Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pickleball Tournament at the Goose Creek Community Center

The Goose Creek (SC) Community Center will hold its first Pickleball Tournament on Thursday, April 28, 2016. There will be divisions for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players. This is a coed, double elimination tournament with random draw teams. You must register in advance: $10 for Goose Creek residents, $12 for non-residents. Visit, email, or call 843-569-4242 for more information.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pickleball getting new South County home

Published March 29, 2016 -

VENICE (FL) -- On any weekday morning, it might be hard to tell that Sarasota County has expanded its permanent pickleball courts at By-Pass Park.

With about 100 players regularly volleying or just queued up to get into the next game throughout the week, the six new permanent courts at the Foxworthy Campus in Venice are almost always full, says Jack Beck, an avid pickleballer and game organizer.

Beck and Sarasota County officials showcased the new courts in a special ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday, along with a demonstration of the increasingly popular racket sport that crosses full-scale tennis with ping pong for a fast-paced game that's attracting droves of retirees.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Alabama Senior Olympics registration deadline nears

Published March 25, 2016 -

The Alabama Senior Olympics brings together hundreds throughout the state to compete annually in more than a dozen events.

This year's competition will be held April 13 through May 4 in Birmingham, and is sponsored by St. Vincent’s Health System, the Homewood Parks and Recreation Department, Hoover Parks and Recreation Department, Trussville Parks and Recreation Department, UAB Recreation Center, Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau and Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports.

This year is a qualifying year in 19 sports to go to the U.S. National Senior Games, also to be held in Birmingham, June 2-15, 2017.

And the sport with the fastest growth? Pickleball.

CLICK HERE to read more.

US Open Pickleball Championships News Update

Published March 25, 2016 -

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

By-Pass Park to host grand opening for pickleball courts

Published March 24, 2016 -

SARASOTA COUNTY - Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources will host a grand opening celebration at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 29, for its newly designed outdoor pickleball courts at By-Pass Park in the Foxworthy Campus, 1101 Gulf Coast Blvd., Venice (FL).

This free event will showcase the six permanent pickleball courts and feature demonstrations from the Venice Pickleball Group, loaner paddles and balls for recreational play and light refreshments. The recognition ceremony will take place from 10-10:30 a.m., followed by open court time until noon.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mixed doubles take center stage

Published March 23, 2016 -

Pickleball, considered to be the nation’s fastest growing sport continues to attract new players, especially seniors, the target group of the Heartland Games. This year, pickleball drew the largest turnout of any event in the Heartland Games as it has in previous years. It was also the most popular sport at the 2015 Florida Senior Games.

The fact that the pickleball court is smaller than a tennis court, requiring much less running, isn’t the only reason for the sports phenomenal growth. The action is fast-paced and can consist of heavy hitting smashes or soft, controlled “dinking” where the players stay close to the net while dropping the ball just over the net. It is a great spectator sport as evidenced by the crowds watching the play in the Heartland Games pickleball tournament last Saturday and Sunday at the Sun ‘N Lake Racquet Club.

Pickleball has an appeal to both men and women and is a sport that couples can enjoy together. One third of the teams entered in the mixed doubles play were married couples.

CLICK HERE to read more.

By-Pass Park to host grand opening for pickleball courts

Published March 23, 2016 -

SARASOTA COUNTY - Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources will host a grand opening celebration at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 29, for its newly designed outdoor pickleball courts at By-Pass Park in the Foxworthy Campus, 1101 Gulf Coast Blvd., Venice (FL).

This free event will showcase the six permanent pickleball courts and feature demonstrations from the Venice Pickleball Group, loaner paddles and balls for recreational play and light refreshments. The recognition ceremony will take place from 10-10:30 a.m., followed by open court time until noon.  

This event is open to the public and a great opportunity to see this one-of-a-kind facility in Sarasota County and learn about this popular game.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Conway Recreation Center to host pickleball tournament this Saturday

Published March 10, 2016 -

It's a popular sport with a funny name and it's a growing trend along the Grand Strand.

The game is pickleball and it incorporates a court, paddles and a ball.

A mixed doubles tournament is being held in Conway (SC) this weekend at the Conway Recreation Center at 9 a.m.

The sport started four and a half years ago at the Conway Recreation Center, and popularity skyrocketed.

"Really in the last year, we've seen it grow to where we started with one court, now we have four courts at least five days a week," said Foster Hughes with Conway Parks and Recreation. "When people walk in they always ask, what is pickleball?"

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

U. S. Open Pickleball Championships – April 26 – May 1, 2016

Published March 9, 2016 -

First Ever US OPEN Pickleball Championships

The first ever U.S. Open Pickleball Championships begin April 26 through May 1st in Naples Florida. The US OPEN Pickleball Championships will not only have the most courts for one tournament with 48 courts, but it will also have the most players and spectators. According to Terri Graham, US OPEN Pickleball Championships founder, this tournament has more players registered than any other tournament in the history of the sport. With close to 800 registered players at this time, and still 5 weeks remaining to register, this is bound to be a historic event. It promises to display the finest players in the world before the largest crowds in the 700-seat ZING ZANG Championship court.

CBS Sports Network Coverage

CBS Sports Network will broadcast the Pro Doubles finals within 30 days after the actual event. With over 50 million subscribers, pickleball will be introduced to millions of people that will potentially become new players. The popularity of this sport is ready to explode and we are so excited to be a part of the growth process. Entertainment offerings abound, including the ZING ZANG challenge: two players hit as many balls back and forth as possible within a minute. There will also be a KID’S DAY on April 26th with 200 local elementary students and celebrities, a US OPEN VILLAGE where food and entertainment will be served, and an endless array of parties and music in the evenings. The US Open will be much more than a tournament; it will be a Pickleball Carnival!

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Registration underway for Fifth Annual Pickleball Slam

Published March 7, 2016 -

SARASOTA COUNTY - Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources is now accepting registrations for its Fifth Annual Pickleball Slam, which will take place March 23-25.

This year's tournament will take place at three locations to accommodate more players and skill levels. Competitions will be held on the outdoor courts at the Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 S. River Road, and the indoor courts at Arlington Park, 2650 Waldemere St., Sarasota, and Laurel Park, 509 Collins Road, Laurel.

The slam will be an open play tournament, double elimination, United States of America Pickleball Association rules. Players may compete in up to two events in the men's, women's or mixed double's divisions. Cost is $10 for first event, $5 for second event.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Minto Communities named title sponsor of inaugural US Open Pickleball Championships in Naples

Published 7, 2016 -

Minto Communities has been named title sponsor of the first ever US Open Pickleball Championships (USOPC) to be held in Naples, April 26 through May 1, 2016, at East Naples Community Park. More than 1,000 athletes are expected to compete for top prize money. The US Open Pickleball Championships will be held in Naples for the next three years with the goal to make it an ongoing annual event.

According to USOPC founder and President Terri Graham, “We are very excited that Minto has joined us as title sponsor. It is the perfect partnership as Minto’s target audience is our target audience. Sixty-eight percent of Pickleball players are over age 55 so there is a perfect correlation between our audience and Minto’s homebuyers.” Graham notes that organizers estimate that approximately 10,000 spectators will attend during the Championships dates.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Brunswick County loves Pickleball, Wilmington is catching on

Published March 2, 2016 -


The game of Pickleball has been around since 1965. It originated in Bainbridge Island, Washington when two men decided to use an old badminton court to get their families out of the house and give them something to do. They couldn't find badminton rackets so they improvised and used ping pong paddles with a perforated ball.

More than 350 people are members of the Brunswick Forest Pickleball club. They play on brand new pickleball courts in the community almost every day.
The courts are similar to tennis courts but they are much smaller in size. Don't be fooled, the game can be very challenging.

"They say you're not really supposed to be doing a lot of running. If you're really good you're supposed to be at the net doing this kind of thing (pivoting with the paddle) said Nancy Camden, pickleball player.

Pickleball is played with a smaller version of a wiffle ball and a paddle, NOT a racket.

CLICK HERE to read more.

More than 150 compete in pickleball mixed doubles

Published March 3, 2016 -

After great play in the men’s and women’s doubles competition, 79 mixed doubles teams took over Tanglewood’s courts on Saturday and Sunday in the fourth annual Winter Classic Pickleball Tournament. Competing in 12 separate age/ability classifications, the players provided some very exciting entertainment for the spectators.

In some events, such as the upcoming Heartland Games pickleball tournament, competition is based solely on age. In the Winter Classic, as with many other tournaments, both age and the player’s skill level are considered. Pickleballers are rated from 2.5 to 5.0. The ratings can be based on prior tournament experience or simply a self-rating comparing oneself to a chart of skills. More and more 2.5 level players are stepping forward to test their talent in tournaments each year. By doing so, they are able to improve their play and provide some very exciting matches.

As in the doubles competition, locals performed exceedingly well in mixed doubles play. June and John Sproule of Sebring Village took gold at the 2.5 level with Joanne Tripkovic and Larry Colley, also of Sebring Village, taking home silver in the same category.

In 3.0 play for those 50 to 59, Tanglewood’s Alisa and John Blackburn earned silver medals. There were so many 3.0 players in the 60 to 69 bracket that they had to be broken into two double elimination groupings. Group A was swept by Tanglewood players. Finishing on top were Sophie Stoneman and Doug Aman. Leslie Ellis and Dan Pilliterri came in second while Marilyn and Glenn Bradley placed third. The B group saw Darlene Powers of Lady Lake partner with Don Crone of Tanglewood to capture gold. The 70 plus age group saw Karen Hensel and John Sonafrank of Lakeside Village in Lake Placid head home with bronze medals.

Pickleball tends to be played by older athletes with tennis being favored by more youthful competitors. Occasionally, relative youngsters show up to compete in pickleball tournaments requiring wide ranging age brackets. Such was the case in the 3.5 classification where Tracy Smith and Aart DeVos of Tanglewood walked off with a bronze medal in the 19 to 59 year old category. Barb Danklefsen of Crystal Lake and John Prentice from Sebring Village took silver in the 60 to 69 year old 3.5 bracket while Betty Schleis and Tom Stadler paired up for bronze in the 70-and-over group.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Winter Classic Pickleball Tournament held

Published March 1, 2015 -

SEBRING — Tanglewood held its fourth annual Winter Classic Pickleball Tournament this past weekend, drawing players from such places as Fort Pierce, Okeechobee, Port St. Lucie, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, The Villages, Venice and Vero Beach, as well as Avon Park, Lake Placid and Sebring. The event was coordinated by Nancy Meyers of Pickleball Specialties. Tanglewood’s organizing team was chaired by Tom Stadler who oversaw a very large group of dedicated volunteers.

Competition was by age and ability level. The rating scale goes from 2.5 (relative beginner) to 5.0 (expert). The number of participants in a particular grouping determined whether it was a round-robin or a double-elimination competition.

Men’s and women’s doubles play took place on Friday. It was a chilly start to the day but warmed up to a very comfortable temperature for pickleball. The wind did affect games as it sometimes played havoc with the light plastic whiffle-type balls.

Men’s play saw locals sweep the combined 2.5/3.0 competition in the 50 to 59 age group with Larry Colley and John Sproule of Sebring Village taking gold, Joe Doyle and Walter Finhert of Tanglewood capturing silver, while Kevin Butler of Sebring and Don Boltz from Tanglewood combined for bronze. Butler demonstrated great dexterity playing in a wheelchair against his able-bodied competitors.

CLICK HERE to read more.