Top 10 Reasons to Tournament

Smile-Wallpaper-8Have you ever thought about participating in a tournament?

  • A club-sponsored tournament?
  • A destination tournament?
  • A friends-only round robin tournament?

While the first time you play in any tournament can be a bit scary, you’ll still come away smiling because it’s just so much fun and with new friends because everyone there loves pickleball as much as you do!




Top Ten Reasons to Go to a Pickleball Tournament
by Kathy Getto in May 2013

Recently I flew to Phoenix to play in a Pickleball tournament with my sister. This was the second tournament for each of us but our first tournament playing together.

We had a great time, and I thought some of you who have never been to a tournament would like to know a bit more about it.

Here are my top ten reasons you should go to a Pickleball tournament:

10. Make your kids listen to your sports stories.

For years, I have listened to my kids’ sports stories. Through high school and college, I was their biggest cheerleader. Now that they are out of school they are both weekend warriors, and I listen to and encourage them in their endeavors.

Now it’s my turn. I tell them about my playing: how I’m doing, what the scores were, etc. And, surprisingly, they actually listen and encourage me in my endeavors.

9. See how others play.

When you play with your local group, you’re doing just that–playing. And that’s a good thing. But in going to a Pickleball tournament, you’ll have lots of down time when you are not playing. This makes a great opportunity to watch others play.

One of the things I learned at the Phoenix tournament was the importance of using my wrists more, especially when I am late to make a shot. It’s very effective to flick my wrist to get the ball up and over the net as compared to trying to make the shot with a long follow through on my swing.

8. See how you play.

At the tournament, other players are quick to pick up on your weaknesses. While frustrating, this also helps you quickly see what you need to work on. In essence, you get to see how you play through your opponents’ eyes.

7. Compare with others within your age group.

Many tournaments offer competition within your own age group.You’ll be playing against players that are not as good as you as well as players that are much better than you. (Or at least that was the case with my sister and me.) When playing opponents with higher skill levels, you will have some very challenging games so you can see how much and where you can improve.

6. Compare with others in your skill level.

Other tournaments offer competition by skill level. When you first start playing at tournaments, it is difficult to assess what skill level you should be at. My advice is to ask others within your local group and then use USAPA Ratings to determine where you should be. When in doubt, go to the lower skill level. That’s what my sister and I did, and we were glad. Now that we have played at that lower level, we know exactly what we should play at for our next skill level competition.

5. Compare with others in your gender group.
When you play with your local group, you almost always play mixed doubles–men and women all mixed together. It was interesting to play with and against only women at the tournament. Men and women play very differently, and so playing in our gender group was an interesting change of pace.

4. Play on Pickleball dedicated courts.
I was surprised at how nice it was to play on courts that were for Pickleball only. It sounds strange, but it was so great not to have to look at any other lines on the court but Pickleball lines.

3. Gain some bragging rights.

Now I have something to talk about at cocktail parties. It’s fun to brag to others about my Pickleball participation. My husband has told our neighbors that we’re going on the Pickleball tour so that I can play in lots of different tournaments.

2. Develop a sense of belonging.
One of the fun things about playing in a tournament is that you realize that you are part of a bigger community. Sure, you have that when you play with your local group. But going to a tournament helps you see that the Pickleball community is thriving and that it’s here to stay.

1. Have some fun!
And the most important reason to play in Pickleball tournaments is that it’s just plain fun! Everyone is there to have a good time. Everyone is very helpful–especially to tournament first timers. Everyone is very nice. Everyone loves Pickleball just as much as you do!

How’d the Game Get its Name?

From the Pickleball Channel.

Pickleball is an unusual name for the sport we all love so we wanted to let some of the families who were actually there tell the story for themselves of how the game got its name. Travel with us now back to Bainbridge Island once again for this fun episode of Pickleball 411 and learn from founder Barney McCallum the story behind how the game got its name. Also hear first hand from Dick Brown, one of the four original men who helped develop the sport, and was actually in the room when they came up with the name pickleball. This is a fun look into a unique aspect of this exciting sport! If you’ve ever been asked why this game has such an unusual name, you won’t want to miss this episode!

Just in case you’re wondering, Pickleball Channel is aware of alternate theories as to how the game came to be named pickleball including the one where it was named after the pickle boats in rowing. In this video, we simply let the eyewitnesses themselves tell their story. We hope you find it as captivating as we did. At the end of the day, pickleball is a great sport that is full of heart, creates community and is a lot of fun. We are excited to help keep it growing!

Two Score…

Nearly two score (two x twenty = 40) members showed up on Thursday for the 5th free pickleball lesson!

What an amazing turnout, and they all learned new skills taught to them by Tim Gleason and Joel Shaber.

Here is a part of the group waiting to work on their next skill.


Instructors Tim and Joel demonstrating skills.


One of the drills include two dinks across the net followed by a shallow lob that was smashed!

Another drill included a ‘game’ of dinking within the kitchen for as long as possible.


Which was then followed by two dinks and then live play. 0827150926f

The great thing is that all of these drills can be incorporated into pre-play warm ups to get better and better. 🙂

A Different Game…

TA-Three local pickleball players recently proved that they are pretty good playing with a bigger “paddle” and on a bigger court, too!

Bill Light, Mike Mather, and Dick Johnson all medaled two weeks ago in pickleball in our Idaho Sr. Games (a Bronze for Bill, a Silver for Mike, and three Golds for Dick).

Then last weekend they also did quite well in a different game, proving that some of our pickleball players are pretty good tennis players, too!

TA-2The “Three Amigos” brought home the following medals for tennis in the Idaho Sr. Games:

Bill Light: Silver in Men’s Doubles
Mike Mather: Silver in Men’s Doubles
Dick Johnson: Golds in Singles, Men’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles.

Congratulations to one and all for a job well done!



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