By Ruben Lowman
There’s going to be a whole ‘lotta racquetball at the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic & Fitness Center this weekend.
The 4th Annual Beach Blast Racquetball Tournament will be held at the aquatic center this weekend, where participants will face off against each other for the crown of the best player at the facility, where competition is high.
“Racquetball is a high energy game for all ages and great aerobic exercise,” said 2019 singles and 2020 doubles champion Andy Bowles. “The game is played on a 4-walled court with a short-handled racket and a rubber ball. The game can be played in singles or doubles.”
The aquatic center has long been a hub for local competitive racquetball action ever since the facility opened its doors in 2005, and the tournament is the distillation of that vibrant community within the sport at the center.
The NMB Aquatic Center has even honored the tournament and its winners with a special plaque that celebrates each year’s winners, ensuring everyone who stops the courts will know just who the best racquetball player in the local area is.
Bowles said they were hoping to have close to 30 participants this year, with the previous three years being just under that number. Like many events, he said they decided not to hold the tournament last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will be returning this year and Bowles said he and the rest of the players are happy to see it return. The tournament may be competitive, he said, but it’s also about the sense of community all the players have built over the years playing together.
“This is a fun tournament to bring all the players together for some good fellowship and a little bragging rights for “Club Champions,” Bowles said.
The tournament breaks down like this: it’s spread out over Friday and Saturday over the weekend, and there are both singles and doubles brackets. Competitors can choose to play singles, doubles or both. All matches will be two games, first person or team to 15 points wins with a tie breaker played to 11 if necessary.
Each player in the tournament is guaranteed two games, Bowles said, which makes sure that everyone can have some fun and keep active. The first round losers will be eligible to play in a conciliation round and matches will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday.
The entry fee is $25 and includes a T-shirt, Gatorade all weekend, Friday night snacks and a box lunch on Saturday.
Bowles said more than anything he was happy that they have such a great facility and staff to hold the tournament and for the players to be able to play in. He said they welcome all new participants and players to sign up and come out for the tournament.
“The aquatic center is a great place. We welcome any new or retired players to join in. All ages are welcome,” Bowles said.
You can register for the tournament at the front desk of the NMB Aquatic & Fitness Center. For additional information or questions about the tournament, call 336-508-3441 or send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.