The Racquetball Association of Ireland are currently preparing protocols for a return to play. A draft protocol is being prepared with reference to current government guidelines.
In brief, we envisage that a return to ‘solo’ racquetbal (one player only per court) is feasible in Phase 3 of the Irish Government’s ‘Roadmap to re-opening business & society’ (published May 1st). Updates from the UK Government with respect to easing of restrictions in Northern Ireland will guide re-opening of racquetball clubs there.
The Association do NOT recommend any re-opening of racquetball courts before Phase 3 of the Roadmap has been reached.
Clubs are also advised to check out the newly-published “Roadmap for reopening society and business”, where relevant, for guidance on managing the club environment HERE.
Not all sports centres will be open by Phase 3. Players should check with their local facility regarding reopening, bookings and local protocols.
The roadmap sets out Ireland's plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions in five phases:
18 May (phase 1)
8 June (phase 2)
29 June (phase 3)
20 July (phase 4)
10 August (phase 5)
The Racquetball Association of Ireland announce the cancellation of the All Ireland Singles & Doubles Championships on the 18th & 19th April and the Fermoy Open due to be held on 16th & 17th May.
The Association also advises clubs to cancel all activities until further notice.
It is hoped the All Ireland Singles & Doubles Championships can be run in the Autumn when the new season begins. The Association will monitor the situation as regards Covid-19 over the coming months and may be able to re-shedule cancelled events in the Autumn.
In the meantime, we urge everyone to follow HSE guidelines and stay safe.
Corona Virus (Covid-19) Update
The Racquetball Association of Ireland in view of government advice have decided that the following tournaments will be cancelled:
The All Ireland Singles & Doubles on the 18th & 19th April will be reviewed as the situation develops.
Please follow updates on the HSE website on Covid-19
COVID-19 Virus (Coronavirus) Update
The Racquetball Association of Ireland(RAI) continue to monitor this evolving situation closely.
The RAI will be guided by any directives issued from the HSE/Department of Health and will advise all clubs and players immediately in the event of any new directives.
The government has announced that it is not recommending the cancellation of small scale events and meetings at this stage.
The Association has issued a directive to all athletes instructing them not to shake hands with their opponents or match referees at all tournaments sanctioned by the Association. The Association advises that all clubs who run local leagues should adopt the same policy.
PLEASE FOLLOW THE HSE INFORMATION & GUIDENCE ON COVID-19 HERE
The RAI EXCO have decided that for 2020 to offer a €100 Overseas Competition Grant.
Racquetball Ireland Players can apply for the €100 grant towards playing in a foreign country competition to Treasurer Johnny O'Keeney.
Must meet the following criteria:
Following a recent Executive Committee (EXCO) meeting the following changes have been made.
Johnny O'Keeney has taken over Treasurer of the Association after Gary Lynch (Queens, Belfast) stepped down from the post in 2019. Eoin Tynan is the new Tournament Secretary and Mark Murphy takes over the Children's Officer post. Former Junior Team Coach Mick Cunningham takes over the post of Development Officer.
Rachel Hanrahan has been named as the new Designated Liaison Person complying with the Code of Ethics for Children in Sport.
The Association would like to thank Gary Lynch for his service to the Association for a period that extended to over 20 years. Gary served the Association with distinction in the posts of President, General Secretary and Treasurer.
Full EXCO for 2020:
President: Martin Lawless (Castlebar)
Vice President: Brendan Carey (Araglen)
General Secretary: Michael Haverty (Castlebar)
Assistant Secretary: Michael Kelly (Ballinrobe)
Treasurer: Johnny O'Keeney (Fermoy)
P.R.O: Majella Haverty (Castlebar)
Tournament Secretary: Eoin Tynan (Fethard)
Development Officer: Mick Cunningham (Araglen)
Junior Development Officer: Vacant
Women's Officer: Katie Kenny (Castlebar)
Anti-Doping Officer: Rosie Downey (Moycullen)
Children's Officer: Mark Murphy (Kilkenny)
Mandated Person: Eoin Tynan (Fethard)
Designated Liaison Person: Rachel Hanrahan (Galmoy)
Positions open include Junior Officer and National Junior Team Manager.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in any open position.
Ireland’s Noel O’Callaghan wins the Mens Open Singles title at the 37th Irish & 16th Ballinrobe Open defeating Irish #1 Mark Murphy (Kilkenny) in a three game Final thriller. It is believed to be O’Callaghans 14th Irish Open title. He also claimed the Mens 40+ title over the weekend defeating Ken Cottrell (Kilkenny).
Erika Manilla (USA) took her first Irish Open title on her first visit to Ireland taking the Womens Open Singles title defeating European Champion Majella Haverty (Castlebar) in two straight games. She also went on to take the Open doubles title with partner Padraic Ryder (Newport).
Over seventy players competed at the 2019 Irish Open this year with matches played in 3 different venues. Thanks to tournament director Michael Kelly and the team in Ballinrobe for hosting this years Irish Open.
A special thank you to the event sponsors; Mayo Sports Partnership, Ballinrobe Sportshub, Lakeside Gym & Fitness, AIB.
Full Results & Draws: R2Sports
The 2019 & 31st IRF World Junior Racquetball Championships comes to an end in San Jose, Costa Rica. Team Ireland were led by National Junior Coach Mick Cunningham (Araglen) and represented by Thea Coleman (Mitchelstown), Sarah Ainsworth (Castlebar), Daniel Hanrahan (Galmoy) and Keelan O'Gorman (Araglen).
Ainsworth & Coleman competed in the Girls 14&U Singles & Doubles. Both players put in some great performances throughout the week and tournament. They represented their country in the highest regard.
A tremendous week for our Boys U14, Hanrahan & O'Gorman. They reached the Boys U14&U Doubles final in which they faced a strong Mexican Team Jorge Gutierrez & Luis Renteria losing 15-6,15-6. A super achievement earning a World Silver Medal in the division.
As the second lowest ranked team in the division they had to overcome Team Canada (#9), Team USA (#1) & Team Colombia (#4) in the semi finals. It was the first time Ireland has reached a world final since Ruth Beecher at the 1998 World Junior Championships took home Gold in Mixed doubles with partner Brett Walters (USA).
It is the first medal in a Boys event in the Junior World Cup divisions (U14,U16,U18) for Team Ireland, having previously won medals in the Girls divisions (Aisling Hickey, singles bronze & doubles bronze, Katie Kenny, doubles bronze) and boys ESpirit Cup (Mike Haverty & Seamus Power, doubles bronze).
Congratulations to all the Team that travelled to Costa Rica and to Coach Mick Cunningham for his fantastic work with the Team in Costa Rica and long before that.
There has been a few important changes made to the Rules & Regulations of the Association most notable is that a C player can now win 3 C&D Singles divisions before being promoted to B. This rule comes into effect at the 2019 Galway Open next weekend.
Full Copy of the Rules & Regulations HERE
The players promotion rules are as follows:
3.0 Player Promotions
3.1 The promotion process is confined to singles divisions at sanctioned Open Tournaments. All promotions must be approved by the Seeding committee. The normal process is that when a player wins a division he or she is promoted to the next division. Exceptions are listed below. (see 2.4 & 2.5)
3.2 a Novice player who wins a singles division or an overage singles division at an open tournament is promoted to the D grade and becomes a D player
3.3 a D player who wins a c/d singles division at an open tournament is promoted to the C grade and becomes a C player
3.4 a C player who wins a c/d singles division at an open tournament for the 3rd time is promoted to the B grade and becomes a B player
3.5 a player who wins a B Singles at Open Tournaments which is a division comprised of first round losers from the Open Singles division will not be promoted.
3.6 Players winning promotion are promoted immediately after the tournament is completed.
3.7 Players cannot be promoted during a tournament, only when the tournament has finished will promotions apply.
3.8 A player who wins a division at an Open Tournament which has 6 players or less competing will not be promoted. a. (note 2 - at Open tournaments players are promoted one grade at a time e.g a novice player winning a novice singles is promoted to D, a novice player winning a c/d singles at an Open tournament is promoted to D) b. (note 3 - a C player who wins a c/d singles will become C1, on winning a second c/d singles will become C2 and on winning a 3rd c/d singles he/she will become a B player) c. (note 4 - a player who wins 2 singles divisions at the same Open Tournament will be promoted according to the promotion rules above)
4.0 Player Promotions at National Championships
4.1 A player winning a singles division at National Championships is promoted to the next grade.
a. (note - irrespective of the players current grade, a player winning a singles division at the All Ireland Singles Championships is promoted to the next grade e.g a D player on winning a C Singles All Ireland title will be promoted to the B grade)
4.2 Players are promoted at All Ireland Championships irrespective of the number of players competing in the division that he or she won.
On Saturday 28th September 2019, the Racquetball Association of Ireland celebrated 40 years at the Newpark Hotel. A great night was had with friends new and old, with great memories shared and fun had.
Our MC for the night was the wonderful Johnny O'Keeney, including an address from our current president Martin Lawless followed by a brief history of racquetball from John Comerford.
Over the 40 years, thirteen men served as president of Racquetball Ireland and these were recognized for their fine service to the sport. They have served the committee in the highest regard. Awards sponsored by Mayo Crystal.
A number of athlete and special recognition awards were presented. These included Special Recognition Awards: Joe Devenney (Ballinrobe) Outstanding result in the 2018 World Senior Championships, Eoin Tynan (Fethard) Outstanding Result in the 2018 US Open, Noel O'Callaghan (Fermoy) 24 National Titles. Our Player of the Year Winners included Ken Cottrell (Kilkenny) 40+ Player of the Year, Billy Walsh (Kilkenny) 50+ Player of the Year, Mark Murphy (Kilkenny) Mens Player of the Year, Aisling Hickey (Rossmore) Ladies Player of the Year. A 2019 Special Recognition Award was awarded to Mick Cunningham (Araglen) for his contribution and tremendous work with Junior racquetball.
Araglen Racquetball Club were presented with 2019 Club of the Year. A new award presented by on behalf of Racquetball Ireland in recognizing the hard work at local level, their attendance at RAI tournaments and their work with junior racquetball. Well done to all at Araglen Racquetball Club
Award sponsored by Brendan Carey.
2019 marked the first year of the 2019 Racquetball Association of Ireland to recognize and honor athletes and contributors of the sport who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in competition, or in the development, leadership, and advancement of the sport.
Six inductees were introduced on the night:
A final and surprise award was presented by Racquetball Ireland, 2019 Special Contribution Award for Overall Contribution to Irish Racquetball, to longstanding committee member Michael Haverty, who will in 2020 will have served on the Racquetball Ireland board during three decades. Haverty was presented with the award for his knowledge, dedication and contribution to Irish racquetball.
A special thank you to everyone that celebrated 40 years of racquetball and to those that supported our Junior National Racquetball Team.
A big thank you to our sponsors: Martin Lawless & Mayo Crystal, Corragh Trophies, Jimmy Gannon of Arklow Racquetball Club, Brendan Carey of Araglen Racquetball Club & Castlebar Racquetball Club