Skip the court reservations, say goodbye to membership fees and play by your own rules any time of day on Long Beach's public racquetball courts, #80 of Patch's 100 Things To Do In Long Beach series.
Living in a beach town provides a number of obvious summer activities, from surfing to volleyball, but the public courts, tucked away in the north end of Monroe Boulevard next to the Long Beach Tennis Center, may just be unknown to many beachgoers.
But that doesn't mean they go unused. Men and women of all ages frequent the courts throughout the week and weekend, searching for their next great opponent.
The three large fenced-in cement courts provide a level of free range for players, along with views of boats on neighboring Reynolds Channel. The courts were once connected to the privately owned tennis center, but today they remain the property of the City of Long Beach.
The courts are also open 24 hours a day, offering people access to sunset and night games.
"I've been coming to these courts to play racquetball back when these tennis courts were public," Joe Roferro said. "Racquetball is a good game. It's good for the heart, the soul, and long as Long Beach keeps it public, it's easy on the wallet."
Like any sport, racquetball comes with skill levels and game variations that provides ample opportunities for the racquetball lovers at heart. But for the inexperienced, the rules can be a bit daunting: There are teams made up of "singles, two-on-one, or cut throat," and games can vary from 15 to 21 points.
But once you give the game a try, lifelong players such as Roferro swear you'll be returning to the courts at every chance you get.
Notes: While summer is the best season for racquetball, the courts are open to the public year round.