James Richard Poole

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James Richard Poole (born February 20, 1932) is a former American badminton player who won national and international championships between 1958 and 1979, and a former National Football League official.


Though he took up the sport at a far later age than do most elite players, Jim Poole went on to have a remarkably long career in high level badminton, rating among the world's leading singles players in the early 1960s, and reaching the final of the US Open and Irish Open championships in 1968 at age 36. He probably played the best doubles of his career while approaching forty in the late 1960s and early 1970s, during an eleven season partnership with fellow left-hander Don Paup. The 21-year span from Poole's first to last U.S. title is the longest of any player. Noted for his shot-making accuracy and consistency, and for his tactical astuteness, Poole was the first of only four non-Asians to win the Malayan (Malaysian) Open singles title (1961).[1] He was a member of seven consecutive US Thomas Cup (men's international) teams from 1958 through 1976 and won over 70 percent of his matches in these campaigns, which included three inter-zone contests. In 1970 he was elected into the U.S. Badminton Hall of Fame, now called the Walk of Fame.[2]

An all-around athlete who played basketball and baseball for San Diego State University, Poole was a member of the winning US Pan-American Games Basketball Team in 1955.[3] From 1975 to 1995 he officiated National Football League Games, working in two Super Bowls as a back judge.[4][5]

Major Achievements[edit]

Tournament Event and year
US Open Men's Singles (1958, 1961), Men's Doubles (1968, 1973), Mixed Doubles (1971)
U.S. National Badminton Championships Men's Doubles (1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979), Mixed Doubles (1970)
Canadian Open Men's Doubles (1962, 1965)
Malayan Open Men's Singles (1961)