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October 05, 1978 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1978-10-05

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, October 5, 1978-Page 9






This week's results


P ddleball sno stranger in town

Ann Arbor, Michigan. Also known as the home
of the Wolverines, research center of the midwest,
and the home of paddleball.
Paddleball? You mean that game they play on a
racquetball court? The game they play with a
fuzz-less tennis ball and paddles that look more
like something once used for fraternity
initiations? /
Exactly. But you're not likely to hear paddleball
described in those kind of terms in this
town-because it was here in Ann Arbor that pad-
dleball got its birth.
EARL RISKEY, former director of Intramural
Sports at Michigan, is the man responsible for
making Ann Arbor to paddleball what St. Andrews
Scotland is to golf. It was here in the early 1930's
that Riskey invented the game and where it is still
played with more frequency than anywhere else in
the country.
As an instructor of physical education, Riskey
was always on the lookout for new types of
recreation. Riskey, who retired in 1968, was con-
cerned that the handball courts in the newly-
constructed Hoover Street IM Building weren't
getting much use.
Handball was and still is a difficult sport to
learn. People taking up the sport were often
quickly overcome by the frustration and the pain
involved in trying to hit a handball. Riskey felt an
alternative use of the courts was needed.
AFTER SEEING a tennis player practicing in
one of the four-walled courts, an idea came to
Riskey. Fashioning a makeshift paddle out of
wood and glue, Riskey took a tennis ball and
whacked it around the court.

The racquet was fine, but the ball needed
help-it was too big and heavy for such a small
racquet. So Riskey burned the fuzz off the ball to
lighten it somewhat, and tried it again, this time
with the desired result. Paddleball had quietly
arrived in Ann Arbor.
Other than some streamlining of the racquet, lit-
tle has changed in the way of equipment since
Riskey's innovation. The ball, manufactured

solely by Pennsylvania Corp., is still basically a
bald tennis ball, albeit an improvement over
Riskey's "campfire" ball of the 1930s.
IT WOULD BE nice to say paddleball has since
grown to become the sport of the masses, but it
hasn't-in fact, nowhere near so.
Current Michigan Intramural Sports Director
Dick Pitcher estimates there are only two to three
thousand paddleball players in the country. In
comparison, there are over eight million racquet-
ball players in the United States, with no end to its
recent growth explosion in sight.
"But it hasn't died out," emphasizes Pitcher, a
national seniors double champion in 1977. "Ann
Arbor, East Lansing and Kalamazoo all have a
good concentration of tournament paddleball
Unfortunately, that's as far as it goes. Step into
a four-wailer outside of Michigan and you're in for
some strange looks. The game simply hasn't
caught on outside of Michigan in the manner
racquetball has.
PITCHER ascribes the lack of participation to
the greater difficulty of paddleball as compared to
"There's more strategy involved, especially in
doubles, where a 'kill' is hard to come by," states
Pitcher. "The paddle is also much heavier and the
ball is harder to get to."
Despite its difficulty, the sport remains
prosperous-at least on this campus.
So if unique is what you seek, it might be a good
idea to take a stab at paddleball. After all, who in
St. Andrews doesn't know a whit' or a what about

Residence Hall Competitive:
Wenley 10, Little House Men 8
Elliott A .13. Fisher 2
Michigan House 7, Markley Blagdou 3
Rotvig Three 7, MoJo Jauggernauts 0(f)
Taylor House 11, Chicago House 9
Adams House7, Alice's 0 (f)
Alien Ramsey A 11, Frederick 8
Reeves 18, MoJo Maulers 8
Oxford A 13, Frost House 7
Fifth Hamilton 6, Kelsey 5
Scott House 18, Defective Quaddies 13
Fletcher Hail 20, Gomberg 7
ResidenceHall Recreative:w
Hamilton Four;7, E. Quad Haydentists0 (f)
MoJo Jolly Joes 16, Michigan House R 5
Co-Recreation Competitive:
Breakers 17, VD 6 pius 4 5
El Sereno Banditps 11, First Couzens0
Hole In the Wall Gang 6, Namatodes 5
Habs 12, Law Maroon 10
Hunt?7, Michigan 0(f)
In Sink Erators 7, Alpha Delta Ps.
MoJo Coed 8, Michigan Bar Assoc.4
Women's Competitive:;
Bombers 22, U Towers 2
Little House Women7, Brusers 0
Humor 16, Oxford 1-
Alpha Gamma Delta7, Kissin Couzens 0
Residence Hall Team:
Little House 2, MoJo Maulers 1
Gomberg 2, Hamilton 0
Allen Rumsey 2, Chicago House 1
Michigan House A 2, MoJo Jauggernauts 1
Kelsey House 3, Williams11 0
Reeves 3, Michigan House 0

Residence Hall:
Rumsey 58
Reeves 45
Oxford 36
Bombers 112
Humor 30
Oxford 13
Phi Delta Theta 74
Lambda Chi Alpha 54
Phi Gamma Delta 16
Law Gold 106
DSD "A" 45
Dental Derelicts g6
Canyon 70
Drunk 'n Disorderly 57
Baits 24
All Campus:
Taylor 2, Frost House 2 (tie)
Med Center 1, Big Ducks 1
Rowdies 5, MBA's 0
Coast Guard 2, Alice's) (f)
Chicago 2' Club des Carpes 1
Navy 2, The Bemo 1
Law Pawwers 3, Gomberg 0
Gnague 1, MJGO 0
Argentina 2, Delta Chi 0 (f)
Kelsey Kameijacks 5, Sigma Chi 1


We advise ...
The scores and schedules presented
on this page are as *accurate as
possible. However, we suggest that you
check with the IM department to
double-check deadlines or if you think
your- team's score was reported inac-

Daily Photo by BRAD BENJAMIN
MARK KOWALSKI moves in for a "kill."

..?%2 , . .,r :?w n }f ;y :"

Insure Your Weekly Knowledge
of I.M. Sports


W1 by





zoee our

sports page for nationao and U-Mn spors news

Considering the enormous amount
of money ,the University spends on
research endeavors, it's surprising
how much attention is paid to a small-
scale program like recreational and
intramural sports.
In fact, so much "loving care" has
gone into developing and upgrading
intramural programs that Michigan
can be accurately accjaimed as
having the finest such program in the
Big Ten.
Not that other schools are to be
discredited in this area-they all
provide enjoyment for students,
faculty and staff at the various
Michigan is unique, 'however, in
that it has pioneered many in-
novations in recreational sports,
facilities and programs. PAIFS
(Physical Activity Instruction for

Ten schools tighten IM belts

Faculty and Staff), Adolescent,
Disabled User Partner, Children's
Sports-O-Rama, Camp Adventure and
the Family program have either
remained unique or spawned similar
programs at other Big Ten schools.
Michigan's recreational sports
program is not without its own
problems, however-problems which
presently plague every institution.
First and foremost, there is the
financial dilemma from which no
school escapes. Every conference in-
tramural sports department is
tightening its belt amidst constant in-
flation. And from this problem
evolves the other problems afflicting
such programs.
The racquetball "boom" of the last
five years, for example, has fostered
an immense shortage of court space
at all Big Ten schools. "We're in a
real desperate situation as far as

racquetball court space is concer-
ned," said Wisconsin Intramural
Sports Director Jerry Moss. His sen-
timents were echoed by every other
recreational sports director in the
Each school is making a concerted
effort to obtain more racquet-
ball/handball courts, although the
process is easier at some schools than
at others.,
"Being a private institution; you
naturally have a tight budget for these
types of facilities," explained Tom
Weingartner, rec sports director at
Northwestern. "We have a committee
looking into the problem and
hopefully we'll come up with a viable
The various sports clubs at Big Ten
institutions have been hard hit by the
financial crunch of the 1970's. Each
school has devised its own method of
club funding, though a recent trend
has leaned toward club self-
Yet another problem revolves.
around who should use intramural
facilities. Should a university
recreational sports department serve
exclusively students? Or should it also
involve faculty and staff members in
special programs? And should the
campus community also be serviced
in some way? Once again, the answer
to these questions vary according to
the narticular institution.

"We feel an obligation to serve the
students here, and since space is
limited, we discourage non-students
from using the facilities," said
Richard Mull, Indiana's Director of
Recreational Sports. A building space
shortage at . Northwestern
necessitates a periodic drawing to
determine which intramural teams
can participate in divisional com-
Lack of facilities is also a pressing
issue at Minnesota, where the most
recent building was erected in 1934.
An ad hoc committee recently
recommended that two more facilities
be constructed at a cost of between 15-
18 million dollars.

Universities other than Michigan
have developed unique programs
within their own intramural sports
departments. Ohio State, for exam-
ple; always holds , 33% of its
recreational activity space open for
drop-in recreation.'
Minnesota is attempting to
organize an alumni sports club which
will provide intramural activities to
its Minneapolis-St. Paul alumni.
And each school is, in some way,
trying to accommodate disabled in-
dividuals, although the chore is
sometimes a difficult one. "You have
certain architectural barriers in the
way, especially in older buildings,"
said Northwestern's Weingartnerm.

Indiana's Mull looked at the
problem from a different perspective.
"It's difficult to generate interest
among the handicapped. We tried to
organize a sports club for them, but
we could get very few to join."
Most Big Ten students seem fairly
satisfied with the intramural and
recreational sports offerings at their
respective institutions. There are
those, however, who make heavy use
of what'savailable and find that the
system does, indeed, have its flaws.
What they may not know is that
many programs are financially in-
capacitated, and thus have little say
in their expansion and development.

Innrtue polo makes a splash

i i

Coming soon...
Thursday, Oct. 5
-Ice hockey managers meeting at the IM building, 7:00
-Ice hockey entries due
Monday, October 9
-Advisory Committee for Recreational Sports meets in

Several years ago, the IM athletic department introduced
innertube water polo to its program. Although popular on
the west coast since its inception, innertube water polo
has been slow in gaining student appeal. Finally, after
five years of promotion, popularity has buoyed to an
enormous height.
According to officials co-ordinator Matt Lynes, "Very
few students realized that- such a sport existed. But as
publicity grew, so did popularity."
ANOTHER REASON for its popularity is that unlike most
organized events, attendance has been very strong. "There

only be made on the player possessing the ball. If contact
is made with a player not possessing the ball, a foul is
called. A penalty shot is awarded after every sixth team
foul. The shot is taken four feet 'from the net and usually
results in a goal.
Nonetheless, Lynes says that the best teams are the
aggressive ones. "Most people think innertube water polo
is rather easy. But it is actually quite complex. There is
. alot of strategy involved. The best teams try to dominate
their opponents with aggressiveness. Offensively, they set
screens, hit the open man, and most importantly sustain
constant movement."

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