Racquetball’s popularity declined in the ‘90s, but Statista reveals there are approximately 3.53 million players around the world. Even though it’s only 0.78% of the 450 million basketball players, racquetball still has a promising future. Currently, professional players receive a fairly handsome salary, which may trigger you to ask how much do professional racquetball players make?
A professional racquetball player can earn up to $50,000 in a tournament, which is lower than the prize in table tennis. Yet, a professional player can earn a decent amount of $57,749 on average, while a top player can earn as much as $112,256.
It may not be as high as you expect, but it’s still decent to make a living. Anyway, these professionals stay playing the sport for the love of the game. I’m hoping the number of players increases in the coming years. But for now, dive into the ins and outs of racquetball in relation to salary and expenses.
How much do professional racquetball players make?
Professional racquetball players can earn up to $50,000 in one tournament, and it can go higher if they win more than one tournament per season. They also earn through sponsorship and appearances, which adds up to their winnings. Yet, the expenses cost still need to be deducted to get the total revenue.
Currently, an athlete can join the professional racquetball leagues including International Racquet Tour and Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour. In the International Racquet Tour, an athlete can earn up to $35,000+ for the Grand Slam. For the shootout event, they can win less than $1,999.
Last August 2021, the World Singles and Doubles Open Racquetball Championships set an amateur prize money purse of $5,000.00 and pro prize money purse of $50,000.00 for men’s and women’s pro singles and mixed doubles. Both the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) and the men’s International Racquetball Tour (IRT) participated in the event.
Although it’s a huge amount to earn in a game, Markie Rojas said in 2017 that he couldn’t live with the amount of money he’s earning. He ranked seven in the IRF ranking, but he decided to quit. According to his interview, he earned a total income of $11,400 in the IRF Tier I event, where he played nine tournaments. But his total revenue was $4,200 only because his total expenditure costs $7,200. That’s $350 per month.
Yet, what happened to Rojas may not be true for all players, as some popular players made up to $5 million in their career. In order to earn that much, you need to know exactly how to beat better racquetball players than you are.
How much do top racquetball players make?
According to SimplyHired, a racquetball player can earn as much as $112,256, although the average rate is $57,749. With the average net, you can probably earn a living. But professional athletes like Kane Waselenchuk, Rocky Carson, and Paola Longoria prove that you can be a racquetball millionaire.
The Canadian player Waselenchuk turned pro in 2000. He won in 1991 to 2001 in the National Finals in the Singles category and in 2001 in the Doubles category. He’s a 14-time IRT Year-End #1 Title Winner, 15-time US OPEN Singles Title Winner, and 4-time US OPEN Doubles Title Winner. He won 123 IRT tournaments through the 2019-2020 season.
With all the achievements he had, there’s no doubt that the 40-year-old Waselenchuk earns up to $5 million.
It’s the same fate that Rocky Carson and Paola Longoria had in their racquetball career. They won several times in the tournament that gave them the spot in the list of successful racquetball players. Rocky Carson won the world finals in the 1st Men’s Singles five times. He also won in the national finals under the 1st Men’s Singles eight-time while he won nine times in the 1st Men’s Doubles.
On the other hand, Longoria won 30 international titles, and she has 17 career IRF singles titles and another 13 career IRF doubles titles. Such achievement only tells us that you need a lot of hard work to earn millions.
But these racquetball players don’t earn only through the tournaments. Most of them have endorsements like Rocky Carson, who signed a multi-year endorsement deal with racquetworld.com.
How much would you pay to join a racquetball tournament?
Winning in the tournament guarantees a cash prize, but you need to pay an entry fee to join. The IRT requires $90+ for the Grand Slam event and $90 for Tier 1. Dues are included in the entry fee. For Tiers 2-5 and One-day shootout, the pricing is based on the local director’s discretion plus a fee for dues.
But that’s not the only thing you need to pay when you join the tournament. You must also have funds for your practices and sports gear. That means you need to invest your time and money before joining the tournament. If you think racquetball is a career for you, be prepared for the possible expenses you’ll spend to hone your skills.
Fortunately, professional racquetball players, like Waselenchuk, don’t need to think about this because they have paid sponsors. As the face of ProKennex Racquetball Racquets, Waselenchuk has already secured one of the best racquets, which is the Momentum 175 racquet. And, of course, he’s getting paid for the endorsement.
On the other hand, Rocky Carson has his stint on tutorial videos published by racquetworld.com. I want to assume that he got paid in the series of tutorials he did. And just a couple of months ago, the toy company Barbie paid tribute to three Latin American athletes by launching three dolls that look like them. Yes, Paola Longoria is included in the list. That’s money coming in without playing the game.
But the luck that these top athletes experience is not for all, just like Rojas. He said in his interview that it’s hard to find sponsors because racquetball is not as popular as basketball. He added that the current sponsors are those people who believe in the sport. Well, the sports may become challenging, but hopefuls still have a future in the game as long as sponsors come in.
My Favorite Racquetball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here you can find my favorite racquetball equipment that I love and think you could like too.
- Racket: My favorite racquetball racket is the HEAD Intelligence. This racket is implemented with technology that makes the string fibers stiff quicker, which increases power. Also, it reduces vibrations to the handle as well. This racket is from the heavy end, which further increases the power, and that’s the way I like it!
- Racquetballs: Penn Ultra-Blue racquetballs are among the most commonly used racquetballs of all time, and there is a reason for that. These balls fit all skill levels, and as I’m only a hobbyist, these balls are the best choice for me. Also, I love the blue color.
- Racquetball shoes: The proper shoes are the second most important piece of equipment after your racket. ASICS Men’s 4 Court Shoes are perfect for racquetball because of the softer gum rubber soles and reliable support throughout the shoe. Also, I love the breathability of these shoes. On the conside, the lashes are quite short but manageable.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.