Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall Piedmont Plus Senior Games

Submitted by
Laura Patterson
Ambassador, Winston-Salem,  NC

It seems just yesterday when we were getting ready for our Spring Piedmont Plus Senior Games. The coordinator for our Piedmont Plus Senior Games thought it would be a good idea to have a mini Fall Senior Games. He brought the idea to the Senior Games Steering Committee and we all agreed that it would be a good idea. We chose the week of October 15th and included the following events: Shuffleboard, Bocce, Corn Hole Toss, Archery, Billards, Table Tennis, Badminton and of course Pickleball!

According to Chuck Vestal, Piedmont Plus Senior Games Coordinator, “The week may have started out a little soggy with the rain on Monday forcing Shuffleboard and Archery back, but we finished strong. We had 80 individual entries for the Games. The best attended event was Pickleball! The Winston-Salem Journal was on site to take photos which were posted on the next day in an article about the popularity of retiring to the Triad. Twenty-eight people came out for a good time with a mixed doubles competition. The Fall Senior Games served it’s purpose in that it brought out both new and familiar faces to fellowship and have fun participating in different games. It also got some energy behind a few of the events such as table tennis, badminton and archery”.

 Since this was just for fun and bragging rights, there were no medals presented to the winners. However, we did have a few drawings and some of the participants received tickets to Wake Forest basketball or football games and bowling passes to Creekside Bowling Alley.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pickleball Demo in McCormick, SC

Submitted by: Mike and Loretta Beckner, Ambassadors, Aiken, SC

On October 11th, four Aiken pickleball players, Maggie Ward, Dick Keeler, Mike and I, went to McCormick, Sc to the Savannah Lakes Village community to give a pickleball demo.

 Pam Royal, who is the Director of Recreation, called to see if we might be interested in doing this. There were 42 people who had signed up and it was an enthusiastic crowd! I gave a short talk on the history of pickleball, how the game is played, some of the rules, etc., and we followed this with questions/answers. Maggie, Dick, Mike and I then played a game to show the residents what pickleball in action looks like! Afterwards, we put paddles in the hands of those who wanted to try hitting balls, and there was good interest.

 I have since heard from Pam that Sally Perkins, one of the residents who had played pickleball years ago, is now giving group classes twice a week. Sixteen players have signed up for the classes. 

Eventually, we would like to visit each other's programs for some friendly competition.

Pickleball in Solivita

On October 27th & 28th, at our annual Halloween Tournament, the Solivita Smashers celebrated the life and loss of a member who was very instrumental in the formation of the club and a great friend to all. Carl Clous died of cancer this year and was remembered by his fellow club members and Carl also served as our representative to the USAPA.

"The 2012 Carl Clous Halloween Tournament" and "Team Smashers Kick-Off Celebration for the American Cancer Society's 2013 Relay for Life."   The Smashers also had a raffle for three quilts made from various Pickleball tournament shirts. The proceeds went towards a $750 scholarship for a needy student from our local high school.

A great two days of pickleball and fellowship was had by all.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Frostbite Sunday Pickleball and Chili Cookoff....

Submitted by Tom and Ann Earley......North GA, Pickleball Club

"It was a cold and windy night"...... Really!

That being said, we had 20+ Pickleball players on the courts and several spouses taking to the courts from the sidelines. Next week I think we will have several new players! The Morneau men gave everyone a tough match and Ke Kai Ruckstuhl came from Tennessee with an assortment of new and unique paddles for everyone to purchase.

After 2.5 hours of Pickleball, everyone warmed up in the heated stable with 17 pots of chili for the North Georgia Chili Cook-Off. With the following chili entries:Ruxes M meatless Chili (Ke Kai Ruckstuhl), Big Buck Chili (Donna & Greg Goodall), Chili Weather (Gabriele Miller), Willie's Chili (Bill & Dena Whatley), Chillicious Chili (Floyd Moody), Mom's Recipe Chili (Ken & Janice Riordon), Leggero Chili ( Dottie & Jim Frassetto), Kitchen Kickin Chili (Kathy Brown), Frankly My Dear (Tony & Debbie Franks), Hot Chic Chili (Cheryl & Bruce Kosin), North Meets South Chili (Jamie McDaniel & TC), Savanna St. Chili (Elizabeth Kelly), Chili O Chili (Regina & Don Lucas), Sit in the Creek Chili (Pat Denman), Chili Pavo (Jon Pyle), and Oktoberfest Chili (Sabine & Fabio Yeppes).
The $50.00 grand prize winner was "Big Buck Chili" by Donna Goodall. Other contributors were Mark Morneau with chips, Judy Vonesh with soft drinks, water, and beer, and Chuck & Linda Fahn with cornbread. Kathy Brown exhibited a small art show in the piano studio, everyone enjoyed tasting and eating, and today despite the cold temperature and gusty wind, there will be players back on the courts at 10 a.m. for more Pickleball! Thanks to all who came and participated! Brrrrr - back to the fireplace!

Ann &Tom Earley

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Interest sparked in Palm Beach County....

 Dick Freshley is one of our Palm Beach county ambassadors from Greenacres, and Josh Kalin recently joined him from west Delray Beach.  With their wives, the four  of them  are working to promote the game and generate interest.   One recent location where they introduced the game was at a community called Huntington Pointe, an active adult, private community in south Palm Beach County.  According to Dick, They (Josh and Harriet) are doing all the work to get Huntington Pointe going. Verna and I mostly just show up to play!

We had quite a crowd at our Saturday morning pickleball game at Huntington Pointe this morning. Eleven people, four who had never played before.  The 4 newcomers were just walking by and stopped to see what this strange activity was. We encouraged them to give it a try. Two were veteran tennis players and picked it up in a jiffy. Soon they were holding their own with us "pros."

Huntington Pointe has a large tennis complex with eight counts and one paddle  tennis court; almost perfect for pickleball. Width is 20' (just right) length is 46' close enough for beginners).   We put down a piece of blue masking tape for the non-volley line and we are good to go.   We used the paddle tennis court and two adjacent tennis courts.

I am going to invite our representative from Palm Beach County Parks and Rec, He has promised us some public courts when we get enough interested people. I think we are there now.   I'd sure prefer a public facility closer to West Palm. Indoors would be perfect too.  

But this is not the only location :  According to Josh and Harriett: We are trying to promote the game in individual communities amongst themselves. If this takes hold, perhaps there will be more Clubs interested in playing at various Clubs on a rotating basis or developing a public location in the Delray Beach area for everyone. We are in the process of scheduling a demonstration within our gated community. We'll see how it develops since we only have Har Tru tennis courts. We have set up our portable net on an unused street in a local park and have been introducing some friends to pickleball.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2012 Kissimmee-St. Cloud Pickleball Senior Games

Looks like the pickleball players at the 2012 Kissimmee- St. Cloud Senior Games are having a great time!!

The event was held in Solivita, located in Poinciana, FL on October 15 and 16. There were approximately 250 competitors from various parts in Florida, with the oldest being 86 year old Tom Hylas of Solivita.

Participants competed in Men's, Women's and Mixed Doubles, and also Single's play. The weather cooperated over the two days where we had typically sunny Florida days. 

Tom Leva, Pickleball Director


CLICK HERE for photo gallery.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beaufort-Jasper Active Adult Challenge begins Friday
Bluffton Today,
October 17, 2012

Frank Piscani has been competing in BJAAC for four years. Pickleball is Piscani’s choice of competition. He has won gold in his age division every year he has participated in BJAAC and hopes to continue winning.

 “We will see some tough competition in the age group again this year,” Piscani said.
Winston-Salem Journal
October 16, 2012
Winston-Salem ranks sixth in best places to retire
Tim Kute, a 67-year-old Winston-Salem resident, attempts to return the ball on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at the Gateway YWCA in Winston-Salem, N.C. Seniors gathered at the YWCA for the pickleball section of the Fall Senior Games. Pickleball is a game that is played on a badminton court with the new lowered to 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic baseball and wood or composite paddles. Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks is hosting the Fall Senior Games this week through October 19. Game events also include shuffleboard, cornhole, bocce and badminton, amongst a host of other sports.

Mobile, AL Ambassador, Virginia Corker (far left) sent along this great photo.   Always with a paddle and ready to she travels through TX.

"A few great ladies I played with at The Summit at Central Park in Grand Prairie, TX" 
Popularity of Pickleball on rise in Greenville
Oct. 18,2012

Parks and recreation officials said the program is getting so popular that they're in the planning stages on starting a league.

....... "That was another pleasant surprise that we had folks, 20s and up, coming out and playing," said Davis. "It's a great way for senior adults to get active, but if we have younger people playing, we want them to come play too."

...... "It's fast, it's competitive, it's also fun. you also get to play with all these people."

....Players interested in taking up Pickleball can try it free for their first visit.....The group meets every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until noon at Gower Park in Greenville until Nov. 24.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pickleball Club Raises Money for Veterans

CHARLOTTE, NC: The Sun City Carolina Lakes Pickleball Club is heading to the court for a great cause. They're holding a pickleball tournament on October 26 and 27 that benefits Hope for the Warriors. Fox News Rising's Terrance Bates learns more about pickleball and this tournament from organizers Sue & Rick Lambert. (FOX NEWS CHARLOTTE, NC - OCT. 16, 2012)

Pickleball at the 2012 Tampa Bay Senior Games

Enjoy this great video of the Tampa Bay Senior Games Pickleball Event

October 2012

Sun City Center Pickleball Courts

Naratted by Joe Soletti, Recreation Specialist with the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation.


CLICK HERE for the tournament winners. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sun City Carolina Lakes Pickleball Club Hosts 24 Hours of Fun to Benefit Veterans

Submitted by
Jane Harvey, Ambassador
Indian Land, SC

On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6, the  Sun City Carolina Lakes (SCCL)  Pickleball Club held a 24 Hour Fund Raising Marathon. Two members of the Club, which is  hosting a tournament later this month to raise funds for Hope For The Warriors®, came up with the idea to raise some extra cash. The result was a weekend of fun and fellowship and a significant head start on reaching the Club's fund raising goal of $10,000.

The plan was to have participants keep pickleballs in play, non-stop, for 24 hours. People readily agreed to pay to play and signed-up for 2 hour time slots to be sure there were no gaps in marathon play. All of the available time slots were filled, and, incredibly, the 2-4 AM slot filled first! A total of 119 participants joined in.

The marathon began with an opening ceremony and tribute to our member veterans. The courts were decorated with flags from each branch of the military and red, white and blue bunting. Veterans, only, played in the first time slot. During open play, beginners were encouraged join the fun, and more seasoned players volunteered to mentor them.

The marathon planners had realized folks could not play on the official community courts after 10 PM, because the pop, pop, pop of the picklballs (music to OUR ears), might not be appreciated by all our residents. The committed picklers figured the problem was solved when they obtained permission to set up temporary courts in a nearby shopping center.

The night owls found the shopping center lighting ideal for evening play. Folks came to cheer them on, including one fan dressed in her bathrobe. Then, at 12:30 AM, the parking lot lights timed out! The enthusiastic players kept on, however, using bystanders' car headlights. It became a challenge to keep one's eye on the ball with minimal lighting! Fortunately, the lights were eventually turned back on.  

A number of participants even caught 40 winks in one of the new cars on display from our sponsors. At 6:00 AM play moved back to the official courts, with veterans again playing in the final time slot to close out the event.

The Marathon was a lot of fun and many new players joined with the more seasoned ones to help with a great cause. The event generated lots of interest with folks from local TV channels 19 and CN2, and a reporter from the Gateway weekly newspaper, coming out to do stories. Entry fees, a raffle for a specialty paddle, and t-shirt and bag sales netted over $2000, launching the Club well on the way to their goal.

Myrtle Beach Players take pickleball to Jekyll Island

My wife gave me a 68th birthday party on August 16 with a pickleball cake and covered dish. 20 friends gathered at our clubhouse to eat and play pickleball. We had delicious food and played pickleball under the lights. We had a great time!

My wife and I are frequent visitors to Jekyll Island State park in Ga. While there in June, we met the tennis pro at the local tennis center. We had stopped by to see if they had courts for pickleball. Of course they did not know about pickleball. After conversations we all went outside and Pete, the pro, measured off one of the courts and we began to play. Some of the tennis players came over and we taught them the game. We made plans to go back to the center in September and teach some pickleball to whoever wanted to learn. 

Ten Myrtlle Beach players left for Jekyll Island and stayed in a beach cottage for 4 days. We showed up on Friday morning to very warm conditions. We taught only a few. The weather was intense and no one showed up.  However, on Saturday morning, we taught a few more people AND  a group of kids stopped by. They had a great time learning the game. We have been ask to come back again to show the seniors who stay for the winter months. 

Some of our group got to play a little tennis also and we all played pickleball. Unfortunately the tennis courts are clay.  While playing on clay courts is not my most favorite, it is however nice to know when I visit the island, they will mark off the courts for me or anyone who would like to play some pickleball.  Its certainly better than no pickleball at all. The ball does not bounce as well of course, as playing on basketball courts, or tennis courts with blacktop.

We all had a great time visiting the historical district, as many of the players had never been to the island before. We had some really good food, played some cards and just enjoyed the beach. To any one visiting the island in the future,stop by the tennis center and meet Pete Poole the tennis pro. He will be more than happy to mark a court for you. Jekyll Island now knows about Pickleball! 

On September 16, I gathered about 16 pickleball players at the Carolina Ridge community, where I live, and had an early morning play. We had a great time. We ended up playing almost 4 hours. We had doughnuts and drinks and a few gathered stayed for lunch. Everyone is wanting to do this again. I will try and have a play every other Sunday. 

That's all for now from Rich Skovran in Myrtle Beach. See you next month!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Submitted by Louann Dubendorf
Kings Point Pickleball League
Sun City Center, Fl. 

Kings Point Pickleball gave a first-rate showing at the Tampa Bay Senior Games. Thirty of the two hundred registered pickleball players call Kings Point home.  Twenty two hard earned medals were accumulated by the Kings Point Pickleball contestants.

The Kings Point Pickleball community of players, friends, and spectators, along with previously as well as newly acquired tournament friends of other communities, cheered each team on and joined in on the camaraderie of the two days of play.   Hillsborough county organizers, as always, did an outstanding job providing donuts, ice chilled water, lunch and a very efficiently run schedule that included 200 players in the women’s, men’s and/or mixed doubles divisions that were arranged to play on the 5 Sun City Center’s pickleball courts.

A special thanks from Kings Point to Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation staff and to all players, friends and spectators for making this year’s Tampa Bay Pickleball Senior Games one of the most fun filled, competitive and enjoyable times.

Kings Point Pickleball community  players par taking  in the Senior Tampa Games included: Mary Arpia, Carol Cuthbertson, Shirley Bucci, Nancy Gonzales, Pat Kuzmik, Karen Crippen, Jane Meyhew, Nadine Powers, Connie Kehl, Kathy Johnson, Sharlene Peter,  Louann Dubendorf,  Bob Jones, John Robek, Dan Laloggi, Tom Cuthbertson, Lewis Lange, Pedro Arevalo, Artie Chivers, Colin Meertens, Walter Keuhn, John Madaloni, Robert Markman,
Tom Nolan, Paul Bures, Vinny Quintalino, Jack Marinchek, Paul  Watrol and John  Madaloni.

Kings Point Pickleball contestant medal winners are:

Nadine Powers& Connie Kehl-Silver
Nancy Gonzales & Karen Crippen-Silver
Carol  Cuthbertson & Jane Mayhew-Bronze

Vinny Quintalino & Jack Marinchek-Gold
Bob Jones  & Paul Bures-Silver
Pedro Arevalo &Artie Chivers-Bronze
Tom Cuthbertson &Walter Kuehn-Bronze
John Madaloni & Colin Meertens-Bronze

Mary Arpia  & Vinny Quintalino -Gold
Bob Jones  & Louann Dubendorf-Silver
Nancy Gonzales & Paul Bures- Bronze

CLICK HERE for ALL Results

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

SW Florida Ambassadors Responsible for Milestone -

USAPA Member Milestone… 
Congratulations to our 4000th USAPA Member, Anita Epperly of Michigan 
Submitted by Nancy Jordan, USAPA Membership Chair
(from the October USAPA e-newsletter)

 In late August, Anita Epperly became a very lucky gal. With the submission of her membership, Anita became our lucky 4000th member. The USAPA Board would like to congratulate her and wish her many, many more happy years of playing pickleball. Anita and the person most responsible for her increasing interest in pickleball will each receive a one year's extension of their membership plus a new shirt, rulebook and decal. Anita has designated Nancy Meyer from Fla.  ( pictured standing below with Cindy Eddleman).  Anita's story is another example of a former college athlete with two bad knees and a lot of pain. Now that she has two new knees she can play a sport that she loves – pickleball – without pain, and be competitive. Here is Anita’s story in her own words:

I am 52 years old and currently teach middle school in Michigan, as well as coach volleyball, and can't wait to retire so I can play pickleball year round. I was introduced to pickleball about eight years ago on a visit to Ft. Myers over spring break, but didn’t play again for a year. I thoroughly enjoyed the sport, but there was no place to play near my home, so I just played on spring break every year. In 2010, I started going down to Fla. three times a year and was able to play more frequently. I have fallen in love with this game. With Nancy Meyer’s encouragement I bought a portable net and introduced a couple of colleagues to the game. We put the net up in the gym at my school and play when we can. Last May I had double knee replacements and couldn't play until Christmas, and when I was finally on the court, you couldn't get me off. To be playing again and in no pain was the best.

This spring I began competing in pickleball. My partner, Cindy Eddleman,  and I didn't medal, but a month or so later we played in the tournament in Royal Oak, Mich., and won a bronze medal in women's doubles 3.5 and my male partner and I won the mixed doubles on the same weekend. It was the best weekend and I am so hooked on this sport and impressed with the people involved. Cindy told me about all the benefits of joining USAPA, but I put it off for several days. It must have been fate that I became the 4,000th member. Until I retire I will play when and wherever I can and count down the days until my next pickleball encounter.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Celebrating 10 Years - "Smile if you Love Pickleball Week"


2012 marks the 10TH year Pickleball has been played in Kings Point.  Many players have happily stepped onto the Kings Point Pickleball courts to learn, enjoy and practice, practice, practice our great game. Luckily there is no known cure for Pickleball addiction.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary, “SMILE IF YOU LOVE PICKLEBALL WEEK” will begin on December 10th and will include the following activities:

Monday-Donuts, pickles and smiles breakfast

Tuesday-Dinking/soft shot contests

Wednesday-Ladies’ round robin

Thursday-Men’s round robin

Friday-Pickleball trivia/rules review

Saturday-Winter in Paradise Wing Ding and Time Capsule Burial.

The time capsule burial will take place at the Pickleball courts area. Cards will be available during the week (for a small fee to cover costs) so folks may jot down a message they would like to place in the time capsule that will be opened in 10 years. A “BEST PICKLEBALL ADVICE 2012” banner that shall be placed in the capsule will be located at the courts during the week for players to sign, giving their best advice to current and future players.

Let’s all have a great time celebrating 10 years of Pickleball at Kings Point