In my experience, the number one question asked by existing racquetball players is “how do I find players in city X”?
Here’s a few recent examples:
There are a number of ways that I address this personally.
First, I would check to see if there are facilities on the currently most comprehensive list of courts:
Then, if my area weren’t covered by the existing maps and facilities lists, I would do the following:
1) Check Meetup.com for racquetball groups or clubs. This is extremely hit or miss, but it is one simple quick query to help you find people that are looking for opponents. All of the former meetups that I had found in the past are gone (Seattle, Las Vegas, etc.), but I think it is still worth a quick try.
2a) If you Facebook, check for regional racquetball discussion groups. Type in the City or State name, then Search. Then click on the Groups option at the top to narrow down the results. Join the groups that look appropriate, and query that discussion group for locations, days, times, etc.
2b) If you don’t Facebook, check for regional discussion groups on Reddit. Type in the City or State, and review any groups that look appropriate before posting your query there about players and facilities.
3) The next step I would look at is tournament facilities.
Choose your state in the drop down on the right and click on Start Event Search.
This will show a list of all of the sanctioned tournaments currently scheduled in the state.
There are some state tournament organizations that don’t use R2 Sports, so you would have to search their out events individually. Tennessee, for example:
If you do find a tournament facility nearby, reach out to them to see if they have a league or challenge court, etc.
If they don’t have anything organized, you can still show up at the best times to meet other players.
M-F 5 am – 7:30 am will usually host the players that work in the neighborhood but have to commute to get there. These will generally be a bit older, but also a bit better players. Expect to play doubles at this time of day.
M-F 11 am -1 pm will usually host a lunch crowd. This will tend to be a much quicker group that are going to get on the courts, get off, get showered and get back to work. Don’t expect as much chit chat during or between games with this group.
M-F 4 pm – 8 pm will usually have the most social groups of players. These will have just gotten off of work and will play for an hour or two after traffic has died down or when they are ready to eat their evening meal. Friday evenings will be the most likely day for the courts to be empty or only consist of small groups that only play with their 1 partner, or their 1 doubles team opponents.
Saturday at 8 am seems to be a universal call to the courts, doubles is pretty much required as this will be the busiest time at the courts.
Saturday afternoons and Sundays seem to vary a lot by location, although 2 pm seems to be pretty consistent across states.
4) The next step I would take if there aren’t any tournament facilities nearby, is to look at the tournament player rankings, to see if any of them have a home club listed that would be good for you.
Change the Region drop-down to reflect your state.
Click on Submit.
This will show you a list of the top 101 ranked players in your state.
You can then use CTRL-F to search the results for your city.
If you don’t find any, hit the link at the bottom for the next 100 and repeat.
Once you find a player in your city, click on their name.
This will show you their player profile, and most of the profiles will have a Home Club listed.
You can Google search that Home Club to find hours, phone numbers, address, etc.
The example would get you this site:
With that info, follow the portions of #3 that are appropriate to find leagues, challenge courts, and players at the most popular times.
5) Google/Bing search. If you are in an area that doesn’t sanction tournaments, you can Google search for a few sets of keywords:
5a) racquetball [city name]
5b) [city name] parks and recreation
If you get Yelp (or similar listing services) as your only result, look thru their site carefully, as you are more likely to get a review that says “this place is cheap because it doesn’t have racquetball…” than you are to find a racquetball court facility.
Search the Parks & Rec website for courts (indoor and outdoor) provided by the community, a surprising number can be found this way in many different states.
6) The last option that I would recommend is to query the larger discussion groups on Reddit and Facebook for racquetball to see if there are players and facilities in your area that aren’t associated with tournaments or found through any of the steps above.
Reddit 2,500+ members: https://www.reddit.com/r/racquetball/
Racquetball Friends, 4,300+ members: https://www.facebook.com/groups/208962609136484/
Make Racquetball Great Again, 4,100+ members: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1987674258220861/
Keep Racquetball Great, 3,300+ members: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2301727263400648/
What steps do you take to find facilities and players that I didn’t list?
Contact me and let me know!
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