Paddle & Ball Rule Changes, Nationals VII Live Streaming info, & Tournament recaps from Spain, Huntsman, and Great Plains Regional
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MEMBER NOTE: Starting in January 2016, the USAPA Pickleball eNewsletter will be delivered to members on the first Tuesday of each month.
November 2015 Edition
In this issue...
 

Message from the President

USAPA Nationals VII Pickleball Tournament just one week away!

WOW, just a week away and we will be in Casa Grande, Arizona for Nationals VII. It seems like just yesterday that we finished Nationals VI, how time flies when you are having fun! This year’s National Tournament, presented by Aetna, will be bigger and better than ever. With a new venue, more dedicated pickleball courts, increased prize money, entertainment, clinics, seminars, social events, vendor demonstrations and more; whether you are playing or spectating, we guarantee you'll have a good time. It’s going to be a great eight days of pickleball in the Southwest with over 900 registered attendees celebrating the golden anniversary of pickleball, this year’s event will be the best yet.

Players should be receiving informational emails on a daily bases starting tomorrow, so be sure you are looking for these to keep you up-to-date on all the information coming your way.

Here’s to hoping the sun shines for the week and that each match is played in the spirit of fun and sportsmanship. Thanks for your participation and we wish everyone the best of luck – enjoy!

David Jordan, President

Get Social for #NationalsVII

Tag your posts with #NationalsVII; streams will be posted online

USAPA Nationals VII coverage starts in less than one week with on-the-ground reporting from our team of Social Ambassadors. Whether you're going to Casa Grande or not, make sure when you're talking about Nationals VII you tag your social media posts with ‪#NationalsVII‬. We'll be posting Daily Reports on USAPA.org with your updates from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Read more about how you can track the day-to-day activities at Casa Grande

Nationals VII: Live Streaming Nov. 13-15

In one week, the USAPA 2015 Nationals VII Pickleball Tournament, presented by Aetna, opens at its new venue in Casa Grande, Ariz. Final preparations are underway and our tournament directors and sponsors look forward to welcoming the 900+ participants and spectators to our annual National tournament. For those not attending, you can track the day-to-day (and potentially hour-by-hour) activity using social media.

We hope that for those pickleball fanatics looking to get in on the action at Casa Grande, you will tune-in to the live-streaming of the Open Tournament which starts on Friday. Thanks to Enetlive.TV, a custom channel for the USAPA has been created at USAPAnetwork.com; this is a brand new channel and not yet finished. The USAPA page will be fully functioning in the coming days.

Broadcast Schedule:

  • Fri., Nov. 13: Open & Senior Open Men's and Women's Doubles (6 hr. block - times TBA)
  • Sat., Nov. 14: Open & Senior Open Mixed Doubles (6 hr. block - times TBA)
  • Sun., Nov. 15: Open & Senior Open Men's and Women's Singles (6 hr. block - times TBA)​

FREE Sponsor Demo Session

Thursday, November 12, the USAPA is offering a FREE 2-hour manufacturer's demo session from 11:30am-1:30pm at Palm Creek. Players and the general public are encouraged to join us for a fun and informative afternoon of everything pickleball! This is your best-ever chance to hit the courts, try the latest paddles and equipment from the best pickleball manufacturers, and get some tips from the leading experts in our sport. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, you will not want to miss this event!

USAPA Training Update

By Linda and Lynn Laymon, USAPA Training Chairs

 

Instructor Training Round table/ Referee Certification Update
Thurs. Nov. 12 – Ocotillo Room, Palm Creek Resort, Casa Grande, Ariz.

At each session we will be presenting an update on the Referee Certification program followed by an open discussion for all who are interested in USAPA Instructor Training and Certification. The combined Referee Training/Certification update and Instructor Training/Certification roundtable meetings have been scheduled so attendees can participate in one of these sessions as well as either of the Ratings seminars, which run concurrently. No signup necessary. Feel free to bring your lunch. Two sessions – 11:30am–12:20pm and 12:40pm-1:30pm.

Online Player Rules Quiz

Recreational players prepare to test your pickleball knowledge! As an added feature on the USAPA website we have created a fun 50-question Player Rules Quiz designed as a learning exercise for players who mainly participate in non-officiated play. Although the rules are the same for recreational and tournament play, it's up to the players to make the call when there is no referee to enforce the rules. A reference to the related section of the IFP/USAPA Rules is included at the end of each question, but don’t spoil your fun; complete the quiz and see which questions you miss before referring back to the rulebook. If you want to test your knowledge of the IFP/USAPA rules, give this quiz a try; you can take the quiz as often as you like. Visit Rules and Referees drop-down menu on USAPA.org to test out your skills.

No Dumb Questions

A safe place for people to ask our Rules Chair pickleball questions

Question: I really like my paddle, but the ones I prefer have no coating on the bare fiberglass/epoxy surface. I have painted mine with a gloss epoxy enamel to protect it. The rules say that the surface must not contain holes, texturing, reflective features, etc. that would impart additional spin or otherwise distract an opponent (2.E.2) and that the surface may be painted, but must otherwise adhere to the surface requirements (2.E. 2.a). Later the rules say the surface is not one of the paddle features that can be altered on a commercial paddle (2.E.5). However, my smooth glossy epoxy paint is not prohibited by any of the guidelines in Prohibited Surface Features (2.E.6) and meets the requirements of 2.E.2.a. I need some clarification. Thanks!

Answer: The author only needs to refer to rule 2.E.5 Alterations. All the other rules under 2.E Paddle Specifications, are stating what the paddle manufacturer must adhere to. In Rule 2.E.5, it is referring specifically to what the owner of the paddle can do, in Alterations, to the paddle. In this case, painting the paddle, by the owner, is not allowed.

This month's Newsletter sponsors

Paddle & Ball Rules Changes

By Dennis Dacey, USAPA Rules Chair

Over the last few years, we have seen a proliferation in the introduction of new paddles and, more recently, balls. Some of these new paddles and balls have barely met or exceeded the applicable specifications set forth in the existing rules. Others, while technically compliant with the present rules, have designs or characteristics that reward players who want the sport to become faster and tilted more toward power and less toward finesse. The USAPA and IFP are committed to preserving pickleball in a manner that does not favor any one style of player. We adhere to the following maxim: In deciding any matter related to equipment, the IFP is required to interpret the rules in a manner that will preserve the traditional nature and character of the sport and preserve the skills traditionally required to play the sport. The existing rules have proven to be inadequate when evaluating new paddle and ball designs based on this guideline.

READ... A full description of changes related to paddle and ball specifications

Effective date:  Although the rules stated are being amended and added as of November 1, 2015, they will not become effective for existing products until May 1, 2016. There will be a grace period until May 1, 2016 to allow manufacturers time to develop conforming products and to allow players to adapt to those conforming products. In the meantime, paddles and balls that meet current specifications may be used in sanctioned tournaments.

RECAP: Spain Int'l Pickleball Tournament

Overseas tournament attracts global audience

Article submitted by David Jordan

Nancy and I traveled to beautiful Spain in early September for the Spain International Pickleball Tournament to be held in Madrid the middle of the month. It was a great trip and pickleball players from 10 different countries were there to help kick off Spain’s first International Tournament. The tournament was held at the La Chopera sports center where Mike Hess, president of Pickleball Spain, and crew had set up 23 courts. The sports center is located in the 350 acre Buen Retiro Park, largest park in the city of Madrid and was attended by 125 players

READ... Tournmaent recap submitted by USAPA President, David Jordan

RECAP: 2015 Huntsman World Senior Games

Huntsman yet again wows participants with 24 outdoor courts

Recap submitted by David Jordan

Located in St. George, Utah, the Huntsman World Senior Games attracts over 10,000 athletes every year. It is held the beginning of the first full week of October each year and is attended by athletes from all over the world. Pickleball was played on 24 beautiful public courts at the Little Valley Sports Complex, which is – as far as I know – the largest public outdoor pickleball facility in the United States.

READ... A Player's Perspective: The 2015 Huntsman World Senior Games

With the addition of 12 new courts this year at the complex, the event was able to be held in a single location. The 548 players were welcomed with above average temperatures but sunny, windless days prevailed throughout the five day tournament. Players showed up from across the US and Canada, and played almost 1,400 matches. It was a great time for all in a beautiful location with a great group of pickleball players who enjoyed not only great pickleball but a great social gathering in Southern Utah. As usual, games of this size take a lot of volunteers and the folks of St. George and the pickleball players joined together to get the job done for another successful tournament. Information on the World Games can be found on their website at: http://seniorgames.net/

Get ready for #NATIONALSVII coverage

Don't forget to tag us in your social media posts

Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, don't forget to tag us in your posts. You can either use the hashtag: #NationalsVII or tag us on any of the networks below. The updates we receive will be used for our end-of-day recaps. Coverage of 2015 Nationals VII

RECAP: Great Plains Regional Tournament

Article submitted by Steve & Ramona Boone, Regional Directors

The inaugural USAPA Great Plains Regional Tournament was held in Colorado Springs, Colo., from September 10th through the 13th. The Tournament was a great success in every regard. Highlights included beautiful "made in the USA Medals" and bracket play that featured age bracket competition against equal skill levels for award purposes. With "Americas Mountain", Pikes Peak, overlooking the National Historic Park venue, players from 18 States, Canada and Mexico had high praise for all aspects of the competition.

The Mayor of Colorado Springs gave opening remarks during opening ceremonies and the Colorado Springs City Council declared the 10th of September "Pickleball Day in Colorado Springs". 249 players competed in 422 matches over the 4 day Tourney. Jack Thomas, USAPA Director of Ambassadors said. "the only way I could have had more fun is if there were two of me". Other notable USAPA guests included Paul and Linda Hoggatt, USAPA Directors, Southwest Region and past Director of the Great Lakes, Ron Stiers.

The Pikes Peak Pickleball Association hosted the event, providing the Director, volunteers, and all supplies and equipment, while the City of Colorado Springs provided the venue at Monument Valley Park. Plans are underway to conduct the second Great Plains Tournament in the same location in September 2016.

Upcoming Regional Tournaments

Here's your chance to register for these USAPA Regional Tournaments

New Ambassadors join the ranks

As pickleball grows, so does the number of USAPA Ambassadors

This month, the USAPA appointed new ambassadors from New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Colorado and 11 other states. See if you recognize any of their names; and congratulate them if you do.

See who is now a USAPA Ambassador in your neck of the woods.

BECOME AN AMBASSADOR... The growth of pickleball often relies on the work of our ambassadors. This growing group of volunteers are scattered all across the United States; their mission is to help players become more organized and really enjoy the sport of pickleball. Each month the USAPA is adding more ambassadors to the ranks and now each month we'll be announcing these amazing volunteers. Visit USAPA.org for more information.

Updates from the USAPA Regions

Stories from the Great Lakes, Northwest, and Southwest Regions

There are times when we can learn about new ways to connect with players by reading stories from different USAPA regions. What works in Michigan may work in Massachusetts. We hope that by sharing stories from the different USAPA regions, we all can become more connected to the USAPA member base.

READ... this month's Regional Updates

USAPA's most popular posts on Facebook

This month in Tennis.com, an article was posted about the growth of the sport we love. We posted it to Facebook, and in less than 12 hours it had been shared 83 times and reached an audience of more than 10,000 people! 

If you're on Facebook, but not a fan of the USAPA, you're missing out on great daily updates.

Become a fan Today.

This Vimeo video posted Keith Bing was the 2nd most popular post on the USAPA's Facebook channel during the month of October. For those living in places where outdoor play is limited during the winter, this might be something you should try.

Fitness: Pickleball

Backpack your way to good pickleball posture

This month Barb Wintroub shares with us a great video routine that shows us why good pickleball posture is important for good pickleball playing. As she mentions in the video, if you're hunched over and putting too much strain on your neck, you won't be able to move your arms very well. 

SHARE YOUR WARMUP ROUTINE:  If you have your own warm-up routine, write it up and submit it using our online form. If you want to send a video as well, post it to YouTube and include the link on the form.

Backpack your way to good Pickleball Posture

Bits & Pieces

Monthly updates from our members

An "unexpected visitor" showed up for pickleball in Lake Wildwood, Penn Valley, Calif., last month for the grand opening of the group's new pickleball courts.

Players had a good laugh with the life-size cutout of Pope Francis "blessing" the courts. Lake Wildwood is a gated community (folks of all ages) nestled in the foothills of the Sierras, about 70 miles Northeast of Sacramento.

"Our own courts have been a long time coming," said Gerry Cosby, who, along with her husband Stan, introduced pickleball to Lake Wildwood in 2009. "Pickleball adds to the great mix of sports here in Lake Wildwood golf, tennis, bocce ball, volleyball and lake sports. We have a very active club of 157 members, and all of us, aside from loving the game, have enjoyed meeting new friends, and just having a great time, both physically and socially."

PB Channel: Huntsman World Senior Games

In this episode of Pickleball Channelwatch this quick video and hear from the pickleball players – including Barb Wintroub and Jim Hackenberg – at the Huntsman World Senior Games as they tell you why they love this tournament. Whether it’s your first time or you’ve been coming for years, the Huntsman World Senior Games has so much to offer

Submit your "Tournament Perspective"

Be featured in our newsletter and on USAPA.org

This month, Alice Dodgson wrote a nice article about why competing at the Huntsman World Senior Games is more about the camaraderie than just winning medals. A Player's Perspective is always fun to read - whether you're a top player in your category, or you go to have fun; or you are somewhere in between. If you plan on playing in an upcoming USAPA Sanctioned Tournament, we'd love to hear about your tournament experience. This is not a "book report" or a tournament recap. This is you telling us about the time you had at the tournament.

Submit your Player's Perspective online 

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