Monday, April 29, 2013

Mid-Carolina Senior Games

Submitted by Ryan Gordon, Cumberland County, NC

On Friday, April 26, 2013 Pickleball was held at the Hope Mills Recreation Center as part of the Mid-Carolina Senior Games. We had 31 participants participate in Pickleball this year. This was the first time Mid-Carolina Senior Games has offered Pickleball. All of our participants had a great time at this event. We did have a lot of spectators come by the gym and watch that day. I feel that we will have even more participants sign up next year. The Hope Mills Recreation Center offers Pickleball Tuesdays – 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Thursdays – 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., and Fridays – 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

CLICK HERE for more photos.

Mid-Carolina Senior Games Results

Pickleball-Mixed Doubles
Ages: 55-59

1st – Becky Hendrickson & Jonn Hendrickson
2nd – Carol L. Harpster & Rick B. Harpster
3rd – Terry B. Hendrickson & Donn F. Hendrickson

Ages: 60-64
1st – Trula D. Gray & David A. Gray

Ages: 65-69
1st – Colin Bolton & Olivia Watler

Ages: 70-74
1st – Steve L. Beck & Carol Zelsznik
2nd – Roosevelt Wright & Janice Wright

Ages: 80-84
1st – Reece A. Cain & Harriet Carter

Pickleball – Doubles
Ages: 55-59 Women

1st – Becky Hendrickson & Terry B. Hendrickson
2nd – Trula D. Gray & Susan C. Phillips

Ages 65-69 Women
1st – Carol Zelsznik & Olivia Watler

Ages: 55-59 Men
1st – Jonn Hendrickson & Jim E. Rhodes
2nd – Fairley J. Grimes & Jim Phillips
3rd – Michael A. Gonzales & Donn F. Hendrickson

Ages: 65-69 Men
1st – Steve L. Beck & Floyd “Wayne” Mayes
2nd – Colin Bolton & David A. Gray

Ages: 80-84 Men
1st – Reece A. Cain & Carlton L. Chase

Pickleball – Singles
Ages: 55-59 Women

1st – Becky Hendrickson
2nd – Terry B. Hendrickson
3rd – Susan C. Phillips

Ages: 60-64 Women
1st – Trula Gray

Ages: 70-74 Women
1st – Harriet Carter

Ages: 80-84 Women
1st – Julia Manigo

Ages: 55-59 Men
1st – Jonn Hendrickson
2nd – Donn F. Hendrickson
3rd – Neal J. Buchanan

Ages: 60-64 Men
1st – Jim Phillips

Ages: 65-69 Men
1st – Jim E. Rhodes
2nd – David A. Gray

Ages: 70-74 Men
1st - Steve L. Beck
2nd – Colin Bolton

Ages: 80-84 Men
1st – Reece A. Cain

Ages: 85-89 Men
1st – Carlton L. Chase

Making a racket for pickleball

Published April 28, 2013 -

Snowbird Michael Benrud is such a fan of pickleball that he played the game every day in central Florida this winter - and sometimes twice a day.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Enthusiasm over pickleball creates racket among fans
April 18, 2013

"Everybody I've talked to is trying to find another use for their courts," said Don Decker, Weston's park and recreation director. Weston included eight roller hockey rinks when its regional park opened in 2000. It has converted one to a skate park, but is debating what to do with the others, Decker said. Other municipalities, such as Davie, are considering adding turf for soccer fields. But the town also has painted three pickleball courts across a roller-hockey rink at one park.

Each state has at least one USA Pickleball Association "ambassador" -- an advocate -- to share information about games and lobby parks to get on board. Mitchell Ball, of Hallandale Beach, Fla., fell in love with the game during a visit to Central Florida and became one of 51 ambassadors in Florida.

 "My goal is to open a court a month," he said.


Friday, April 26, 2013

2013 Onslow County NC Senior Games Results

 Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Men’s Doubles:

1st Place – Rick Laskey/Glenn Wible

Women’s Doubles:

1st Place – Lucy Brooks/Joan Taylor
2nd Place – Connye Waite/Jean Bogardus
1st Place – Kashiwa Funk/Brenda Johnson

Mixed Doubles:

1st Place – Brenda Dail/Glenn Wible
1st Place – Joan Taylor/Rick Laskey
1st Place – Lee Branche/Brenda Johnson


Town of Davie Demo/Clinic

From Mitchell Ball, Ambassador, South Florida

The Town of Davie Demo/Clinic was a huge success. We had over 70 people. Town of Davie Pine Island Park now has 5 pickleball courts.  This is the largest Pickleball Facility in Broward County.

I want to thank Marty, Darren, Jeff, Dennis, Jan and Michael, and Pickles for their help in this great event.

Click here to view more photos.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Greater Greenville Senior Sports Classic

Greater Greenville Senior Sports Classic - Monday, April 15, 2013 - Gower Estates Park - Greenville, SC

The Annual Games are conducted by the Greenville County Recreation District (GRCD). This is the first year that Pickleball was was included as a competitive event. Gary and Kaye Allen of the Upstate Pickleball Group (UPG) organized and conducted the event and deserve a lot of credit for their hard work. They fielded all of the calls and emails from various participants, organized the 4 groupings, did the pairings and ran the event that went off without a major hitch.

There were 34 teams which included 42 players. Most players competed in two events. We had use of 5 courts. Registrants all received packets that included a T-shirt, a programs and other goodies. Below is a write-up that Gary Allen sent out to all UPGers.

Many thanks to all of you who helped make the Greenville County Senior Sports Classic Pickleball event a success, especially those who travelled great distances to compete. We had a great time and made many new friends. Hopefully, this tournament will act as a springboard for future Upstate pickleball get togethers.

A special thanks goes to Joni Dilworth and the Greenville County Recreation Department for all their help. The administrative support, drinks, food and loan of tables was much appreciated.


CLICK HERE to view photos.

Tournament Winners:
Men's Doubles
1st place: Frank Kinder/Greg Harabin - Sun City
2nd place: Bob Bringas/Frank Maguire - Sun City
3rd place: Steve Johnson/Don Daniels - UPG

Women's Doubles
1st place: Deb Richter/Rene Wilson - Connestee Falls
2nd place: Carol Gibson/Lynne Scoggins - UPG
3rd place: Marge Brockway/Karen Wolf - Connestee Falls

Mixed Doubles
1st place: Frank Kinder/Sharon Davis - Sun City
2nd place: Greg Harabin/Sharon MacKensie - Sun City
3rd place: Dick Stone/Nancy Lenkowski - Keowee Key

Novice/Intermediate Draw
1st place: Leslie Sprogis/Doug Crenshaw - Keowee Key
2nd place: Walt Jacobs/Pete Fallon - UPG
3rd place: Leslie Sprogis/Eric Sprogis - Keowee Key
4th place: Johnny Gibson/Sam Knowlton - UPG

Senior Games Kick Off Monday

Published April 21, 2013 -

More than 125 competitors are entered in the 30th edition of the Senior Games in the Pines that starts Monday.

The county-wide extravaganza offers competition for seniors 55-and-over for the next three weeks, with sports ranging from old favorites like golf, tennis, basketball, bowling, shuffleboard, bocce and softball to new additions like pickleball and cornhole.


Pickleball tournament coming to Hilton Head Island

Published April 20, 2013 -


The Hilton Head Island Recreation Center is hosting the island's first pickleball tournament this Friday and Saturday.

The doubles tournament has attracted nearly 50 players coming from as far away as New York and Florida. Men's and women's doubles will be played starting at 8:30 a.m. Friday. Mixed doubles will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded.


Meet Terry Wingate - New Ambassador for Sarasota, FL

Terry Wingate was born in Sarasota Florida and spends a few months each year in his mountain cottage near Sevierville, Tn. 

My game was golf, however, I'm totally hooked on Pickleball. What a great game for exercise and meeting new friends. I'm trying hard this summer to start night play in Sarasota to give folks that are still working a shot at this great game. Happy to be on the Ambassadors team to promote pickleball.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pickleball gaining in popularity at New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center

Published April 16, 2013 -

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pickleball is alive and well in New Port Richey.

The popular senior game that is well known throughout Arizona and other parts of Florida is steadily growing in popularity at the New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center. On an average day, the gym is packed with up to eight doubles teams battling it out in round-robin style format.

"It's a game that anyone who has played tennis, racquetball or badminton in their past can pick up very easily," pickleball league organizer John Hilliard said. "I found out about the sport on the Internet, played in a few tournaments and haven't stopped since. I think people like the competition, the exercise and the fun atmosphere of a pickleball game."


Monday, April 15, 2013

Submitted by:
Jayne Rogers
Ambassador - Naples, FL

Hi Jayne,

Wanted to thank you for the information you provided to assist in the securing of Pickleball Courts at our community.
We have one tennis court and as most tennis courts are today this was seeing little activity.  During the East Naples Pickleball Tournament in February, I invited two members of our community (both good tennis players) to see the game of Pickleball being played, to encourage them for support for the addition of two Pickleball courts.

After the tournament, I was asked to put a proposal together to present to the board at the annual HOA meeting.  This was on a Thursday, Sunday I gave a demonstration to twenty-three homeowners that immediately wanted to get the courts in place, as they wanted to begin to play.  The Board called a special meeting the following Thursday and passed a resolution to add one pickleball court (against my recommendation to add two).  The treasurer, a friend of mine, finds it hard to reach in the pockets….not a bad thing most of the time.

Well there are more ways than one to dink a shot.  At a community get together it so happened that the president of the HOA and his wife (avid tennis players) were at there.  A rumor got started, (how’d that happen?) that indicated it would be confusing on the tennis courts with Pickleball lines on one side of the net.  We now have two courts. 

This was a smart decision on our treasurers part, as my first introductory lesson we had 22 neighbors show up, our second session 23 and the talk of our small community, Pickleball is here to stay.  Not sure if we will get as big as the Villages, but I think The Sanctuary Pickleballers will be ready for Lakewood Country Club, Foxfire and Silver Lakes (all Naples communities) next season.

Thanks again for your help and dedication to this great sport!

Jim Ludwig
USAPA 8263

Meet Carol Fiore - New Ambassador

Please extend a warm welcome to Carol Fiore, new ambassador in Deland, FL.
About one year ago, I started playing pickleball. I love the game. It is fast and easy to learn. I started playing at Disney Tennis court in Deland, FL. I also started to play pickleball in Victoria Park, Deland, FL. This is where I live. I play Monday morning at Disney Tennis Courts, and Monday night ,Wednesday and Friday at Victoria Park. We have made so many friends and we look forward to play with them on their courts. Pelican Bay, Daytona Beach, FL is one of our favorite places to play. They are so friendly and just plain fun to play pickleball. I am now teaching new players at Disney Tennis Courts in Deland. In the fall, I am going to start setting up leagues for Victoria Park and Disney Tennis Courts. We are also going to sponsor some Round Robin Tournaments at Disney Tennis Center. So come join us for some pickleball fun!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pickleball by the Sea

Submitted by Ambassadors Verna Griffin and Sandy Hooker
Isle of Palms Park, Jacksonville, FL
Jarboe Park, Neptune Beach, FL
Facebook:  Pickleball by the Sea

April 8, 2013 - April showers no, but wind yes, was our challenge at the first Pickleball by the Sea Clinic. A total of 27 new players entered the courts to move through the different training stations and learn to play the game. The event was successful due a true group effort. A BIG THANK YOU goes to each of you who gave up your time to help others become pickled. The donations from the group ranged from ice, food, beverages, signs, setup, takedown, teaching, and more.

The donation jar brought in a little over $55.00. With monies collected from previous open play times we now have 2/3 of monies to purchase another net. Now that we have four courts at both Isle of Palms and Jarboe Park, we are in need of having the additional net. Donations $$ are voluntary, but ever so welcomed! Please note: at anytime someone wants to have a pickup game, the nets, balls and paddles are available to be loaned out. Contact me to make arrangements.
This morning after Dave and I marked off the courts at Isle of Palms Park, we both realized the temperature is getting warmer. We need to consider moving the play time to earlier on Saturday mornings. In addition, we need to converse about what time/day we want to play at Jarboe Park. Both topics will be discussed Thursday night at Jarboe Park and again Saturday at Isle of Palms prior to a decision of change is made.

Thursday, Jarboe Park, Neptune Beach 7-9pm

Saturday, Isle of Palm Park 9:30-11:30am

Now that we have become a stronger unit of players, it is time to rank ourselves. Please read over the attached guideline and rank yourself. We will use the ranking to help establish playing partners, court usage, and opponents. We will ask you to rank, then play, then re-rank. Ranking will change as you improve your game. It also provides you knowledge of what level you want to reach and still have fun.

A shirt logo for “Pickleball by the Sea” is being developed to embroider on a variety of shirts: t-shirts, polo shirts, and tank tops. The fabric will be a cotton blend or a wicking material. We might be able to offer visors and ball caps too. Cost is still to be established. More information forthcoming.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pickleball Introduced at Brunswick Senior Games

Submitted by
James (Marty) Smith
Ambassador- Leland-Brunswick County, NC

Here we are at the Senior games of Brunswick County.  We went down on April 2nd and chalked off the PB court for the start of the games on April 3rd.

The lady next to the man and torch opened the ceremonies at the age of 97. she carried the torch around the park.

There were 75 participants that day and all saw Pickleball being played . We started at 10;30 am and finished around 1:00 pm.  We had 20-25 different people taking turns playing.

Brunswick County is looking forward to having pickleball in next years games. We also made a few contacts throughout the county.   Our next demo is April 18th at Oak Island.    Watch for comments and pics!


Pickleball a Tangy New Sport in Boynton Beach

Published April 11, 2013 -

BOYNTON BEACH — “No,” Eileen Tuckman said to the other player. “You don’t hold your forehand like this. You hold your forehand like you’re shaking hands.”

Tuckman knows a little bit about rackets and balls. Now 62, she boasts 26 national singles and doubles racquetball titles from 1977 to 1997.

In 1997, Tuckman, a retired Delray Beach firefighter and emergency medical technician, found that her ability to play the sport she loved had fallen victim to rotator cuff issues. READ MORE...

Palm Beach County Pickleball

The Delray Beach/Boynton Beach pickleball group has welcomed many new faces over the past months during Tuesday and Thursday play at the Delray Beach Community Center and Saturday play at Caloosa Park in Boynton Beach. Some players are in Florida on vacation, while others live here year-round or during the winter season. Whoever shows up, we seem to make it work and have a good time. Diane and Pete Sepetanc, two veteran players from Canada, even introduced a way to rotate in players to maximize the mix of partners throughout the morning.

Ambassador Josh Kalin and Harriet Kalin
Coordinators extraordinaire who launched pickleball
in Palm Beach County
 Our group has introduced the game to beginners coming to the community center and to the park, and in an effort to spread the word about the sport, we’ve also conducted a “roadshow” demonstration at a tennis center in Boca Raton (which attracted 150 people!), at Valencia Isles and at Palm Greens. Hats off to Harriet Kalin and ambassador Josh Kalin, who have coordinated many details and operations of the various programs. In general, our experienced players have helped to educate newcomers at other locations as well. 

Thanks to the efforts of Eileen Tuckman and pickleball ambassador Bob Musella, Boynton Beach has agreed to sponsor pickleball on Monday and Friday mornings at the city’s community center. Play started there on March 11, and the gym accommodates three nets. On the first day, many new players arrived, and one court is dedicated to introducing novices to the sport. Ambassador Dick Freshley and his wife, Verna, played at the new location recently and were impressed with the facility.

Ambassador Bob Musella and Eileen Tuckman
Coordinators of play in Boynton Beach
A fun challenge match between Valencia Isles and the Delray group took place at Caloosa Park. Outdoor play has been tricky there because of the wind, but the day of the challenge the breeze was slight. Thanks to Eileen Tuckman, Bob Musella and Fred Markowitz for organizing and running the match! 

Our group is also working with the Palm Beach County recreation department on plans to open up more pickleball courts at Caloosa Park. An unused hockey rink would accommodate at least three more nets, and the county has asked the group to come up with a proposal about what is needed. As the game grows in popularity, it is important to have more courts.

Lastly, local newspapers have published several articles about pickleball, which has definitely helped to spread the word in Palm Beach County. Maybe the TV stations will show up next!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pickleball Event Attracts Players

Published April 10, 2013 -

- As pickleball continues to grow here in Highlands County, local pickleball players are looking for more opportunities to test their skills, meet new players and learn new techniques.

On Monday, the Tanglewood Pickleball Club invited players from Sebring Village, Sun ‘n Lake and Crystal Lake to join in a fun gathering referred to as the “Getting to Know You Gathering” where all 32 players had a chance to play six games each.


East Naples Tournament

Hi to all East Naples Tournament Participants,

Thanks to all of you who made our tournament a big success this past weekend. There was lots of great competition and camaraderie. It was thrilling to us to see all the first time tournament players participate. Congratulations to all of you!!
Our special thanks go to Greg Gott from Pickleball, Inc. who flew here from Seattle, Washington to be a part of our tournament. Not only did he bring the newest paddle VENOM to unveil at the tournament, he also surprised all of us with the special paddle that had our tournament logo. We were able to give 10 tournament paddles to 10 gold medal winners. This was a first for any tournament and we feel very honored that Pickleball, Inc. supported our tournament as the major sponsor and the tournament paddles.

CLICK HERE for the results for the tournament as listed on the USAPA site. You may access the photos from the tournament by CLICKING HERE.

We also would like to thank everyone who volunteered during the tournaments this season and all the referees who helped us out. Many of you gave your time and it was greatly appreciated!

Thank you again for participating in the tournament and we look forward to seeing all of you in tournaments next season.

Cindy and Nancy

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Demo/Clinic - Huge Success in Oakland Park

On Saturday, April 6th, FIFTY-FIVE people showed up at the Wimberly Athletics Complex in Oakland Park, FL where South Florida ambassador Mitch Ball was hosting a pickleball demo/clinic. Permanent lines have been painted converting the Hockey Rink at this Oakland Park to two pickleball courts. Also joining the group today to support the introduction of pickleball to Oakland park was former Congressman E. Clay Shaw. Both he and his wife took to the courts!

"Thank you to Barbie, Marty, Joel, Bob, Jeff and Glenna for all your
help to make this a huge success," says Mitch.

Joel Schaumberg is a Florida snowbird who plays and teaches pickleball regularly in Michigan. He came to help with the event and had the following to say: Great event, huge turn out, lost of new folks. Thank you, Mitchell. You hosted a wonderful event, and you do an amazing job representing pickleball .

Another pickleball demo/clinic is scheduled at Pine Island Park on April 25th, followed by Open Play. And the Town of Davie 1st Pickleball Tournament will take place on May 11, 2013, More information on these events and pickleball in South Florida Pickleball site.

CLICK HERE for more pictures of the Oakland Park demo/clinic.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pickleball Craze Is Sweeping State

Published April 8, 2013 - - Orlando, FL

Pete Patterson calls pickleball "a wonderful, positive addiction" — one that has many Florida seniors in its grip.

The 67-year-old Patterson teaches pickleball, a game similar to badminton that's popular with older people who are looking for something more exciting than shuffleboard. His students in Lake County usually experience some weight loss and an increase in endurance from playing pickleball. He noted one energetic pupil of his.


First Annual Silver Lakes/Lakewood Country Club Challenge

The First Annual Silver Lakes/Lakewood Country Club Challenge was held on March 27, 2013 at the Silver Lakes RV Resort and Golf Club located on Route 951 in Naples, FL. Thirty-two players competed in a special format arranged by Bob Helder and his wife Lynn. The games started as a round-robin for men and women separately and ended with a surprise twist of a mixed doubles event to compete for the travelling trophy. Special thanks to Jean Nevoraski, who hand crafted this incredible pickleball trophy that now resides in a prominent place in the Lakewood Country Club Fairway Room. Lakewood won the event by a narrow margin and now will get to keep the trophy at their club until next year when the teams vie again to take the prize home!

 The event was organized perfectly; the games kept going all afternoon and over 100 spectators were in attendance. Everyone had a great time.  The competition was at a high level and new friendships were formed. According to the "grapevine," both clubs are working hard to improve their games to be ready for next year!!

Senior Games Begin

Published April 6, 2013 - - Jacksonville, NC

Onslow Senior Games will host its annual event for active residents 55 and older beginning this week on Tuesday.

Pickle ball and table tennis games will take place at 9 and 10 a.m.Tuesday at Jacksonville Commons Recreation Center, followed by billiards on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the USO and bowling at Bowlarena at noon.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Acoustifence Reduces Pickleball Court Noise by More Than 50 Percent USA Pickleball Association Test Shows

Published April 4, 2013 - - Yuma, AZ

Acoustifence soundproofing material placed around a pickleball court reduced noise by 10-12 decibels in a sound meter test conducted by USA Pickleball Association president Bill Booth on April 17, 2012 at the Country Roads RV Village pickleball courts in Yuma, Ariz. This represents more than a 50 percent reduction in sound as perceived by the human ear the report concludes.

Even as one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States continues to gain new participants and fans every day, pickleball is disturbing some neighbors and communities who don’t want the courts around because paddle noise has become a nuisance issue for some people living close to the courts.


Pickleball Creates a Racket for Empty Roller Hockey Rinks

Published April 5, 2013 -

No one gets body-checked, and speedy skaters have been replaced by white-haired folks who often wear knee braces. But at least South Florida's roller-hockey rinks are seeing some action.

Pickleball, a game similar to badminton, is filling up the empty rinks that dot area parks.

CLICK HERE for full story and Video

Want to Try Pickleball?

Published April 5, 2013 -

Pickleball is similar to tennis but less strenuous:

The court is about one-third of the size of a tennis court, and players use sturdy wooden paddles to knock a plastic ball over a net.

Players must serve underhand, and the ball is allowed to bounce before players return it.

Demonstrations: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Wimberly Field, 3900 NE Third Ave., Oakland Park.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pickleball Players Find It's a Dilly of a Workout

Published April 4, 2013 -

Between his grunts of frustration, shouts of joy and sweat dripping off his forehead, you’d think John Croes had just finished a triathlon.

Instead, the New Hampshire snowbird living in Palm Bay was playing a friendly game of pickleball.

The game, with a sour-silly name, has become one of the fastest-growing recreational pick-up sports in the country — including Brevard’s Space Coast.

“It’s addicting. I drive 26 miles one-way to play,” said Croes, during his Wednesday evening match at the South Beach Community Center in South Melbourne Beach.


South Carolina Senior Sports Classic

The South Carolina Senior Sports Classic will be held at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, May 15-18, 2013. Pickleball Singles will be played on Friday, May 17, and Doubles will be played on Saturday, May 18. The registration deadline was April 1, however, South Carolina residents have until April 15 to register.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

1st Annual "Tribute To Pickles" Open Pickleball Tournament

Published March 26, 2013 -

New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center is accepting registration for its inaugural Tribute to Pickles Pickleball Tournament for ages 16 and up. The tournament begins at 10 a.m. April 13, and includes open format, doubles and mixed doubles. Registration deadline is April 11. The cost is $15 per player. For information, call (727) 841-4560, or visit the center to register.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Inaugural Hillsborough County Indoor Pickleball Championships

County to Host Pickleball Championships for Seniors
Published April 2, 2013 -

Pickleball, anyone?

The Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department will host the Hillsborough County Indoor Pickleball Championships Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the All People’s Life Center, 1605 W. Sligh Ave. in Tampa.

Pickleball is an increasingly popular racquet sport, which combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. The sport is played on a court with a net similar to a tennis net. Players use a hard paddle and a smaller version of a wiffle ball.

The cost is $10 for the first event; $15 for two events.

The deadline to register is Thursday, April 4.

New Ambassadors for Georgia

Please extend a warm Atlantic South welcome to our newest ambassadors, Steve and Pat Dunn, hailing from Cartersville, GA.

Steve and Pat have been playing pickleball since 2008 and have often assisted at clinics and demonstration across North Georgia to introduce the game at new locations. They are avid tournament players, having played in AZ. LA, IN, OH, TN and FL, proudly taking home many a medal to North Georgia.

Pat is a retired teacher who does a great job of describing the game to newcomers. Steve is retired from PepsiCo after 40 years in manufacturing, logistics and customer service.

A couple of states we traveled to had very active public courts going and that is what we hope to accomplish in Cartersville. The city recreation has three old tennis courts that they are willing to let us have for regular scheduled open play. There are some old tennis nets, but we need at least two portable nets to start with which will enable us to go to four courts and provides better nets. Eventually, we would like to see 10 courts at the facility which would be large enough to have a small tournament and will help gain a better awareness of our great sport.

Meet Mary Crusius - New Ambassador in NC

Please extend a warm welcome to Mary Crusius, our newest ambassador representing Pinehurst, NC. Mary will replace Steve and Jeanne Mager who will be relocating to Florida and will be reassigned to that area.

I feel so strongly about the many advantages and possibilities that Pickleball has to offer all ages that I try to spread the word wherever I go. I am a retired Dental Hygienist. I play tennis three times a week, play table tennis – won gold medals in both last year at the state level - tap dance, do volunteer reading for the blind (20 years). I only mention some of my activities to let you know that even though I will be 85, I am still alive and clicking (name of our tap group).

Pickleball was introduced to our area last summer and after hitting a couple of balls, I immediately fell in love with the sport and started spreading the word. I was so delighted when I was asked to replace the Magers as the ambassador in our area.

Last Fall, I started a Pickleball program at our Senior Enrichment Center in Carthage, NC. I conduct a two hour session weekly and am pleased to report that it continues to grow; new comers come every week to enjoy the sport.  
When I learned that Pickleball was not one of the events in our Senior State Games, I recommended and urged our board to list it on the local level hoping to be a part of our State Games next year. I am pleased to report that they took the suggestion and we hope to have a good group from Pinehurst at the upcoming games in Sand Hill this Spring. I have been trying to also introduce pickleball into our Southern Pines Recreation and Parks Program but am awaiting a grant to come through before I can go forward with this project. I want to convert a couple of our tennis courts into pickleball courts which would be free to the public. If successful, I will then try for a couple of indoor courts.

Ryan Gordon, Ambassador, Hope Mills has come over several time playing pickleball with us and thought it would be a great idea getting his players in Fayetteville together with our players, and Rick Laskey, Ambassador, Jacksonville has offered to come over and do a clinic for us.

In the meantime, I am forwarding some from our St Patrick’s Parade…

As you can see, some of the members decorated a clever pickleball golf cart and demonstrated some play along the parade route.

The parade was followed by an afternoon of pickleball play at our Pinehurst site.