October 2012  e-Newsletter 

In this issue...

From the Editors...

October and early November bring us the two most celebrated pickleball events of the year – The Huntsman World Senior Games and USAPA Nationals IV. Read about both of these exciting competitions in this issue, along with USAPA reaching 4,000 active members. This month Fitness columnist Barbara Wintroub shares her secrets on how to sit to hit and in Rules Review Dennis Dacey explains the Service Sequence and how service positioning faults are handled. Also, with this issue Ask Pickleball Polly becomes a monthly column and Nancy Read profiles a Colorado pickleball legend. We are on our way to Mesquite, Nevada for the pre-Huntsman warm-up tournament and then on to Huntsman before heading to Nationals IV. If you missed the Huntsman sign-up cutoff, there are still a few days left to register for Nationals IV. And even if you are not playing in either, pickleball at this level is still a don’t-miss spectator event; come see for yourself.
       Your Editors, Lynn & Linda Laymon, newsletter@usapa.org

Huntsman…The World’s Premier Senior Athletic Event
Submitted by Bob Klarich, USAPA Ambassador, St. George, Utah

Pretty lofty title. But the Huntsman World Senior Games deserves it! Where other than St. George, Utah during two weeks each October do you find greater than 10,000 senior athletes (Ed. Note: No, 10,000 is not a typo) from more than 26 countries gathered to compete in 50 different sports?

The Huntsman World Senior Games, which is in its 26th year, has included pickleball as an official event for nearly 10 years. Again this year the number of pickleball players had to be capped at 550 due to available court space, and that limit was reached by June 1, two months before the official registration deadline
This year pickleball events will be divided between the SunRiver courts, which once again will handle the lion’s share of play, and the brand new City of St. George complex located 6.5 miles away at Little Valley. Twelve courts are being built as this article is written and will be ready for the Huntsman Games; the remaining 12 will follow. To help make the Little Valley project a City priority, a group named Southern Utah Pickleball, or SOUP, raised $80,000 that accelerated the planning and design of the new complex. Those playing in multiple events are likely to play both venues, but not on the same day. Hopefully everyone will get a chance to experience the new courts as well as SunRiver.

The 2012 Games are scheduled for Oct. 8 to 20, with the five-day pickleball competition Oct. 15 through 19. The pickleball event includes both age-bracket and skill-level singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles divisions. The Huntsman World Senior Games is a true world-class Olympic-style event for players 50 years and older, with official opening and closing ceremonies and a multitude of entertainment opportunities, special activities and social events. Hope to see you there. To learn more about the Huntsman World Senior Games visit http:www.seniorgames.net.
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USAPA Member Milestone…
Congratulations to our 4000th USAPA Member, Anita Epperly of Michigan
Submitted by Nancy Jordan, USAPA Membership Chair

In late August, Anita Epperly became a very lucky gal. With the submission of her membership, Anita became our lucky 4000th member. The USAPA Board would like to congratulate her and wish her many, many more happy years of playing pickleball. Anita and the person most responsible for her increasing interest in pickleball will each receive a one year's extension of their membership plus a new shirt, rulebook and decal. Anita has designated Nancy Meyer from Fla. Anita's story is another example of a former college athlete with two bad knees and a lot of pain. Now that she has two new knees she can play a sport that she loves – pickleball – without pain, and be competitive. Here is Anita’s story in her own words:
I am 52 years old and currently teach middle school in Michigan, as well as coach volleyball, and can't wait to retire so I can play pickleball year round. I was introduced to pickleball about eight years ago on a visit to Ft. Myers over spring break, but didn’t play again for a year. I thoroughly enjoyed the sport, but there was no place to play near my home, so I just played on spring break every year. In 2010, I started going down to Fla. three times a year and was able to play more frequently. I have fallen in love with this game. With Nancy Meyer’s encouragement I bought a portable net and introduced a couple of colleagues to the game. We put the net up in the gym at my school and play when we can. Last May I had double knee replacements and couldn't play until Christmas, and when I was finally on the court, you couldn't get me off. To be playing again and in no pain was the best.
This spring I began competing in pickleball. My partner, Cindy Eddleman, and I didn't medal, but a month or so later we played in the tournament in Royal Oak, Mich., and won a bronze medal in women's doubles 3.5 and my male partner and I won the mixed doubles on the same weekend. It was the best weekend and I am so hooked on this sport and impressed with the people involved. Cindy told me about all the benefits of joining USAPA, but I put it off for several days. It must have been fate that I became the 4,000th member. Until I retire I will play when and wherever I can and count down the days until my next pickleball encounter.
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Countdown to Nationals… 34 Days until November 4

The current number of players registered is 389. The final date to register is Oct 5; don’t get shut out! Tournament directors Gigi LeMaster and Steve Wong report that the medals, cups and trophy plates have a new design and “will look sharp.” The list of Nationals sponsors can be found at http://nationals.usapa.org/index.php/sponsors. For answers to your Nationals FAQs visit http://nationals.usapa.org/index.php/faq.

Player Profile…

Ken Marquardt: He’s a Mess
Submitted by Nancy Read, Member of the Pickleball Ken Fan Club, Colorado
We call him Pickleball Ken. He’s an ambassador for the sport and he takes the job seriously, working tirelessly to keep everything running smoothly so the rest of us can just show up and play. Although we rarely show it, we really do appreciate all his work because we know that without him we probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to participate in this wonderful sport. It’s my privilege to call Ken a friend and to tell you a little about him. He has lived in Colorado for 50 years. In high school he played tennis and baseball and was good enough to earn a tennis scholarship. He later became a serious racquetball competitor. About 30 years ago, health problems made it impossible for him to continue to play any sport. A life-long struggle with asthma and the needed prednisone treatments left him with severe lung and bone problems. He fractured an ankle, had both shoulders replaced and underwent knee surgery. He also survived cancer in 1979 and flesh-eating disease in 2000. Ken rarely talks about his health issues, other than to say, “I’m a mess,” but he consented to my writing about it in hopes that others would be encouraged by his story.

In 2010, an e-mail from a high school classmate suggested he check out pickleball. Hoping to find a sport he could play, he went to the Lakewood recreation center, the only place in the area that offered pickleball. Ken was immediately hooked; he now plays several times a week. It has allowed him to reach a personal goal of better health, but we all know that what he loves most is the opportunity to compete again. There’s nothing like the joy of playing a game you love. Ken realized that others could benefit from the sport and he wanted to “pay it forward.” On the USAPA Website he learned about a volunteer position for those who want to help others get involved in the pickleball. He quickly applied and qualified, and began spreading the good word about pickleball to anyone who would listen. He even tried to recruit the doctors and nurses when he was in the hospital recently.

In September 2010 he became a USAPA ambassador for the Denver Metro North area. Since then he has helped to start programs at the Westminster, Arvada and Louisville recreation centers. He also helps players who are interested in starting pickleball in their neighborhoods. In less than two years the pickleball community in the north area has grown to more than 435 players. I remember walking into the Broomfield recreation center after reading about pickleball in a local flyer. I was nervous, being 68 years old, never having played a racquet sport and not being in great shape, I was desperate to find a physical activity that I enjoyed enough to get off the couch. My treadmill didn’t seem to work -- maybe because I rarely used it. I was very lucky because Ken was there and immediately made a wise crack, handed me a paddle and encouraged me during my first games. Did I mention he has a great personality? I left that day in love with the game.

My experience was not unique. Ken keeps in contact with the players through e-mail and encourages them to share their personal stories about what pickleball means to them. The numerous responses have been inspiring. Many, like Ken, are struggling with health issues and they credit pickleball with changing their lives. He looks forward to a time when there will be a facility in the area that offers lessons, tournaments and more opportunities to play. I hope you’re lucky enough to run into Pickleball Ken; he’s a mess.
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Rules Review...

Service Sequence
By Dennis Dacey, USAPA Rules Chair
This month I received a question about Service Sequence Rules that I thought is worth sharing.

Question: If players are in the wrong position and this is not recognized by either the opponents or the referee, how/when is this corrected?
Answer:  The comments after IFP Rule 5.B.10 state:
In tournament play, unless asked, the referee shall not correct player positions until a service sequence fault has occurred by a serving or receiving team.
  • When an incorrect serve is recognized immediately after the rally, the point does not count.
  • When an incorrect serve is not recognized until the server has lost the serve, the most recent point scored by that server on an illegal serve, if any, does not count.
  • When an incorrect serve is not recognized until the server has lost the serve and the partner has scored a point on the serve, the point of the first server counts. If the point scored by the partner is also the result of an illegal serve, that point does not count.
  • When an incorrect serve is not recognized until after the opposing team has served, points scored on the previous serves count.

Ask Pickleball Polly...

Dear Polly,
I enjoyed your first column about the lady and her husband discovering one of the unusual sides of pickleball and I thought your advice was right on the money. I have been reluctant to write concerning an issue that I have, but I have reached a point where I must seek outside help. My situation is somewhat reversed. I am of the male persuasion and it is my wife of many years who makes the regular journey to the pickleball park on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights, as well as occasional morning sessions to, as she puts it, “Get her pickle on.” Recently she told me about an upcoming tournament in which she would be playing what she described as a “3.5.” This number was assigned to her by the tournament director, I think. She told me she thought 3.5 was realistic, but I am upset – I think she deserves a higher number.

Now although my wife was never a “10,” she was, and is, a good looking woman who deserves better. Granted, some things have started to sag in a couple of the areas, but I think I should call this tournament director person and demand that he/she reevaluate the number assigned my wife – she’s at least a 7 or 8. Before I call and rattle some cages I put my trust in your knowledge and any help you can give me would be appreciated. If she is really a 3.5 then her pickleball game isn’t the only thing sagging in her life.
Signed, Disappointed in the Digits
Dear Digits (or should I say Double D),
Time to make you smarter than a fifth grader in the world of pickleball and the rating system used to place players in their respective divisions in tournament play. Players are rated on their skill and experience level, not on their looks. Although I must say that Pickleball Polly was quite the looker in her younger days and still gets an occasional glance when wearing a lime green dri-fit top and tennis skirt, I’m still not considered to be much above a 4 anymore. The pickleball rating system ranges from 2.0 to 5.0 with levels 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 and 4.5 in between. Ratings may be determined by the tournament director or sometimes by self assessment. It wouldn’t be much fun to have 3.0 players competing against 5.0 players in the same division. I can also assure you that players would never underestimate their skill level to get an easier path to medals in tournaments they play (wink, wink). There are no 10’s in pickleball, but we do play games to 11.

On a side note, I can help your wife with those sagging issues in her northern and southern hemispheres. Watch for my infomercial that airs every Wednesday morning at 2:29am on Cable Channel 673 (check local listings for your area). The product is called Polly’s Pucker Up/Tighten Up Pickleball Miracle Cream, available for three easy payments of $19.99; $5 discount for USAPA members.
In Pickleball, Polly
Ed Note: To seek Pickleball Polly’s advice for your personal issues submit questions to newsletter@usapa.org, with “Ask Polly” in the subject line.
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Bits & Pieces…
Improve Your Tennis Strokes By Playing Pickleball
Submitted by Gary Cimperman, Slidell, Louisiana
“Keep your eye on the ball!” I can hear my former high school tennis coach scream these six simple words to this day. I can still see her standing four courts over, directing me to watch the ball hit the strings. Growing up I was a fairly decent tennis player, winning numerous local tennis tournaments with a powerful serve and a consistent ground game.  However, my volleys were severely lacking. This was due to something that I only later learned is called “soft vision.” At the point of contact, I had a problem of focusing my eye contact on where I wanted to hit the ball and not the ball itself! The result was a volley that too often found its way into the net. Since first playing pickleball last year I began playing better tennis, particularly at the net. Upon reflection, I realized that due to the pace of the game and the fact that pickleball is usually won at the net, I was being forced to watch the ball through to the paddle. This habit followed me out onto the tennis court, where I started to hit fewer unforced errors and win more matches. So here’s some advice for my fellow tennis players. Having trouble with your volleys? The answer is in pickleball!

Pickleball in Ruidoso, New Mexico…
Submitted by Kai Brown, USAPA Ambassador, Lincoln County, New Mexico
A small Southeastern N.M. resort town, year-round population 11,000 and summer population 35,000, has adopted pickleball as the sport of choice. We began one year ago with four public courts on an unused tennis court and four courts shared at a private tennis facility. Today, remarkably, we have four private newly-constructed permanent courts, four new private shared courts, eight public shared courts, four public dedicated outdoor courts, three public dedicated indoor courts, two private indoor courts and pickleball added to the Village high school physical education program.
The adjoining county has requested demonstrations for possible use on their tennis courts. And as an additional outcome, several summer visitors are returning to Texas enthusiastic about developing pickleball in their communities. Pickleball definitely rocks in Southeastern New Mexico.
USAPA Grants at Work in Norwalk, Connecticut
Submitted by Julie DeMarco, Program Director, Norwalk Senior Center
A few years ago I sent a request for pickleball equipment and guidance for our senior center in Norwalk, Conn. [to the USAPA Board]. Not only did you send us great equipment (we're a limited-budget, non-profit senior center), but you were so supportive of our new activity. I wanted to be sure to take time to tell you how the program has taken off. We went from once a month with three people to five times a week with more than 20 people playing. There's a system for play and turn-waiting and we get visitors from other towns who come to play. Thanks to you, pickleball at the Norwalk Senior Center is a thriving and competitive program for active seniors. Thank you so much for your help and support.

USAPA Grants at Work in Highland Lakes
Submitted by Dori Zarr, Highland Lakes, New Jersey
Last summer I introduced pickleball to the Highland Lakes club. This summer, we taped two courts on the volleyball court. Bill Beardsley, Tom Burke and I also taught classes. To encourage players to purchase their own paddles we shared ours with those who came all the time. We mainly taught adults, but our playing area was next to a basketball court where teens played at night. We invited them over to learn the game and pickleball quickly became old vs. young, or experienced vs. teenagers. Purchasing an extra net we taped another court. I wrote articles each week for our local Highland Lakes paper along with pictures showing various players, especially men, since at first some tennis players said it wasn't a man’s sport. The club recently painted lines for two courts where our tape had been. We are considering approaching the club about using the indoor clubhouse for the winter. The ceiling is not high, but that might teach us to play 'low over the net,' as opposed to lobs. Last spring, we set up two make-shift courts at Glen Meadow School for 7th and 8th graders and taught interested teachers, especially physical education teachers. Perhaps pickleball could be a reward for good behavior, especially during lunches on days when weather is bad and kids can’t go outside.
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Pickleball Poem of the Month…
Submitted by Jerry Peterson, Plymouth, Minnesota
Whether you "live to play"
Or "play to live,"
In the game of pickleball
It is the effort you give.
They play in their 50's
60's, 70's and more,
The ultimate goal is Champions
In age 90-94.
Smash it or dink it
No matter the shot,
The benefits are fantastic
Whether you win or not.
As each game is ended
With an eleven point score,
You touch paddles at the net
And wish you could play more.
The people are friendly
More awesome than not,
Lasting friendships develop
With each passing shot.
At 2 AM your legs cramp up
And you fall into the shower door,
At 6 AM your alarm goes off
And you jump out of bed for more.
Whether you win
Or whether you fall,
One can always proclaim
"It’s a great day for pickleball!"


No Dumb Questions…
Play Up. Play Down. Which is it?
Submitted by Don Walker, Surprise, Arizona

Question: Can a player play down in an "age" tournament and play up in a "skill" tournament?  Why or why not?
Answer provided by Dennis Duey, USAPA Tournament Sanctioning Chair
The Event Eligibility requirements from the USAPA Tournament Points document states:
  • In the Junior Age Divisions, players may enter any event for which they are not too old and may enter a 19+ event. Comment: They may NOT enter any other older age division events.
  • In the Adult and Senior Age Division, players may enter any event for which they are not too young. Comment: That is, they may play down into a younger age bracket, but not up into an older age bracket. This also holds true for senior tournaments (50+).
  • In Rated [i.e., skill level] events, a player may NOT play in an event rated lower, but may play in one rated higher. A RATED event is open to players of any age, including Juniors, Adults, and Seniors. A Senior Rated event is open only to players who are 50+. Comment: For instance, a player rated 4.0 may play in a 4.0 or above event, but cannot enter a 3.5 or below event. 
The reason for each of these rules is fairness. A 55-year-old player would theoretically have an unfair advantage if he or she were to play in a 70+ event (age bracket). The same is true of a 4.0 player in a 3.5 or lower event. However, older players may play down and lower rated players may play up, if they desire the stiffer competition or their doubles partner is in a lower age bracket or higher skill level.
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Places to Play…
Indoor or Out in Waukesha Wisconsin…
Submitted by Dave Iselin
The City of Waukesha, Wis., Parks and Forestry department has put in six outdoor courts at Banding Park with nets, lights and parking. One-hundred-ten members share the outdoor courts on Tues., Wed., Fri. and Sat. 9 to 11 am, and Tues., Wed., Thurs. and Sun. nights 5:30 to 8:30 pm. We will also play indoors Tues. and Thurs. 10 am to noon starting Oct. 1. Our outdoor courts are located at 2000 Wolfe Rd., Waukesha. Contact: Dave Iselin, 262-719-1934 ext.1667 or Waukesha City recreation department, 262-524-3737.
Ed. Note: Places to Play is a little light this issue; seems everyone is out enjoying the final days of summer and early fall. If you have new places to play be sure to add them to the USAPA Website (http://usapa.org/ptp/) and submit a short article (100 – 150 words) for inclusion in the e-Newsletter.

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USAPA Merchandise Online…

Look cool, know the rules, own a net, show your support and learn to play. The USAPA Online Store is one-stop shopping. Visit http://usapa.org/store/ to purchase the official USAPA-IFP Tournament Rulebook, window stickers, logo apparel, net systems, instructional DVDs and more. And don’t miss the latest in apparel designs at CafePress.com/pickleball.

On the Road with David & Nancy…
By David Jordan, USAPA Marketing & Sales Chair and Nancy Jordan, USAPA Membership Chair

Ed. Note: The Jordan’s live in a 40’ motor home full time, and play pickleball, participate in tournaments and put on free clinics as they travel the U.S.
After a couple of weeks of R&R from our journey with our granddaughter, Summer, we decided to head north to Cheyenne, Wyo., for their State Senior Olympic Pickleball Tournament. This tournament was a qualifier for the NSGA National Tournament next summer in Cleveland, Ohio, so we thought we would also try to get qualified. We traveled the 500 miles from Albuquerque, N.M., to Cheyenne via car, because fuel prices made it cheaper than taking the motor home. Along the way we stopped in Colorado Springs and played with an enthusiastic group at Monument Valley Park, a beautiful setting for pickleball, with lots of large trees and walking trails. Many of the players were practicing for their upcoming Pikes Peak or Bust Tournament. Upon arriving in Cheyenne we checked out the indoor venue at the local community college. It is a great facility with seven courts set up for the 100 plus players. We met our partners, Rob and Linda Gartlan, and practiced the evening before the start of the tournament. Coordinators Frank Shenefelt and Georgia Befus and all the local volunteers did an outstanding job of running the tournament and play was very competitive. We were also privileged to meet some of the local pickleball legends, including Darrell Hammer, an 82-year-old superstar who still plays top notch pickleball, and we were lucky enough to qualify for the 2013 NSGA Tournament. 

After the tournament, we stayed an extra day to take in the local sites. We met a couple of retired educators who offer daily free carriage rides in downtown Cheyenne. They were very knowledgeable and filled us in on all the local history while being pulled around town by their two beautiful Clydesdale horses. If you are in Cheyenne on a weekend, check out the downtown farmer’s market. We had a great time in Cheyenne and plan to return again sometime in the future.

On the way back to N.M. we stopped in Colorado Springs again to take a look at the fire damage. It was sad to see the destruction. It made us marvel at the dedication of the brave firefighters who labored many long hours to get this blaze under control.   

 Photo caption:(l-r) Frank Shenefelt, Darrell Hammer, Georgia Befus.

After Colorado Springs we made a stop in Las Vegas, N.M., to see an old high-school friend of David’s who lives in a remote valley high in the mountains 20 miles west of Las Vegas. This is a resort community with an 18-hole golf course and many other amenities, but no pickleball, yet. We quickly took the opportunity to set up a net and do a presentation for the locals. They seemed very interested in adding pickleball to their resort. Now we are off to the San Diego Senior Olympics and the Huntsman World Games. Safe travels to all. 
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2013 National Senior Games Association Qualifying Events…
By David Jordan, USAPA Marketing & Sales Chair
Check out the following site for qualifying State Olympic Games and get qualified for the NSGA Nationals in Cleveland, Ohio, July, 2013: http://www.nsga.com/state-senior-games/summer-games  Click on the state you would like information about and register. For more information visit http://usapa.org/faq/nsga.php.

Sit to Hit
By Barb Wintroub 

While I was watching the five-hour final of the U.S. Open from my sofa, I paid attention to the players’ ability to move and hit the fuzz off the ball on each shot. They use their legs and body rotation to get their power. Like golfers who ground their lower half in order to coil and uncoil their upper half. When I watch pickleball players hit most bend at the waist and use their arm instead of bending their knees, especially on the dink. Many lean forward to hit, which causes them to be off balance for the second and third shot.

To see how strong your lower half is sit in a soft chair and try to get up without using your hands. Next, try to hover over the chair before sitting or rising off. This exercise will give you an idea how strong your legs and buns are. Next, sit on your coffee table or something lower to the ground (Eg. toilet) and do the same exercises. Do 10 or 15 sit-to-stand exercises slowly. Finally, sit on a bench, take your paddle back as if you were hitting a forehand, rise off the bench as you rotate and swing the paddle, thus using your abdominal and leg muscles to hit the ball. Do this exercise on the backhand side also. I guarantee if you do this exercise 10 to 15 times you will certainly feel worked in your whole body.

Now, stand at the no-volley line facing the net and pretend you are sitting in a chair. As you continue to sit (squat) at the line, sidestep along the line in both directions as you pretend to dink the ball. Your legs and bun muscles will get quite a workout and your balance and ability to hit a better dink will increase. The idea of these exercises is to keep the top part of your body directly over the lower half of your body using rotation and leg strength to hit the ball with conviction from the baseline and with accuracy from the "kitchen" line.

Demos & Clinics...
 Promote Your Clinic and Demo Dates on USAPA.org
Group events such as demonstrations, clinics and lessons can now be posted on the USAPA Website. A great way to promote your educational events. Any USAPA member can add or edit events that are of general public interest. Under the terms of service, it may not be used for advertising private or semi-private lessons. The link to Demos & Clinics is under PICKLEBALLZONE in the left menu at www.usapa.org. Take a look to see what’s happening in your area.

Tournament Schedule and Results…
Want to know about upcoming tournaments around the country?  See Tournament Schedule for information and details. And what about tournament results? Visit http://usapa.org/tournamentnews/index.php to find out who won and lost. Tournament Directors, contact your USAPA Regional Director or Media Relations Chair, David Johnson at the USAPA Contact Page for assistance with creating a press release to promote your upcoming tournament.
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Newsletter Submission Guidelines…
If you have articles, news items, questions or photos that you would like to submit please send them to newsletter@usapa.org. The submission deadline for possible inclusion in the next issue is the 15th of the month. The desired length is between 100 and 175 words. We also encourage members to submit contact information for potential Player Profile candidates.
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Do Not Forward...

Reader Note: 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. Prior newsletters are available in the newsletter section at usapa.org one month after they have been e-mailed to members. 
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The Final Word…
Your Fuel for Nationals
By Jennifer Lucore, USAPA e-Newsletter Publisher
Are you getting ready for Nationals? Ready to compete in our sport’s biggest yearly event? Ready to meet a ton of wonderful new friends? Ready to test your body to its limits? Ready to remember to eat and drink during the day so you keep fuel and energy in your body? Having the appetite to eat and remembering to eat or snack every few hours is key to getting from first-round match to 6pm finals. What are you going to eat or snack on? I would love to hear what your special ‘fuels’ (foods and drinks) are. Please e-mail your preferred fuels directly to me at publisher@usapa.org and I will share them in a future Final Word column. It will be fun to compare food ideas.

Here is a photo of my new find: tuna or chicken salad, avocados and tomatoes in a to-go cup. Of course you can add much more to it: sliced grapes, nuts, feta, cucumbers and more!  Perfect to make the night before a tournament and pack in your ice chest. Bring crackers and you'll have a great healthy snack waiting for you. Yum!!
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