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It was a beautiful day in Southern Pines on Saturday, October 22. The weather was perfect for our first round robin play day at the two newly refurbished outdoor racquetball courts. Fifteen players showed up at Memorial Park coming from Fayetteville, Sanford, Raleigh, and Winston Salem, many of them first time outdoor players. Four of the fifteen were women. Players started showing up about 10 and we played until about 4:30. Justin Mace, the Scout that did all the work to refurbish the courts came by to meet the players and see just how much enjoyment they were getting from his project. We got a photo of him with all the players that arrived early.

After all the newbie's first two to three games, they all loved the game. Everyone that has come to try the outdoor game has reacted the same way. It's weird to them at first and takes some getting used to. You have to adjust to the fifteen foot side walls and learn that great shots in indoor can be bad shots in outdoor, and vice versa. Certain serves that would be terrible in indoor are your bread and butter in outdoor. Play is tighter, quicker, and everything must be cut off. But once you "get it" it's exciting because of the quickness of play and how your shots must be more precise. There is no side or back wall to save you, and no ceiling to get you out of a jam. Most rallies are shorter than indoor, but that also allows you to play much longer without getting tired. We only played doubles because that's really the most fun in outdoor, but singles can be played too. And it's hard not to love being outside on a beautiful Carolina day AND being able to play racquetball at the same time. The other things that go with outdoor ball is music and grilling. Cranking up the tunes and throwing some burgers and dogs on the grill just go hand in hand with outdoor ball. So break out the lawn chairs and the sunscreen and join us sometime for some fun-n-sun. We'll be setting up some organized events from time to time, and next Spring/Summer we will be running some sanctioned events to raise money to improve our courts. But I'll play most any weekend with decent weather, and welcome anyone that wants to play to contact me by phone or email to set it up.

Call me at 910-638-8008 or 910-947-3029 or email me at . You can't know how much fun it is unless you try it!

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