For the second time my wife Janice and I made the trip west to Arizona. The long flight, travel, rental car, hotel... but all the work was worth it. The USAPA Nationals tournament is simply the best there is. Despite a day of rain and some wind, it ran perfectly. The level of play was just outstanding. When I was not playing, I had so many great matches to watch. I only wish I had 10 sets of eyes to watch them all. I really enjoy the feeling of comradeship that develops over the week we spend in that beautiful desert setting. People that I had not met on Monday were friends by Friday. And getting to watch those young kids (19 to 49) run and jump and hit and yell was a real treat. To sum it up, the USAPA National Pickleball Tournament just cannot be beat."
Jim, from The Villages in central Florida, played Men’s Doubles 65+ (Gold medal) and Mixed Doubles 60+
"2011 was my third Nationals and it just keeps getting better each year. I am always amazed that more players don't make this event a priority. What other sport can you go and watch and play against the best players in the world? Every year my game has improved just by watching and talking with these top players. These cream-of-the-crop players are so diehard that most evenings after already playing for 8 hours, they go play at other local venues.
The highlight of this year’s Nationals for me was not the winning a medal, but getting invited to go and play with/against these top players after hours."
Jeff, from The Villages in central Florida., played Men’s Doubles 55+ (Bronze medal), Men’s Singles 65+, Mixed Doubles 55+, Open Men’s Doubles and Open Mixed Doubles.
"This was my third year at Nationals and I think this was the best one yet. We stayed in the Del Webb Vacation Villas and that was a real treat; it was good to be so close to the courts. I only made it through two rounds in mixed doubles, but missed the medal round by one match in women's doubles. In addition to playing, the highlight of the tournament for me was being able to help out by serving as a line judge for several matches. It's a great way to see and learn from some of the best players in the game! I enjoyed my experience again this year and am very much looking forward to playing in next year's National tournament."
Laura, USAPA Board Secretary from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, played Women’s Doubles 55+ and Mixed Doubles 55+