Pickleball tourney set for Oct. 2-3Published 9:06am Wednesday, September 23, 2009
PORTAGE – The second-ever Pickleball Tournament in Kalamazoo County will be held on Oct. 2-3 at the Portage YMCA, 2900 W. Centre Avenue, in Portage.
This is a doubles-only event with age group options including 19+, 50+ and 65+ in men’s, women’s and mixed doubles.
The first tournament was held in May and brought in 61 players from 27 cities in Michigan and Ohio.
Because the upcoming tournament in October will be sanctioned by the United States of American Pickleball Association (USAPA), tournament organizers are hoping for even more competitors.
“Because this is a USAPA sanctioned event, winners will receive national ranking points as well as their medals,” said Melissa Muha, Tournament Director. “With a smaller court and a wiffleball that’s large and easy to see, Pickleball has been embraced most notably by the senior set nationwide – but it’s by no means a seniors-only endeavor. The game is actually fast-paced, fun and heart-healthy exercise for all ages.”
Pickleball is a mix of tennis, ping pong and badminton. It is played with a wiffleball and paddle, much like tennis, but with an underhand serve. The sport originated in Seattle, Washington in 1965 and got its name from its co-inventors’ cocker spaniel, Pickles – who apparently liked to join in the fun during their backyard games.
Bill Gates and his father, Bill Gates, Senior, are two of the country’s most famous pickleball players.
The public is encouraged to attend the October event and may even participate as a referee (where they will join local sports figures like Jack Vredevelt, former tennis coach at WMU). Referees call the game, record the score and settle disputes.
A referee training sessions has been schedule for Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at the Maple Street YMCA.
Because several men competitors are still seeking Mixed Double partners, tournament organizers are also putting out a call for women who might be interested in playing in the event.
Anyone interested in registering for the free training or women interested in tournament participation should call (269) 501-6436 or e-mail email@example.com.
For more information about the Pickleball tournament, visit www.where2pickle.com/DoublesTournament10-2009.ph. To learn more about the sport in general, visit the USAPA website at www.usapa.org.