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On August 15th 2015 the world lost a true source of light.  Marty Puckett a long time competitive Oklahoma Racquetball player passed away.  I had the privilege of playing Marty many times in the Men’s Open division over the years as well as playing doubles as his partner.  One thing I knew every time I faced him in a tournament bracket was that I was going to be in for a battle.  There was nothing easy or given in playing him because he was such a competitor. 

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There have been several good matches and socializing at the events so far this year.  We encourage players to come out to the events as often as they can.  There is a cost involved to use the racquetball facilities and to provide food etc. at each event.  We want to make the best use of the money spent by the ORA board to put on events for players.  That is one reason we have moved some tournaments to Cushing versus Tulsa due to elevated expenses in the Tulsa facility we have been using.     

We get many questions throughout the summer and during racquetball season about when the next tournament is.  We know it’s tough to juggle family commitments, Church, other sports for the kids etc.  To help accommodate players we have set up one and two day events throughout the year as well as some two and three day tourneys.  We have often made doubles a Friday evening event and Singles a one day event on Saturday.  This format was put into place to allow people with Saturday commitments to at least play some doubles possibly on Friday and to only take up Saturday for singles to allow family or Church time for those that attend on Sundays. 

Stephanie has been very flexible on getting folks in to brackets with conflicts etc. 

It is important that those who want Oklahoma Racquetball tourneys to continue, to do their best to get there if they can.  We are trying hard not to cancel tournaments and to give those die hards some court time.  Support Oklahoma Racquetball by making it out if you can and not waiting to see who will sign up to play.  In some cases tournaments are cancelled and later players indicate that they planned to play but had not officially signed up yet.  A quick email to Stephanie or Therese is all it takes to get you signed up and you don’t have to go through R2 Sports. 

We would really like to see more women players and juniors come on out.  Feedback on tournaments, set up etc. is welcome to board members as well.  We can’t always make the changes requested due to funds, limited venues, etc. but would be happy to entertain and staff any feedback we receive to see what we can do. 

We appreciate you players and enjoy seeing your smiling faces at the tourneys.  The matches are only part of the fun.  We have an awesome group of people at the tourneys with great stories to tell and new ones to make!  (Some of you guys have missed some great Ken Smith stories.  You may have also missed how Brian Watson almost needed stitches and medical attention after a lag injury).  

We hope to see as many of you as we can there!


Shaun Manning

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