Racquetball – A History of the Game


Racquetball  pic

Image: teamusa.org

An immigration attorney in San Diego, California, Christopher Stender has been practicing law since 1990. Outside of his work as an immigration attorney, Christopher Stender enjoys traveling, reading, and playing racquetball.

Although the origins of racquetball can be traced back hundreds of years to games such as tennis and handball, it didn’t emerge as its own sport until the mid-20th century. Known as the “father of racquetball,” Joe Sobek invented the sport in 1950 after he grew dissatisfied with other indoor court games like squash.

Sobek, an on-and-off tennis pro, created the design for a smaller strung racquet and used the core of a tennis ball to start playing a game he initially called paddle rackets. He then launched the Paddle Rackets Association and continued to experiment with racquet and ball design until he eventually came up with the small rubber ball that is still used today.

Sobek’s game quickly caught on locally, and it wasn’t long before paddle rackets was enjoying popularity nationwide. By the 1960s, tournaments were popping up across the country. In 1969, Robert Kendler, the president of the US Handball Association, established the International Racquetball Association, which used a new name coined by a California tennis pro named Bob McInerney. With that, the sport had a new name, and it has been called racquetball ever since.

Over the decades, racquetball has remained a popular sport and is played in fitness clubs and community organizations worldwide. Although it has yet to make it to the Olympics, racquetball is an international game that is enjoyed by millions of people in over 95 countries.


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About Christopher Stender

After working for three years as Assistant Chief Counsel for the San Diego District of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, Christopher Stender launched a law partnership in 1993. Initially known as Stender & Larkin, the firm was renamed Stender & Associates, PC. Christopher Stender and his team of bilingual associates provide comprehensive immigration-related legal services, working with individuals held at Arizona’s detention centers and prisons in Eloy and Florence, as well as at California’s detention centers in El Centro, San Diego, and San Pedro. Christopher Stender assists in bond procurement and payment, visitation and hearing scheduling, and detainee transportation. He is known for taking tough cases, promoting novel legal theories, and getting positive results for his clients. He routinely appears before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the First, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Prospective clients can read about the immigration process in both English and Spanish on his website. Christopher Stender spent his undergraduate years at the University of Würzburg, Germany, and the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1990 from the Syracuse University College of Law. An East Coast native who lived abroad for two years, Christopher Stender has traveled extensively throughout Europe. In addition to his native English, he speaks German and Spanish. He supports Grace Point Church, Homeless Outreach, Cesar Chavez Elementary School, Tijuana Schools Mission, and Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. He lives with his wife and four children in San Diego.

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