World Tour 2011 Gets Into Top Gear
The Federation International de Racketlon (FIR) World Tour 2011 has now reached the events that are more accessible to the majority of UK players. With the exception of the World Team Champs in Milan this past weekend, where England teams are selected by the English Racketlon Association, all other World Tour events are open to entries from anyone and everyone, with Mens categories from A to D and Womens from A to C catering for all standards, and multiple age groups in the Seniors and Juniors categories. No-one should consider themselves beneath these events and ERA encourages everyone to get the experience of their first World Tour event under their belt.
The next event on the World Tour calendar provides the ideal opportunity to optimise that first experience - someone once told me "if you only ever play one event abroad, make sure it's the Belgian Open". Better known as the King of Rackets tournament, it's held in Oudenaarde in early June each year, and is graded a Super World Tour (SWT) event, giving a higher weighting of world ranking points over the International World Tour (IWT) event classification.
Entry is via http://www.kingofrackets.be and not Result Reporter as is normally the case. Its reputation as a highly-sociable event is only likely to be enhanced this year as it's the event's 20th anniversary.
Next up is the Swiss Open in Zurich, at the end of June, slightly further away but also an SWT event, and still popular with UK players due to the higher ranking points on offer.
The Dutch Open (IWT) returns to nearer parts, just over the Channel in Rotterdam in mid-July, with the German Open (IWT) in Heidelberg later that month.
Back on home soil, the English Open (IWT) should be a must-do World Tour event entry in all English players' diaries, as there's a double helping of ranking points on offer, both ERA ranking points and FIR ranking points from the same event. Avoid double-booking your diary by entering that date now - 19th-21st August, at Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre - no, don't put it off, do it now!!
The World Tour reaches its highpoint with the World Singles Championships in late November each season, which circulates around the host countries - this season it's Austria's turn, in Vienna.
There are other World Tour events, all listed at http://www.resultreporter.com/event
A few points to note when considering entering World Tour events - they all require entrants to hold an FIR 2011 Licence (10 Euros), but once a few events have been entered, this cost is "down in the noise" after travel and accommodation costs are considered. This licence is obtained, and entries made for most events, at http://www.resultreporter.com where pre-event entrant lists, post-event results, and sometimes live scoring, may be viewed. Event organisers are obliged to provide a variety of hotel options within their info pages. Travel costs can be moderated by getting together with other UK entrants for the closer events, so get chatting to the seasoned World Tour players at your next UK Tour event - did I mention that's the British Champs at Dudley on 21st/22nd May - ideal opportunity then, so get online and get your entries in now at British Champs 2011 !!