The new Humboldt Racquetball League season got under way this week, as interest in the sport appears to be on the rise locally.
The league, which was founded earlier in the year and is in its second season, features almost 30 players, up from the inaugural season.
“We’ve got a lot of younger people who are joining and playing, and that’s kind of cool to see,” league director David Duncan said. “Because there was a time when we were trying to get just two or three players to play and now we have all kinds of people playing.”
League play runs for close to three months, with weekly matches at Cal Courts, which are scheduled at the competitors’ convenience.
The Humboldt Racquetball League also features an end-of-season tournament, which was won earlier this year by John McGuire (singles) and Brian Ownby and Doug Boushey (doubles).
“The matches are held primarily at Cal Courts which has been very supportive in the league as well as hosting our tournament over the summer,” the league director added.
According to Duncan, numbers are up as the league continues to gain a foothold, with the competition appealing to all levels in both singles and doubles play.
“The first time we had about 23 people, and we had a good mix of people that have been playing for a few years and people that are just starting out,” he said. “This time we have 28.
“It keeps growing.”
The league director, who has been traveling out out of the area to compete in tournaments for years, added that he plans on running leagues twice a year.
“Unfortunately several racquetball courts around the state have been closing and repurposed due to new trends in recreation and decreased interest in the sport,” he said. “Our goal is to increase excitement and interest in the sport as well as build community.”
The league also hosts challenge nights open to anyone interested on on Sundays from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.
The defending Humboldt Racquetball League champions include Duncan (A/B Division) and Matt Bryant (C/D Division), with Washington Vera and Jay Brockman placing second, respectively.
Duncan and Antonio Guevara are the defending doubles champions after defeating Bousby and Vera for the title.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.