December 2013  e-Newsletter 

In this issue...

From the Editors...

Several articles in this issue rave about the recently completed USAPA Nationals V tournament, and every one contains the exclamation, “WOW!” and WOW it was. We didn’t come home with any medals (Linda and her partner did come close), but we did a lot of refereeing. WOW again. There were so many new, young faces. How did these players become so skilled so quickly? Maybe they took the “play expectations” advice that Harry Carpenter shares in this month’s Mind Game column. If they did, it certainly worked. In Places to Play two Dutchies, as they call themselves, give their impression of Nationals V and invite everyone to come play in their country. And in The Final Word publisher Jennifer Lucore provides some tidbits she gleaned from the tournament. In Bits and Pieces Ken Marquardt shares how the Skills and Drills program has helped grow pickleball in Colorado, while Fitness columnist Barb Wintroub provides tips for fighting the force of gravity on and off the court. And don’t overlook Jennifer Selchow’s go at getting everyone in the holiday spirit with her pickleball lyrics to Jingle Bells. This is newsletter issue number 24 with us as editors and Jennifer Lucore as publisher. The three of us thank you for your continued support and wish each of you a safe, fun and happy Holiday Season…
    Your Editors, Lynn & Linda Laymon,

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

WOW, what a week we had at Nationals V! Players from as far away as the Netherlands (Ed. See related story in Places to Play) came to Sun City Festival for fun in the sun. It was a week of great pickleball for both the new and old faces of the game. With around 600 players, Nationals V was an exciting place to be. 

The ambassador dinner was also an exciting event as we recognized two former board members with the Pioneer Award and the first two ever lifetime memberships. Bill Booth, past president, was honored for his outstanding service to the organization as president and board member for more than seven years. Nancy Jordan was also honored for her tremendous service as membership chair for over six years. Both of these individuals brought growth and leadership to the organization. Along with this celebration we were privileged to have Barney McCallum on hand at the dinner. His memorable talk about pickleball will long be remembered. Barney is the last living representative of the big three who started the game; Joe Pritchard and Bill Bell have since passed on.

We also celebrated another milestone just before the Nationals V; Stephen Hull became our 5,000th member. Stephen is from Portland, Maine and was sponsored by Maine ambassador Rocky Clark. Congratulations to Stephen, who will receive a free one-year membership, t-shirt and rule book; Rocky will receive an additional one-year membership for his efforts. As the year comes to an end and the holiday season is upon us, we at USAPA would like to wish you all a happy holiday season. We hope your Thanksgiving was a joyous and memorable time and that Christmas will bring you the blessings of the season. From our house to yours, HAPPY HOLIDAYS…
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E.D. Corner…
USAPA Nationals V Recap
By Justin Maloof, USAPA Executive Director
The spirit of competition was thick in the late afternoon sun of Sunday, November 17, as Open Women’s Singles reigning champion Jennifer Lucore took the court to defend her title against her longtime doubles partner and good friend, Alexandra Hamner. The team had already captured the Open Women’s Doubles championship two days earlier, but now the Singles crown was on the line and both players were ready to stake their claim as Crazy Train blared during pre-match warm-ups. Both women played an incredible match, but in the end, Hamner was the victor and brought a fitting end to a tremendous week of pickleball that was Nationals V.  Click here to see the medal winners for all Age and Open Divisions. 

The tournament was played November 11-17, 2013 at Sun City Festival in Buckeye, Ariz., and thousands of dollars were once again at stake in the Open divisions. With the support of our members, sponsors and volunteers, USAPA was able to produce the largest tournament in the history of the sport! Here are a few event highlights:
  • 648 players registered
  • 594 players participated
  • 28 courts
  • 1677 matches
  • Players from 39 States and 5 countries
  • Greater than 300 volunteers assisted
The event received excellent media coverage this year, with running the following story on November 13: AZCentral: USAPA Nationals. The story also appeared in print in the Surprise Republic and Arizona Republic newspapers. Phoenix NBC affiliate KPNX did a live feature about pickleball and the tournament. Following the event, USAPA sent nearly 100 individual post-event press releases to the hometown media outlets of all gold medal winners.

Of course, such a large event would not have been possible without the venue provided by Pulte/Del Webb and the dedicated support of the Sun City Festival Pickleball Club. Heading into the event, many eyebrows were raised regarding the large numbers and how such an event could be successfully facilitated. However, due to the expertise of the event staff and countless hours of work by the volunteers, the concerns were non-factors and we very much appreciated all the positive comments about how smoothly the event ran.

Official photographs from the event will be uploaded to the USAPA website soon and post-production work on the five Open Division gold medal match videos is nearly complete. An e-mail notice will be sent to all USAPA members once these items are available for viewing.
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The Mind Game…
What Do You Expect on the Court?
By Harry Carpenter

Use the power of expectation to improve your pickleball game. Yes, something as subtle as expectation is powerful. In fact, it is a law of the subconscious: when the subconscious expects something, it makes that thing happen. In other words, expectation is a self-fulfilling prophecy. So now, tell me, what do you expect when you step on the pickleball court?

This is a well-documented phenomenon of the subconscious mind. Google the “Placebo Effect” and see what I mean. The placebo effect is a basic part of approving new drugs. A placebo is a pill identical to the real drug, but composed of an inert substance. At least thirty-three percent of patients taking the placebo get the same benefit as those taking the drug. They get the benefit because they expect to get it.
Interestingly, the effectiveness of a placebo increases as the degree of expectation increases, and the degree of expectation can be influenced by the way the placebo is dispensed. According to one authority, the effect can be increased from thirty-three percent to as much as ninety percent. For example, a colored pill is more effective than a white one; an injection is more effective than a pill; and the effectiveness of a placebo is greatest when a doctor dispenses it.
Now, I trust that you have begun thinking about changing your attitude about what you expect on the pickleball court. Expect to play with confidence, expect to play better, expect to make outstanding shots – and your subconscious will find ways to make it happen. Maybe your game will only improve thirty-some percent, but that’s a huge improvement at no cost and with no side effects.
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:
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2014 Training Grant Requests…
Submitted by Norm Davis, USAPA Training Chair

The USAPA Grant program was extraordinarily successful in 2013. Nearly 100 grants were approved for a total of $20,801.48 in states all across the nation. New grant requests for 2014 will be accepted beginning January 1.

Bits and Pieces…

NIP Out Cancer…
Submitted by: Jennifer Selchow, USAPA Ambassador, Winnebago County, Illinois

In honor of October being breast cancer awareness month, Northern Illinois Pickleball (NIP) hosted the second annual NIP Out Cancer tournament on October 26 & 27, 2013 in Poplar Grove, Ill. The tournament is inspired by the tournament director's [Ed.: Jennifer Selchow] mother who has survived 34 years and three bouts of breast cancer. All of the proceeds were donated to Swedish American Foundation's Project F.A.M.E (Funding and Advocacy for Mammography Exams). The project was established to help uninsured women receive their annual mammograms and is supported by fundraising efforts and private donations. Northern Illinois Pickleball donated $2,500 to assist women of Project F.A.M.E.

USAPA Grants at Work in Santa Cruz County, California
Submitted by Ray Pereyra, USAPA Ambassador, Santa Cruz County
The goal of the USAPA Training Grant was to purchase supplemental pickleball equipment to allow the flexibility to train new people during our normal one-day-a-week play session at Willowbrook County Park. We purchased a net system, marking tape and more balls with the grant funds. Before we received the grant equipment we were using three nets. Two were on loan from individuals and the third was purchased by the group. It was difficult to ask the net owners to use them for training because they were bringing the nets from home specifically to play and the County only allotted two hours per day. About 12 to 15 players regularly showed up to play so the three nets were in continuous use during those two hours. With the new training net, we have had the flexibility to train newbies when they first come on the court. As an added bonus, we have increased the total number of players, so we now play twice a week at Willowbrook. And we requested that the County paint five pickleball courts at the park; four on one tennis court and one on the basketball court. The Parks & Rec staff has endorsed the plan and management is taking it under consideration.


Nationals Rewind...
Submitted by Steve Morris, Terre Haute, Indiana
I must say that sometimes in life the reality of an event can fall short of one’s expectations due to unforeseen circumstances: weather, venue not what we thought it would be, getting a bang for your vacation buck or in some cases setting your expectations and the bar too high. Quite simply, the five days I was blessed to spend in Arizona playing pickleball in Nationals V far exceeded my personal expectations, and that was with an 0-2 record in Men's Doubles, 1-2 in Mixed Doubles and 3-2 in Singles. Add all those numbers up and a combined 4-6 is not exactly bragging numbers, but you know what, IT WAS STILL A GREAT WEEK!
What did I learn at Nationals V?
1) There are a heck of a lot of better pickleball players than me out there.
2) We got to play in one of the most beautiful places in the world to play pickleball.
3) I managed to get a pretty decent four-day Arizona tan.
4) I need to drop about 20 pounds to be as thin as most of the people I saw out there.
5) My friends from Terre Haute were not lying when they said how great this would be.
6) I had as much fun off the court as I did on the court and that is directly related to the friends I made.

Skills and Drills Help Grow Pickleball in the Denver Area…
Submitted by Ken Marquardt, USAPA Ambassador, Denver Metro North
About 12 months ago we were having a conversation about how to grow pickleball in the Denver area. We had seen locations grow and then lose players after 6 to 12 months. First, new players were showing up and finding little help on days that advanced players were busy playing games. Secondly, new players were looking for a way to improve their game and had few options available. Once in a while a person would set up a clinic, followed by months of little to no instruction. Most of the clinics would go over basic rules and some of the strokes needed to play. We decided that what was needed was ongoing classes meeting twice a week where new players were always welcome. These sessions needed to be limited to new and beginner/recreational players. So, Skills and Drills was born. The APEX Center in Arvada, Colorado provides two session times each week for Skills and Drills. The first hour is instruction and the next two hours the players have games with critique and/or suggestions when required. Skills and Drills covers:

  1. Serves and Scoring
  2. Return of Serve and Lobs
  3. Dinks and Lob Dinks
  4. Volleys and Slams
  5. Court Positions and Lob Returns
  6. Poaching and Drop Shot
  7. Forehand and Backhand Swings

We average 20 players for each session and are seeing three to six new players each week. Our goal is to introduce pickleball to as many people as we can. Many of our new players have moved on to playing on different days at many other locations. The 250 players that have taken Skills and Drills come from near and far: Boulder, Erie, Lafayette, Louisville, Superior, Westminster, Arvada, Lakewood, Thornton, Parker, Wheat Ridge, Broomfield, Littleton and Rollinsville.

Places to Play…

A Dutch Treat at Nationals V…
Submitted by Bernadette Snijders Blok and Carine Thesingh, Amsterdam Pickleball Players
Yes, since March 2013 we do play pickleball in the Netherlands. In the city of Amsterdam and in Eefde, and more towns will follow! We play outdoors when it’s possible and indoors on a regular basis. To learn more about pickleball technique and tactics, about organizing tournaments and about being a referee, two of us went to the Nationals this year. That was a great adventure! We couldn’t have had a better example of a well-organized tournament – everything was taken care of. And what wonderful games did we see. We went back to the Netherlands without victories, but with a lot of knowledge, books, DVDs and, of course, some paddles and balls. We appreciated the friendship, hospitality and helpfulness of everybody we met. We have a lot of new contacts and one of the most special things was to meet pickleball co-founder Barney McCallum.

Together with Michael Hess, who started pickleball in Spain and founded the Spanish Pickleball Association, we work on the expansion of pickleball in Europe. If you know people or groups that play pickleball in one of our countries, please let us know. And if you or your pickleball friends visit Amsterdam, come play with us! You can help us in raising the level. One of the things we do to reach this goal is organizing an international tournament in Amsterdam, May 16-18, 2014. You’re very welcome to participate and we’ll try to arrange housing for people from abroad. Contact:

Photo: Amsterdam Pickleball Players with Pickleball Co-founder Barney McCallum

Sound Off…
Reader Feedback

I am a relatively new USAPA member and really enjoy the newsletter. In my opinion it does a great job of representing the diversity and supportive nature of the pickleball community. Thanks for the effort!  -  Jeff Anthony

I am not the official ambassador for my area, but I help orchestrate play and I’m the contact on the website for places to play. I wish people who are playing with others who are at a lower skill level would be respectful and not whack the ball as hard as possible at someone who probably can’t handle it. Yes, they may have won the point, but what glory is there in pummeling someone who is not up to your skill level? It borders on bullying on the junior school level. If everyone playing is generally at the same level, go for it. If you’re playing in a tournament, sure people will hit to the weaker player. But in everyday play, especially at a community center or church, if you can’t tone your game down a little and work more on placement to make it enjoyable for the players who aren’t as strong, sit out and wait for those who can only play hard ball. I see people getting turned off because they feel they aren’t good enough to play with better players, or they get fearful when they become the easy target. Suck it up and have some manners.
Sincerely, Victoria Seale


No Dumb Questions...

Pickleball or Whiffle ball?
Since 1965, pickleball has used the whiffle ball, which was not designed for this great game. It's about time a ball is designed for pickleball just like all other sports played with a ball without holes. - Ed Mandler, Saddlebrooke Pickleball Association, Saddlebrooke, Arizona

Response from Dennis Dacey, USAPA Rules Chair:
As an association for the sport the USAPA Board believes that it's important to preserve the traditional nature and character of the game and to preserve the skills traditionally required to play the game. To that end, we strive to maintain the basic rules and playing characteristics as they have been over the years. The balls that have been used are not traditional whiffle balls, but have all had holes, plus other specifications that help assure certain flight and bounce characteristics. There are many approved balls and if you are having problems with ball life I would suggest that you look into other balls to find what approved balls may work best for you. You can find the list of approved balls on the USAPA website in "Official Rules," then "List of USAPA/IFP Approved Tournament Balls."…
A Wealth of Information

The USAPA Website is an incredible source of information about all things pickleball! The home page contains buttons to everything from tournament schedule and results to places to play in each state and province and information about pickleball clinics and demonstrations being held in your area. Visit the Training Room to learn how to improve your game. Interested in seeing the pros play? From the home page you are just a click away from viewing the Open competition finals at the 2013 USAPA National tournament. 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.

Rules Review
Time-Out Rules...
By Dennis Dacey, USAPA Rules Chair

This month I want to cover a seldom requested rule used in tournament play. This is concerning Time-Out Rules and is in Section 11.C of the IFP rulebook. The subject rule is “Equipment Time-Outs.” So, the question is: When can an equipment time-out be used?
First, the player or team must have used their two regular time-outs before requesting an equipment time-out. In addition, an equipment time-out can only be given if, in the opinion of the referee, the time-out is needed for a fair and safe continuation of the match. If the referee does award an equipment time-out it is to be no longer than 2 minutes.
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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 over 900 pickleball players who ‘like’ our page. This is up from around 300 at the beginning of the year. Joining is easy; just click the ‘Like’ button and check it out.


Pickleball Lyrics of the Month…

Submitted by Jennifer Selchow, USAPA Ambassador, Winnebago County, Illinois

 (To the tune of Jingle Bells)
Pickleballs, Pickleballs
Pickle all the way
Oh, what fun it is today
For doubles open play
Pickleballs, Pickleballs
Pickle all the way
Oh, what fun it is today
For doubles open play.
Dashing to the courts
For doubles open play
O'er the nets we go
Laughing all the way
Smashing balls will sting
Making bruises bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A Pickling song tonight.
Oh, Pickleballs, Pickleballs
Pickle all the way
Oh, what fun it is today
For doubles open play
Pickleballs, Pickleballs
Pickle all the way
Oh, what fun it is today
For doubles open play.
A day or so ago
We thought we'd take a game
And soon it was a fight
We matched up all the same
The team was lean and lank
Misfortune at their net
We thought had them sank
But then we got upset.
Oh, Pickleballs, Pickleballs
Pickle all the way
Oh, what fun it is today
For doubles open play
Pickleballs, Pickleballs
Pickle all the way
Oh, what fun it is today
For doubles open play.
A day or two ago
The story I must tell
I tried to hit a ball,
And on my bum I fell;
My partner was nearby
O'er in no-man’s land
He laughed as there I lie,
But quickly lent a hand.
Oh, Pickleballs, Pickleballs
Pickle all the way
Oh, what fun it is today
For doubles open play
Pickleballs, Pickleballs
Pickle all the way
Oh, what fun it is today
For doubles open play.
Now the match is set
Go it while you're strong,
Take the team tonight
and sing this Pickling song;
Just a swing away
Placement’s all you need
Patience play by play
And whack, you'll take the lead!
Oh, Pickleballs, Pickleballs
Pickle all the way
Oh, what fun it is today
For doubles open play
Pickleballs, Pickleballs
Pickle all the way
Oh, what fun it is today
For doubles open play.

Please see the YouTube link below for the lyrics to the tune of Jingle Bells.

Member Benefits...

Want an association t-shirt with the new USAPA logo? How about an Official USAPA/IFP Rulebook and a discount when registering for tournaments? 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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STAND TALL: Good posture becomes you
By Barbara Wintroub
While I was waiting for my matches to be called at the Huntsman World Senior Games in October, I was doing a body analysis on those who walked by. OMG! I cannot believe how many women have joined the men in poor posture. So many of you seem to be trying to walk with your nose tied to the railroad tracks instead of chest tied to cable car wires. We live in a linear world, hunched and bent forward – as we age we are returning to the fetal position from whence we came. I absolutely refuse to let this happen. I fight gravity every single day to reverse this process. WHY? You won't have back and shoulder pain if you stand tall. You won't lose inches in height and gain inches in waistline. AND you won't lose strength when you are playing pickleball. Biomechanically, you need to have your joints in the right place, your head should be on top of your neck, not growing out of your chest, and your spine stacked not crunched. Strength and power comes from correct body position. The exercises below will help you gain your length, look better in your clothes and play powerful pickleball. 
Exercise 1. Stand in a doorway at home or a post at the court. Place your back against the door jam. Try to reach back and grab the post or jam, keeping your back against the jam and stretching your chest.

Exercise 2. Stand next to a door jam or post at the court and extend one arm straight up. Walk one small step forward to stretch the chest. Hold for a count of five, then switch arms.

Exercise 3. Hold post or jam and flatten your back until it is parallel to the floor. Walk a few steps back until you can feel the stretch in your shoulders.

Don't do any of these exercises if you feel pain. You’ll stand taller afterwards.
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USAPA Online Store...
Hey, some neat new apparel at the USAPA online store --  And don’t miss the latest in apparel designs at
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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…
By Jennifer Lucore, Publisher, USAPA e-Newsletter

Nationals V is complete. Wow! So many things to share because the days were packed full. Here are some tidbits:
  •  Kudos to the large number of married couples that competed, these are the few that can make the partnership work on and off the court. At the top of the list were Jim and Yvonne Hackenberg. At ages 65+, they blazed through much younger Open Mixed Doubles teams (including me!); they were on fire and ended the day just out of medal reach. Yvonne says, "I hope our play inspires people to keep playing in their 60s and beyond!"
  • Oh Canada! That country’s first gold medal in the USAPA Nationals! Luba Zhekhovskaya from Surrey, BC, conquered Open Mixed Doubles with Michael Gates. I know Luba will be wearing her Cheshire smile for many months. Luuuuba!
  • The appearance of Barney McCallum, age 87, a founder of our great sport. Truly how special when you can say you met a founder of a sport. He attended the Ambassador’s dinner, shared the story of pickleball and answered many questions, including how the sport was named. “Was it after the dog or the boat?” an ambassador asked. “The dog,” Barney replied. “And I’m sticking with it!” The next day Barney stayed for Open Doubles. Players came and went, introducing themselves and thanking him for keeping with this sport and the vision he held. He had a front row seat for both Women's and Men's Doubles finals. Barney says he was in heaven and was very impressed by the quality of play, fitness and athleticism of all the players. Group photo from Ambassador's dinner: me, Audrey Phillips (Ambassador - San Diego County, North Coastal, CA), Barney McCallum and Bev Youngren, my mom (Ambassador - San Diego County, CA).
  • I learned that there are actually three brackets in a pickleball tournament, the winners’ bracket, the losers’ bracket and the beer bracket.
More tidbits from Nationals next month...
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