Friday, August 28, 2015

In a Pickle: Inaugural Emerald Coast Pickleball Championships

Published August 28, 2015 -

Four courts have been set up inside of the Life Center at Destin United Methodist Church. The courts mark the playing grounds for the inaugural Emerald Coast Pickleball Championships hosted by the Emerald Coast Pickleball Club.

Thursday was opening day for the competition and saw seventy-seven participants register for the three-day event.

“We have a lot of people that travel through the area that stop and play,” said Emerald Coast Pickleball Club President Karen Parrish. “For this tournament we have people from five different states; Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.”

Although the largest demographic in the room were middle-aged adults, Parrish explained that she is hoping to draw younger players to the sport with events like this tournament.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

2015 Greensboro Summer Pickleball Classic

Published August 25, 2015 -

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It's a little ping pong, a little badminton and a whole lot of fun rolled into one! And you might be surprised to know, Greensboro has it's own Summer Pickleball Classic.

The sport features two, three, or four players using solid paddles made of wood to hit a wiffle ball, over a net. Like other raquet sports, pickleball shares the dimensions and layout of a badminton court, and a net and rules similar to tennis, with a few modifications.

Pickleball was invented in the mid 1965 as a children's backyard pastime but quickly became popular among adults as a fun game for players of all levels. This week, the city of Greensboro will celebrate the 50th anniversary with it's second annual tournament.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pickleball popularity gaining steam with all ages in Cape Coral

Published August 25, 2015 -
Their sport has a funny name and has a rep as an old person’s sport, but players young and old at Cape Coral Wellness Center aren’t letting that restrain their enthusiasm for Pickleball.

Playing on a regular basis in the center’s gym, they could very well put Cape Coral on the USA Pickleball Association’s map of places to play in Florida. There are 276 locations in Florida with an estimated 18,254 players, according to the association, which is a nonprofit based in Surprise, Ariz.

The Wellness Center began making time for Pickleball about six months ago, according to wellness center spokeswoman Kathleen Velez. Player Mike Welter asked for the program and after checking out the costs it was decided to make time and equipment available.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Ambassadors in the Atlantic South Region

Congratulations and Welcome:
  • Fernando Blanco – Arecibo, PR
  • Donna Varkonyi – Wimauma, FL
  • Fred Bode – Bonita Springs, FL
  • Dolores Mangels – Jacksonville, FL
  • Paul Aaron – Hendersonville, NC
  • Michele Puchala – Lake Lure, NC

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pickleball comes to Clermont Arts & Recreation Center (FL)

Published August 12, 2015 -

CLERMONT — Pickleball enthusiasts — and those looking to try out the popular sport — have a new venue to slap around the hollow plastic balls.

Pickleball will be offered starting Aug. 24 at the Clermont Arts & Recreation Center. Those curious about the sport are encouraged to attend a free demonstration from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday.

Once regular play begins, hours will be 10 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Cost to play is $2 and includes equipment. Players who have their own equipment are welcome to use it.

"We know that the game is already being enjoyed in some of our 55+ communities, such as Kings Ridge," facility manager Suzanne O'Shea said in a statement. "Now we can offer an indoor, air-conditioned facility and bring it to new and veteran players, regardless of age."

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, August 7, 2015

RELISH THE MOMENT: Auburn pickleball icon captures National Indoor gold

Published August 7, 2015 -

Nothing goes together like Cherrys and pickles.

Sixty-six-year-old Cherry DuLaney, Auburn’s unofficial ambassador of pickleball, recently returned from the U.S.A. Pickleball Association National Indoor Championships in Rochester, New York, with enough hardware to bend her neck.

The outspoken athlete, considered responsible for most of Auburn’s pickleball resources, rallied to a second place finish in her singles age division. She also won a national title with Placerville’s Mark Keith in the mixed doubles division.

It was a stunning feat for DuLaney, achieved in her first ever trek to a national championship event.

“My partner and I had played in the Bay Area senior games and took gold, so we were looking for an indoor tournament before nationals popped up on our radar,” DuLaney said. “It’s been blast, way more fun than any other sport I have ever played.”

CLICK HERE to read more.

Dog Days of Summer!

Submitted by Ann Earley, Ambassador, North Georgia Pickleball Club

It has been a hot and humid summer in north Georgia. Nevertheless, the North Georgia Pickleball Club has had excellent play and our players have enjoyed a dip in the pool occasionally after playing 3+ hours in the morning! Players have also enjoyed cantaloupe, eggplant, cucumbers, and tomatoes from our garden and we hope to continue feeding our players through the fall garden project!

Tom Earley held a strategy and technique clinic for our players and hopefully will hold another similar clinic in October. This month we also held our last referee class and now have top quality referees to work in upcoming fall tournaments and simply be more aware on the courts of all rules. 

We were very happy to have several visitors over the summer – Kathy and Gary Baker from St. George, Utah, and Vivian and Edwards from Colorado most recently.
Please put down the dates of September 25-27 as our 10th anniversary pick up all tournament. On Wednesday, September 23, Rodney Grubbs of Pickleball Rocks will bring out several pickleball paddles to review and allow our players to sample. Pickleball Rocks will also be a vendor at our tournament over the weekend. On Friday, September 25, we will have open play from 2 PM until 6:30 PM. If you aren't playing in the tournament, please join us to support our players and enjoy some top level play on Saturday and Sunday. If you get up early – 8:30 AM on Saturday – join us for a great opening ceremony featuring the local high school band, Junior ROTC, and local dignitaries. All entry fee proceeds will be donated to the Cherokee animal shelter and Sheriff Joe Arpaio's M*A*S*H unit.
Until further notice, we will play every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 9 AM until there are no more players on the courts – normally around 1 PM.

Hope to see you on our courts soon!



Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pickleball - Game of Emotions

Submitted by Robert Nibarger, Ambassador, Piedmont District North Carolina

There is one absolute truth about pickleball and that truth is that all players start out as beginners. Yes, not all beginners are created equal as some are former tennis players, former table tennis masters or former racquetball stars and so forth. On the other side of the coin, some folks have never played paddle sports. It really gets interesting for club organizers when the “kill or be killed” players meet up with social pickleball players. Both are equal and both can be challenges. What is social pickleball and what is competitive pickleball you ask? On the social side, these are folks who really don’t care if they win or lose or about their skill level. They just want to meet, exercise and visit with their friends.[1] On the “kill” side, “ how dare a 3.0 player join our game.”  “Don’t they know we are the advanced group and weaker players ruin our game”[2]. Fortunately, both groups can co-exist with proper planning. Let’s consider several options.

Option 1

During the first half hour of play, let’s have open play. Everyone plays with everyone and we are one happy group. Matches are only to 5 points to keep things churning. The advanced players will serve as mentors to beginners and to those players who want to improve their game. Note: Social players can opt out and play with their normal group if they so choose.

Option 2

Round Robins

For the next hour, assign random teams based on the order of sign-up and schedule matches of round robin play. Again, social players can opt out if they wish and play on the open court. You will need a court manager to keep things moving and keep time. I suggest you try this format at least once or maybe two times per week. On off days, continue to play in accordance with your club rules. This usually means players are assigned courts based on skills. Usually the play is divided into two groups.

Option 3

Skill play – players divide up into skill groups either based on club rules or self-evaluations. USAPA ratings, ladders and other techniques can assist with determining which skills should be matches.


We all began as beginners. Please be patient with the new folks, help them improve their game and always practice good sportsmanship. I guarantee you that your game will improve if you reach out and help others.

[1] This is in general terms with many exceptions.

[2] For illustration purposes only. Not all advanced players fall into this catagory.

Pickleball offers fitness, fun; appeals to wide range of ages

Published August 2, 2015 -

The No. 1 rule for playing pickleball is to have fun.

Also, do not question the legend of how the 50-year-old sport got its unusual name.

“The rumor, the cutest rumor, anyway, is that it is named after a cocker spaniel,” laughed Bob Hood, president of the Coosa Valley Pickleball Club.

The favorite tale is that when the game was started, a cocker spaniel named Pickles owned by one of the men chased the ball constantly.

“That isn’t actually true,” admitted Hood. “But we’re going with that version.”

The sport is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong. It is played with paddles, a short, modified tennis net and a plastic ball. It can be played indoors and outdoors and by a wide range of ages.

“We have players ranging in age from 8 to 82,” Hood said.

Pickleball got started in Rome in January, he added.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Published July 31, 2015 -

The Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center has recently added Pickleball to the line-up of fun things to do at Palmetto Dunes Resort (SC). Pickleball is a sport that combines the elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong. It is played with oversized ping pong paddles and a softball-sized plastic perforated ball that travels at about one-third the speed of a tennis ball. "It's a fun, easy sport that is great exercise, but doesn't require a lot of skill to be an enjoyable experience" says John Kerr, Director of Tennis at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center.

CLICK HERE to read more.