League FAQ. (Updated 1/28/08)
I have a lot of reasons for running leagues. It's great to organize and get people together to play racquetball and have fun, it keeps the courts full, it's a good stepping stone for people to try real tournaments run out of New Jersey or in other states, and finally running a league ties together two of my great loves Computer Programming and Racquetball.
I hope you have a great time playing the league. If you want to play, sign-up. For $10 you're not going to find a cheaper or better league anywhere.
Game Play Questions.
I'm looking for accuracy and consistency here. So we follow a lot of the official rules of Racquetball. A lot of the matches are self-officiated so calling penalty hinders without a third party (referee) is not allowed. Replay the point in the event of a problem, but if you know you were in violation of a rule, you should call it on yourself to be fair.
We play the best two out of three games. The first two games are up to fifteen points. If a tie-breaker is required then it's to 11 points. We play win by 1, so first player to 15 or 11 in a breaker is the winner. Win two games and you walk away with the match. There's three thirty second timeouts in games to 15 and two in the breaker.
League and Tournament Setup.
I try to get you into a division where you are competitive among the other players. It's no fun to consistently get killed, but sometimes if you're starting out...well you need to take your lumps. Anyway you play everyone in your division and often a level higher. So if you're a B player, you'll play all other B players and some A players as well. Unfortunately it affects your win and loss record, but not your seeding for the tournament.
After all your matches are complete, you'll be seeded into a tournament draw. This is done by win/loss record only. So if a player wins all of his or her matches then they have the first seed and either get a bye or play the person with the least wins. The idea is to have the two top players face each other in the Finals. If you're in the middle of the draw, then your job is simple. Make sure it doesn't happen and cause an upset.
Very important. You don't want to show up with your opponent and not have a court to play on. So it's critical to have a court reservation on the day your playing by calling the front desk at (732) 932-7290. It's better to have a backup reservation for the hour after your match, so you can either play some more games or let other League players come on. Sometimes Cook runs other Intramural sports and they have priority, so better to be safe than wasting an evening.
Guest and Guest Fees
Usually there's someone to get you signed-in and I often try to schedule at least one member to help get people in the door a night. Please be respectful of the people that get you in the door and try not to interrupt their match by being late. In the past, the staff get word of the League and will make it easier for you to get in the door, but until then we need to play by the rules.
Should always check your email and schedule. Should allow yourself enough time to get to the gym, change, warm-up and stretch. I know a lot of you twenty-something players don't need to do any of this stuff, but it helps to come prepared to play. Match start (per Offical Rule 3.1) can either be a coin flip or lagging for serve. If you have a referee the default is coin flip called by the first person on the court. The Winner has the right to serve or receive in the first game. Second game is the other player's turn. Breaker is whoever has the most total points or if tied another coin toss.
How to Lag for Serve?
The objective is to get the ball to take it's first bounce on the short line after hitting the front wall. You and your opponent start a racquet's length from the back wall and hit the ball to the front wall. Player closest to the short line wins the lag and can serve or receive. I hate lagging since it's real easy to lose track of your ball's position.
Some people do some odd stuff. Like hit the sidewall or hit the floor first, but as long as it hits the front wall at some point. I'll allow it.
Glad you're stepping up to play a league. There's a lot of people who don't play for whatever reason, so to step up and play gets a big check mark in my book. Check out some of my articles to help get you prepared. There's also lots of books and online resources, but the biggest change will occur when you step on the court. After you play the league, you'll no longer be the same player you were. You will have forever stretched the boundaries of your racquetball existance. It's one thing to play, it's quite the other to play when something is on the line.
Now for the bad stuff.
Arguments, Cheating, Disagreements.
There's always one that wants to fudge the score, make a bad-call, or make an off-color comment during a game. There's a host of reasons: Short-Term Memory Loss, Anger, Fatigue, and even sometimes it's intentional to get you off your game. I've known a lot of the people in my leagues for years and we're a pretty good crowd, but eventually a disagreement is going to happen. None of us are perfect. We're all pretty competative and we like to win, why else do we play? Just keep forming friendships in your mind.
Well in the event of a problem. It's not worth getting into an argument or fight about it. You'll be thrown out of the league for fighting and the Rutgers Police are never too far away, so messing with your job or school for a cheap $5.00 trophy isn't worth it. Contact me by email or phone and tell me about the problem. I'll contact the other party and get their side of the story. If I hear similar complaints from more than one person. The offending player will get thrown out. Don't pull any Apprentenice or Survivor "alliances" BS either.
Playoff play is also a good time to take notes about your opponents. If you notice a problem with the rules odds are it might happen again in the tournament match, so ask me for a referee. I'll be happy to referee if I'm available. It sucks to lose, it becomes a very argumentative issue to lose because someone is not playing by the rules.
Once more of the online system is complete. I plan to include a Karma slider where people can privately rate a player's honesty. It's a good wake up call to make sure you play correctly and also what to expect when you step on the court with them.
Why are my Stats, Profiles, and other stuff broken?
Kind of started to change things around and I went down a couple of different rabbit holes. A lot of the stuff is broken because I don't want to use my old methods for generating stats and want to put more of it online. Unfortunately it takes time and until I restarted the leagues in 2008, there's been no real need to work on this stuff. Having some players putting presure on me for their ranking and stats is good to get me motivated.