I like a comprehensive list of things like racquetball courts. USA Racquetball employees and interns put together a list of facilities from the R2 Sports “Home Club” records of the USAR membership. This resulted in a lot of noise. 🙂 Dozens of gyms that never had racquetball courts, dozens that are out of business, and dozens more that have had their courts repurposed in the last decade.
One of the problems with this approach, is that only sanctioned tournament players were polled for their Home Club.
This leaves out a ton of recreation centers, community centers, civic centers, apartment complexes, hotels, campgrounds, YMCA’s and JCC’s, and even most of the locations of the national chains.
While I have been working on updating and expanding their lists, here: http://dailyracquetball.com/where-to-play-racquetball/, I’ve gotten fairly good at identifying additional facilities not on the list.
Some of the methods that I use to look at a specific town/city/county have been detailed previously, here:
How Would I Find Players In City X?
A player in northern California offered to help with the facilities around his city, so I gave him a taste of the additional research that gets done for each of the states for which I have a list and a map.
Take a site like this one:
Then using the Search feature, identify all of the recreation centers that claim to have racquetball courts.
Then grab the facility name, address, phone number, and website and add it to the list.
And that’s just one city.
The Chicago Park District website was amazing for this project, I would recommend anyone building a parks and recreation website for a city/county/state to follow their example.
The national chains are searched in a similar fashion.
YMCA’s are a nightmare.
Every location has an independent website and there is absolutely no consistency. In some instances, racquetball is an Amenity, in others it is a Feature, for other it is an Adult Sport, for others it is hidden in the Membership Benefits, for others the only reference is in the sidebar with a phone number to reserve a court. For many, there is no mention at all except in a blog post story from one of their members. Lots and lots of Facebook Messenger requests go to these asking about courts since their websites are so poor at a simple listing of Spaces available at the facility.
JCC’s are also challenging websites, as there isn’t any consistency, they all appear to have been done independently.
Colleges, oh my god, do not get me started on college websites.
Some have a great page about their recreation center and all of its spaces with the street address, the front desk phone number, and the number of courts all on the same page. These are now my favorite colleges and I will root for them over all others if I happen to observe their sports teams playing. Others have racquetball in their course syllabus, but no reference anywhere to a recreation center or wellness center etc. Others have a completely separate website for anything athletics related. Good luck finding addresses and phone numbers for the facilities on these sites.
Unfortunately, for the big chains that aren’t in NY/MA, I have to open up the page for every singe facility and search for racquetball courts on the resulting page. (NY Sports Clubs has a search by Amenity option that is great. You have to search for all of the possible ways to spell racquetball and racket ball and racquet ball, but you don’t have to open up a page for every single facility that they own.)
LA Fitness is the standard by which all the other searches are judged, for the comprehensiveness and state specificity of their search. It would be nice to also filter by amenity, but the result of every single facility they own in a specific state is great.
City Sports (same website as LAF just smaller region to look at)
Esporta Fitness (same as LAF/CS)
Gold’s Gym has a surprising number of courts (but none in California).
Life Time has the worst search feature for this process, so use their All Clubs list instead. None of their 5 California locations has racquetball or squash courts.
Crunch has only had one state with good representation of courts, but I’ve gotten to check them all.
World Gym only has 1 location in the US that claims racquetball courts. (So disappointed)
Haven’t started on In Shape yet, though I do look forward to this one.
24 Hour Fitness has an alternate search, via the Search box, for “Clubs with Racquetball”, that gives a pretty good list. Their Gyms by Amenity search is also good if you want a specific zip code.
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