1949: Joseph Sobek, professional tennis and handball player, created a set of rules based on those of squash and handball and called it “paddle rackets.”
1950: Sobek, using the tennis racket as a pattern, developed plans for a new, short strung racket.
1952: Sobek founded the National Paddle Rackets Association. He codified a set of rules and printed them into booklets and sent them out to continue the promotion of his new sport.
1968: Sobek connected with Robert Kendler, head of U.S. Handball Association. Kendler was very interested in the new sport.
1968: Sobek held The First Gut-Strung Paddle Rackets National Championship in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1969: Robert Kendler founded the International Racquetball Association. New paddle racket regulations were being discussed.
1969: The sport officially had its new name, Racquetball, coined by San Diego tennis pro, Bob McInerny.
1969: The first IRA National Singles was held in St. Louis, Missouri.
1969: Dayton Glove and Racquet introduced the first metal racquet.
1970: Bud Held, with Ektelon, introduced his first metal racquet, “Bud Muehleisen.”
1971: Aluminum alloy frames were introduced. The total racquet dimensions (length and width) averaged about 26 inches.
1972: The first pro tour was formed.
1972: Fiberglass frames were introduced from Leach, located in San Diego.
1972: The National Singles was held in Memphis, Tennessee.
1973: After a dispute with the board of directors, Kendler parted ways with the IRA and formed the National Racquetball Club.
1974: IRA held first pro tournament.
1974: A new membership requirement was established for all sanctioned tournaments. IRA membership was $3.00 per year.
1974: The number of amateur players in the United States jumped to an estimated 3 million.
1976: Kendler also founded the U.S. Racquetball Association (USRA) as a rival amateur organization that only lasted until 1982.
1976: Seamco 444 becomes the official racquetball ball of the IRA.
1979: The IRA changed its name to American Amateur Racquetball Association (AARA).
1979: The International Amateur Racquetball Federation (now just called the International Racquetball Federation) was formed, and it included 14 countries.
1979: Graphite frames were introduced.
1980: The men’s pro tour was established along with the Women’s Professional Racquetball Association (WPRA).
1981: The World Games I and The First Racquetball World Championships were held in Santa Clara, California. The United States wins first World Cup over 6 other countries.
1981: Penn introduces the “Ultra Blue” racquetball ball.
1982: AARA was accepted as member of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
1982: AARA signs racquet sponsorship with Diversified Products.
1984: The United States wins World Championships over 13 countries in Sacramento, California.
1984: Ektelon introduces and test markets the oversized racquet.
1984: Match rules changed from 21 points to 15 points per game, with 11 point tiebreaker.
1985: The International Olympic Committee recognized the sport of racquetball.
1986: A new mandatory eye guard rule is passed.
1986: The United States and Canada tie to share the World Cup in Orlando, Florida where 20 countries competed.
1986: The Pan American Racquetball Confederation (PARC) was formed.
1987: The First AARA National Leadership Conference held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
1988: The United States National Team wins World Cup over 22 countries.
1988: AARA televises its National Championships for the first time ever.
1989: Racquetball was granted full member status within the U.S. Olympic Committee.
1989: As the 38th sport, racquetball makes its premiere U.S. Olympic Festival appearance in Oklahoma City.
1990: The United States wins 5th World Cup in Caracas, Venezuela over 28 countries.
1991: AARA telecasts ten national events on cable channels.
1991: The Unites States Team Alumni Association is formed.
1991: Racquetball was placed on the schedule for the Pan American Games in 1995.
1992: The United States wins 6th World Cup in Montreal over 33 countries.
1993: AARA celebrates 25th Silver Anniversary.
1994: The United States wins 7th World Cup in San Luis Potosi over 27 countries.
1994: IRF adopts “one serve” rules in international competition.
1995: Racquetball makes its debut in the Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the United States National Team sweeps medal count.
1996: U.S. Open Racquetball Championships debut in Memphis with pros and amateurs in a single event, played on a specially-constructed “made for TV” glass court.
1996: The United States wins 8th World Cup team title.
1997: The IRA changes its name again to United States Racquetball Association (USRA).
1997: USRA changes rule to allow oversized frames of 22” in length. Total length and width is approximately 32”, about 25% larger than original racquets which resulted in 50% more hitting area for more power.
1998: The United States wins 9th World Cup team title.
1999: The United States sweeps medal platform again at the 13th Pan American Games held in Winnipeg.
2000: Canada wins the 10th World Cup team title for the first time over the U.S.
2000: The Ladies Professional Racquetball Association was formed under the guidance of the USRA.
2003: The IRA changed its name for the final time to USA Racquetball (USAR).
2010: Newly designed all glass portable court makes U.S. Open debut at new location in Minneapolis.