"A museum cannot be complete without historical documents. I have obtained a trove of documents from the earliest days of our sport. Actually, they start before the name of racquetball was even created. I will be posting very interesting documents showing the earliest days of paddle racket. These will reveal the initial discussions regarding the rules, letters between the founding fathers of our sport, and the actual hand scribbling creating the rules. There are discussions about whether to allow swapping of the racket from left hand to right hand during play, as no wrist thong was required at that time. There was also talk about deleting the line in the middle of the service area which required one to alternate serving from one side to the other during doubles. I am guessing this came from Sobek’s history as a tennis coach.
There will also be documents of the earliest tournaments and their location along with information regarding the ball and the first contracts with Seamco. You will also find problems with ball breakage and how it was corrected. There are many letters from the 60's and 70's between the early players: Dr. Bud Muelheisen, Paul Lawrence, Dewitt Shy, and many others. Apparently, at many YMCAs and JCCs across the country, the athletic directors were interested in promoting paddle rackets, soon to be racquetball. They all shared the same problem: lack of rules, balls, and rackets. In search of this hard-to-find equipment, they found themselves in the middle of creating a new sport.
It will take some time to get all of the documents on here but keep checking back often. We will continue to update this very important part of the museum with never before seen documents that show where, how, and by whom our great sport was created."-Randy Stafford
All of the documents fall into six main categories. Click on each individual category to find the complete list of documents that surround that particular subject.
- Early Ball Discussions
- Association Development
- Rule Development
- Early Tournaments
- Early Sport Development