Racquetball is a family tradition for Bob Adams of Homewood. Today three generations play the game, and Bob and his sons meet each week for a friendly game or two at the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District’s H-F Racquet & Fitness Center, 2920 W. 183rd St. in Homewood.
Bob Adams has been playing since he was 12. He learned the sport from his dad, Dave Adams of Lansing, who recalls that taking his son to the courts was “our night out.”
George played the game weekly with his best friend, Dan Hofstra. Dave, now 79, says he’s played racquetball for about 65 years. He still meets up occasionally with his family members but says his knee problems have slowed him down some.
Today it’s Bob Adams and Scott Hofstra of Tinley Park, who is Dan’s nephew, that are helping to carry on the weekly racquetball tradition. They say they learned everything they know about the game from the best teachers — Dave and Dan.
They, in turn, have taught the game to Bob’s sons, Kevin, 23, and Brian, 29. Both are Homewood-Flossmoor High School graduates and today Brian is on the technology staff at H-F.
Compared to tennis, racquetball players use a racquet with a shorter handle and a slightly smaller face. And, unlike tennis, the racquetball court uses three side walls, and players also can bounce the ball off the floor and ceiling. The players serve from center court onto the front wall. The rally begins after the serve rebounds from the front wall and passes the service line.
Anyone can practice in the court, but a game requires two, three or four players.
For this high speed game, all on the Adams team wear safety eye glasses, which they admit has protected them on more than one occasion. Being hit by a flying ball is one of the negatives, and all say after a game they likely will see bruises.
The Adams’s usually play for 60 minutes. Scoring can be 11, 15 or 21, but they typically start a new game after earning 15 points.
“It’s fun and it’s a real workout,” Hofstra said.
The seasoned players say Brian and Kevin bring strength to the game with their powerful swings, but they believe their experience from years of play helps them strategize.
“It’s anybody’s game right now,” Bob said. “You don’t have to be super athletic, you just have to know where the ball’s going to be dropping.”