Monday, October 31, 2011

North Georgia Pickleball Club- Halloween Benefit Tournament

Pickleball tournaments hosted and directed by Tom and Ann Earley and the North Georgia Pickleball Club are known to be some of the very best in the ASR, and this year's Halloween Pickleball Benefit Tournament, held on Saturday and Sunday, October 29th and 30th,  was no exception.

Participants received the crimson long-sleeved tournament t-shirts, breakfast pastry,fruit, and juice, and a hearty three soup lunch with hot, fresh bread (made by Tom Earley each morning).  The award winners received truffles made by local chocolatier: LynnWingfield's "Chocolate Fix".

According to Ann at the end of day one,  it was a .."Great day for Pickleball - if we could have eliminated the wind factor!"  Today's Pickleball teams came from Lake Arrowhead (Lana Chadwick,Bill and Carol Hess), Chattanooga, TN (Dennis Hart, Kirstin Beasley),Woodstock, Canton, Marietta, Dallas, and Acworth.

Day one winners were .. the"Ghosts" (Buzz Ahrens and David Barron) defeating the winners of the"Goblins" (Floyd Moody and Bill Whatley). Presenting the Halloween pumpkin shaped platter filled with "Chocolate Fix" truffles to David and Buzz is Tom Earley." (pictured below)

"There was a presentation of $500.00 from the tournament players and the North Georgia Pickleball Club to Ottis Moore of the Cherokee County Humane Society. Another contribution was made to the Air Warriors Jr. ROTC of Teasley Middle School. The Air Warriors gave a rifle presentation and  led the grand  Opening Ceremony with their flag corp. Tenor Ken Terrell sang the National Anthem and the games began."

The tournament continued on day two with the Vampires!"What a perfect day for Pickleball! We had our 4.0-4.5 skill level"Vampires" play with the finals between Tom Earley (Canton, GA)/Milton Myers (Lawrenceville, GA) vs Jeff Hudson and John Wilson (Opelika, Alabama). The winners (pictured below) were Jeff Hudson (in the white shirt/navy sweatpants) and John Wilson (the other one - navy shirt and sweatpants). Last year they only brought one team and this year they returned with two. Great players, great athletes, and all-round great
sports to drive 4+ hours for a bag of "treats"!


"Most Improved team won yodeling pickles - Jimmy Williamson and Dan Ross
(Marietta, GA)    ....."Bocce, the official Atlantic South Region Pickleball Mascot, was in attendance during the tournament as line judge.  He was also quite impressed (as you can see below) by the winners of the "most improved" on Sunday (4.0-4,5 skill level).       Or did he actually want their yodeling pickle ?

 The pottery pickle bowl "Good Sport" award went to Jason
and Buzz Ahrens. We had two teams of father/son - Steve (Marietta, GA) and
Mark Morneau (Michigan) and Buzz and Jason Ahrens (Canton, GA).

We had two teams of father/son - Steve (Marietta, GA) and
Mark Morneau (Michigan) and Buzz and Jason Ahrens (Canton, GA).

And finally - pictured below , with THREE generations of Pickleball Players is the Morneau family.  Pickleball players - Michigan resident Steve Morneau (white shirt), Jane and Mark Morneau, parents of Jensen (3) and Tanner (5).  Pickleball certainly is a game for the whole family - no matter what your age may be!!

A special thank you to everyone who helped Tom and Ann make this tournament a success!
Mark and Kate Perrie (Arizona) -  Court Preparation, covering the courts, taping the edges and aligning "drainage" boards.
David Barron -   Helping to tap re-tape the courts and for the supply of  water for the tournament.
Lana Chadwick, Don and Regina Lucas - Additional Humane Society contributions.
Kee Kai Ruckstal who brought a platter of fudge and a mound of biscotti from
Jenn and Dawn Barron who shuttled ice to the giant cooler with water on the tournament days. Another great Pickleball family who recently moved to Georgia from Arizona!
Canton Holiday Inn Express for accommodations for our Tennessee and Alabama players.
Lynn Wingfield/"Chocolate Fix" for the Awards.
Carole and Bill Hess who monitored the score sheet, helped serve lunch, orchestrated clean up, and generally made themselves available
throughout the tournament.

"With such wonderful friends and players, holding a tournament
has been very easy!"  Ann Earley

CLICK HERE for our photo gallery and for all the pictures from the tournament

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This event is held at the four outdoor courts at Kings Point in Sun City Center, Fl.
More information and registration information will be available around November 15th at

An invitation to play at the Phillips Center...

Earl Cunningham
Ambassador, Gastonia, NC

"We had 7 players from Billy Shirley's Pickleball league show up to play the Phillips Center team today.

Everyone was pleased with the set up thanks to the Center supervisors Tremayne Stephens and Skip Youngblood.

The Gastonia Phillips Center has recently added 3 indoor pickleball courts. Skip Youngblood advised me that they would make the courts available on Wednesdays 6:00pm until 9:00pm through December of this year.

Anyone wishing to play just show up At the Center on Wednesdays. Balls and paddles will be furnished.  Never played pickleball, not a problem, we have players with several years experience that will be glad to show you how. It's much easier to learn and easier to play than tennis. the game is a slowed down KING SIZE version of ping pong.

Phillips Center of Gastonia
2031 Echo Lane
Gastonia, NC 28052
Phone - 704-866-68951
or contact USAPA Ambassador, Earl Cunningham - 704-824-4125

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kings Point Players Proud of Tampa Bay Results!!

Submitted by
Louann Dubendorf
Kings Point Pickleball League

"The games went GREAT!! I got there a little before 7:30 and there were a ton of people already. The folks at the sign in desk did a fantastic job. They had the sign up sheets all set and single elimination brackets all made and ready to be filled in and to go. Because some of the folks were all there and signed in they began some games at about 8:15-8:20.

Breakfast and lunch was provided and the Sun City Center maintenance did just a super job putting up shade coverings all around the courts. They even rolled up the wind screen on the side so folks could easily see the games this year. Tables were set up for folks to eat lunch under shade also.

Best of all they managed to get all games done with by about 5:30. We plan to talk next week about the county possibly doing 2 Pickleball events each year. One in Spring this year. Also seems we will be splitting Womens and Mens doubles in the AM next year so one group will play at Kings Point so Mixed can start earlier. I went around and asked all out of towners their preference: 2 day or split, and they all said 1 day event to save $$$."
Congrats to our winners:
Ladies Doubles

Men's Doubles

Mixed Doubles

Also sharing the winners circle today was Ft. Myers Ambassador, Nancy Meyer, pictured above with her doubles partner Jan Konn, and mixed doubles parter Bob Welter.

Jacksonville Senior Games Results

The 2011 Forever Fit 50 & Beyond Senior Games took place on  Friday October 7, 2011 at the Cecil Gym and Fitness Center in Jacksonville, Fl

Congratulations to all the Medal Winners!!

2011 Senior Games
Pickleball Results

55-59 – Female
1st Place (Gold) Gwen Iyobe
2nd Place (Silver) Karen Neider Dupius

60-64 - Male
1st Place (Gold) Tim Katchen
2nd Place (Silver) Wayne Richardson
3rd Place (Bronze) Larry Myers

65-69 – Male
1st Place (Gold) Michael Piccolo
2nd Place (Silver) Bert Williams
3rd Place (Bronze) John Foard

70-74 – Male
1st Place (Gold) Tim Poplawski
2nd Place (Silver) Ed Janke
3rd Place (Bronze) Jim Abercrombie

1st Place (Gold) Gwen Iyobe
Susan Stevenson
2nd Place (Silver) Pat Sencer
Betty Sweat
1st Place (Gold) Ed Janke
Tim Poplawski
2nd Place (Silver) Tim Katchen
George Catalano
3rd Place (Bronze) John Foard
Wayne Richardson

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NOTICE - START TIMES change for Halloween Tournament in N. Georgia

Ann Earley and the North Georgia Pickleball Club asked that we let everyone know of a "small" program change for the start times at  Halloween Pickleball Tournament this coming weekend in Canton, GA.

"Given the cool/cold morning temperatures predicted and then
distance many of the players must travel (including those from Nashville,
Tellico Village, and Opelika - about four hours away!), we will begin at
9:30 a.m. for "warm-up" and registration.   At 9:45 a.m. we will have the
draw for court time, and immediately have our grand "Opening Ceremony".

You won't want to miss the Opening Ceremony- which will be professionally videotaped and hopefully available here on our website in the coming weeks. So check back in ................. 

Coffee, orange juice, scones, and fresh fruit will be availabe in the morning and lunch between 11:30 and 1:00 pm for all the players.
 Even if you are not playing you are welcome to come enjoy the event.  There is lots of room on comfortable benches courtside.
Thanks yesterday to Lana Chadwick, Jon Pyles, Ken Riordon, Ken Terrell,David Barron,Carole Hess, Judy Vonesh, Bill Whatley, Tom Earley, and Ann
Earley  for their work on the courts to clean and retape the lines for the

Let the games begin!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Fun, social and valuable experience!
(Event open to The Villages Residents ONLY)

Question: How often do Advanced Beginner and Intermediate players have an opportunity to to test their skills against some of the Top Medal winning pickleball players in the Country?

Answer: Not often; however, thanks to the Pickleball Community Volunteer Group (PCVG) efforts, a PLAY WITH THE MEDALISTS Clinic has been scheduled for November 3rd (Thursday) from 1-3 PM, at the Pimlico Recreation Center.

Many of the Top ranked Villagers -- those who have proven their skills in State, Regional and National tournaments (they have collectively won hundreds of medals), will be volunteering their time so that participants in this Clinic will be able to play with and against them.

To do: Come on out and play, or simply observe. If you choose to play, bring your "A" game, and have fun hitting with the Medalists as they share winning tips with you.

This is open to male and female 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 players ( make sure you have either completed a Self-RATING FORM or been RATED at a Rating Clinic).

NOTE: registration is limited and is on a first come first serve basis.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Tournament at Capacity - Come and Watch, Come and Support a Good Cause

A message from the North Georgia Pickleball Club's Halloween Tournament!!

"We have reached our maximum entries for both days of our upcoming
Halloween tournament on the 29th and 30th! We have had full entries for
about a week, but wanted to alert those who have not sent in their money to

 It should be a great tournament and I'm excited about the folks
coming from all around the southeast region. With some hot Sunday
competition, we expect an audience as well.

If anyone would like to simply come to watch, perhaps pay the entry fee for a t-shirt and lunch as well,they are welcome. We have bench seats for at least 40 good seats! With a hill over the north end of the courts, it is quite a view!

The tournament begins both days at 8 a.m. with "opening ceremonies".......a new surprise in our program inspired by the Palm Creek PB Club tournament.

Thanks for posting this information............

Ann Earley - North Georgia Pickleball Club

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Girl Talk Plays Pickleball - Video - WXII The Triad

Girl Talk is a featured program on WWII, the NBC affiliate in Winson Salem, NC.

Ambassador, Laura Patterson is interviewd by the Host of Girl Talk, along with her pickleball friends at the Winston Salem YMCA 


Girl Talk Plays Pickleball - Video - WXII The Triad

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Update from Florida's Space Coast

Scott Nelson, Ambassador, Space Coast, Fl

Here are some pics from the Viera Recreation Center and Satellite Recreation center.

It was a little bit of challenge trying to convince the director to give us time to play a silly game called Pickleball.

We had such a good response the first two weeks that we had to get a third net to accommodate all the players.

I think that they know that we are here to stay….

Health First is also now open for Pickleball play. We had our first clinics , with a great turn out. With the help of  Dave and Deb Christian  we ran successful beginner and intermediate clinics.  It is a semi private facility so no pictures are allowed to be taken.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Great News - Pickleball added to NSGA Summer Games

A message from Nancy Jordan
(and a special Thank You to Chris Thomas, Regional Ambassador,Western Region and his group for their help in making this happen)

"I had two different NSGA staff confirm ( while I was in Rochester NY for the Winter Games) that I could announce that pickleball has been added to the 2013 NSGA summer games in Cleveland, OH as a regular sport not a demonstration sport.

Qualifications will take place from Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2012. They will take the first four places in each event. No skill level events only age groupings. Players must qualify at a designated affiliate of NSGA.  In most cases, it is the state senior olympics event.

You must be 50 or more in 2012 to qualify for these games.We will put out more info as it becomes available."

Nancy Jordan

An Update from Myrtle Beach, SC

Submitted by:
Rena Grant, Ambassador
Myrtle Beach, SC
The Seniors at Prince Creek West area are still going strong since our clinic on September 8, 2011. Carol and Tom Gray have painted two courts in a parking lot and they play twice a week. I loaned them my paddles and net to get started and now they have ordered one net and four paddles. Carol and Tom are doing a fabulous job promoting Pickleball. Carol is becoming a member of USAPA.  Seasons at Prince Creek West in Murrells Inlet, SC has been added to our places to play.
The evening clinics at Crabtree on September 12th,16th and 26th went very well. I am very grateful to Rich and Diane Skrovan, Carol Gray and Pat Mills who came to help with those clinics. We picked up a few new members and lots of enthusiasm for the game of Pickleball.  This is a photo from our first night. 

On September 16, 2011, North Myrtle Beach Pickleball players came to Crabtree Gym for a tournament and we had some real good matches and fun was had by all. A big thank you to Richard Brown for setting up the tournament. He did a great job. Thanks also to Fay Mills for planning the refreshments. Thanks to Diane and Rich Skrovan who were a big help and also took photos of the day and of the winners.

 All of our players from Crabtree prepared a nice lunch which everyone enjoyed. Thanks to all who took part in a truly fun day.


Dan Sturzenbecker and Debby Rea

Gary Skinner and Trish Snyder

Tommy Bray and Fran Jenkins

Others who attended:

Jerry Eamer and Lori Schommer

Adam Schroeder and Pat Rider

The Conway Recreation Center opened on September 1, 2011. David Williams, whom I’ve been working with for some time to get his Pickleball program started, invited Rich Skrovan and I for a tour. “Wow” what a huge center. They have 2 full size basketball courts, a 1/10th mile track over that, an Olympic size swimming pool and every workout piece of equipment you would want. Although he has put 3 Pickleball courts in already, he is willing to put in as many as needed. He has room for 6. He ordered USAPA nets and paddles.

Thank you to Rich and Diane Skrovan who helped me hold a clinic there on September 19th. We had 10 people attend. David is so eager to get Pickleball going that it makes me want to help him as much as I can. Right now Pickleball is played on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to Noon. If the interest is there the courts will be available 7 days a week. I will be going there on Fridays to teach newcomers till we find someone to take over. Although I will be driving 30 miles each way in order to help him, David is so eager to get Pickleball going that it makes me want to help him as much as I can.  We have also added the Conway Recreation Center, in Conway, SC to our places to play too. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

If you live here or are just visiting - come play at our new location in Clearwater, Fl

Below are some of the regular players at The Long Center in Clearwater, Fl.  It was just last April that Susan Forget, a snowbird from Ontario, Canada, with the help of some locals introduced pickleball to the area.

When Susan is not in Florida, Rose Craft (front row, right w/white top) is the lady in charge. The 3rd player from the left with a yellow shirt is Bob Cicetti, the generous volunteer beginner's trainer. These two kept the interest peaked during the summer with scheduled play every Saturday morning.  Now they have two courts and the center is willing to add more if necessary.

The Long Center is conveniently located close to US 19 and is a real fun place to play!!!

The Long Center
1501, N. Belcher Rd
Clearwater, Fl 33765
Phone : 727-793-2320

Actual schedule : Mon, Wed. and Thur. from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Cost per visit :
Free w/ Silver Sneakers
Free w/ Play Pass
$2 w /Rec Card
$2.50 No Card

"The group is growing and the more we advertising, the more players we will have. Pickleball is a fun game to play and good exercise for seniors. We want to promote the sport as much as we can.

It is peope like you who care about keeping seniors in shape and enjoy the sport, that will spread the word."

Pickleball addict
Susan Forget

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Atlantic South Well Represented at National Senior Games

The National Senior Games Championships (NSGA) Winter Games took place from September 28th through October 2nd, 2011, in Rochester, New York at the Gates Chili High School's Spartan Stadium.  Word on the street is that this was and absolutely fabulous state of the art facility. 

We extend a very special THANK YOU to all of our Atlantic South Players who made the trip to Rochester to experience this exciting event.  There may have been more......but we know we had representation from players who live or have ties to:  Naples/Cape Coral,  Ft. Myers, Bradenton, Sebring and The Villages, FL, Opelika, AL,  Flat Rock NC, Conway and North Myrtle Beach, SC.

Jerry Eamer (Conway, SC) shared these photos and  had the following to say about the games: "Was very pleased with how the games were run and how the local sports community worked with the local Pickleball group.  Dave Thomas and his staff did an outstanding job."

And we extend a special Atlantic  South CONGRATS! to our ASR medal winners!

Men's Singles
Duane Frego, Florida - 50-54 Gold
Robert Welter, Florida - 55-50 Silver
Paul Coletta, North Carolina - 60-64 Gold
Lyle Dumers, Florida  - 75+ Gold
Bob McClure, Florida - 75+ Silver

Men's Doubles
Duane Frego, Florida / Bert Wilson(NY) - 50-54 Gold
David Jordan (his mom lives in Fl !!) / Rob Welte, Florida - 55-59 Gold
Paul Coletta, North Carolina / Dough Radz (NY) - 60-64 Gold
Bob Huskey, Alabama / Gary Ball (MI) 60-64 Silver
Tom Burkhart (LA) / Lyle Dumers, Florida - 65-69 Bronze
Brett Carpenter (NY) / Patrick Hotchkiss, Florida - 70-74 Bronze
Bob McClure, Florida / Frederick Washburn (NY) - 75+ Bronze

Ladies' Doubles
Jan Konn, Florida / Nancy Meyer, Florida 50-54 Gold

Mixed Doules
Jan Konn, Florida / Duane Frego, Florida 50-54 Gold
Nancy Meyer,Florida / Rob Welter, Florida - 55-59, Gold
Susan Carson (TN) / Bob Huskey, Alabama - 55-59 Silver
Paul Coletta, North Carolina / Jan Pasternak (TX) -  55-59 Bronze

And here's a link to Cape-Coral Daily who thinks their  Sothwest Florida players are "golden"   

Indian Land, SC School Designates Pickleball Week

Submited by Frank Kinder
Ambassador, Indian Land, SC

Retired from a career in law enforcement USAPA member and pickleball enthusiast, Luis Lopez is also a volunteer mentor (tutor) for Indian Land Middle School (ILMS) students in Indian Land, SC. During his time at the school, Luis has constantly spoken about pickleball and how it would be a great avenue for the students to be actively involved in physical education. He was put in contact with Ms. Jessica Hardy, Physical Education Instructor. She and fellow Physical Education teacher, Kevin Mager expressed interest in implementing pickleball at ILMS.

After exchanging emails, Luis eagerly agreed to provide pickleball classes to the Middle School students. The teachers decided to designate the entire week of October 24th -28th, 2011 for pickleball. Two classes of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will meet every day for instruction. Luis invited Ms. Hardy and Mr. Mager to Sun City Carolina Lakes (SCCL) for a demonstration and instruction prior to the classes being held.

Several members of the SCCL Pickleball Club volunteered to help Luis with this special community outreach project. Thanks to a grant and donations from the SCCL Club, Luis was able to assist in acquiring much needed equipment for the school’s program. As a result of Luis’ passion for the game--and his persuasive persona--the school is now planning to implement pickleball on a regular basis as part of the physical education curriculum. Kudos, Luis!