March 2014  e-Newsletter 

In this issue...

From the Editors...

February is a short month, and with all the wonderful tournaments going on it has been a hectic one. However, this issue is not short of interesting articles. Mind Game offers insights into playing “in the zone” and the Fitness column provides tips for “turning back the clock.” You’ll also find information about qualifying for the 2015 National State Games of America National Tournament and the 2015 National Senior Games Association National event. And don’t miss the announcement of the location and dates of the 2014 USAPA National Tournament. For the number crunchers there are charts depicting USAPA’s 2013 financials and in preparation for next month’s newsletter we need your help in locating pickleball players 90 years or older. A lot of good information follows, so don’t miss a word.
    Your Editors, Lynn & Linda Laymon,

The Mind Game...
Playing in the Zone

By Harry Carpenter

There are days when an athlete performs at an unusually high level. Time seems to slow down and she is totally focused, oblivious to distractions. She is not “thinking” about her game, she is just “playing.” She is in a “zone.” In past articles I have advocated that an athlete performs best when she lets her subconscious mind dominate. The motor reflexes required for fast action have to occur at the subconscious level because the conscious mind is slow and awkward in performing complex motor sequences. It follows that playing in the zone, playing at an incredible level, originates in the subconscious mind. 

There are four states of mind, in order from fully conscious to unconscious, beta, alpha, theta, and delta. The “beta” state is the awake state where you are conscious of the many things going on around you. We evolved that way to survive. Our ancestors had to be constantly diligent so an animal or enemy could not sneak up on them. When you relax and allow yourself to daydream you ease from beta into the “alpha” state. In alpha you are only aware of the moment and you become focused. You are using your subconscious mind, the part of your brain that 1) contains your pickleball motor programs, 2) can do millions of things at one time and 3) has lightning fast computing ability. So, to play at your very best, you need to be in the alpha state, in the zone, where your subconscious dominates.
The “theta” state is just before you go to sleep. It is known for problem solving and creativity, which is useful, but not for pickleball. The “delta” state is sleep, when you are unconscious.
In sum, to play your very best, to play “out of your head,” you want to play in the alpha state, or in athlete’s lingo, in the “zone.” How do you do that? More next month.
Editors’ Note: This is a continuing series of articles on the mental side of pickleball: what you should be thinking about – and not thinking about – during play, and more. Harry W Carpenter is author of a new eBook, Pickleball; The Mental Side, as well as The Genie Within: Your Subconscious Mind–How It Works and How to Use It. Harry welcomes reader comments at:

Message from Your President...
By David Jordan, USAPA President

USAPA Finances
On several occasions I have had members ask about USAPA finances. Every year we provide a financial pie chart detailing our revenue and expenses. You will find such a chart for 2013 in this issue. For a larger version of the Pie Chart go to: Pie Chart PDF.  USAPA’s expenses increased last year with its hiring of the first Executive Director. Our grant program has remained very popular and we consider the grants totaling more than $20,000 to be consistent with our mission to promote the growth and development of pickleball. As a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation, we are required to provide an annual return to the Internal Revenue Service. This organization is a Silver-level GuideStar Exchange participant, demonstrating its commitment to transparency. At, see the Organizational Docs page as follows.
Ambassadors Work Hard
Our ambassadors do a great job for the promotion of pickleball and we appreciate all they do in their quest to spread the word about pickleball. Ambassadors have access to our membership list and use it to contact members about opportunities such as clinics, league and open play, tournaments and other interesting pickleball news. They are required to agree to a code of conduct, which, among other things, requires them to avoid using this list for personal gain, such as advertising their products and services. If you as a member get such unsolicited messages please contact us so it can be handled in a proper manner. Also, remember that all our ambassadors serve as volunteers, so give them a big thank-you next time you see them.
New Tournaments
USAPA is proud to announce the addition of the USAPA Great Lakes Regional Tournament. This is the third region to host a tournament and we would like to invite everyone to get behind Ron Stiers, the Great Lakes Regional Director, and support this tournament. The tournament will be held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, August 15-17, 2014. See their website for full information at:  

The National State Games of America has for the first time included pickleball in their national tournament to be held in Lincoln, Nebraska, August 1 and 2, 2015. Participants can qualify at any of your local state games. More information can be found at

[Ed. Note: not to be confused with the National Senior Games Association (NSGA). See separate article for information on the 2015 NSGA National Tournament]

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E.D. Corner…
My First ACES Experience
By Justin Maloof, USAPA Executive Director
Recently, USAPA became a member of ACES (Association of Chief Executives for Sport). The ACES organization exists to support and enhance the business interests of non-profit member sport organizations, share best practices, promote professional development and formulate a collective voice on common issues. The organization currently consists of 61 CEOs/Executive Directors of National Governing Bodies (NGBs) who meet annually, conduct monthly conference calls and pose various surveys and questions to the group as topics arise. 

Back in January, I had the opportunity to attend my first ACES event, the annual winter conference in Pensacola, Fla. Approximately 30 ACES executives attended the four-day workshop sponsored by the Pensacola Sports Association, which covered virtually the entire cost of the conference for all members who attended. While the discussion topics and guest speakers were certainly informative, the most beneficial aspect of the event was the opportunity to meet and establish business relationships with top NGB executives. Most notable for me were USTA’s (US Tennis Association) Managing Director, Skip Gilbert; USA Badminton’s CEO, Dan Cloppas; and USA Racquetball’s Executive Director, Steve Czarnecki.  

Since the conference, I’ve had the opportunity to reach out to these individuals with various questions. I also recently had the opportunity to be Steve’s guest at the USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships here in the Phoenix area. Steve gave me some insight into their setup and operations and also introduced me to some of their sponsors. I certainly look forward to more networking opportunities with the ACES group and feel our involvement with such an organization will prove to be an extremely valuable asset as our organization continues to grow and develop.  
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Announcing the USAPA 2014 National Tournament...

November 2 - 9, 2014
It’s that time of year to start making plans to attend the USAPA National Tournament, where the best of the best and the rest of us will gather to celebrate the 6th year of this grand event. For the past five years players from all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico have come together in Buckeye, Ariz., at the beautiful Sun City Festival pickleball facility to test their skills on the pickleball court against an ever increasing talented pool of players. This year’s tournament promises to be another spectacular event, with the addition of a SENIOR OPEN as well as added activities you won’t want to miss. Complete information will be announced next month. Registration will open June 2, so make plans and find your partner for another exciting time at the USAPA Nationals.  
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Bits and Pieces…

A Circular Approach in Estero…
Submitted by Jules Kay
Corkscrew Woodlands, in Estero, Fla., is a unique community. Every street is a circle and each circle is named after a bird -- Spoonbill, Ani, Stork, etc. Throughout January and February the residents represent their circle in various events, pitting circle against circle. The circle accumulating the most points from all the events wins the coveted trophy, which is proudly displayed in the winner’s clubhouse for the year. This year for the first time, pickleball became part of the Corkscrew competition. Prior to the community tournament each circle had its own playoffs to determine which team would represent the circle. The two-day tournament saw thirty competitors representing 15 circles. The more than 150 other residents who came out to watch the games were treated to excellent matches and a chance to experience pickleball, perhaps some for the first time. 


Pickleball on Waikiki Beach…
Submitted by Cheri & Brian Burgess, Vernon Pickleball Club
Finally, pickleball on Waikiki Beach. Last year we played by ourselves; this year there were eight to 12 players every day.The nets have been lowered and two courts have been painted on two outdoor badminton courts between the beach and the Hawaii Military Museum at Fort Derussy. Teresa from Saskatchewan has introduced the game to the racquetball playing beach boys of Waikiki, and also has set up a Facebook page -- Hawaii outdoor pickleball. Playing times are informal, but if you show up at 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. you will be able to pick up a game or two. Palm trees and beach views. Pickleball doesn't get any better.

Check Your Ego at the Gate…
Submitted by Hubert Townsend, USAPA Ambassador
If you really want to improve your game, check your ego at the gate. Sometimes when I, or we, have lost a match to good competitors I stop and think--there is a reason why the opponents got a higher score. So I will sincerely congratulate them on their victory and say something like, "You guys played great. Is there anything you saw in our game that we could improve on, or any tips you might give us to improve our game?" Most players are more than happy to give constructive criticism. I readily accept it and incorporate it into my training regimen. Their critiques add another tool to my pickleball tool bag. An example is a recent match with Paul Coletta, an accomplished singles player. After defeating me in three games at the National Senior Games he was kind enough to give me several good tips to work on. I can see his advice already paying off, not only for myself, but for the students I mentor.

Video Worth Watching…
Submitted by Steve and Ramona Boone, USAPA Regional Directors, Great Plains
Here is a demonstration of the new, easier CPR, which takes the complication out of the method that was taught and practiced a few years ago. It's easy to remember and you don't have to be certified to use it – it could save a life! This is a demonstration by the doctors who developed the procedure. Please watch it - Chest-Compression CPR.

Pickleball Channel Coming Soon…
Submitted by Rusty Howes, Rumer Studios
A great new Pickleball Channel website is coming soon, with free videos all about pickleball, brought to you by Hyland's Leg Cramps. The site will officially launch in the next couple of weeks, but you can get a sneak peek now at This is where our brothers and sisters in pickleball will share their stories, their triumphs, their pains and their victories. But not only that, they will also share skills and drills that will help your game, probably in ways you didn’t even know were so easy. Twice a month, new stories and new drills will be added of high quality content – all about pickleball! The last few months we at Pickleball Channel have been talking to USAPA as well as clubs and players across the country to understand our community better. We are excited!  To watch and be notified, all you have to do is subscribe for free at .
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National Senior Games Association… 
National Pickleball Tournament
By David Jordan, USAPA President
The 2015 NSGA National Pickleball Tournament will be held in Bloomington, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, July 10-15, 2015. To play in this indoor event you must qualify during 2014 by finishing in the top three of an event at any NSGA qualifying tournament. Most State Senior Games are qualifying tournaments, but to make sure visit the NSGA website ( or contact your State Senior Games chair to confirm. The one tournament that is not a state senior game, but is a qualifying event, is the 2014 Huntsman World Senior Games, held in St. George, Utah during October. The FAQ on the USAPA website has now been updated for the 2015 games. Additional details will be published in future issues of the USAPA e-Newsletter.
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Oldest Pickleball Player…
Do you have a pickleball player in your club or facility who is over 90 years old?  We've heard about several, and in the next issue want to recognize them all. Send name(s), age, place of play/club, approximate skill level (if known), contact information and a photo to The submission deadline is March 15, 2014.


Places to Play…

USAPA Grants at Work…
Submitted by Tami Zylka, Lake Bluff Park District, Northern Illinois
Many of our fitness center members are becoming empty nesters and find that they’d like to have an activity to do with their spouses (compete at the same level) and a social event during the week instead of sitting in front of the TV. We started through word of mouth. The first week with just one net we had 10 people show up. Additional nets, balls and paddles were ordered so we could keep the momentum going. During October and November we had as many as 30 adults attend and learn the game. In fact, during the Thanksgiving break many of the college kids came with their parents (many played in grade school gym classes) and had a ball. Currently, we play on Tuesday nights and on Thursday mornings. We are listed on the Northern Illinois Pickleball website and just last week had a tournament player from Seattle come and play with us while in town. Our goal is to play indoors all winter gathering additional interest (it helps that our fitness center overlooks the gym & the sound of the ball draws people down to see what game we’re playing). We have the availability to add as many as 10 courts outside this summer. Our secondary goal is to introduce it to the children who are in our facility after school and for summer camps. Contact: Tami Zylka, Lake Bluff Park District, Fitness & Healthy Lifestyle Manager, 847.234.4150 x36


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No Dumb Questions…
Submitted by Don Simmons, Trilogy Power Ranch, Gilbert, Ariz.

As a spectator at a tournament match, I watched a referee miss calling the incorrect server twice, even though the first server was wearing an easily visible red wrist band.

Here’s what happened: The two players on Team A switched positions during a long rally, where they won a side out. The incorrect first server served without the violation being noticed, and Team A lost the rally. Now, the incorrect second server served without the violation being noticed, and Team A lost the rally. This resulted in a side out. The score for that possession was 9-10-1, then 9-10-2. Now Team B served at 10-9-1 and lost the rally. However, at the conclusion of the rally, the referee noticed the incorrect receiver had played the point. The referee called the violation and a point was awarded Team B, making the score 11-9 – point, game, match! This was the third game of a bronze medal match. As I watched all this play out, I remained silent. What should I have done?
Don, you did the correct thing. Spectators at a pickleball match are just that – spectators. And they should leave what happens on the court to the players, referee and line judges (if applicable). If you had attempted to communicate the violation to one team or the other, it very well could have been interpreted as coaching, which would result in a technical warning and/or technical foul.
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New Site, New Format
Don’t miss the exciting new USAPA website – It is an incredible source of information about all things pickleball! The home page contains buttons to everything from tournaments to places to play in each state and province and information about pickleball clinics and demonstrations being held in your area. All this and much, much more. Take a moment to visit and you are guaranteed to come away more informed and ready to hit the courts than ever before.

Sound Off…
Reader Feedback Regarding NVZ Faults

The only thing “thought provoking” about the submission in No Dumb Questions, about faulting at the non-volley zone, is that anyone could interpret rules 9.C and 9.D any other way. If a fault occurred, no matter who noticed it or what the score was or whether it was during a tournament or not, it is a fact that it was a fault and it is not subject to anyone’s opinion. Implying that rules are subject to one’s interpretation or game circumstances is appalling. It is bad enough that this happens at all, but by giving examples that some top players think that behavior is acceptable not only ruins the games they play in, but also all of the games played by the gullible or desperate readers that follow that mindset.

Whether the referee missed seeing the fault or making the call does not excuse the obligation of the player that did see it to report it. The rules clearly do not stipulate who has to see the infraction, only that the infraction occurred. This is a good example of why people do not want to referee at tournaments. I think USAPA does a great disservice to all the honest players out there by not endorsing, or better enforcing, the integrity of the sport.

- Kent Kuch

I was very disappointed when I read the article about calling a kitchen fault on yourself. A kitchen violation is a violation whether the referee sees it or not. I have called them on myself many times and even lost a match point when my partner fell into the kitchen after putting the ball away. Neither the ref nor the other team saw it, and all were surprised when we stepped to the net to end the match. But the people at the tournament remember us for our integrity. And that was more important to us than winning the match.
Skirting the rules and not calling violations on oneself are commonly seen in sports today. I find it sad that pickleball seems to be following along the same line.

- Bill Propert

Portable Net Fix…
My answer to the question in the February newsletter about a portable net fix is on the USAPA message board at the following link (posted April 12, 2013).

- Bill Booth, Past President, USAPA



Rules Review...
By Dennis Dacey, USAPA Rules Chair
This month I want to get a few things off my chest. It has to do with everyone who referees a game, and that should be most everyone who plays in tournaments. There are a few things that I see many referees doing that, for me, should be corrected. These include:

- When calling the score, make it loud enough for all players on your court to hear and only say the score (e.g. 10-7-2). Many seem to want to add, at or near the end of a game, “potential game point” or “possible match point.” This is not necessary, is more than likely disruptive to the players and does nothing to enhance the game. Please, just state the score as you do before the start of any rally.

- Do not look at the scorecard during play. Your main attention should be on watching for foot faults in the NVZ. Don’t worry about where the ball is going or how a player is hitting a backhand, concentrate on the NVZ and I’ll guarantee you will be catching more foot faults -- that is your job.

- Try to position yourself close to the sideline. This is the only way you’re going to see if balls bounce on the line or outside the sideline. I can assure you that if you’re two or three feet back from the sideline you will make incorrect calls if the player’s call is appealed, thinking you saw the ball “in” when it was actually “out.” If you must move back from the sideline, then I suggest, under normal conditions, not making these calls.

Doing the above will help make you a better and more respected referee.
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USAPA Facebook Page Update...

If you like to read interesting pickleball stories and see photos and videos of what your fellow members (and non-members) are up to, the USAPA Facebook page is the place to visit. Our page continues to grow and we now have more than 1,000 pickleball players who ‘like’ our page. This is up from around 300 at the beginning of 2013. Joining is easy; just click the ‘Like’ button and check it out.


Member Benefits...

Want an Official USAPA/IFP Rulebook and a discount when registering for tournaments? Or how about an association t-shirt with the new USAPA logo? Visit to learn more about all the benefits of renewing your membership today. Plus, all USAPA members have access to the Working Advantage discount network, which can save you up to 60% on ticketed events, online shopping and much more!
Disclaimer: Working Advantage is an independent gateway for USAPA's members to access voluntary benefits, discounts and special services offered by vendors and other companies affiliated with Working Advantage. USAPA does not promote or endorse and is not responsible for any of these products or services.
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Can We Turn Back the Clock? Sort Of?
By Barbara Wintroub
Notice how you get just a bit weaker with every birthday? That is age-related loss of muscle mass, strength, power and function called Sarcopenia. Sarcopenia means "poverty of flesh", YUK!

As we become less active with age, "use it or lose it" becomes a very real factor. Yes, you are playing pickleball, but do you claim a spot on the court and hardly move from there? Have you ever tried a few minutes of singles hitting? After 50, there is a progressive loss of 1%-2% of muscle per year. At 60 muscle strength decreases 3% each year. Sarcopenia has a greater effect on fast twitch muscle fibers. No wonder I cannot rally with Jennifer Lucore, Steve Wong or Chris Miller for more than two shots. More practice won't make me younger, but I do have some pointers to make all of us better.

Antioxidant-containing foods like fruits and veggies are recommended, along with vitamin D supplementation. Cardiovascular and resistance exercises play a major role in preventing muscle loss. You don't have to run a 10k, but sidestepping along the base line several times just to elevate your heart rate is a good start. Put a couple of water bottles in your pickleball bag along with your paddles and lift the bag with one hand, then the other, for resistance training. Wear the heavy bag to do your sidestepping and marching in place. While you are waiting for a court, take out your pickleball towel, place the ends in each of your hands and pull the towel hard, squeezing your back muscles. Take your usual pickleball routine and just make it bigger and harder to get stronger. Push yourself just a bit more on your exercise routine and you will see those benefits happen.

Ed. Note: Fitness guru Barbara Wintroub is the author of Fighting Gravity. 
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USAPA Online Store...
Need an official pickleball net system, USAPA logo apparel, instructional DVDs, the official USAPA-IFP Tournament Rulebook, window stickers and more? Find it all at the USAPA online store  --
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e-Newsletter Submission and Editorial Guidelines…
If you have articles, news items, questions or photos that you would like to submit for publication in the e-Newsletter please send them to The USAPA Editorial Guidelines are available for viewing at 
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Do Not Forward...

Please do not forward this newsletter. It is a benefit of USAPA membership. If one of your forwarded recipients clicks the unsubscribe link it automatically will unsubscribe you from the newsletter and all future USAPA communications. Forwarders beware. If you forward the newsletter to someone and they click 'unsubscribe' it will be your e-mail address that is unsubscribed. Prior newsletters are available in the newsletter section at one month after they have been e-mailed to members. 
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The Final Word…
$900 Pickleball Lesson for Charity
By Jennifer Lucore, Publisher, USAPA e-Newsletter

There are so many wonderful stories like this one from the pickleball world; pickleballers not just having fun, but making the world a better place in the process.
2014 - Man brings $900 donation
for a one-hour private pickleball lesson!
Yes this is true. The annual Happy Trials RV Resort Pickleball Classic Tournament incorporates a benefit fundraiser and auction for the benefit of various charities. In 2014, the charity chosen was the Arizona Fireman's Education Fund to benefit the children of the 19 Prescott, Ariz., firefighters who tragically lost their lives last June in the Yarnell Fire.
The Happy Trails Pickleball Club combined vendor and participant donated money and prizes toward the charity. Prizes were auctioned -- some silently and some not so silently -- as was the case with “an hour private pickleball lesson” that garnered $900. Like the festivities as a whole, the private lesson auction quickly turned into a true expression of the attendees’ commitment to support the firefighters who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The room was buzzing, all trying to outbid each other. And in the end, two small groups of players teamed up to win the one-hour lesson with my dad, Bob Youngren. How cool is that! In all, the 2014 Happy Trails Classic raised over $18,000 toward a great charity. Huge thanks go out to everyone who made this possible. 
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