Hi my name is Yolanda “Yo-Yo” Monroe. Growing up in Brooklyn during the 70’s was a great time for me. At the tender age of 9 I fell in love with the game of wallball. I use to go to the factory next door to us and hit the ball against the walls. I would go to the park down the end of the corner and see the guys playing on the courts. Each morning I would go and practice hitting the ball to see if I had eye and hand coordination to play the game. Sometimes in the rain I would put a hat on and go practice and my mom would shake her head in disbelief at the dedication I put forth towards learning how to play. I was always into sports as a young child but wallball was a passion. I learned that I had the ability to control the ball and quickly learned strategy how to outsmart the stronger more skilled players. As for me being a female and playing the game among guys they would see me as the weaker link. That somehow changed quickly as I got better at the game. I was able to control the ball, hit the ball hard and play consistently. Growing up in Brooklyn exposed me to many different styles and personalities in the game and fueled my desire to be one of the best players in the game, especially for a female. I used similar games to master my own style of play. Paddleball, racquetball and tennis have all contributed to my craft.
Being a female player keeps me on my toes to know that I can hang with the best of the guys out there. Even on my play of level today my game still gives the men trouble lol. I have won many tournaments throughout New York City and many titles. I was a 5-time borough champion for many years. There were so many characters to get to know and knick names that made you think. Over the years of playing and in my travels I have met many people from all over the world. I would be called to play exhibition games for clients. I was the only female that ever won a men’s singles tournament thus, dethroning the champion at the time. It takes dedication and hard work to master the sport of playing. I would practice 7-8 hours a day to perfect a particular shot. Over the years of playing I wanted to bring something to the game that most women would not do, and that was dress fashionably. I traded in the shorts for my tennis dresses and skirts. I found this attire to be more suitable for me and most comfortable. The spandex shorts and wet look just didn’t work for me. I chose not to wear skimpy clothes or look like the guys on the courts. You didn’t see the ladies of tennis sacrificing anything or restriction of movement. It was just a natural progression in my style and development. I figured if I can play awesome why not look good at it too!. I stopped competing tournament wise for about 20 yrs and recently just got back into entering them again. In 2012 I won a gold medal for the United States in Ireland at the World Wallball championships. I was a dream come true!. Opportunity knocked on my door as a late age in my life but still the door was opened. I still play on high level competitively and I play hard. I won titles in Canada as well at some of the local but yet upcoming tournament there as well. My stamina and endurance is what sustains me on the court. I pride myself in taking care of my body and keeping healthy to play the game. My motto is “No friends on court”, I am a female but that does not define who I am on court, because I see myself as a “player” who loves the game. I am status as an “a” player in the game and recognized as one of the best female players there was and is. I’m a lady and in this sport that does not define who I am …my game does. My husband and my son are my biggest fans and supporters. There are articles on me and documentaries on me as well. They encourage me to keep playing and doing what I love. I love meeting people and talking about my passion for the game of wallball. I have been blessed in this sport and I have to thank God that He has kept me injury free. I’ve been playing for over 40 years and still competing. Wallball, unlike any other sport you can play until you decide you had enough. There is no age where you have to leave the game. I would like to be recognized as one of the best female players a fierce competitor with a passion and love for the game.
My memorable match would have to been in Italy at the Italian Open 2015. I was playing the UK female champ Miranda Scheffer of Holland for a spot in the finals. After losing to her the first game in the Round Robin I thought I was out with no chance of advancing. Then I came out the bracket as top 2. We played again an then I defeated her. I had to push with all I had and I came out victorious! The battle was great.
One of my best victorious moments was my first international win with my partner Veronica Figueroa, at the 2012 Ireland World wallball Championships in Dublin. We played our hearts out. We won against Bernice & Alethea. The sweetest moment was winning a Gold medal for the USA, and being the eldest woman on the team to have done so. My husband was there and proud of ME! It was a dream come true for me, and I treasure it in my heart.
I hope to see this sport make it to the Olympics one day. Although I will probably be too old to competeat that time I would love to carry the Olympic Torch in the games. Hoever, to me age is but a number and if I am still playing on a high level as I am today if it should make it I will try my hardest to compete.
I love playing wallball. There is no other sport like it. It keeps me young and great for the cardio workout. It’s something that brings joy to me and it’s my passion!. It can be played ant anytime, anywhere and with anyone.