March 15, 2022
For Immediate Release
International Racquetball Federation [IRF] Officially Sanctions Racket:Next
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA: In a decisive vote of the IRF Board of Directors, Virtual Reality racquet sport game Racket:Next [aka Racket: Nx] has become a fully sanctioned sports discipline of an IOC-Recognized global sports federation, effective April 1, 2022.
With this action, Racquet:Next becomes the first electronic game of any sort to become an official global sport.
IRF [Colorado Springs, USA]; Racket:Next developer One Hamsa [Tel Aviv, Israel]; and the Metaverse Sports Association [San Francisco, USA]; signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2021. At that time, the IRF endorsed Racket:Next and committed to progress toward full sanctioning of the game as a sport.
IRF Secretary General Luke St. Onge said at the time: “When we realized what this combination could mean not only for our federation but for all of racquet sport, we jumped all over it. This will be a game-changer both for us and for world sport. We look forward to sharing so much more as this exciting partnership unfolds.”
As St. Onge predicted, the partnership has unfolded and “the game” has changed. Dean Schear, IRF Chief Financial Officer and Chair of the IRF Virtual Sports Committee, added, “Bottom line, we have a great vision, a great team, and the sense of urgency and commitment to act now.”
The IRF has been asked to participate in the E-Gaming Pavilion at The World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, in July. The IRF is also a candidate to participate in the Olympic Virtual Series later this year.
Metaverse Sports Association CEO Victor Bond, who drove and facilitated the agreement, commented, “This is a marriage made in future-sport heaven: a world-class developer and a unique, successful, and wonderful game with a fully global international IOC-recognized sports federation that has the vision and the grit to not just look around the corner but to go there.” Bond added, “This is one big step in our collaboration and one gigantic leap for the new technology of sport.”
One Hamsa CEO Assaf “Usul” Ronen added: “This first-ever sanctioning act supports Racket:Next’s core design principles as a fully athletic and visceral game, allowing players of all racquet sports – not only racquetball – to make every racket sport move, except for those that would not work in the average living room (like a racquetball dive or a clay court tennis slide), immersed inside a lighted, responsive, audio-filled dome, in a game that is purely skill based.”
Ronen continued, “Racket:Next has already surpassed 300,000 players worldwide, led by the fastest-growing VR headset, the Meta Quest 2, in which it’s been a top-rated title since its launch in 2019. Since 2021 we also witness a surge of players on emerging China-based platforms. Racquet sports, all together, is the largest sports category in the world, eclipsing even world football.
For more information:
International Racquetball Federation: www.internationalracquetball.com
One Hamsa: www.onehamsa.com
Metaverse Sports Association: www.virtualsportsassociation.com
International Racquetball Federation: The International Racquetball Federation is the governing body for all internationally sanctioned racquetball events. Racquetball is an extremely fast sport where balls can travel in excess of 150 mph in a 40 ft. long, 20 ft. wide, and 20 ft. high court.
One Hamsa: Born to the deserts of the middle east, One Hamsa is a game design studio formed to craft quality VR games. We care about unique content, unreasonable levels of polish, and providing our players with value.
Metaverse Sports Association: The Metaverse Sports Association is dedicated to the development of high-quality athletic virtual reality games into officially sanctioned global sports. Racket:Next is our and the world’s first success. There will be more