Uniting The Sport of Racquetball
Washington, Mo. September 7, 2018- When individual efforts come together for a similar goal or purpose, the results are usually extraordinary. With the combined powers of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), 3WallBall Racquetball, World Outdoor Racquetball (WOR) and the USA Racquetball (USAR), the IRT is proud to announce that it will be broadcasting the 2018 3WallBall Sports Festival live from the Las Vegas Strip!
From September 26-30 the 3WallBall Sports Festival will be broadcast live across the internet for millions of fans to view at home. This is all possible thanks to the selfless leadership of Mike Coulter, Founder of 3WallBall, Hank Marcus, Founder of WOR, John Scott, C.E.O. of the IRT, and Dan Whitley, President of USAR.
In October of last year, USAR purchased WOR from Marcus in an attempt to merge both companies and get rid of “extra clutter”.
“The sport really needs the organizations to come together and work together,” Marcus said. “There were too many different agendas and I felt it would be good for the outdoor game to be directly affiliated with USAR. I also figured it would send a really good message throughout the sport.”
Although Marcus does not own WOR, he has stayed on as a consultant with USAR and Whitley. Since the beginning of the new year, Whitley has worked with Marcus and Coulter to broadcast this Vegas event. Whitley said he’s really impressed with the work Coulter has done to build the 3WallBall sport and is looking forward to seeing the event in person, and speaking with other tournament directors around the sport.
“Getting to know other event directors and finding out what they’re most interested in will help guide decisions and the support we can provide for outdoor and even indoor events,” Whitley said. “I think it speaks volumes when you have the USAR, the IRT, LPRT (Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour), the MRF (Military Racquetball Federation), WOR and 3WallBall all at the same event supporting the sport. No politics, no side agendas, just everyone gathered together in the spirit of racquetball.”
Creator of 3WallBall, Mike Coulter, has always loved the game of racquetball, and said he began playing as a teen when he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in summer of 1977. Throughout the 1990s, Coulter ran local Las Vegas health clubs and helped the IRT with multiple tournaments each year.
Beginning in 2010 at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino Tower, Coulter started the 3WallBall World Championships with nine courts and has since doubled the number of courts over the nine years. With the event being just one week before the U.S. Open, Coulter believes it is a great opportunity for all racquetball athletes to participate in the two biggest racquetball tournaments of the year.
“In a perfect world these two events should be a couple months apart,” Coulter said. “With Vegas having so many events and festivals, it is sometimes hard to find the perfect weekend for 3Wall. We aimed to find a weekend that got us out of the brutal summer heat in August, but could only find the time for this last weekend in September.”
With so many different governing bodies in racquetball, Coulter believes that this event, and others that may arise from it, can be a huge benefit for uniting the sport.
“It’s been a great sport for me and I just love being able to give back to the game and all the fans who follow it,” Coulter said.”The tailgating atmosphere is a little different than most indoor events, and I think that can be a lot of fun for people.”
Over the years, Coulter said the 3WallBall Sports Festival event has done more than just unite the athletes to the sport, but also to each other.
“We’ve had proposals, marriages and even anniversaries happen out here, so you know there’s got to be something fun about this tournament,” Coulter said. “You can really see the camaraderie between all the players and even all the fans who pile in to watch. I also think it’s great we’ll get to show the fans at home this great action thanks to John Scott and the IRT.”
A big fan of over-sized crowds and extraordinary racquetball, Scott bought the IRT one year ago and has elevated the Tour to new heights. From growing over $100,000 in prize money while increasing the number of Tier 1 events, to getting the Tour to appear on prime time television five times for highlight plays throughout last season. Scott and the IRT are proud to be involved with the outdoor Vegas event and to be working alongside leaders like Coulter, Whitley and Marcus.
“While last season was a success beyond measure, the Tour doesn’t want a sophomore slump,” Scott said. “One of the biggest focuses this year is on working together with other organizations in our sport. This event in Vegas will be the first time in recent history where the indoor and outdoor worlds collide for a positive impact in racquetball.”
Event Director of the 2018 3WallBall Sports Festival in Las Vegas, Peggine Tellez, confirmed 500 total athletes will be competing over the weekend for over $25,000 in cash and prizes. Top-level racquetball stars expected to attend include Rocky Carson, Maria Vargas, Daniel and Michelle De La Rosa, Alvaro Beltran, Rhonda Rajsich, Marty Hogan and Natalia Mendez!
The 2018 3WallBall Sports Festival will broadcast live worldwide for free over the IRT’s multiple online platforms such as: IRT Network, Facebook, YouTube and Twitch Tv. The IRT will also be streaming the event to USAR and 3WallBall networks as well! You can watch this high-profile outdoor 3WallBall action in person at the Stratosphere Hotel, Casino and Tower located at: 2000 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104
Head Staff Writer:
Kelly R. Diesel