Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pickleball for All Ages in Viera  - March 26, 2012

Viera, Florida - Pickleball is now being offered for players of all ages and skill levels at the Viera Regional Community Center so sign up now.

Pickleball games and instruction will be held from 3:00 pm to 4:45 pm Monday through Thursday. Cost is $2.
Equipment is provided through Brevard County Parks and Recreation.

The Viera Regional Community Center is located at 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.

For more information, call Viera Regional Community Center at (321) 433-4891.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Good Life Games - Pickleball in Seminole

Submitted by:
Kristyn Sabbag
Recreation Leader II, City of Seminole

Pictures compliments of Jim McAvaddy

"The City of Seminole was pleased to host the Annual Good Life Games at our Recreation Complex again. We had two fun filled days of intense play and long rallies, consisting of players from around the Tampa Bay Area, Anna Maria Island and as far as Canada, NY and PA!

The tournament went smoothly and ended with very tired players; you could say they got their pickleball fix for the week! We look forward to next year and hope more players will come out and play this fast paced game that has become very popular!"

Above are pictures of the game's Gold Medal Winners. 

CLICK HERE for the complete photo gallery.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tanglewood Players attend Pickleball Skills Clinics

On Saturday and Sunday March 24th and 25th, New Tampa Ambassador Rich Donald and Tanglewood's Linda Kramer conducted  pickleball clinics for the Tanglewood Pickleball Club members.   Nearly 40 players showed up over the two days to participate - some coming back the second day to make sure they didn't miss a thing!

Below are a few pictures of the players working hard to capture all the information being provided; the proper grip, court placement, ground stroke and volley techniques, lobs, line calling and tips on dinking/the soft game.

The participants spent a little time listening, a little time practicing and a little time asking questions and went home with a lot of information to help them improve their game.

The Tanglewood Pickleball Club is very proud of the level of play of many of their members, and does a great job finding ways to help their members improve and take their game to the next level.

   At the end of each day, all the players drew from the hat to see who would take home some additional training tools!   It was the ladies who took the prize this time!  Below Rich and Linda present players with Coach Mo's 21 Skills Clinic Video!    One of the best tools around for improving your level of play.

Pickleball Tournament - Indian Creek Resort

Submitted by:
Morris Wheat
Atlantic South Ambassador-at-Large

"We just finished a tournament here at Indian Creek Resort, Fort Myers Beach, Florida today March 24, 2012.   Had 19 teams of mixed doubles. Rick Stoecker was the director of tourney which was for residents of the Resort.   Played all games to 11 win by two and with teams playing best out of three games.   Tourney took a little over 4 hours as we have only two court at this time.  

Prior to play Sandy Griffin, our Committee President, honored our oldest player, John Geni, a WW II veteran (92),with a photo certificate and Resort Pickleball "T" Shirt.   This player had just mentioned the day before that he thought next year he would need a new paddle as the one he has is 8 years old.   You just got to love his enthusiasm and optimism.
The winners of the tourney were Andy VanVliet and Jeanne Blanchard. First runner up team Jim Ashley and Phyllis Reisgies. Second runner up team of Bruce Wade and Kathy McDonough.   All teams were picked by blind draw. These players are from all over the country and Canada who winter here in Fort Myers Beach. All the other players and spectators enjoyed watching some pretty intense Pickleball play on one of our warm sunny Florida days.

 This will be our last competition for the season. Our Group here in the Resort has grown over the last 8 years of play here in the Resort. There are now over 120 completive players and probably another 60 social players with new players coming on all the time. This next season the Sun Communities Indian Creek Resort is to have a third court ready for us with hope on the fourth court soon after that.

The number of players and the level of play here in the Resort has been great. This game is a specific draw of new residents to this Resort each year. Rumor has it that some pickleball players have  moved here from the Villages."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pickleball in Southwest Florida!

Submitted by:
Cindy Eddleman/Nancy Meyer
USAPA Ambassadors, Southwest Florida

Pickleball in Southwest Florida has EXPLODED!

"We recently did a clinic at Riverside RV Resort in Arcadia. They have a brand new Pickleball court and about 40-50 people eager to learn how to play. They started playing a couple of years ago in the parking lot and when the insurance company said they couldn't do that, the management built them a court.

We recently did two clinics at Heron's Glen in North Ft Myers. They have six tennis courts that they tape off each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. They have just petitioned the Community Association to be recognized as an official sport at Heron's Glen. They have about 40 regulars and 50-60 more waiting to learn this exciting new sport. They have asked us to come back!

I am sendig photos of the following clinics and communities that we have been to this past month. Paseo, Heritage Palms, Riverside RV Resort, East Naples Community Park,  and The Skatium in downtown Ft. Myers.

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We also did a presentation for the Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA).  This was an hour long class with the focus on how to market pickleball to your recreation center participants.  We used a power point and the USAPA video as well as "hands on" letting them hit a ball over a net that we set up.

And we recently met  with the City of Ft. Myers who contacted us after reading all the articles in the paper saying that Lee County needs more courts. They have a Skatium that will hold at least six courts. They taped a court and we took a net and paddles to see how the ball bounced on their floor. It is used as an indoor soccer field and roller hockey rink at various times during the week. They are going to open for Pickleball on Thursdays from 6:15 to 8:15 and Saturday morinings from 7:30 to 10 am.  If they have good response, they are willing to open it everyday for Pickleball."

This is just a couple of month's work for these two and all while they were spearheading the pickleball events for the Collier County, Lee County and Charlotte County Senior games.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Charlotte County Senior Games

The Charlotte County, Fit for Life Senior Games took place on March 16-18, 2012 at the South County Community Park in Punta Gorda, Fl.

The tournament, directed by Southwest Florida ambassadors, Nancy Meyer and Cindy Eddleman featured singles, doubles and mixed doubles competition.  This was a double elimination tournament played best two out of three games to 11 points in the winners bracket.  Matches in the back draw were played one game to 15 points. 

Results are posted on the USAPA Results Page
CLICK HERE for photo gallery.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Meet Bill and Karla Gerzcak

Bil and Karla Gerczak
Ambassadors - St. Pete Beach, Florida

We hail from Clarkston, Michigan.  About 4 years ago, the Senior Center in our area sponsored a pickleball demonstration put on by two ambassadors.  We absolutely loved it!    When we came down to Florida, we hooked up with Jim Wikoff and Carol Walker who were promoting pickleball at the St. Pete Beach Community Center.  We pitched in teaching people how to play and score.  The St. Petersburg Times did an article on  us on Sundaym January 17, 2010 and it put pickleball on the map at the St. Pete Beach Center.  We have enjoyed meeting new people and teaching the game we love.  It has been a natural progression for us to become ambassadors of the sport. We currently spend much of the year in S. Pasadaena, Fl .  Bill is retired from the took and die industry.  Karla is a retired special education teacher.  We enjoy traveling, tennis, swimming and of course pickleball.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some GREAT Pickleball Growth in Cary, NC and surrounding areas!!

Submitted by
Mike Walsh,
Ambassador, Cary, NC

February was a short month, but I do have several Pickleball events to report:

(1) The Briarcreek subdivision held their 2nd Friday night pizza/pickleball event, thanks to the efforts of Tricia Tumminello. They had a good turnout with several "new to pickleball" players. They held a 5-game round robin competition, ending with a 'Kings and Queens" final. The group has scheduled similar functions for March 23rd, April 13th, and May 11th.

 (2) Today I received a call back from the Raleigh-Wake Senior Games co-coordinator, indicating that he has scheduled me to lead a demo event on May 3rd from 12 noon until 2 PM. That should be a good launch for Pickleball to be scheduled in subsequent senior game competitions.

(3) On March 31st, our Cary group will host our first non-sanctioned tournament. This mixed doubles event is for the purpose of both skill development and expanding our knowledge of tournament planning and hosting. If all goes well, we will likely schedule a sanctioned tournament in the Fall.

(4) The homeowners board of the Weatherstone sub-division has endorsed Pickleball, and asked me to lead a demo event scheduled on their tennis courts on March 24th at 1PM.

 (5) Luis Vasquez  ( our newly appointed ambassador) has been spearheading the introduction of Pickleball at the Harrison Grande apartment/condo complex. He taped a court for outdoor play and has hosted introductory games, as well as passed out flyers to a high percentage of the residents.

My wife Lyn and I were in Florida for the month, so these next items pertain to our Pickleball activities there:
6) While playing at the Bonita Springs Community center, I informed Barb Wolf, a new player, that USAPA has ambassadors who are willing to help start Pickleball. Subsequently, she made contact with the ambassador in her area and will be starting Pickleball play in South Bend, IN, when she returns home.

(7) At the request of Bud Standler (Pres. of the homeowners board) and Pat Bradford (a Rochester mixed doubles silver medal winner), we staged a demo clinic at the Bridgewater Bay condo complex in Naples. Bud had constructed a court and he and Pat had several other members of their community there to learn and play.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Heartland Senior Games

The Heartland Senior Games took place on March 9 and 10 at the Tanglewood Pickleball Courts in Sebring, Fl.  Nearly 100 players arrived for a day of great fun and awesome competition.

 Friday featured the men's and women's doubles competition.

And Saturday - the mixed doubles.  Each match was best two out of three games to 11, win by 2 in the winners bracket and one game to 15 in the back draw.   Many of the games, especially some of the final matches were neck and neck to the finish and spectators cheered for their favorites.   

Special Thanks tournament director Patrick Hotchkiss and the Tanglewood Pickleball Club for a well run tournament, a day of great competition and super barbecue lunch!

Tournament winners will be posted on the USAPA results page.

CLICK HERE for more pictures in our Photo Gallery.
CLICK HERE for additional pictures provided by Tanglewood's Charles Kuehn..

Polk County Senior Games

This year Polk County celebrated their 20th Annual Senior Games.   Pickleball was hosted on March 6th and 7th at the Solivita Pickleball Courts in Poinciana, Fl. 

 The registration for these popular games increased over last year, so even with five courts, the competition  continued well into the evening hours.   Some of the very best players took to the courts for some very entertaining and competitive matches.

 The tournament included, doubles, mixed doubles and singles competition.

Special Thanks to the Solivita Smashers pickleball club for hosting the event,  tournament director Mike Holtzclaw and to Tyrone Pasquent for  all the great photos. 

Tournament Results will be posted on the USAPA results page.
You can Click Here to view the photo gallery.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Submitted by:
Morris Wheat
Ambassador - At- Large
Atlantic South Region

Our Resort (Indian Creek Resort) is owned by a company called Sun Communities. A good share of the properties acquired are affordable housing parks and the land is rented to the home owner. Our Resort is one of the more attractive properties of Sun Communities with a wealth of activities. It initially was a mobile home park n. As the years went by people liked it here and anchored down their trailers. The residents were and still are very active and Square dancing was a big draw to this park as the hall could accommodate 24 squares. Now the old trailers are being taken out and Mobile homes (double wides) of around 800 sq feet are being installed for sale and for rent. There still are a few RV sites left and these sites are a good way for the company to introduce people to the resort in hopes that they might buy or rent a unit and stay.

Indian Creek Resort (the name was changed from park)  is located at 17340 San Carlos Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, Florida 33931 and is managed by Kathy Claprood.   The resort has many facilities and they are constantly being maintained and improved. There are three pools one which is lighted. There are three different halls one with smaller rooms for various activities. There is an Activity Director that has responsibility to bring in shows and direct other big activities. A major portion of the activity work is done by resident volunteers.

The major sports activities are Tennis (5 Courts), shuffle board, Bocci Ball, Horse shoes, Pickleball (soon to be three courts), Radio controlled sail boat racing, table tennis, billiards (8 tables), exercise room, and Volley ball (3 courts).   Of course there is wood carving, quilting, sewing, many different card games and Mah Jongg. There is a library too. The residents of the park partake in many charitable programs and there are many fun events and dancing.   I may have over looked some things such as the weekly bike ride in the Resort where participation sometimes get up to over 230 riders. The weather usually is very good and this season it have been great. The population of the Resort during the season is around 3,400 although there are a number of residents that call this Resort home all year around.

Okay now to the subject of Pickleball. Pickleball started in the park back around 2005 using wooden paddles and a temporary net playing on a very unsafe concrete surface. A small group of players, having a keen interest in the sport, went to management asking for a place to play. The manager understood the need and declared one tennis court to be used in limited number of hours on three days of the week. Of course this did not please the tennis players as lines were painted on the court to make two Pickleball courts. This worked for two years but management fielded many complaints from tennis players and a resident that lived next to court 5. In 2007 this same small group of players, now called a committee, went to management to ask for real pickleball courts. Management agreed and for the 2008 season established a budgeted item for Pickleball courts. Two courts were built in 2008 by a company named NIDY. The courts were great but the problem was our group of players had grown substantially causing some problems of court utilization. It was evident that more courts were required. For the past 4 years the Pickleball committee has been busy trying to make the two courts work for all the players while asking management to add two more courts as the original plans indicated. There have been many persons that have come to this Resort primarily because we have Pickleball but find all the other activities rewarding too.

Pickleball today at this resort is very actively played by well over 120 players. We have internal Resort tourneys twice a month mixed doubles, men's doubles, women's doubles. We have been having a clinic put on by Randy Hall for our players improvement and knowledge on how to play. The courts are used from early morning each day until sundown. The present elected committee has made some changes in court usage and this season we have had very few confrontations by the players. The aspect of a third court next season may help in providing the time to play for many of the players as with only two courts the wait time can be quite long. To control "who is next to play" we have a rack to hang the paddles giving a bit of control. We do have some court times during the day where one court is reserved.

We have lessons for beginners two days each month. Class is limited due to lack of courts available to play on. If lights were added this would substantially improve playing time and extend the play into the cooler evening hours especially for the year around residents. The Resort is listed on the web site for places to play at Fort Myers Beach. Residents may invite guests to play Pickleball as long as the guests are registered at the Resort office.
Many of the resort's players participate in Senior games in our area. This past weekend the Lee County senior games were played at the Wa-ke Hatchee facility and a number of our Resort players won medals.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Register NOW for the Charlotte County Senior Games

Hi to all Pickleball Players!

Entry forms for the Charlotte County Senior Games must be postmarked by Saturday, March 10, 2012. You can download the registration form from our website,  or from right here on the Atlantic South Website.

If you would like to play, but don't have a partner, fill out the form and in the line naming your partner, put NEED PARTNER and put your skill level number beside it (1-5).

The tournament starts on Friday,March 16 with singles. On Saturday is men's and women's doubles and Sunday is mixed doubles. There will be 8 outdoor courts, separate check in times for men and women's doubles, a food vendor, and the Pickleball Specialties booth.

An update will be sent to all participants on Thursday,March 15 to inform you of any check in updates,rain info, etc. The event is being held at South Regional Park, 670 Cooper Street, Punta Gorda, fl. This tournament will not be a sanctioned event, so scorekeepers/refs will not be used.

We look forward to seeing all of you. Any questions, please call.

Nancy and Cindy

Sarasota Expo - Harbor Lakes RV Resort

As part of the 2012 Equity Life Style (ELS) Sarasota Expo, pickleball was played at the Harbor Lakes RV Resort in Port Charlotte, Fl. on Tuesday March 6th.

Park Manager, Kim Harper, with the help of resident Marty Keinhofer and local USAPA ambassadors Rich and Donna Donald took the lead role in organizing Harbor Lakes' first ever event as part of the  Sarasota Expo.   The park only has ONE pickleball court,  so the tennis court was converted to two pickleball courts for the day in order to accommodate the 40 players who registered to play.

In addition to the competitors from Harbor Lakes, players travelled from the Terra Ceia community in Palmetto, Fl, Bay Indies RV Resort in Venice, Fl and the Thousand Trails RV Preserve in Wauchula, Fl.   It was park vs park.......and after a brief welcome  the games were underway.

Below, the men take to the two converted courts for their round robin competition.  There were ten teams and each team played four games with conventional scoring to 11 points, win by two.  The four top teams played off to determine the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers.

The ladies played a  very fun "random draw" round robin.  Each player competed in four games of 15 point "rally scoring".   Mother Nature provided some pretty stiff winds today - so everyone had to be on their toes.

 Water, Sports Drinks and soda were provided for the players and a tented room was set up throughout the day for players to get out of the sun and enjoy their lunch.  Sandwiches, fruit,  fresh veggies, energy bars, and some really great desserts were on the menu and provided to all the players.

Hats and visors from Pickleball Paddles Plus were awarded to all of the winners along with Target Gift Certificates.  Key Chains, Stress Pickles and Pickle Pens were given to players as door prizes .

And your winners are:

Men's teams:

John Foard & Rene Meier  -  Peace River

Bob Drouin & Pop Demello -  Bay Indies

Gilbert Ladouceur & Jean Salvas -  Harbor Lakes

Women's Round Robin

 First  - Carla Foard - Peace River

Second Place  - Krystal Showalter - Peace River

Third Place - Donna Donald  - Peace River

Awards were also provided to the next three finishing players:

Fourth Place - Micheline DuBois

Fifth Place - Denise Ladouceur

 Sixth Place - Karen Wolf
Park Manager Kim Harper has never played pickleball, but today got to witness the competition and fun that pickleball players experience every day.  Players told her that next year the competition would include all the park managers!!!
The organizers and all the helpers from Harbor Lakes could not have done a better job providing the players with some great competition , some great food and some awesome prizes.  Hope we can make this an annual event!!

CLICK HERE for event pictures

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sun City Center, FL - Relay for Life

SCC Pickleball Relay for Life Cancer Fund Raiser

Submitted by:
Gary Nicolay
Sun City Center Pickleball Club President

A total of 38 teams participated in the various divisions of the Pickleball tournament staffed by volunteers from the SCC Pickleball Club, Volleyball Club, Master of Ceremonies John Sauber, two University of South Florida Medical Students, Relay for Life staffers, and Jordan Cook who did a fantastic job for the 50/50 drawings. Through the efforts of all of these volunteers, a total of $291.00 was raised for the Relay for Life Cancer Fund.

Everyone who attended or participated was treated to a day that featured weather that was picture perfect, top notch action that was non-stop, delicious hamburgers and hotdogs supplied by Apollo Beach Meats and a tournament that was professionally run by our MC John Sauber.

Here are the results of the tournament:

Mens Doubles Open Division..............Kelly Emerson/Aaron Cook

Mens Doubles Amateur Division.........Chris Jacobs/Jim Kistler

Womens Doubles Open Division........Dede Montana/Diane Barnes

Womens Doubles Amateur Division...Judy Chordas/Kim Roush

Mixed Doubles Open Division............Sylvia Sjoberg/Stan Sjoberg

Mixed Doubles Master Division..........Bernice Dubro/Walt Prouty

Mixed Doubles Amateur Division........Kim Roush/Lou Klusty

Kids/Adult Division under 15..............Jordan Cook/James Mounts

Kids/Adult Division over 15................Shawn Palameri/Chris Jacobs

Singles Open Division........................Gary Nicolay

CLICK HERE for SCC Relay Photo Gallery

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pickleball at the Opelika Sportsplex

A pickleball demonstration was held in Opelika, Alabama at the Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatic Center on March 2, 2012.

Bob Huskey, USAPA Ambassador for Lee County, Alabama held the demonstration from 9:00am till 12:00pm. Many new people were present to see how the game of pliable is played. Several racquetball players mentioned that they liked the slower pace of the ball.

CLICK HERE for more photos.

Watch for more information from Bob on the upcoming tournament in Alabama.  Working with representatives of the Alabama Masters Games, the Alabama Senior Olympics Pickleball Tournament  is being planned for  May 19 and 20, 2012 in Auburn, AL.   Additional information and Registration Forms will be available soon.

Pickleball Clinic at Spring Hill College

February 29, 2012 - Mobile, Alabama Ambassadors Jerry and Virginia Corker presented a Beginner's Pickleball Clinic organized by Intramurals Director Angel Grey of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.

12 enthusiastic students and faculty attended the 2-hour clinic and were playing competitive matches by the end of the day. Ms. Grey is interested in having more mini-clinics and getting more students and faculty playing this great sport.

Ms. Grey is second from the right and Jerry is on the far left in the group photo.

Lee County Senior Games

The Lee County Senior Games were held at the Wa-Ke-Hatchee Recreation Center in Ft. Myers, Florida on Friday, Saturday and Sunday February 24 -26, 2012.  The tournament drew about 100 players this year.   This was a USAPA Sanctioned Tournament - Tier 4.  

Tournament directors/organizers Nancy Meyer and Cindy Eddleman did an excellent job. Very well organized and very well run. 

The Singles competition took place on Friday evening - kicking off the three day event.  Saturday was the men's and ladies doubles.  Each match was best two out of three games played to 11 points- win by two.  The back draw was one game to 15 points.

And on Sunday players took to the six indoor courts for the mixed doubles competition.  
Fruit and beverages were available for all players, and hot dogs and pulled pork barbecue were available to purchase at lunch time.  A players lounge was set up for eating or resting between matches.   There was some great competition over the three days and we send a special thanks to all those who volunteered to referee the matches.  Great Job!

CLICK HERE to see the complete photo gallery.

RESULTS will be posted on the USAPA Results Page

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Macon County Die Hards Pickleball Tournament

Submitted by
Mike and Nancy Falkenstein
Ambassadors, Franklin, NC

The Macon County, NC, Pickleball Group held an "in-house" tournament February 27, 2012. It was the First Annual " Winter Die-Hards Pickleball Round Robin Tournament".....a celebration for all those who are full-time residents and play Pickleball all year long!

We have been fortunate to have a mild winter compared to the last several winters, but we all really enjoy our indoor-facilities at our National Guard Armory. We have 3 courts for play and for most of the winter we use all 3!

Larry Noyes organized and ran our "Winter Die Hards" Round Robin and it was great! We had 12 participants, paired randomly by picking numbers, and divided into two divisions.....all levels playing together. Each player played a total of 6 matches with different partners. Total games won, total points won, and the tie-breaker was total points lost....which as luck would have it, we needed to break a tie! The 1st and 2nd place winners in each division played one match to 7 points, and the winners of that match, played one match to 11. First Place Pickles went to Ron Schott and Nancy Falkenstein and Second Place Pickles went to Vince West and Mei Gooder. Vince has recently undergone a Kidney Transplant at Emory in Atlanta, receiving his wife Mary's kidney. We are all thrilled he is back at Pickleball and winning.

We are looking forward to our Senior Games which open April 23, 2012, and Pickleball is a "Fun Event". We, like others in North Carolina, hope that the State will soon sanction Pickleball as they did "Corn Hole" this year! We know several are working on this.

Our summer folks will soon be returning, and we will be moving outside to our 2 dedicated Pickleball courts at Macon County Rec Park. The outside game is different from indoor Pickleball and we all look forward to that! We often have as many as 30+ folks in the summer, while our winter group is about 12 to 15. We continually recruit new folks and are pleased to report we introduced John Miele of Sylva, NC, to the game recently. He comes to Franklin regularly to play tennis; we found him on a "rain day" and he joined us. He will be good player and we hope he keeps coming!

We are happy to learn that one of our own summer players has recently become and Ambassador and is getting the game going in Pensacola, Florida! It keeps on growing!

Pictures from the tournament have been added to the Franklin NC photo gallery.  CLICK HERE