On July 19, Racquetball will begin competition as part of the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Held every four years, the Pan American Games are the world’s third largest international multi-sport Games; they are surpassed in size and scope only by the Olympic Summer Games and the Asian Games. This year, approximately 6,135 athletes from 41 nations are expected to participate in 36 sports. The dates of the Games run from July 10-26.
This will be the fifth Pan American Games in which racquetball has competed as a full medal sport:
1995 in Mar Del Plata, Argentina
1998 in Winnipeg, Canada
2003 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico
2015 in Toronto, Canada
The Exhibition Centre will offer more than one million square feet of space that will showcase indoor volleyball, roller sports figure skating, team handball, squash, and racquetball. The Centre will be one of the five competition venues that are part of CIBC Pan Am Park on the Canadian National Exhibition grounds.
Racquetball and its athletes will be treated with the same respect and protocols as are afforded Olympic Sports: in the venue, by the press, and in all areas key to the success of the sport. The racquetball venue is located next to the International Press Center, which will potentially provide tremendous international media exposure.
Competition will take place on four portable courts including a four-wall glass court. The four courts will become the property of Racquetball Canada as part of the legacy of the Games.
The professional staff of the IRF will be on hand to manage the competition with the help of 20 certified referees. As of this writing, we are not certain whether racquetball will be streamed since Toronto 2015 holds the rights to streaming and media.
Fifty-six (56) of the world’s best racquetball athletes will first compete in individual events for medals to be earned in men’s and women’s singles and doubles. The final three days will feature countries competing head-to-head, with finals taking place on July 26. Each day will be divided into two sessions with tickets available to the public for all sessions. Visit http://www.toronto2015.org/racquetball for details.
Racquetball players from each of the participating countries will be walking with their countrymen (delegates and fellow athletes from other sports) in the Closing Ceremonies on the evening of July 26.
The 2015 Pan American Games will arguably be the single most exciting and important event ever held in the history of international racquetball. Beginning July 19, be sure to follow all the developments on the International Racquetball Federation Facebook page and on the IRF web site: www.internationalracquetball.com.
A very special thanks goes to all of you who have supported and believed in the future of International Racquetball. Good luck to our great athletes who have made such an incredible commitment.