The NCRA Junior Racquetball Program was developed to promote the education of the sport of racquetball to the youth of our state and to standardize what is being taught. The creation of this program is also beneficial to the instructor by providing lesson plans for each skill level and knowledge and skills tests to assess the students’ strengths and weaknesses.
The program is broken into skill levels, designated by colors (white, green, red, bronze, silver and gold). The program is based on nine-week sessions. These sessions can and should be repeated throughout the time your club decides to provide this training. For example, you may choose to host four separate nine-week sessions beginning in September and ending in May, or you may choose to host continual nine-week sessions all year long, or you may choose to host one nine-week session each season or quarter. That decision is up to the instructor and/or the club manager. This decision should be based on the need and the number of potential students. Students may begin the NCRA Junior Program at age six.
The program is designed to break the skills and knowledge into increments that are manageable to the instructor, and are age appropriate for the students. Graduation from one level to the next is based on a passing grade of at least 80 on the written test and completion of the skill sheet for the appropriate level. It is common for students to repeat levels several times before graduating to the next level. This helps provide ample time for the students to develop the skills required at each level and learn the rules, terms and definitions that define the game.
The beginner, or white level, teaches the basic skills to include: the forehand, backhand, a few basic rules of the game, and a modified version of the multi-bounce rules. Generally, students in the white level will be ages six to eight. It is normal for students at this level to repeat the white level many times as hand-eye coordination develops slowly at this age, though some students may advance quicker if they are more adept.
The first intermediate level, or green level, starts teaching more skills like different serves, different shots, more rules and definitions. Students at this level will generally be between the ages of eight and ten. Again, it is common to repeat this level while the skills are being developed. Since the students are starting to learn more of the rules, terms and definitions, repetition can only help retain the information. After one completed session at this level, some students may be ready to participate in a multi-bounce division in a tournament. Some students in this level may be ready to graduate from multi-bounce to three-bounce or two-bounce.
The next intermediate level, or red level, teaches the rest of the basic skills and knowledge. All games at this level are three-bounce or less. After one completed session at the red level, students should know enough and have the skills to play in their age-division in a tournament. Before graduation from this level, the student’s basic skills should be second nature as the next three skill levels begin to teach the finer points of racquetball and start to fine-tune the skills. All students should be able to play a normal single-bounce game by the time they graduate to the next level.
The advanced levels (bronze, silver and gold) teach the more complicated points of the game, like shot selection, offensive versus defensive shots, doubles and avoidable hinders. Skills become more consistent at the advanced levels by the students repeating drills preformed during class and practicing on their own time.
Sportsmanship is taught at the lowest level and reinforced through all the remaining levels. The desired outcome of this program is a skilled racquetball player, with an in-depth knowledge of the game and a good, sportsman-like attitude.
Enrollment in the NCRA Junior Racquetball Program is initiated through the NCRA Youth Program Director. A one hundred dollar ($100) fee is charged for enrollment. This fee covers the following items and the cost for shipping:
- ten (10) racquets (donated by various companies)
- thirty (30) sipper water bottles with the NCRA Juniors logo
- one (1) NCRA Junior Program Banner indicating your participation in the program
- one (1) CD containing all the documentation for the program (in PDF format)
- two (2) current rules booklets
- one (1) instruction booklet detailing how to utilize the program
- one (1) information sheet with names and phone numbers for questions or assistance with learning to utilize the program
- one (1) end user license agreement to be signed and returned before shipment of the above items.
Additional sipper bottles can be purchased for two dollars ($2) each. This covers the cost of production and shipping. Current membership in the NCRA Junior Racquetball Program will be tracked via an electronic database so that updates to the program can be provided. Graduations will be posted on the new NCRA web site.
The NCRA hopes that you will consider enrollment in the Juniors Racquetball Program. For questions or enrollment, please contact:
NCRA Youth Program Director
4531 Rivershore Drive
New Bern, NC 28560