Cliff Swain at Ektelon Nationals

Tier 1 Champions Club

Cliff Swain shown here in 2011 holds a record 70 tier 1 wins

The racquetball community was buzzing about the Tier 1 victories of Ben Croft during the 2011-2012 IRT season and Jose Rojas during the 2013-2014 IRT season. Just how exclusive is the “Club” of men’s professional International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Tier 1 winners? According to the Todd Boss IRT Historical Data Archive, it is a very exclusive club. We dug deeply into the files, noting who’s in, how many wins, and what the numbers missed. Consider this:

– Since 1973, only 35 individuals have won a Tier 1 event

– 7 of those 35 won a single Tier 1 event

– 18 out of the 35 individuals won 5 or fewer Tier 1 events

– Only 12 players have won 10 or more events

 

 

[1] Note: there are three notes to keep in mind while looking at these statistics:

  • · In the late 70s/early 80s there were MANY “unsanctioned” tourneys won by players of the era (Hogan mostly) that were not officially recorded into the NRC match database.
  • · Monchick’s more dominant seasons are still missing from the database. Swain is also missing wins from mid 90s.
  • · Beltran’s one win occurred during the 2002-3 season in an event in McLean, VA that awarded all qualifiers equal rankings points on account of poor court conditions. The players continued to compete for additional prize money but curtailed their competitiveness to avoid injury.