attract.

personally, i think the brand is lacking that x-games factor and a Guiness
Book record would be a cool part of an initial campaign.





"BigG" <geg@bdi-ae.com > wrote in message
news:4d6c2a34.0309240354.6258d00d@posting.google.com...
> Well Said Kathy:
>
> I have seen as of late a number of novice players on courts who are
> just out there having a blast. I can stand back and analyze their
> technique or encourage them to keep playing, get some eye protection,
> offer them some lessons, and have Rball players 20 years from now. I
> play because I love the game, the friendships, the workout, and yes
> the speed. Once your hooked, it's a life sentence!
>
> Gary E. Gaiotti
> Team HEAD Florida
> Certified AmPRO Instructor
> Premier Racquetball Club




28 Sep 2003 03:30:46
Ed Arias
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

TD, you don't know what Ivan is doing unless you talk to him ... or unless
there is only on formula for marketing. I don't know ... which is probably
why I'll be done soon. I am not the defender of the USRA and I and not
their critic. If I don't say that I go around killing people, it doesn't
mean that I don't ... and if I don't say I don't go around killing people,
it doesn't mean that I do.

This is your strategy?? ... there is no evidence for anything having been
said here ... one way or another. And because the USRA doesn't use this as
their forum ... means nothing. You've got a few people that NOBODY talks
to. Jeff is bummed cause even his own provencial body doesn't talk to him
(let alone national) ... why would he think a "foreign" governing body
would? Kathy ... well, I'm probably the only one that ever really listened
to her ... she'll talk to you death. Greg ... don't know what's going on
with him ... what's he doing, blackmailing the USRA with some nestegg?...
what's up with that? dropshot ... drop it! he only had a grudge against
Otto from the start and didn't know anything else ... as for all the "ideas"
presented ... com'on, these things have been hashed and rehashed a thousand
times before here and probably thousands more in state and national offices.
Because we talk about "issues" here doens't mean that they haven't been
discussed "there" ...

I gotta hand it to you guys though ... you're sticking together and though
it doesn't matter, it's something.

The real question is "Why isn't racquetball the mainstream sport ... we'd
all like it it to be." Even when it does better ... we'll want it to do
better ... no problem with that. The second question is, "Who's taking the
sport (or not) to where we think it should be" ... is it the USRA? IRT?
LPRA? AmPRO? ... Geels? Stoner? Anthony? Jones? ... well, my first
thought is it's not going to be an individual from this ng ... that's for
sure. As much as I love this ng, I know it has no weight ... I have tried
several times but the best I have ever done is bring 6 people together (now
4) for a common cause. And it's understandable ... we all have our day
jobs, all we can do is talk ... right or wrong or something in between.

I've already talked more than I wanted ... this is ridiculous. If you have
something you think is worthwhile, implement it ... or I suppose the option
is to just keep talking ???

On a sidenote ... it seems Greg is the most successful of the bunch ... not
sure but I heard he has a "nestegg" for the USRA ??? If true, here's a guy
who I'm sure loves the sport ... yet is unwilling to do anything for it but
write a check and throw it in the bin??? I've also written a check for
~$20,000 and growing ... I'm absolutley sure it pales compared to those who
have written similar checks for the sport ... but I chose to go a different
route ... to not trust others and do it myself. Greg ... why don't you take
your millions of dollars and work it yourself for the sport instead of
trying to "blackmail" the USRA?

Ed.
--
Ed Arias

ProRacquetball.Net
http://www.ProRacquetball.Net

Racquetball Central
http://www.RacquetballCentral.Com

"Zoey" <sorry@nospam.net > wrote in message
news:8yrdb.67504$eF3.4741@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com...
> there is a formal way of doing this and I'm positive Ivan know how to do
it.
>
> First you segment the customer base
> then you find out the discriminating variables around each segment and
their
> drivers
> then you create messages to resonate with the target, articulating what is
> driving customers to be in the group
> then you position messaging around the marketing elements you choose to
use
>
> in other words... the official tag of "fastest sport" is only worth paying
> money for IF it is part of the brand that resonates with the target
audience
> that the USRA is trying to attract.
>
> personally, i think the brand is lacking that x-games factor and a Guiness
> Book record would be a cool part of an initial campaign.
>
>
>
>
>
> "BigG" <geg@bdi-ae.com> wrote in message
> news:4d6c2a34.0309240354.6258d00d@posting.google.com...
> > Well Said Kathy:
> >
> > I have seen as of late a number of novice players on courts who are
> > just out there having a blast. I can stand back and analyze their
> > technique or encourage them to keep playing, get some eye protection,
> > offer them some lessons, and have Rball players 20 years from now. I
> > play because I love the game, the friendships, the workout, and yes
> > the speed. Once your hooked, it's a life sentence!
> >
> > Gary E. Gaiotti
> > Team HEAD Florida
> > Certified AmPRO Instructor
> > Premier Racquetball Club
>
>




28 Sep 2003 03:43:24
Ed Arias
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

BigG ... colleges and universities is where it's at ... virtually more
"Rball players 20 years from now" than you can imagine ... I know, it's just
talk until I implement it ... which probably won't happen.

Ed.
--
Ed Arias

ProRacquetball.Net
http://www.ProRacquetball.Net

Racquetball Central
http://www.RacquetballCentral.Com


"BigG" <geg@bdi-ae.com > wrote in message
news:4d6c2a34.0309240354.6258d00d@posting.google.com...
> Well Said Kathy:
>
> I have seen as of late a number of novice players on courts who are
> just out there having a blast. I can stand back and analyze their
> technique or encourage them to keep playing, get some eye protection,
> offer them some lessons, and have Rball players 20 years from now. I
> play because I love the game, the friendships, the workout, and yes
> the speed. Once your hooked, it's a life sentence!
>
> Gary E. Gaiotti
> Team HEAD Florida
> Certified AmPRO Instructor
> Premier Racquetball Club




28 Sep 2003 03:52:10
Ed Arias
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

sorry, I'm tired and dropped off of there ... obviously, there are many
other coaches and advisors of collegiate rb clubs/teams around the country
and world. It's just my belief that this is a major priority ... if "you"
have a college or university near you, find out what's going on ... help if
there is something and start a club/team if there is not ... soon I'll be in
Michaigan and try to start a club/team there and hopefully the Wisconsin
team/club will persevere ... it has become very strong club.

Ed.
--
Ed Arias

ProRacquetball.Net
http://www.ProRacquetball.Net

Racquetball Central
http://www.RacquetballCentral.Com



"Ed Arias" <spiderman@proracquetball.net > wrote in message
news:wNsdb.11101$ev2.4056184@newssrv26.news.prodigy.com...
> BigG ... colleges and universities is where it's at ... virtually more
> "Rball players 20 years from now" than you can imagine ... I know, it's
just
> talk until I implement it ... which probably won't happen.
>
> Ed.
> --
> Ed Arias
>
> ProRacquetball.Net
> http://www.ProRacquetball.Net
>
> Racquetball Central
> http://www.RacquetballCentral.Com
>
>
> "BigG" <geg@bdi-ae.com> wrote in message
> news:4d6c2a34.0309240354.6258d00d@posting.google.com...
> > Well Said Kathy:
> >
> > I have seen as of late a number of novice players on courts who are
> > just out there having a blast. I can stand back and analyze their
> > technique or encourage them to keep playing, get some eye protection,
> > offer them some lessons, and have Rball players 20 years from now. I
> > play because I love the game, the friendships, the workout, and yes
> > the speed. Once your hooked, it's a life sentence!
> >
> > Gary E. Gaiotti
> > Team HEAD Florida
> > Certified AmPRO Instructor
> > Premier Racquetball Club
>
>




28 Sep 2003 08:56:49
Zoey
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

man, these long emails are eating into my racquetball time!
See brief responses below.


"Ed Arias" <spiderman@proracquetball.net > wrote
>> You don't know what Ivan is doing unless you talk to him ... or unless
>> there is only one formula for marketing.

It doesn't matter if you are marketing; raisens, race cars, or rachett
wrenches. There is a process to define the marketing elements and their
messages. Yes, you can use gorilla marketing but that is reserved for
programs with no budget or time to do it the right way. We all know the USRA
has money.


>> This is your strategy?? ... there is no evidence for anything having been
>> said here ... one way or another.

yep, that's why I caveated it by saying "personally".


>> I gotta hand it to you guys though ... you're sticking together

I 've only met one person from this board. But the fact that we are all
semi-intulligent (sorry, joke here) and seem to think the same way is more
than just odd. I wonder why the USRA doesn't at least think along some of
these lines.... {hint: they do but can't reveal it in their current
beauracracy or they'll probably lose their job}


>> The real question is "Why isn't racquetball the mainstream sport ... we'd
>> all like it it to be." Even when it does better ... we'll want it to do
>> better ... no problem with that.

AGREED!

>> The second question is, "Who's taking the sport (or not) to where we
think it
>> should be" ... is it the USRA? IRT? LPRA? AmPRO?

Clearly it's the USRA - they are the governig body.


>> If you have something you think is worthwhile, implement it ... or I
suppose
>> the option is to just keep talking ???

yes, it's our responsibility to keep talking. We DO all have day jobs, some
are successful business people that have done or are doing similar jobs of
the USRA in other fields and can see the mistakes their making a mile away.
If the USRA were growing the sport I would have no beef with them.
BUT THEY CLEARLY AREN'T DOING IT!

There is a reason and the answer may lie within the members. Some of us
look at the USRA and say....been there, done that, got burned, here is what
not to do. But the USRA isn't listening and they continue to make mistakes
in their own little silo. Their growth numbers (or lack there of) don't
lie, they have screwed up consistently.


>> On a sidenote ... it seems Greg is the most successful of the bunch ...
not
>> sure but I heard he has a "nestegg" for the USRA ???

You know what they say...cash is king. It can be very influencial.

Personally, I think at some point the USOC is going to get mad at the USRA
for not developing the sport. B/c if racquetball continues to dwindle then
so does the USOC's money. They probably don't want to lose their money.
When this happens they will send people to fix it. Who knows maybe Ivan was
sent to the USRA to clean it up.




> "Zoey" <sorry@nospam.net> wrote in message
> news:8yrdb.67504$eF3.4741@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com...
> > there is a formal way of doing this and I'm positive Ivan know how to do
> it.
> >
> > First you segment the customer base
> > then you find out the discriminating variables around each segment and
> their
> > drivers
> > then you create messages to resonate with the target, articulating what
is
> > driving customers to be in the group
> > then you position messaging around the marketing elements you choose to
> use
> >
> > in other words... the official tag of "fastest sport" is only worth
paying
> > money for IF it is part of the brand that resonates with the target
> audience
> > that the USRA is trying to attract.
> >
> > personally, i think the brand is lacking that x-games factor and a
Guiness
> > Book record would be a cool part of an initial campaign.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > "BigG" <geg@bdi-ae.com> wrote in message
> > news:4d6c2a34.0309240354.6258d00d@posting.google.com...
> > > Well Said Kathy:
> > >
> > > I have seen as of late a number of novice players on courts who are
> > > just out there having a blast. I can stand back and analyze their
> > > technique or encourage them to keep playing, get some eye protection,
> > > offer them some lessons, and have Rball players 20 years from now. I
> > > play because I love the game, the friendships, the workout, and yes
> > > the speed. Once your hooked, it's a life sentence!
> > >
> > > Gary E. Gaiotti
> > > Team HEAD Florida
> > > Certified AmPRO Instructor
> > > Premier Racquetball Club
> >
> >
>
>




28 Sep 2003 06:57:46
Cary
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

"Zoey" <sorry@nospam.net > wrote in message news:<8yrdb.67504>
> personally, i think the brand is lacking that x-games factor and a Guiness
> Book record would be a cool part of an initial campaign.
>
>
I still think the Guinness Book record (i.e World's Fastest Sport)
would provide a significant, sustainable boost to the sport of
racquetball. I don't believe there would be a cost, but I plan to
contact Guinness and verify. Seems to me the record would provide
free promotion to a wide audience, and the impact on potential
sponsors could be huge. More sponsors would be willing to provide
money to our sport if it had the OFFICIAL tag of World's Fastest
Sport.

I was watching the Marlin/Phil baseball game the other night on ESPN.
Many of us here know that Jeff Conine is a former championship level
racquetball player (and can crush the racquetball!), and is also an
All-Star baseball player for many years. Chris Berman (ESPN
announcer) spent a full minute during the national broadcast going on
and on about what an incredible baseball player Conine is, and what a
great athlete. Berman also specifically mentioned that Conine is a
former racquetball champion, and alluded to his racquetball
championships as proof to his incredible athleticism. Berman also
mentioned that Conine's wife (Cindy) is a former racquetball champion.
Great publicity for racquetball!

Here's a slight twist on my Guinness proposal. Let's get Jeff Conine
to officially set the first record. Not sure how many years Conine
will continue to play professional baseball, but if he set the
official world speed record, the Guinness racquetball record would
probably be mentioned nearly every game (at least once) that he plays.
There probably are a few harder hitters in the game of racquetball
(not that many), but Conine would be a great publicity choice to set
the record.

On a separate note, let's hope Conine returns IN A BIG WAY to his
racquetball roots after his baseball career is over. This would
provide a big boost to our sport.

Cary


28 Sep 2003 07:16:18
Kathy Geels
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport


>personally, i think the brand is lacking that x-games factor and a Guiness
>Book record would be a cool part of an initial campaign.
>

My reservations about going for the x-games, the hot and trendy demographics are
that we are too small to compete in those zones yet. For example, say you pay
for a big bill-board that visually says:

RACQUETBALL. A COOL, FAST SPORT FOR REALLY COOL PEOPLE THAT WANT TO BE EVEN MORE
COOL.

Then they go to the places that have racquetball courts. And initially, they are
going to see...pretty old people with beer bellies.

The way I would do it, is start by targeting the group of people that would take
up the game with the least resistance and effort. People that are open to
working out, want to lose weight, 30-40 somethings that maybe even played it
before, that want to stay in shape, and that feel right at home with other 30-40
year olds. Only a fraction of that group is playing the game right now. So you
start building up the popularity of the game that way. Once you have gained
some popular support, comes a little bit of stability and the ability to take
higher risks and start lending diversity to the player base you recruit. I
think high risk step will be a difficult step to take at any point, but to take
the highest risk step first, with no steady foothold, to me is not scientific.
It's catering to ego, saying "because we ARE a macho sport, we can succeed even
when completely ill-prepared to do so.". You're setting yourself up for failure
and disappointment.

That is why I suggested a campaign using Marty Hogan (familiarity amongst so
many that are not currently playing), Ruben Gonzales (together they visually
capture what racquetball means to so many - an active healthy, fit, positive
image that holds very late into life.

Then, once you get more people that can relate to these goals, you start using
their macho-ness to entice a younger, more diverse crowd. Which is what brings
to mind using humor to pit the Legends guys (or like images) against young
toughs. To me, using humor to introduce the element of machoness is much safer,
lower risk, than going full-on with "furious", and "X-games". So many entities
are using those ploys for that segment, we would just get lost without having a
lot more collateral at our fingertips to assist in that approach.

Zoey, why don't me you and Jeff go off-line and start building an imaginary
kingdom. See if there is anything we could do on paper and in theory to support
soldiers in the field...It seems to me that when we speak out here, we give the
USRA just enough to appear to respond, but turns out to be smoke and mirrors.
Maybe you don't agree, and would like to give them some room again. If so, I'd
be interested to know how and when you think they have made the move beyond
lip-service to effective performance.

I'd be happy to do the same. I'm interested to hear your response.

Kathy



28 Sep 2003 15:06:08
Self
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

In article <GBsdb.11098$ev2.4053689@newssrv26.news.prodigy.com >,
spiderman@proracquetball.net tells others what they outght to do:
<snips >

> Greg... is unwilling to do anything for [the sport] but
>write a check and throw it in the bin???

> Greg ... why don't you take
>your millions of dollars and work it yourself for the sport instead of
>trying to "blackmail" the USRA?
>
>Ed.

<sigh >

1. I don't have to explain to Ed (or anyone) why I do what I do. Actually, I
generally do volunteer my motives here, quite transparently, and thoroughly. In
fact, so thoroughly that some claim I'm a "One-Note-Johny" driving them crazy,
remember? But I'm certainly not beholden to anyone here to 'splain myself!

2. I'm not a bazillionaire. I'm just a working-class Joe, regardless of what some
would rumor or have you believe. Heck, you should see my l'il homestead.
Neo-bachelor all the way. What you consider 'blackmail', I consider merely 'voting
with my feet'. I guess if [hypothetical alert] after years of philandering, your wife
finally said, "Ed, straighten out, get rid of all the goomah's, or I else am filing for
divorce", you would consider that 'blackmail'. I, however, would consider it 'a
moment of lucidity'. So, to each their own.

3. I *am* supporting the sport. I play it, I generate interest in it for those I meet,
and I try to be a good 'court ambasssador' in terms of supporting juniors playing,
offering to aid those who ask me for tips or on-court help, etc. I play Saturdays at
one venue, Mondays in a league, and at yet a third venue for pick-up/challenge
during the week. The fact that I don't start my own alternative org to the USRA
does NOT prohibit me from critiqueing and complaining about the elements of
today's situation that I don't like. The fact I don't do exactly as you wish I would
do doesn't mean my own methods are without value. Ed, have we not covered
this same deeply-furrowed ground in exquisitely painful detail in the past? You do
your thing selling videos and showing off to newbies. I'll do mine on the court and
on the newsgroup. Maybe there is even room (and even merit <shock >?!?!?!?!?!?)
in both sets of activities.

--
-- Opus
See Anti-troll & kill file FAQs at:
http://www.hyphenologist.co.uk/killfile/anti_troll_faq.htm
http://www.hyphenologist.co.uk/killfile/killfilefaq.htm
"Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out"
"Things should be made as simple as possible...but no simpler"
Einstein



28 Sep 2003 15:10:12
Self
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

In article <c24f3d12.0309280557.3e863d87@posting.google.com >,
irt_fan@yahoo.com says...
>
>"Zoey" <sorry@nospam.net> wrote in message news:<8yrdb.67504>
>> personally, i think the brand is lacking that x-games factor and a Guiness
>> Book record would be a cool part of an initial campaign.

Sorry that I didn't say this when it was first posted (remember, I have explained
in past that I typically only post when I disagree with a post, which is I'm sure
responsible for why I am seen as such a pain <chuckle >)

Good idea!

Especially working the Conine angle - and he could do it, too, he is a beast.

--
-- Opus
See Anti-troll & kill file FAQs at:
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28 Sep 2003 12:15:56
jeffca
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

In article <bl6qfi01jgh@drn.newsguy.com >,
Kathy Geels <kathyklg@hotmail.com > wrote:

> Zoey, why don't me you and Jeff go off-line and start building an
> imaginary kingdom. See if there is anything we could do on paper and in
> theory to support soldiers in the field...It seems to me that when we
> speak out here, we give the USRA just enough to appear to respond, but
> turns out to be smoke and mirrors. Maybe you don't agree, and would like
> to give them some room again.


Kathy, the first part of your post was instructive and quite accurate in
its assessment. You do that well.

As for going off-line, nah. The beauty of an on-line discussion is in
the way it collects mass. If we have a good idea, or ideas, and enough
people support it (them) initially, it can snowball.

Now, if we were designing and building shuttles for NASA, that would be
different. I wouldn't want the public to know what could go wrong if we
made a 1mm error in some critical component. That's too much information
for the public to bear, especially if the worst ever came to pass. But
this is just racquetball. We're all in this together.

> If so, I'd be interested to know how and
> when you think they have made the move beyond lip-service to effective
> performance.

When they get friendly.

jeffca


28 Sep 2003 10:16:22
Kathy Geels
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

>As for going off-line, nah. The beauty of an on-line discussion is in
>the way it collects mass. If we have a good idea, or ideas, and enough
>people support it (them) initially, it can snowball.

I disagree. It's not all about performance, and the ability to formulate a plan.
It's also about the ability to negotiate with business savvy. If you offer to
give your ideas and methods away, you will remain a business loser, and that
means you will not acquire any of the resources needed to further your agenda -
however well-intentioned it may be. When you "give" away, you come out in the
negative - unless you are talking transcendental. I'm talking practical and real
- meaning in exchange for something I give, I replenish. Good will is nice, but
you have to be able to add something more substantial to the conversation if you
want a plan to gain momentum and advance an agenda, vs. generate positive
energy.

>Now, if we were designing and building shuttles for NASA, that would be
>different. I wouldn't want the public to know what could go wrong if we
>made a 1mm error in some critical component. That's too much information
>for the public to bear, especially if the worst ever came to pass. But
>this is just racquetball. We're all in this together.

I disagree again. True, we may all benefit from the increased popularity of the
sport. But a successful negotiation requires some kind of adversarial
relationship between two separate but related entities. If I want to acquire
resources, or profit, I must find a positive value for my goods, then position
them as desirable to an entity with a separate but related agenda which finds an
equitable reward in parting with something he has to offer in order to acquire
something I have to offer. If I position my ideas and methods as free, I have
no way to acquire: more resources, profit, and no way to advance my own agenda.


If we are all in this together, we have no one with whom to negotiate with. That
is not true. We have retailers on this newsgroup, we have instructors,
clinicians, club representatives, etc. There are lots of prospectives with whom
to negotiate to advance a single agenda which would, incidentally benefit all
industry players. But as long as you exist in an even trade or negative profit
mode, no single idea can gain momentum. That is what solidarity is, right?
Aren't we discussing a single big umbrella?

I'm not trying to persuade you personally of anything. I'm not sure I'm
interested in participating in any big experiment at this point in my life,
although I think I could identify and contribute to a successful process aimed
at developing such a big umbrella. This is a continuation of a conversation
about the difference between constructive dialog and wishful thinking. If you
continue to converse as if what we are discussing out here is an exercise in
motivating the USRA to do the right thing, "as you see it" - well, how hidden
has "the right thing" been over the past 20 years. Do you think you, me,
dropshot, Zoey are the only ones virtuous or intelligent enough to observe it?
I'm sure you don't. The big problem is that nobody is as much committed to the
idea of doing the right thing - with all its associated risks and sacrifices -
as it pertains to racquetball. We all have agendas or conflicts, so what are you
going to do. It's a nice diversion, anyway.

>
>> If so, I'd be interested to know how and
>> when you think they have made the move beyond lip-service to effective
>> performance.
>
>When they get friendly.

As they, say, we get what we deserve. For me that standard lacks depth and
authenticity. How do you measure friendliness - smiles? Pleasant phone
greetings? To me friendliness is a willingness to put pleasing actions behind
pleasing words. When you say "ah, see how we respond to you, how seriously we
take your complaints!" - that is lip-service. What good does it do to hire a
marketing person if he is in a strangle-hold and is not empowered to do what
marketing people do - shake things up and get positive attention. When I see
genuine evidence of them reaching out to the non-elite market, when they speak
to someone other than the tiny elite group that advances an archaic, destructive
agenda, to me, that is friendly. When I can go into a club that the general
public uses and see evidence that the USRA has made a foot-print there, that
says they are friendly to a broader agenda. Until then, it's status quo.


>jeffca

tata, as they say...

Kathy



28 Sep 2003 18:12:56
Cary
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

irt_fan@yahoo.com (Cary) wrote in message
> I still think the Guinness Book record (i.e World's Fastest Sport)
> would provide a significant, sustainable boost to the sport of
> racquetball. I don't believe there would be a cost, but I plan to
> contact Guinness and verify.

I checked with the Guinness web site (www.guinnessworldrecords.com).
Here is info from the FAQ:

"How much do I have to pay when I make my record attempt?"

Generally, nothing! The only time Guinness World Records might expect
payment is if you need to use our Fast Track service - and if members
of our staff have, by arrangement, attended your event.

Also, while all successful record breakers receive, free of charge, a
certificate recognizing their achievement, we do make a small charge
for any additional copies if they're requested.


"How long will it take for me to get a response to my record-breaking
application?"

Each year we receive around 65,000 record-related enquiries from
people who want to set or break records. Due to the number of queries
we receive, it usually takes us between 8 and 10 weeks to reply,
although sometimes it may take longer given the sheer volume of claims
and queries we receive.


I sent in a record-breaking application. I should hear from Guinness
in 8 - 10 weeks. I'll let you all know what I hear.....

Cary


28 Sep 2003 21:24:30
Zoey
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

DAMN! i wish i would have thought of that first!

GREAT IDEA!



"Cary" <irt_fan@yahoo.com > wrote in message
news:c24f3d12.0309280557.3e863d87@posting.google.com...
> "Zoey" <sorry@nospam.net> wrote in message news:<8yrdb.67504>
> > personally, i think the brand is lacking that x-games factor and a
Guiness
> > Book record would be a cool part of an initial campaign.
> >
> >
> I still think the Guinness Book record (i.e World's Fastest Sport)
> would provide a significant, sustainable boost to the sport of
> racquetball. I don't believe there would be a cost, but I plan to
> contact Guinness and verify. Seems to me the record would provide
> free promotion to a wide audience, and the impact on potential
> sponsors could be huge. More sponsors would be willing to provide
> money to our sport if it had the OFFICIAL tag of World's Fastest
> Sport.
>
> I was watching the Marlin/Phil baseball game the other night on ESPN.
> Many of us here know that Jeff Conine is a former championship level
> racquetball player (and can crush the racquetball!), and is also an
> All-Star baseball player for many years. Chris Berman (ESPN
> announcer) spent a full minute during the national broadcast going on
> and on about what an incredible baseball player Conine is, and what a
> great athlete. Berman also specifically mentioned that Conine is a
> former racquetball champion, and alluded to his racquetball
> championships as proof to his incredible athleticism. Berman also
> mentioned that Conine's wife (Cindy) is a former racquetball champion.
> Great publicity for racquetball!
>
> Here's a slight twist on my Guinness proposal. Let's get Jeff Conine
> to officially set the first record. Not sure how many years Conine
> will continue to play professional baseball, but if he set the
> official world speed record, the Guinness racquetball record would
> probably be mentioned nearly every game (at least once) that he plays.
> There probably are a few harder hitters in the game of racquetball
> (not that many), but Conine would be a great publicity choice to set
> the record.
>
> On a separate note, let's hope Conine returns IN A BIG WAY to his
> racquetball roots after his baseball career is over. This would
> provide a big boost to our sport.
>
> Cary




28 Sep 2003 22:13:32
jeffca
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

In article <bl751602kml@drn.newsguy.com >,
Kathy Geels <kathyklg@hotmail.com > wrote:

> >As for going off-line, nah. The beauty of an on-line discussion is in
> >the way it collects mass. If we have a good idea, or ideas, and enough
> >people support it (them) initially, it can snowball.
>
> I disagree. It's not all about performance, and the ability to formulate a
> plan. It's also about the ability to negotiate with business savvy. If
> you offer to give your ideas and methods away, you will remain a business
> loser, and that means you will not acquire any of the resources needed to
> further your agenda - however well-intentioned it may be. When you "give"
> away, you come out in the negative - unless you are talking
> transcendental. I'm talking practical and real - meaning in exchange for
> something I give, I replenish. Good will is nice, but you have to be able
> to add something more substantial to the conversation if you want a plan
> to gain momentum and advance an agenda, vs. generate positive energy.

[big snip]

What am I missing here?

My agenda is plain to see. I'm not coming from some deep think-tank with
an orchestrated plan to take control. I'm sharing my ideas. Do with them
what you like. If anyone wants to steal one, go ahead. Take what you
want. I've got lots more. Jeez. Why would I want to profit from them?
All I want for the sport is more people. I'm trying to contribute. Some
people want it all for themselves. To each their own. Everyone is
welcome to follow their own master.

So, I presented a half-baked restructuring plan for your perusal, that I
think accomdates a more diverse group better than we're doing it today.
I want to thank you again for your comments. I don't know what else to
say.

BTW, the people who say that ideas are cheap, are right. It is the
implementation that proves the idea. That said, I know exactly where
organized racquetball is breaking down between the clubs and the
organizations. Lynn (for one) has licked half of the problem in NC, but
solving the other half, has to be mandated by big brother. If
long-lasting working relationships are not implemented, NC will begin to
crumble as soon as Lynn leaves. The organization has to be able to
succeed at the state level in spite of itself, and I believe it can.

atat.

jeffca


29 Sep 2003 03:59:44
Kathy Geels
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

In article <KyMdb.1326$op2.191376@news20.bellglobal.com >, jeffca says...
>
>In article <bl751602kml@drn.newsguy.com>,
> Kathy Geels <kathyklg@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> >As for going off-line, nah. The beauty of an on-line discussion is in
>> >the way it collects mass. If we have a good idea, or ideas, and enough
>> >people support it (them) initially, it can snowball.
>>
>> I disagree. It's not all about performance, and the ability to formulate a
>> plan. It's also about the ability to negotiate with business savvy. If
>> you offer to give your ideas and methods away, you will remain a business
>> loser, and that means you will not acquire any of the resources needed to
>> further your agenda - however well-intentioned it may be. When you "give"
>> away, you come out in the negative - unless you are talking
>> transcendental. I'm talking practical and real - meaning in exchange for
>> something I give, I replenish. Good will is nice, but you have to be able
>> to add something more substantial to the conversation if you want a plan
>> to gain momentum and advance an agenda, vs. generate positive energy.
>
>[big snip]
>
>What am I missing here?
>
>My agenda is plain to see. I'm not coming from some deep think-tank with
>an orchestrated plan to take control. I'm sharing my ideas. Do with them
>what you like. If anyone wants to steal one, go ahead. Take what you
>want. I've got lots more. Jeez. Why would I want to profit from them?
>All I want for the sport is more people. I'm trying to contribute. Some
>people want it all for themselves. To each their own. Everyone is
>welcome to follow their own master.
>

Don't get your panties in a twist. I tried to make a case for why one would one
to move forward with an agenda. My case is that it would give a single entity a
greater degree of influence over a wider group of people. YOU brought up the
whole "I'd prefer the big umbrella" line. I happen to agree, but I don't think
it's fruitful to sit and hope against hope that somehow the USRA is going to
adopt a totally new outlook, after 20 years. So, you have your ways, I have
mine.

Nice Monday.
Kathy



29 Sep 2003 11:35:00
jeffca
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

In article <bl93b0027is@drn.newsguy.com >,
Kathy Geels <kathyklg@hotmail.com > wrote:

> Don't get your panties in a twist.

Kathy, pull your claws in. You're the one who wrapped your
idea/concept/proposal in a riddle. I couldn't make heads or tails out of
the miles and miles of techno-babble.

In another post this morning, you said, "there is no central
organization that lets people know when a non-sanctioned tournament is
coming up." In just 16 words, you described a problem looking for a
solution.

> I tried to make a case for why one would one to move forward with an
> agenda. My case is that it would give a single entity a greater degree of
> influence over a wider group of people. YOU brought up the whole "I'd
> prefer the big umbrella" line. I happen to agree, but I don't think it's
> fruitful to sit and hope against hope that somehow the USRA is going to
> adopt a totally new outlook, after 20 years. So, you have your ways, I
> have mine.

A case for what? You know, minor details, like: The goal. The purpose.
The scope. Tie it all together for me. In 16 words or less, please.

KISS!

jeffca


29 Sep 2003 11:07:39
Kathy Geels
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

In article <4iYdb.1908$op2.291630@news20.bellglobal.com >, jeffca says...
>
>In article <bl93b0027is@drn.newsguy.com>,
> Kathy Geels <kathyklg@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Don't get your panties in a twist.
>
>Kathy, pull your claws in. You're the one who wrapped your
>idea/concept/proposal in a riddle. I couldn't make heads or tails out of
>the miles and miles of techno-babble.
>
A case for what? You know, minor details, like: The goal. The purpose.
>The scope. Tie it all together for me. In 16 words or less, please.

Ya know, I think you may have a point. If you didn't get the point the first 3
times around, explaining in greater detail is not going to help you out.


>KISS!
>
>jeffca


Let me do my best to keep it simple:

The way I see it, these are the options for achieving your stated goal of a big
umbrella that develops and nurtures the game for the enjoyment of all players,
vs. an elite few:

Persuade the USRA to change, or
Do it yourself.

Which one do you think is going to be easier for you to achieve? If you are
willing to accept the reality that the USRA is as it is by design, rather than
stupidity or foolishness, than you recognize the futility in demanding inherent
change from them. Or what? You have no leverage.

So if you are willing to accept the reality that they are not going to change,
you have to look at how you can achieve your goal yourself. And it's not by
good-naturedly sharing your ideas out here. That's nice, and it does some good,
but it's not effective in the long run, big picture. We have more than 5 years
of evidence before us. The status quo remains unchanged.

It doesn't matter to me, one way or the other. But I enjoy these conversations,
as long as the denial doesn't get too deep.

Kathy



29 Sep 2003 22:15:27
jeffca
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

In article <bl9sdb0qie@drn.newsguy.com >,
Kathy Geels <kathyklg@hotmail.com > wrote:

> Let me do my best to keep it simple:
>
> The way I see it, these are the options for achieving your stated goal of
> a big umbrella that develops and nurtures the game for the enjoyment of
> all players, vs. an elite few:
>
> Persuade the USRA to change, or
> Do it yourself.
>
> Which one do you think is going to be easier for you to achieve? If you
> are willing to accept the reality that the USRA is as it is by design,
> rather than stupidity or foolishness, than you recognize the futility in
> demanding inherent change from them. Or what? You have no leverage.
>
> So if you are willing to accept the reality that they are not going to
> change, you have to look at how you can achieve your goal yourself. And
> it's not by good-naturedly sharing your ideas out here. That's nice, and
> it does some good, but it's not effective in the long run, big picture. We
> have more than 5 years of evidence before us. The status quo remains
> unchanged.
>
> It doesn't matter to me, one way or the other. But I enjoy these
> conversations, as long as the denial doesn't get too deep.


Okay, I did understand that part. What I failed to understand was what
the clandestine (off-line) operation was that you were proposing. (I
know, it wouldn't be very clandestine if you told me on-line. :)

Maybe you've misinterpreted my motives.

I haven't had any problem at all filling the courts with players, of all
ages. Racquetball Canada, on the other hand, has a pitifully small
membership. I think I had almost as many members in my little club as
they have paid up in total, nationally. Yea, I was that competitive. :)
I think I could have started my own ngb and beat them number-wise
without even trying hard (which makes me wonder now if I could have
taken over the funding. Wow, that's a mind bomb. :) With all of their
resources, can't they do any better than they are? Come on.

Kathy, I don't want to do their job for them. They wanted the job. They
want the glory. Patience and persistance is the only way. Who knows,
maybe someday they'll screw up and do something right.

Change of focus. Kathy, if you really want to help, try understanding
the restructuring proposal. Ask questions. Be a skeptic. Poke holes in
it. Whatever. Don't be kind! Do what we do best. :) Tell me why it
doesn't work, and maybe I'll revise it. On paper.

jeffca


30 Sep 2003 04:02:13
Kathy Geels
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

>Change of focus. Kathy, if you really want to help, try understanding
>the restructuring proposal. Ask questions. Be a skeptic. Poke holes in
>it. Whatever. Don't be kind! Do what we do best. :) Tell me why it
>doesn't work, and maybe I'll revise it. On paper.
>jeffca


If you are talking about restructuring the governing bodies, I don't think it
will work because they do what they are intended to do the way they are. They
are not intended to populate the sport, they are intended to garner funds for
tight control by a small group using concentrated efforts. You are talking about
increasing the effort exponentially with no economic incentive without
increasing the reward, in the name of your principals.

As I say, do you really think it's an accident that no real unifying structure
exists in either governing body? It's not meant to be a democracy, because a
democracy would mean the same amount of money would have to be shared among a
large group of people. As it is, a handful of people do a fairly
straightforward thing (host events to show-case their elite players in order to
prepare them for competitions which earn wads of money). In exchange for that,
this handful of people gets to turn around and do it again. Do you REALLY
believe they have just been bumbling along all these years because you nor me
were around to tell them how to do it properly?

Where is the incentive for them?

You can keep telling them to change. Let me know when you see evidence it is
working. I will be very happy for us all.

Kathy



30 Sep 2003 09:29:45
jeffca
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

In article <blbnrl0r7p@drn.newsguy.com >,
Kathy Geels <kathyklg@hotmail.com > wrote:

> >Change of focus. Kathy, if you really want to help, try understanding
> >the restructuring proposal. Ask questions. Be a skeptic. Poke holes in
> >it. Whatever. Don't be kind! Do what we do best. :) Tell me why it
> >doesn't work, and maybe I'll revise it. On paper.
> >jeffca
>
>
> If you are talking about restructuring the governing bodies,

...just how they would work.

> I don't think it will work because they do what they are intended to do
> the way they are. They are not intended to populate the sport, they are
> intended to garner funds for tight control by a small group using
> concentrated efforts. You are talking about increasing the effort
> exponentially with no economic incentive without increasing the reward, in
> the name of your principals.

No I'm not. Don't go mixing my principals into this. My principals only
tell me that when things are amiss, try to figure out why, then try to
do something about it. People used to scream at me for complaining
without offering a solution. So I've been putting out solutions with my
complaints. I can't help it if the electoral process is so skewed in
their favour that these ideas can never be seriously debated in a public
forum, in front of the voting members AND in front of the potential
members. Such a balanced approach is clearly taboo.

And "increasing the effort exponentially" is not accurate either,
redirecting their efforts would be more accurate.

> As I say, do you really think it's an accident that no real unifying
> structure exists in either governing body? It's not meant to be a
> democracy, because a democracy would mean the same amount of money would
> have to be shared among a large group of people. As it is, a handful of
> people do a fairly straightforward thing (host events to show-case their
> elite players in order to prepare them for competitions which earn wads of
> money). In exchange for that, this handful of people gets to turn around
> and do it again. Do you REALLY believe they have just been bumbling along
> all these years because you nor me were around to tell them how to do it
> properly?
>
> Where is the incentive for them?

Good question.

jeffca


PS. So, what do you think of the proposal? Forget about who would
implement it, do you think it would work? Why or why not?


30 Sep 2003 17:24:38
Kathy Geels
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

>jeffca
>
>
>PS. So, what do you think of the proposal? Forget about who would
>implement it, do you think it would work? Why or why not?


Jeff -

Your "proposal" seems to be an interpretation of the existing organization in
which the separate areas are managed in an effectual way. This has been the
crux of our debate: you suggest that somehow speaking on this forum is going to
affect positive change to achieve that goal. I suggest that that goal is not
currently realized not due to incompetence, but by design.

Unified rankings, skill divisions, rules enforcement backed by quality control;
these things are all readily attainable if they are genuinely strived for. It's
not rocket science. The reality is that they are not strived for because they
are not relevent to the current agenda, which is standing in line to receive
funding based on towing the party line, touting the party agenda:

This is not a slur, this is not an insult. No one entity can be all things to
all people. The USRA does what it does well. They managed to find a stable,
recurring, significant form of funding and keep it coming. They can't be held
accountable as the universal savior of the sport.

It is disappointing to me that nobody else in the industry has the passion to
pursue those extraneous goals you propose. It appears to me that the current
industry players have this huge gravy train mentality, and everybody is content
to get their piece of the pie. "let's give high priced instruction to an elite
few. Let's sell high-end racquets to a select group willing to pay. let's call
it a state governing agency, but in reality do nothing to innovate nor improve
the status quo for our local members.Let's run extravaganzas that cater to a
tiny elite group." These are the same people that have their way paid to these
summits, that have executive positions with sporting goods companies, they let
the USRA take the heat for all industry shortcomings. We all rail against the
USRA for not being the end-all-be-all of the sport, yet it's not reasonable to
expect them to function equally effectively in both the bureaucratic and
free-market environments. Bureaucrats resist change, entrepeneurs thrive on it.

It's time to stop marking the USRA as the red-headed step-child. It's time for
someone else to step up and meet the other diverse needs that exist for the
sport. To meet the needs that cannot be met by standing in line waiting for a
handout for being a well-mannered, well-spoken, polite and patient little
bureaucrat. Needs that are met by aggressively, innovatively keeping up with
what the commercial market is demanding.

Stop blaming the USRA. It needs to be done. They are busy. Somebody else needs
to get it done.

Kathy



01 Oct 2003 01:01:16
jeffca
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

In article <bld6s602jot@drn.newsguy.com >,
Kathy Geels <kathyklg@hotmail.com > wrote:

> Stop blaming the USRA. It needs to be done. They are busy. Somebody else needs
> to get it done.

Funny you should put it like that. The USRA is an organization made up
of members and an elected board. The entire membership would be to blame
if the ultimate blame is ever leveled. After all, who controls the perks
but the members.

How many serious investers have already walked away from racquetball?
Clubs closed. Big name sponsors, gone. These people were invested in the
sport for the long-term. Next to go were the employees, the instructors
and programmers. Their jobs disappeared.

Members, by comparison, are fly by night. Show them a good time and
they'll be your best friends, and it's real easy to understand that type
of friendship. But in the end, who cares as long as everyone has a great
time at nationals? That's what it's all about, isn't it?

I read this somewhere and clipped it.

"But surely there is more to accountability than record keeping and
disclosure. In principle, a company (particularly, say, one in a
monopoly or oligopoly position) might keep scrupulous records of its
unsavory actions, disclose those records to the public, and then (due to
its comfortable market position) ignore the ensuing public outcry. Real
public accountability for values means the obligation to be responsive
to the values of the public, and to let the values of the public
influence, shape, or guide corporate values. Mere transparency is not
enough (though it is an awfully good start)."

Thanks, Kathy.

Let's leave it there.

jeffca


05 Oct 2003 18:22:05
Self
Re: World's Fastest Racquet Sport

In article <oRCdb.3168$T65.1916@bignews4.bellsouth.net >,
self@nospam.nospam said...



> Conine...is a beast.


Dang, I'm good!

And prophetic, too.


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