Dr. Bud Muehleisen — the Father of Racquetball


dr bud muehleisenIn the beginning, the game was called Paddle Rackets. It was an unorganized game when Dr. Bud Muehleisen started playing in 1968. Dr. Bud, a tennis and badminton player, thought he should try out this new racquet-based game and when he did he immediately became a life-long devotee of this great new sport.

Soon after he started playing he won the Men’s Open Singles Division at the First National Racquetball Tournament in 1969. It was at that tournament Paddle Rackets officially became known as Racquetball. 

As the sport started to become organized, Dr. Bud was appointed to the International Racquetball Association (IRA) Executive Committee and served as its Rules & Products Commissioner for seven years. During that time he wrote the rules for the game, as well as consulted with the many manufacturers who were developing the first racquets and balls. He was also instrumental in designing and building many courts as the game flourished. Because of his direct influence on the development of the sport he was the first inductee into the Racquetball Hall of Fame in 1974, prior to Joe Sobek, the game’s inventor.

Dr. Bud 1972

Dr. Bud competed professionally for 18 years playing both singles and doubles.  He successfully wove 18 years of racquetball competition with a full-time career as Dentist, while winning an unprecedented 41 tournaments. In 2009, Racquetball magazine named Dr. Bud the best player of all time.

Randy Stafford, US Racquetball Foundation Vice President, former Professional Racquetball Player and author of  “Racquetball, The Sport for Everyone” says “Our games are better as a result of his efforts and our lives are better because of the positive effect that Dr. Bud had on so many of us.”

Aside from playing and winning tournaments and helping to develop the game, Dr. Bud is especially known for his achievements as a Mentor, Teacher and Coach. His ability to see talent and help develop it is widely known throughout the Racquetball Community. He has mentored and coached many of the top players in racquetball history with some of them becoming the best coach/mentors around today.

“I just love coaching others in how to play the game better and have more fun.” Says, Dr. Bud Muehleisen of his extensive knowledge and extraordinary gift of teaching racquetball.