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Most people don't think much about Outdoor Racquetball in NC. There use to be more outdoor courts in this state but many of them have gone by the wayside, the space taken up by tennis courts and other things. But outdoor is becoming more popular throughout the US. And for the same reason that we play indoor. It's just flat out a lot of fun. It's different, but it's still PLAYING 3 WALL BALLracquetball. The shots are different, as you might expect, since there is no back wall to play off of, and no ceiling to save you in a pinch by hitting a ceiling ball. The rallies are shorter because of this, but not boring at all. You must move fast and play smart. Your shots must be more precise since there is no side or back wall in the back half of the court to save you. Lob serves don't work too well as they allow your opponent to dictate the pace of the rally and cause you to move more quickly out of the box. You see, there is no encroachment line in play in outdoor. The best serves in outdoor are hard overheads straight in, and hard high Z serves. Singles is played, but doubles is more popular, as it allows for longer, and quicker rallies.

Most outdoor is played on a 3 wall court, the dimensions of which vary from court to court. If there is a standard, a short wall, three wall court would be 23 ft. wide with 20 ft. sidewalls, 20 ft. high, tapering to 10ft. high. The court would be 40 ft. deep. Lines are played in, the same as tennis. I am trying to put together a list of outdoor courts in NC, their location, and dimensions. I would appreciate any help everyone could give me by emailing me about any courts you know of with that info. Email info is at the bottom of this article. The two courts I know about are located here in my county of Moore, in Southern Pines at Memorial Park. These are public courts and can be used by anyone. They haven't been used much for racquetball over the years, but are in playable shape right now. I am currently working with a Boy Scout aspiring to earn his Eagle badge. His community service project is to repair and refurbish the courts. Our goal is to start having outdoor tournaments, mostly one day shootouts, after they are repaired. We will start with a free event to introduce people to the sport and then go from there. These SOUTHERN PINES OUTDOOR COURTScourts are 21 ft. wide, with 16 ft. sidewalls that are 16 ft. high. The courts are back to back and there is a 4 ft. high fence at the top of the front wall. Both courts are fenced in, so there is no time wasted chasing balls around. The courts are located in a beautiful park with lots of shade trees and other things to do, like tennis, sand volleyball, horseshoes, and shuffleboard.There's picnic tables and grills. There's swings and other play areas for children. It's a very family oriented place to have an event.  I'm excited about the future of the outdoor version of the sport. It offers many advantages in growing the sport, that indoor doesn't. Most courts are in public places, so no membership required. This makes it easy to introduce the sport to anyone, adults and juniors alike. This can make a big difference in the popularity of the sport. Being outside playing is also a different experience. No shirts required. And it's a great cross trainer for indoor. You'll find yourself cutting more balls off in indoor which can put a lot of pressure on your opponent.

The Outdoor tournament scene has always been big in Florida and California, but's it's WORLD 3 WALL BALL CHAMPIONSHIPSgrowing in other parts of the country, as well as getting bigger in those two states. At the World Outdoor Racquetball (WOR) Championships this year in Huntington Beach, CA there were 327 competitors. The next big WOR tournament is in Las Vegas on September 23-26. It will be a combined Outdoor racquetball and handball tournament. Many of the top pros from both sports will be attending and there will be at least $35,000 in prize money. The organizers are building at least 10 portable outdoor courts in the parking lot of the Stratosphere Hotel for the event. I am going to play in this one, so I will make sure to bring back some pictures to post on the site.

So if you're interested in trying out this version of racquetball, find a court near you and break out the sunscreen. Or email me and I'll be glad to introduce you to the courts here where I live. You won't regret it as it will be some of the most fun you've had playing the sport. Following are some links for more information about outdoor racquetball.




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