Jake Bredenbeck 0

US Open Racquetball

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To Whom it May Concern,

The intent of this letter is to bring to light discrepancies and solutions for the US Open Racquetball Championships moving forward. Many players have discussed issues and would like to send this letter to the powers that be so the problems can be fixed and we are all able to move forward making racquetball the great sport it can be. First off is the prize money of which there are a couple problems. It is our understanding that the Men’s Professional Singles used to have more prize money before the Pro Doubles was put into the event. Currently there is $28,000 which is a large decrease and that has remained the same since the inception of the Pro Doubles event. That means money was just shifted from one event to another, actually removing money from the singles event. Players are now playing more matches for the same amount or even less money. Also, this means there has not been an increase in prize money for some years now, even though the cost of the event has increased. This brings us to our next issue with prize money, which is that if you make the round of 32 (the main draw) you receive $100 and that does not even give the player their entry fee for the pro division back. To us that is unacceptable because this event is the most expense to participate in and has the biggest draw of the year, there should be fair compensation for not only making the draw but also throughout the enter professional singles and doubles draws. Another point of concern for many is the fact that there are a lot of really good players now who would be able to have possible good runs at the Open but for many reasons, are not able to play full-time. This point is brought up because players getting byes into the round of 32 in singles and the quarters in doubles, at this stage of racquetball is ridiculous. Many good players have to play two matches per event, so four matches before making the main draws and their opponents are waiting fresh. This makes it difficult for them to give this opponent the match they deserve and quite frankly is not a fair match-up. We believe that all players should start from a more equal point in singles and doubles. Singles should start at a minimum of round of 64 and doubles round of 16. Another possibility would be to just make it a straight draw until the end in both divisions, which is the most fair start point. Another point is most of the players who play in the professional draws do not play at the other club where food is offered. They should receive passes for the food throughout the week or there should be some type of food provided at the main club for free to the players. Again, being the tournament is expensive enough as it is, having some meals does help with expenses. Lastly, we understand this is a business however the cost to watch the pros is too steep. Last year a fee was charged to watch the side courts and that is not acceptable. That will not help grow the sport which is needed right now. Many players have family and friends come from all over with them to watch and the added fees to watch should not be a part of the already expensive trip. Anyone who is playing in the professional division should be able to bring people to watch their matches, not just the top 8. Again, we as a whole want to grow the sport and charging everyone in this manner will not accomplish this goal. We as a group agree on these items and believe they are issues that can be attended to by those who put on the event. Solutions include but are not limited to; an increase in prize money across the whole spectrum of the professional divisions, an update to the way the draw is played out, food provided for professional athletes, and changes to the way the sport is spectated. If these items cannot be brought to light and discussed then the players whom have signed below will have a player meeting to discuss the option of not attending or not playing certain events, beginning with this year’s tournament (2017). Thank you for your time and consideration.

The Players

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