Even my corner of suburban New Jersey did not escape the Racquetball Club mania that seemed to grip the United States in the 1980s. We had multiple clubs open and all the adults seemed to be buzzing about trying it out. My exposure to these clubs was limited to sneaking in to watch how the game was played and staring dumbfounded and uncomprehending at the spectacle that stood before me.
Over the years, especially in the nineties, I had a few opportunities to try the game, but never did. By then all the clubs in my hometown were gone, replaced with big box stores or simply deteriorating.
I guess the sport must have been fun, but I am still not sure why it became so trendy. While I was never a participant, I am glad I got to witness first-hand the explosion of racquetball-mania in eighties. I don’t think we will ever see it rise again to those levels, but we will always have the memories of places like Wallbangers to remind us of its popularity.