New Season. New Rule. Better Behavior?
During the past season, behavior on the court by the players caused difficulties with sponsors, fans and the referee. It was distracting from the incredible athletic abilities of the International racquetball Tour professionals. After consulting with the players, a recommendation was forwarded to the IRT president that will add financial penalties to players for repeated technicals.
This was part of a three prong approach submitted by the players in order to improve the overall play of IRT matches. More executive oversight and consistency by the referee are the two other aspects that were brought forward to the players.
This proposal was not unanimously agreed on by the players, but the majority believed it will improve the atmosphere and add to the professionalism of the IRT. Strong and outgoing personalities of the players increases fan appeal, and this rule addition does nothing to discourage individuals from promoting themselves or being as competitive as they can be on the court.
“We came to the decision that conduct on the court is important in order for the IRT to continue improving it’s product,” stated IRT Head Referee, Charlie Pratt. “Some would say that it is the most important thing. If we want fans to watch, we cannot let matches get out of control. Stricter rules have been enforced, as well as proper punishment. We looked at other sports as examples and realized how much we could improve on. I myself
can improve upon many things, both as a referee and a player.”