Thursday, May 26, 2016

Spring pickleball classic held in Towns County

Published May 26, 2016 - www.claycountyprogress.com


The Georgia Mountain Spring Pickleball Classic was held at the Towns County Pickleball Complex in Hiawassee, Friday-Sunday, May 20-22. More than 260 players from the local area and from a dozen states traveled to Hiawassee for the event. Competitors and spectators traveled from as far away as Florida, Michigan and Colorado.

Volunteers from the Georgia Mountain Pickleball Club as well as several members of Hayesville's Mountain Lakes Pickleball Club assisted in setting up for the tourney and managing other activities.

Professional players presented clinics on Thursday prior to the tourney for players to improve their game skills. Nationally-ranked players Deb Harrison, Dee Ahern and Byron and Marsha Freso led the well-attended clinics.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

USA Masters Games: Big News!

USA Masters Games

Pickleball will be included for the first time as one of the sports at the USA Masters Games for the first time, July 22-24, 2016.  The Games fee has been reduced to $60 per person.  Registration is open through June 30, 2016.  Get in the Games today!

CLICK HERE for more information.




Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Atlantic South Regional Players Take Home the Hardware

From Regional Director Karen Parrish
 
What an amazing experience it was for everyone in attendance at the 2016 US Open Pickleball Championships! The Atlantic South Region showed that we are a force to be reckoned with:

Gold Medals – 33     Silver Medals – 41     Bronze Medals – 37

Congratulations to our very own District Ambassador Jim Ludwig and the Spirit Promotions Team of Terri Graham and Chris Evon as well as Creative Director and Social Media Director Johnathan Clay, Co-Tournament Directors Dan Whitley and Tom Utterback, and US Open Media and Hospitality Director Connie Martin in addition to the countless number of volunteers including referees. There aren’t enough words to say how much we appreciate your hard work and dedication and look forward to next year’s tournament. 

Pickleball was on the map before, but this tournament has launched us to the next level. For complete results and pictures make sure you check out their website at www.usopenpickleballchampionship.com.

IMPORTANT:  Play from the tournament will be televised on CBS SPORTS NETWORK on May 20 and May 23 at 7PM (ET).
 
 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Goose Creek Pickleball Tournament


The first Pickleball Tournament held at the Goose Creek Community Center on April 28, 2016 was a huge success!  Twenty-six (26) teams, with players from all over the Charleston, SC area competed in the double elimination, random draw tournament. There were five (5) beginner teams, twelve (12) intermediate teams, and nine (9) advanced teams.

Beginner Division:

1st place: Kelly Bocock & Leticia Kenty

2nd place: Linda Crace & Jim Moseley











Intermediate Division:

1st place: Mark Cohen & Gene Borzendowski (our Recreation staff member who filled in last minute!)

2nd place: Mike Hutchinson & Charlotte Proper








Advanced Division:

1st place: Kim Fravhiger & Sam Shaw

2nd place: Paula Belfiore & Barb Doughty

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Funny name can’t dissuade pickleball’s loyal following

Published April 29, 2016 - www.news-press.com

A little-known sport with a funny name, pickleball inspires a passionate following. Just look around the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships at East Naples Community Park this week.

Nearly 1,000 players have descended on Southwest Florida from all over the country for what is the sport’s largest tournament ever. It’s not only people in town, but entire pickleball clubs that travel nationwide to compete.

Groups from Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia and Utah popped their tents and flew their flags in East Naples Community Park on Friday. The clubs set up lawn chairs and dipped into coolers between the hundreds of skill-level matches during Day 3 of the U.S. Open.

“We all love the game,” said Mike Murphy, 61, who traveled with a group of six from Cleveland, Ohio. “We love the competition, and you need to travel to play the better players.”

While they came from all around to test each other, Sheena Maclean-Bell likely traveled the farthest to seek out top competition. The 39-year-old tennis coach crossed an ocean to be in Naples this week.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

FIRST-EVER U.S. OPEN PICKLEBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS KICK OFF IN NAPLES APRIL 26 THROUGH MAY 1

Published April 26, 2016 - www.paradisecoast.com

NAPLES, FLA., APRIL 25, 2016 – Eight hundred and thirty-five athletes will compete on 47 courts at East Naples Community Park in Naples, Fla. April 27 through May 1 for prestige and $25,000 in prize money in the first-ever U.S. Open Pickleball Championships while over 3,000 fans descend on the area, filling hotel rooms and RV parks in advance of the courtside action.

Pickleball is America’s fastest growing recreational sport and Collier County tourism officials and the pickleball championship’s promoters hope to make Naples and Collier County “ground zero” for pickleball, now played by more than 2.5 million people worldwide. The tournament agreement with the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau extends three years through 2018.

“The pickleball championship event brings national and worldwide attention to greater Naples and Collier County as a community that supports healthy lifestyles and offers a warm welcome and plenty of amenities for fans of this fast-growing sport,” said Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau.

There are registered players from 39 states and eight countries outside the U.S. - the U.K., the Czech Republic, Australia, Aruba, Canada, Japan, India and the island city-state of Singapore.

Thousands of spectators and players are expected to fill the adjacent U.S. Open Village hospitality zone, the U.S. Open Expo vendor and sponsor tradeshow, and fill the 700 ticketed stadium seats at the Zing Zang Championship Court where pro pickleball players will battle it out for $25,000 in prize money. Ticket proceeds support the charities Pickleball For All (based in Collier County), the Macular Degeneration Partnership and the Conine Clubhouse at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

To open the tournament on Tuesday, April 26, a press conference and ribbon cutting is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., followed by a pro exhibition from Noon to 1 p.m. Following the pros, it’s Kids Day, with 75 local school children invited to learn the game. Open play and adult clinics begin at 3 p.m. The full tournament schedule gets underway on Wednesday with 2,100 matches played over a five day period. The tournament schedule is available online at usopenpickleballchampionship.com/event.html.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Pickleball: 21-year-old Kyle Yates of Fort Myers bringing national game to U.S. Open in Naples

Published April 23, 2016 - www.naplesnews.com

For someone who had never heard of pickleball, Kyle Yates sure took to the sport quickly.

The first time Yates entered a national tournament, he walked out with a gold medal the same day. Just two years later, the 21-year-old Fort Myers native is one of the best pickleball players in the country.

At the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, starting Wednesday at East Naples Community Park, Yates hopes to take home the tournament's top prize and the winner's check. One of the youngest players on the national circuit, he's also hoping to show the local crowd that pickleball isn't just for retirees.

"Pickleball gets a bad rap," Yates said. "When I started playing (nationally), I realized it wasn't an old person's game. The guys I play against are in their mid-20s and former college tennis players."

Yates has won more than a dozen titles at pickleball tournaments from California to the Midwest to the East Coast, all before he could crack a cold adult beverage to celebrate. Yates turned 21 just last week.

For once, Yates won't have to get on a plane or drive overnight to get to a national event. With more than 800 players, the U.S. Open in Naples is the biggest organized pickleball tournament is the sport's history. Yates expects to be on center stage just down the road from his hometown.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sun City residents organize pickleball tournament

Published April 20, 2016 - www.blufftontoday.com

The Low Country Pickleball Classic was held over the weekend in Sun City and the University of South Carolina Beaufort’s Hilton Head Gateway campus.

More than 200 players took part in the event, including 57 locals. The round-robin format allowed each team to play four to five competitive matches, tournament director Reuben Oder said.

CLICK HERE to read more.