One of our current goals at UK Racketball is to try and drive forward Ladies participation in our Series events. We have such a great social and welcoming community of players, it would be fantastic to bring in more Ladies entrants into our competitions too.
As as result we are introducing a new Ladies B Grade / Non County Singles Category for all Series events and also for the October British Open Championship. This category is aimed at Ladies players of all ages who maybe haven't played any tournament Racketball before, but who play socially in their club Racketball boxes/ladders or with friends. If you have Ladies Club team Racketball side then the players who play at the lower end in the team order would be suitable too (the top end players would be recommended to play in the Ladies Open draw.)
While they would of course still be part of a tournament set up, the idea behind this category is to get more local players involved from the area where the Series event is taking place (for example for Peterborough next week it would be those in the Cambridge and surrounding counties area.) Hopefully to just get them enjoying being part of the Series set up and social community and go from there!
As an added bonus, any UK Racketball player for the rest of this year who brings ANY new Ladies player entry into a Series tournament (has to have not played in any 2023 Series event so far,) will recieve a Karakal PU Super Grip Twin pack and Twin Ball Tube as a thank you! (Please let us know at email@example.com if that is the case as and when it happens!)
If you have any questions about this new initiative at all please do get in touch with Mike Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org
*English players manage to scrape through this time round*
Our fouth tournament of the 2023 Series took place at another new venue for the year. This time it was at Newlands LTC in Glasgow for the Scottish Open, and it was great to be able to mix in with the Scottish Racketball fraternity! We had a good bunch of English UK Racketballers making the trip up too, so some great match ups were on hand across the day.
In the Open event, match of the tournament was between Luke Bishop and Newlands Head Pro Matt Bedwell. They hadn't come across each other before and proved to be a really balanced match up. Bedwell prevailing 2/1 in games in about 45 minutes of intense play. Mike Harris came through the other side of the draw relatively unscathed, and managed to see off an very determined Bedwell in the Final 2/0 in nearly 40 minutes. Harris' first event of the 2023 calendar as he starts looking toward the British Nationals in July.
The B Grade had a great mixture of Scottish and English interest, with Paul Knocker Norton registering his third B Grade title of 2023, managing to get past Eddie Prust 2/0 in a quality final. Norton with patner Danny Weights then managed to secure his second win of the event by beating pre tournament favourites Luke Bishop and Amber Marshall in a brilliant Doubles final. This was a top example of how Doubles Racketball can be both entertaining and hard fought, with very few decisions to be made and lots of great exchanges of play throughout.
Marshall took her first title of the 2023 season in the Ladies Open event. The first one that we have had run this Series! It was nice to see a mixture of ages competing here, with the youngest player being 15 and the oldest O50. A great draw and Marshall showing her National Champion quality to come through it.
In the Over 50's there was a Scottish victor, with Mike Sutherland from Fife the victor in a really closely fought event. It was great to see a full draw of Scots here, hopefully see some of you guys in the British O50's draw in July! English Over 60's regular John Cordeaux showed his class in his category, taking the event without dropping a game in a strong draw. And finally in the O70s, Graham Greensall registered his first loss in that age group this year to Colin Cruickshank from Edinburgh, in a high quality 3/1 battle.
All of the above means that Paul Norton leapfrogs Graham Greensall to top the 2023 Series rankings for the first time! There is some movement in the middle order too, this can all be seen on the lists linked in below.
It was the first time we have run a UK Racketball Series event in Scotland and were very grateful to Newlands LTC in Glasgow for hosting us, and RASTA (Racketball Around Scotland) for helping promote the event among their players. It's great to see such a strong uptake in Scottish players for the event and it we are looking forward to doing battle with them once more in future Series tournaments. If any UK Racketball players fancy getting stuck in with the RASTA events you can check out their calendar on their Facebook page.
Full draws from Saturday's Scottish Open can be found on Sporty HQ HERE
And the current 2023 Series rankings after the results have gone in from Saturday are HERE
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