USA Racquetball Announces New Qualifying Process for the 2016-2017 U.S. National Team

USAR-Fast-Fun-Fitness_Logo11-2013
Colorado Springs, Colo. – In an effort to help ensure that the top American racquetball players have an equal and fair opportunity to qualify for the U.S. National Team, USA Racquetball today announced changes to the qualification process for the 2016-2017 U.S. National Team as described below:
 
Singles Selection Procedure
Singles positions on the 2016-17 U.S. National Team for both men and women will be determined by performance at three Selection Events, including:
  
-2015 UnitedHealthcare US OPEN Racquetball Championships Ladies Pro Racquetball Tour (LPRT) and men’s professional International Racquetball Tour (IRT) pro divisions.
-2016 U.S. Team Singles Qualifying Division at USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships
-2016 U.S. Team Qualifying Division at USA Racquetball National Singles Championships
 
Points will be awarded based on an Athlete’s finish in each event as follows:
 
    Champion           100 Points
    Runner Up            80
    Semifinalist           60
    Quarterfinalist       30
    Round of 16          10
    Round of 32            5
 
All points will be multiplied by the following weights per event:
 
     0.2    US OPEN Pro Division
     0.3    U.S. Team Singles Qualifying Division at National Doubles Championships
     0.5    Team Qualifying Division at National Singles Championships
 
The Top 4 Singles point recipients and the National Intercollegiate #1 Gold Singles Champion in each gender will be offered positions on the 2016-17 U.S. Adult National Racquetball Team.  Should any of the Top 4 Singles point recipients elect not to join the Team, those down the point list will receive invitations in point order until 4 players have joined the Team.  Should fewer than 4 players join the Team when the list of point recipients is exhausted, no additional players will be added until such time as they may be needed to complete a competition delegation.  U.S. Team contracts will start June 1st, 2016 and end May 31st, 2017.
 
Position Tiebreaker: Highest USA Racquetball Singles Ranking as of May 31st, 2016 will determine any tiebreak in players with the same amount of points after the 3 qualifying events.
 
Injury Exceptions:  Written notice from a licensed Physician describing the injury must be submitted to USA Racquetball office no later than 7 days after the first day of the Qualifying event to be missed.  The U.S. Team Committee will review documents and rule on Injury Exception within 30 days of written notice.  No Injury Exceptions for an injury occurring once the event begins.
 
If an Exception is granted, the Athlete will receive the lowest round of points possible for the tournament missed.  IE:  Tournament starts in the Round of 16, then Athlete receives 10 points for that tournament missed.
 
Extenuating Circumstances Exception:  Major life events such as a death in an Athlete’s immediate family, birth of child, and similar circumstances must be submitted in writing to the USA Racquetball office within 7 days after the first day of the event being missed.  The U.S. Team Committee will rule on whether the circumstance warrants an Extenuating Circumstances Exception within 30 days of written notice.  No Extenuating Circumstances Exceptions will be granted if the Athlete has played any part of a match at the qualifying event.
 
If an Exception is granted, the Athlete will receive the lowest round of points possible for the tournament missed.  IE: Tournament starts in the Round of 16, then the Athlete receives 10 points for that tournament missed.
 
Seeding:  All National Team Singles Qualifying events except the US OPEN will be seeded according to the current USA Racquetball Rankings as of the week prior to the event.
 
Doubles Selection Procedure
The Champions and Runners-Up of the 2016 USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships U.S. Team Doubles Qualifying Division will be offered positions on the 2016-17 U.S. Adult National Racquetball Team.  U.S. Team contracts will start June 1st, 2016 and end May 31st, 2017.
 
Elite Athlete Health Insurance (EAHI) Selection Criteria
Pursuant to the EAHI allocation from the U.S. Olympic Committee, the top 3 Male and top 3 Female Athletes according to the following criteria will be offered the EAHI.  If an Athlete declines the EAHI insurance then the next eligible person will be offered according to the following criteria until all 3 positions are filled:
 
#1 Singles Point Total
National Doubles Champion (Highest Doubles Ranking)
National Doubles Champion (2nd Highest Doubles Ranking)
#2 Singles Point Total
#3 Singles Point Total
National Doubles Runner-Up (Highest Doubles Ranking)
National Doubles Runner-Up (2nd Highest Doubles Ranking)
#4 Singles Point Total
Collegiate Champion
 
Any Singles Point Total or Doubles player tiebreakers needed will utilize the USA Racquetball Singles and Doubles Rankings, respectively, as of May 31st, 2016.
 
The above described changes are being made to the U.S. Team Qualification Process to help ensure that the top American players have an equal and fair chance to qualify for the Team.  USA Racquetball understands that players may be unable to compete in a number of professional tour events due to schedule conflicts, economic concerns or health related matters.  The revised process allows for players to target a few specific events at which to demonstrate their skill level, while taking into consideration possible reasons for one’s inability to compete.  Additionally, higher priority is given to performance later in the qualification period, which better gauges a player’s performance closer to the time when international championships are held.  Further, under the revised process, American players will, for the most part, be able to compete for the U.S. National Team by playing directly against fellow Americans.