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ERF History

History of racquetball in Europe

The European Racquetball Federation (ERF) was established on June 27th 1985 in Antwerp, Belgium. At that time, Racquetball already was a growing sport not only in the American hemisphere but also throughout Europe. Therefore, it was decided to establish a European Federation that represents Europe within the world of Racquetball and elsewhere.

erflogo[old logo from 1985-1998]

Foundingcountries were: Belgium, France, West-Germany, Great-Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland.

First President became Dr. Jürgen Denk from Germany while Mr. Philip Duignan of Ireland was elected first Vice President of the ERF. In addition, Mr. René Hehemann of The Netherlands took office of the General Secretary.

 The goals and objectives of the ERF are:

  • to co-ordinate, develop and govern the promotion of the sport of Racquetball in its member countries and throughout Europe.
  • to be the sole governing body for the sport of Racquetball in Europe.
  • to promote friendly relations between its members and to establish, maintain, conduct and promote interest and participation in Racquetball.
  • to foster and promote participation in physical fitness programmes through the sport of Racquetball.
  • to provide, organise and supervise coaching clinics and referees programs and other educational programmes of instruction in.
  • to provide, organise and supervise tournaments and competitions of every nature for members of the Federation.
  • to offer, grant and contribute towards prizes, awards and distinction in connection with such tournaments and competitions.
  • to help organise European Championships at Open, Masters and Junior grades and all other objects with the best interests of the sport.
  • toprovide for the sending of a worthy member or worthy members of the Federation to tournaments and competition of an International Nature.
  • to sanction Open Tournaments in Europe.
  • to sanction an annual European Open which may at the direction of the Exco be held annually in any city and country which is an ERF-member.
  • to rpresent and protect interest of European Racquetball internationally.


The European Racquetball Federation was established in 1985

Since 2011 : Mike Mesecke (Germany)
1997-2011 : Erik Meyer (Belgium)
1985-1997 : Jürgen Denk (Germany)

Vice President
Since 2013 : Carlo Papini (Italy)
2011-2013 : Marco Arnoldi (Italy)
2005-2011 : Mike Mesecke (Germany)
2003-2005 : Gary Lynch (Ireland)
2001-2003 : Michael Haverty (Ireland)
1985-2001 : Philipp Duignan (Ireland)

General Secretary
Since 2019 : Mikan van Zanten (Netherlands)
2014-2019 : Pascal Matla (Netherlands)
2013-2014 : Mike Mesecke (Germany) interim
2011-2013 : Gary Lynch (Ireland)
2005-2011 : Michael Haverty (Ireland)
2000-2005 : Pascal Matla (Netherlands)
1985-2000 : René Hehemann (Netherlands)

Since 1999 : Karel Matla (Netherlands)
1998-1999 : René Hehemann (Netherlands)
1997-1998 : Mike Mesecke (Germany)
1985-1997 : Mareike Hillen (Belgium)

Technical Director
2015-2016 : Uwe Otterbein (Germany)
2014-2015 : J.D. Lattuca (Italy)
2011-2014 : Michael Haverty (Ireland)
2005-2011 : Pascal Matla (Netherlands)