The International Racquetball Federation (IRF) was formed in 1979 with 13 National Racquetball Federations across four continents before quickly expanding to over 70 countries. It was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1985, one of the youngest sports ever to receive this recognition.

Racquetball was one of the charter members of the World Games first held in 1981. It has been included in five IOC-Recognized Continental Games, including the Pan American Games, since 1995.