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This news story about the Racquetball Club was published in the November 11, 2008 edition of the Indiana Daily Student:


IU racquetball club seeks to gain new members

Team practices weekly at HPER

Andrew Dillon Bustin | IDS | Date: 11/11/2008

A tiny blue object comes hurtling toward Ethan Wygant’s face at 100 miles per hour. Inches before turning his head into a crater, the object smacks thunderously against a large pane of glass and ricochets in another direction.

The object is a racquetball struck by junior Jack Coleman, president of the IU racquetball club.

“Most people don’t understand that racquetball is played on a competitive level. They don’t even think it’s a sport,” Coleman said.  

The truth is, however, racquetball is just as fast, just as exciting and just as legitimate as any other sport.  

The racquetball club at IU is led by faculty adviser Jim Tippin and a handful of student administrators. Tippin said he has been delighted to see this year’s officers especially interested in leaving behind a legacy for future racquetball enthusiasts at IU.

Coleman and Vice President Mary Pryse in particular have worked diligently this semester to make the club more focused, organized and professional.

Both Coleman and Pryse said they think the club could be improved by more frequent practices and a few new members. Currently, official practices are from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays at the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.

The officers said one or more regular practices a week could dramatically improve the team’s talent and social cohesiveness.  

No experience is necessary to join – only a $15 club fee and the willingness to learn. Tippin said he even prefers walk-ons who have never played the sport before because they can learn proper fundamentals from the get-go. When Wygant joined the club this fall, he had never really played racquetball before.

“He started from scratch,” Tippin said, “soaking up anything he could learn.”

The IU racquetball club is interested in attracting more women and freshman members. With most of the group graduating within the next two years, freshman players are needed to fill in those spaces. Coleman recommends that freshmen join so they can develop their skills during an entire college career.

Coleman said he loves both the strategic elements of the game and its quickness. He added that outwitting his opponents has become oddly addicting and being one step ahead of the competition requires a constant commitment to form, technique and practice.

“Joining the club made me feel good about myself and gave me something to look forward to after class,” he said.

Pryse said she agrees that players are in control of their own skills.

“It comes down to just doing it for yourself,” she said. “It’s a very mental game, so there’s always room for improvement.”

Pryse and others have also pointed to the fun atmosphere of the club as a major incentive for joining. A lot of humor is involved, and the members said jovial trash-talking is an essential part of the game.

To learn more about racquetball and the club at IU, students can visit its Web site at A Facebook group has also been set up titled “IU Racquetball.”

Perhaps the most enticing aspect of racquetball is the health benefits. Wygant said if you play hard, you can burn up to 1,000 calories per game.

“It’s definitely a rush,” Wygant said. “It’ll get you in shape.”


This news story about the Racquetball Club was published in the February 22, 2008 edition of the Indiana Daily Student:
Racquetball club builds recognition with first match
By Nola Lazin | IDS | Date: 2/22/2008

This past weekend was a turning point for the club racquetball team – the team made its first appearance at a college tournament at the University of Louisville.

The tournament helped the team gain wider recognition by showcasing its skills in front of other universities, which is the club's goal in its second year of existence, said sophomore Jack Coleman, vice president and second safety officer of the racquetball team.

Coleman, along with freshmen Mary Pryse and Jessica Nicholas, traveled to Kentucky this weekend to represent IU at the tournament. Pryse, who played raquetball for four years for her high school team, said she hopes to continue competing and hopefully run for a position on the club.

Because the team is relatively new, it only has six members. Every club team is appointed a faculty member who has prior knowledge in the sport in order to be able to help them with the rules and regulations. Jim Tippin is the faculty advisor for the racquetball team. This was Tippin's first week back at the job after being out since September for an ACL injury. Tippin has been playing and instructing racquetball at IU for the past 26 years.

For Tippin, the excitement comes from instructing others.

“I like to walk around the courts, see who needs help, and give them a pointer or two,” Tippin said.

Tippin said he enjoys being the faculty adviser for the team because the students who are involved are wonderful to work with. He thinks Coleman has a bright future on the team.

“He is a very enthusiastic and detail-oriented individual,” Tippin said. “He will bring great things to this club because he follows through,” Tippin said.

Coleman wants to sign the team up for more tournaments and get the word out about its existence. One of his goals is to host an open tournament at the Health, Physical Education and Recreation building either this spring or early next fall. He hopes racquetball equipment companies like Ektelon will notice the team's efforts and sponsor them, or at least provide a discount, like they do with many other large universities.

For Coleman and the rest of the racquetball team, the current goal is to get more public awareness out about the club and prepare for a tournament at Ohio State University at the beginning of March.

Link directly to IDS Article...

This news story about the Racquetball Club was published in the October 12, 2005 edition of the Indiana Daily Student:

Student turns pastime into club
Group of 3 friends grows to more than 8 strong

By Ryan McLaughlin | Indiana Daily Student | Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Senior Mike Hernandez has been playing racquetball since he was 8 years old. So when he came to IU and saw there was no racquetball club, he decided to start one.

Hernandez implemented his idea last spring, but the club was not an official Division of Recreational Sports club at IU until this fall. The original membership consisted of a group of three friends, including Hernandez. Since then, the club has grown to a consistent showing of eight to 10 people for the twice-a-week meetings. Hernandez hopes to see that number grow to about 30 people.

Members meet from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday and Wednesday at racquetball courts one to four in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. The only requirement is every player must wear safety glasses, which, along with racquets, can be rented from the sports desk in the HPER building. There is also a $20 membership fee, which covers the cost of a club T-shirt and travel for planned tournaments. In order to become an official Recreational Sports club, Hernandez needed to find two safety officers to monitor the meetings and be on hand as a first response to injury.

Jim Tippin, one of the safety officers for the club, has been involved in racquetball for some time.

"I've been playing longer than most of these guys have been around," he said. Tippin, whose son is a junior at IU, met his wife while waiting for a racquetball court in the HPER building when he was a student at IU.

IU is just one of several universities in the Midwest, including Indiana State University, Purdue, Ohio State, Illinois and Wisconsin, to have a sanctioned racquetball club. The other college groups have helped Hernandez get IU's club off the ground, and he hopes to start a rotation of tournaments with these schools.

"Ultimately we would like to host a tournament here at IU," Hernandez said.

Club meetings begin with a 10 to 15 minute lesson taught by more experienced players like Hernandez. The leaders touch on a variety of racquetball skills, such as shot selection, form and game strategy. The group then breaks up to play games as part of the "challenge ladder," a system of games organized by junior Matt Yuknis, the club's secretary. The ladder is broken up into two brackets -- one for advanced to intermediate players and one for beginners. The challenge ladder is used to help players improve their skill level and be competitive with other club members.

"We try to keep it fun and provide people the chance to be competitive, but it's all about having fun," Hernandez said.

Hernandez also said the club is always looking for new members to come out, and prior experience is not required.

"It's open to beginners as well as advanced players. Anyone can come and play," he said.

Skippy the racquetball.

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Last updated: October 15, 2012

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