A while back we asked a few of our players to reflect on what the tournament means to them- here are some responses:
Terry Rogers: In 2004 Merijean Kelley asked me if we might like to host the WSMRA tournament at our club in San Francisco. I said sure why not, over 100 women playing a tournament, what could be better than that! Well it was so much fun that I have not missed one since that time and plan to continue to attend for as long as I can. The round robin play is awesome and just as much fun is the camaraderie throughout and the lifelong friends you make, it just does not get much better than that!!!!!!
Linda Moore: I can give you a few reasons why I don't want to miss the WSMRA National event. The reason why I attend the event every year (almost every year) is because I love to get together with my good friends who I have met through racquetball. I know that most of them will not miss this event. Also, I know that there will be good competition and no doubt there will be fun times!
Donna Heinzl:. I believe my first year going to WSMRB was 2000, to Baltimore. It didn't take much to get me to go- a girls trip to play my favorite game !! I really didn't know what to expect. But I really liked the format, playing multiple games in a row. I never played many tournaments because I hated waiting hours between matches. Then I came again and again, seeing the same women and renewing friendships from the previous year, I really began looking forward to seeing these 'racquetball buddies' while spending time with my friends I traveled with. Although I'm very competitive (isn't that what we love about the game?) and tried to come out ahead I soon learned where I ranked and just tried to give everyone my best game no matter the outcome. The women are a friendly bunch and mostly feel the same. The main goal is to have a good time. In CA I didn't play due to some feet issues but I went to support my travel buddies and to see the friends I've made from previous years. I still had a wonderful time. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to play in the doubles division next year just so that I can continue to be a part of this wonderful organization. I have been playing for 39 years. RB has been a big part of my life, very much a part of my social life too, and I hope I don't have to give it up any time soon.
Nancy Kronenfeld: I have attended the WSMRAtournament every year since it's 3rd year when it was held at the YMCAin Charlotte, NC. I was 40 years old and several of my friends had played in Madison and asked me to join them. I was immediately hooked on the tourney with the round robin format and a whole new group of ladies to play. I loved it so much that when it was held in St. Louis the following year I became one of the original board members along with Merijean Kelley and Kendra Tutsch. I remained a board member until this year
(23 years). This tournament is about competition but it is even more about camaraderie and women - there are only women and we cater to WOMEN - the shirts fit us, the food is what we love, we have a fund doubles and donate to breast cancer, we dance all night at the banquet (no other tourney can boast that) AND the ball is pink! I LOVE THIS TOURNAMENT AND SO PROUD TO HAVE BEEN A REASON IT GREW TO THE BEST TOURNAMENT FOR 35+ WOMEN EVER.
Kathy Zazucha: Iíve been playing racquetball since the early 70's. I started because my boyfriend at the time played. I continued because I liked the game so much. It is an easy game to learn, but a hard one to master. Iíve played in the WMS tournament 3 years but found it impossible to compete with my bad knees (probably the result of 40 years of racquetball games). I love the camaraderie of the tournament. I know Terry from as far back as when the games were played to 21 points (ouch), so I asked if I could help out at the next tournament. I loved helping because it is the best of both worlds. You can watch some fantastic competitive games of racquetball, and you don't have to worry about the pressure of competing. And you feel good about yourself that you have contributed to the sport that you love so dearly by helping get all the players on the court for their games (the banquets are a blast too). I've had a knee replacement recently and I must admit that at the tournaments I received words of encouragement and several success stories about other people who had a knee replacement and returned to the court. I set that as my goal to return and play racquetball. Perhaps next year I will be on the other side of the tournament table.
My favorite quote is: You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. Plato