Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Landings hosts first annual Special Pops Pickleball Open

Published September 17, 2016 -

Pickleball has officially arrived in Savannah, and if what took place Saturday at The Landings Club’s pickleball courts is any indication, the sport has come here to stay.

The Special Pops Pickleball Open is the first official pickleball tournament held in Savannah. The event’s 108 participants came from across the Southeast, with some players coming from as far away as Virginia.

Pickleball, a sport whose popularity is growing, combines elements from tennis, table tennis and badminton.

Ralph Ferrone, the executive director of Special Pops Tennis, couldn’t say exactly why the sport is growing so rapidly, but when you hear the passion with which he and other tournament organizers talk about the game, it’s clear to see that pickleball has plenty of “growing” coming its way.

“Unlike other sports like tennis or golf, this sport is in its infancy,” said Ferrone in between gulps of Gatorade after playing in a match of his own.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Annual Pickled Peach Valentine Classic

Play in the Annual Pickled Peach Valentine Classic Tournament, February 10-12, 2017, at the Classic Center in downtown Athens, Georgia!

This is a USAPA-sanctioned tournament. 

The Title Sponsor is HUMANA.

Competition will include age groups with ratings and open play for 5.0 players. Singles will be on Friday, Men's and Women's Doubles on Saturday, and Mixed Doubles on Sunday. 

Grab your Partner and Dosey Do(e)!

CLICK HERE to register.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

East Naples is now home to a pickleball academy – Naples Daily News

Published September 7, 2016 -

Want to learn pickleball?

Or just get better at it?

There's an academy for that — in East Naples (FL).

The U.S. Open Pickleball Academy has swung open for business at East Naples Community Park at Thomasson Drive, off U.S. 41 East. It's an outgrowth of the first U.S. Open Pickleball Championships held at the park in April.

The first "academy," or camp, will be held Oct. 7-10.

The head instructor is Simone Jardim, the U.S. Open singles champion. She will recruit other instructors certified by the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association for the camps.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Pickleball For All

Published September 7, 2016 -
 Florida is the vanguard of a movement that is sweeping the nation: the sport of Pickleball. It has taken speed beyond all bounds and few have known how to harness its force like Jim Ludwig. There are pickleball players. There are pickleball pros….and then there are individuals whom have become ambassadors of the sport, free of charge, donating their time and admiration for pickleball’s growth and prosperity. Jim has been a major proponent in bringing to Naples hundreds of designated courts, multiple USAPA (United States of America Pickleball Association) tournaments, as well as creating a nonprofit organization known as Pickleball For All.

This organization’s mission statement is to instill encouragement, integrity, strength of character and strong sense of self in mind, body and spirit. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation we have supported and will continue to support one of the many means with which Pickleball For All has worked towards accomplishing their mission statement: focusing on our youth.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Georgia Pickleball / Club 4.0


In developing the 2016 Summer invitational tournament, we sought to bring a new team effort to Pickleball competitive play. Rather than a round robin format we selected to use the example of team rosters. Where a team of 8 top tier players from their home locations would come compete head to head with other teams of the same caliber in the Atlanta area. We wanted to partner with an indoor climate controlled environment to allow Pickleball players the ability to play competitively during extreme mid-summer and winter conditions. We were excited in partnering with the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta to host this advance level of Pickleball play. This beautiful facility currently houses 9 indoor Pickleball courts that will allow us to continue to grow and invite additional teams to participate. When we opened up the tournament registration the rosters were full in less than a week. This was a clear example for the demand of advance play in the Atlanta area. Our plans are to grow this as an ongoing event twice a year in the months of early February and mid-August to not interfere with most outdoor tournaments being held in the spring and fall months. This year the teams represented were the YMCA Lawrenceville / Athens Team / MJCCA Center of Atlanta /& YMCA Norcross. We will be expanding to allow additional advanced teams for the 2017 Winter Invitational.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pickleball starts making inroads with younger players

Published August 24, 2016 -

Kyle Yates is proving that pickleball isn’t just for the 50-plus crowd.

Yates, 21, a Fort Myers native, is ranked No. 1 overall in the world and No. 2 in singles. He recently returned from playing in four tournaments in Washington and Oregon. He won gold in eight of nine events. At the U.S. Open in Naples last spring, he won gold in the men’s pro and 19-plus doubles divisions while earning the silver in men’s pro singles.

Pickleball has been around since 1965 but didn’t make much of an impression until 2008 when the game hit the senior market. Studies show 68 percent of the players are 60 and over.

About 2.5 million are playing the sport now in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, India, England, Australia, China and Spain.

In the next two years, participation is expected to triple, according to the USA Pickleball Association.

Yates said a pro tour may start as early as 2017 and that USAPA has been working on a variety of programs to get youths ages 11-17 involved.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Special Pops organization to host pickleball tournament fundraiser

Published August 21, 2016 -

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Pickleball players will soon have the opportunity to compete and help a good cause.

The first Special Pops Southern Motors Pickleball Tournament is looking for participants.

The two day competition will be September 17th and 18th at the Landings.

The tournament benefits the Special Pops organization, which works with intellectually disabled people and gives them tennis lessons.

Organizers came up with the pickleball tournament when thinking of ways to raise money.

"Instead of every year, begging for money, we should start a program that would have ongoing capabilities, and we came up with pickle ball," said Special Pops Executive Director, Ralph Ferrone.

CLICK HERE to read more.