Many of the world’s best racketlon players will be at Winnipeg Winter Club for the Cardinal Capital North American Racketlon Championships (NARC), June 16-18. Racketlon is a four-racquet sport event consisting of table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis.
“I think people are excited to see it,” said Winnipeg’s Evan Mancer, one of the top racketlon players in Canada. “The Winter Club has been very generous to give us the facility to use.”
The tournament will feature five of the top 10 men in the world (in addition to former world champion Calum Reid of Scotland) and the top two women in the world. It will be among the top five tournaments in 2017 in terms of International Racketlon Federation ranking points.
“That’s what has convinced some of the top players from Europe to come over here,” Mancer said.
Among the locals competing will be Mancer, 2014 Canadian university squash champion Alix Younger, WWC head badminton pro Sean Chawla, and six-time Manitoba Open men’s doubles tennis champion Sean Lacap.
Mancer has three top 10 finishes at the Racketlon World Championships, including a fifth place result in 2010. He and Younger played for Canada at the 2016 World Team Racketlon Championships in Denmark.
The Cardinal Capital NARC at WWC is open to players of all levels. In addition to men’s and women’s A-elite singles and doubles events, there are events at the B and C levels. Events are also offered for juniors and seniors.
“People get a little bit intimidated with racketlon because they think they have to be good at everything but no one is,” said Mancer.
The order of sports played in a racketlon match goes from lightest to heaviest racquet, starting with table tennis, moving to badminton, followed by squash and ending with tennis.
“It’s really interesting to watch because there are such shifts in the match,” Mancer said. “You go from one sport to the next and the momentum can shift so heavily because there are different skill levels.”
Players compete to 21 points in each of the four sports and the winner is the player with the most total points.
“That’s one of the unique elements about the sport versus the other racquet sports is that every point counts,” said Mancer.
While popular in Europe, racketlon still hasn’t taken off in North America. Mancer is hopeful the Cardinal Capital NARC at WWC will bring some needed exposure for the sport.
“It’s ended up being a very Euro-centered sport,” he said. “There’s a lot of good racquet sports play over there and that’s where it started. There’s been a lot of Canadian interest but it’s always been tough to build the sport outside of Europe. This is another attempt to try to get that going.”
Click here to register for the tournament. Entry deadline is Monday, June 5 at 11:59 am.
For more information, please contact Trevor Borland at 204-452-3311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I think anyone who’s really interested in racquet sports should check it out because it’s something to see,” said Mancer.