May 2012  e-Newsletter 

In this issue...


From the Editors...

As you read this we are feverishly preparing for a pickleball vacation. Yes, a pickleball vacation. During the first week in May more than 125 pickleball enthusiasts from around the country are packing their paddles for a week of casual play, clinics, fierce competition, serious socializing and all the other non-pickleball activities offered at this all-inclusive resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Activities like this are a testament to how pickleball is quickly maturing into a world-class sport. In this month’s feature article read about just how rapidly pickleball is growing, both USAPA membership and places to play; the numbers are staggering. Dr. Michael Hess presents his second installment of Perspectives on the Pickleball Survey and in Bits and Pieces two cruise groups share their experiences with pickleball at sea. Louis Matz offers yet another challenge to USAPA members and John Sloan writes about pickleball in Ghana. Dennis Dacey explains the Time-out Rules, Barbara Wintroub shares tips on how to safely prepare for physical activity and in No Dumb Questions we address where your partner can and cannot stand while serving or receiving. It is a great issue. Enjoy…
      Your Editors, Lynn & Linda Laymon, newsletter@usapa.org
 

We've come a Long Way... And It's Only Just Begun

Pickleball originated in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, just outside Seattle, Washington. On a rainy summer afternoon Joel Prichard’s kids were bored and testy, so he gave them some badminton rackets and a softball sized wiffle ball and told them to go play. What developed eventually became known as pickleball. The game soon moved to the mainland where regular play and even tournaments emerged. Pickleball was pretty much centered in the Seattle area until the late 1980s when migrating snowbirds carried it south on their annual pilgrimages to Florida and Arizona. From there the game quickly spread and in 2001 it was introduced into the Arizona Senior Olympics.

In 2000 there were 33 places to play pickleball in North America and fewer than 1000 players. The number of players in Surprise, Arizona and The Villages in central Florida soon exploded into the thousands; by the end of 2007 there were nearly 200 places to play in the U.S. and about 30,000 players. As indicated on the maps and linked chart, by the end of 2011 the numbers had grown to nearly 1,300 places to play and over 100,000 players. 
































Until recently pickleball has been known as a sport for seniors, primarily because they promoted it as they traveled the country in their RVs. Especially in the Seattle area, however, pickleball popularity has been growing with younger players as well. Today the sport is being introduced in schools, community centers, churches and YMCAs across the country. Unused tennis courts are being converted, tennis complexes are adding pickleball to their recreation agendas and younger families are discovering that pickleball is a sport they can all play together. For many pickleball has been a life-changing experience because it is fun and easy to learn, great exercise and the rules are designed to take away or limit the advantages of youth and size. The idea is to create more “hits,” which in turn generates more fun and social interaction.

USAPA is growing as well. In 2006 the organization had 422 members. By 2008 membership had more than doubled, to 1,012, and over the next three years membership catapulted to 3,524. At the end of January 2012 USAPA was 3,621 members strong. Click here to view the detailed numbers of players, courts and places to play since 2000, broken down by region. And we have only just begun.

Ed Note: USAPA Training Chair Norm Davis and USAPA Membership Chair Nancy Jordan contributed significantly to this article. 
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Perspectives on the Pickleball Survey Results (Second in a Series)…
By Dr. Michael Hess, Pickleball Aficionado and Professor of Sport Marketing and Management

Pickleball in Cyberspace
Apparently pickleballers not only enjoy their sport while on the court, but also by surfing pickleball-related Websites. One of the most visited online pickleball destinations is USAPA’s usapa.org. USAPA provides a great deal of information on its site as a way to inform, connect, support, educate, train, entertain, promote and interact with pickleball players throughout the world. Thus, some of the objectives of the USAPA Pickleball Survey included learning more about 1) who visits the Website, 2) how frequently they visit and 3) what content and services they use at the site. Nearly 80% of all survey respondents (1,920 of 2,400) have visited the USAPA Website at least once. In order to gain insight into exactly who visits the Website we analyzed several different segments. For example, would you expect males or females to be more likely to visit usapa.org. Turns out it’s close, but males (80%) are slightly more likely than females (75%) to visit.

How about location? States with the highest percentage of USAPA Website visitors are: Tennessee (96%), and Arizona and Utah (91%), along with a number of states above 80% (Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Virginia and Washington).

What about age groups? We learned that 55-59 year-olds top the list at 81%. Interestingly, the second spot goes to the 75-79 age group at 80%. It’s also good to see that a high percentage of younger pickleball players have visited the site (79% of 25-29 year olds), though clearly in smaller numbers. In line with these percentages are a number of other age groups: 65-69 and 70-74 (79%), 60-64 (78%), and 50-54 and 80-84 (77%).

Another interesting segment that we analyzed was players’ “perceived skill level.” Those who rated their skill level as “advanced/superior” are the most likely to have visited the Website (87%), followed by above average (83%), intermediate/average (72%), below average (66%), and introductory/beginner (42%). Regarding the frequency of visits, 60% of those who visit the Website do so at least once a month, almost 20% at least once a week and 2% are surfing the Website daily (see Figure 1 below).



Once again we can deepen our analysis to see who the most frequent visitors are. Focusing on those who visit usapa.org “at least once a week,” here’s what we found. Males are slightly higher at 21% versus 16% for females. By age groups the most frequent Website visitors are: 45-49 (32%), 50-54 (28%), 75-79 (26%), 55-59 (20%), 60-64 and 70-74 (18%) and 65-69 (15%). Now that we’ve seen who’s visiting the site and how often they’re visiting, let’s analyze the content and services pickleballers are interested in at usapa.org. Why do you visit the site? It might be interesting to compare your interests with other pickleball players. One way we can segment them is “USAPA members” and “non-members.” For USAPA members the most popular content includes: pickleball news (65%), places to play (60%), newsletter (56%), rules for playing (55%) and tournament information (50%). Non-members’ main interests are slightly different and include: rules for playing (51%), places to play (36%) and in third place both pickleball videos and tips on improving play (26%).

Here’s a look at a few other segments and their respective content preferences. Males and females are quite similar, with a few exceptions. Females are more interested in pickleball videos (46% versus 39%) as well as tips on improving play (43% versus 37%), while males are more interested in rules for playing (57% versus 51%). Content preferences also vary among different age groups. Among the most popular content categories, the following age groups demonstrated the highest levels of interest: pickleball news (60-64 at 70%), rules for playing (40-44 at 70%), places to play (40-44 and 45-49 at 70%), newsletter (55-59 at 60%), tips on improving play (70-74 at 47%), pickleball videos (50-54 and 75-79 at 45%) and to learn about products (45-49 at 37%).

Already a visitor? Share the Website with someone who isn’t. Never been to usapa.org. Definitely worth a visit, whether you’re a beginner or a top ranked player. Want to share information? Find a place to play? Join a club? Improve your serve? See pickleball in the news? Submit news or information? Find products? Run a tournament? It’s all there, plus a whole lot more. And with the insight gained from the survey, USAPA is better equipped to fine-tune the Website and further enhance your enjoyment of pickleball both on and off the court. 

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Player Profile... David and Aspen Kern: For Love of the Sport… 
By Linda Laymon

This father and son duo first learned about pickleball just over four years ago and since then it has all but consumed their lives. Under the tutelage of his uncle, a professional tennis coach, Aspen began playing competitive tennis as a preteen. However, at 14, he was sidelined by a wrist injury. It was about that time that they discovered pickleball.

As full-time RVers, the Kern family (David, Aspen and mother Brenda) traveled continuously for 13 years, staying primarily within the Thousand Trails (TT) RV resort system. Many of these TT parks have built, converted or painted pickleball lines on tennis or basketball courts. It was at one of these parks that they first saw pickleball being played. “We thought that Aspen might be able to play pickleball without the strain on his wrist,” explained David. “We tried it and immediately fell in love with the game. It is much more fun than tennis.” They quickly became addicted, playing singles against each other for five or more hours a day. This dedication to improvement has paid off in skill as well as exercise. David and Aspen are now the only father-son 5.0 rated team in USAPA. Both have won medals at the USAPA Nationals. They still play a couple of hours every day, but now focus on drills. Taking the advice of Aspen’s former tennis coach, they concentrate on weak points, turning them into strengths. They call their favorite game Electric Shock. Standing at the kitchen line, players may only dink and volley. “Doing drills allows you to get better faster,” says David.

Until Aspen turned 19 and became an adult player, competition was limited because there are so few junior players. Currently living in the Phoenix east valley, Aspen wants to inspire more youth to play pickleball. “By offering free clinics we hope to introduce more young players to this wonderful family sport,” says David. To date they have convinced one city to paint pickleball lines on an unused tennis court, introduced the sport in two area high schools and hope to do clinics at suburban recreation centers. David and Aspen can be contacted at bkern33@gmail.comEd Note: We intend to profile pickleball players from all over, not just the southwest, but we can only write about those we know. Please e-mail newsletter@usapa.org with the name, a short explanation and contact information for anyone you feel deserves to be profiled in a future issue. 
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Rules Review... Time-Out for Water
By Dennis Dacey, USAPA Rules Chair

Okay, it’s time to move out of the Non-Volley Zone and into IFP Rules Section 11 – Time-Out Rules. In an officiated match there are four time-out options: Normal Time-Outs, Injury Time-Outs, Equipment Time-Outs and Between Game Time-Outs. The specifics of these different time-outs are clearly explained in the rules. What is equally important for tournament players, directors and referees to understand is that no other time-outs are allowed. There is a misconception that brief hydration time-outs (water breaks) are allowed. This is absolutely not the case. In fact, each tournament director is notified of this in the sanctioned event information. Each game has two normal time-outs per team (or player in singles) (three for games to 21) and it is during these time-outs that players can do whatever is necessary to stay hydrated. Most games only last 10 to 15 minutes so it’s possible to have up to four opportunities to take fluids during each game, as well as between games. Normal time-outs are one minute in length from the time the time-out is called until the players are in position and ready to resume play.

During hot weather it is important to be hydrated and stay hydrated. If you are not well hydrated before a match there is no way you can become hydrated during the match, no matter how much you drink. In order to be properly hydrated drink fluids and eat solids before and between every match.

Injury time-outs are for injuries sustained during a match, not for the purpose of hydration. But don’t hesitate to take normal time-outs when needed, even if it is just to drink fluids. Eat, drink, take care of the body and have fun playing pickleball tournaments.  
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Bits and Pieces

Pickleball in Ghana…

Submitted by John Sloan, USAPA Ambassador, Summerlin/Las Vegas, Nevada
 
One of the neat things about being a pickleball ambassador is meeting unique people. Last fall I became acquainted with David Levine, a resident of Las Vegas who called me to inquire about pickleball. He had been to Renton, Wash., and had his first dose of pickleball. He was instantly hooked. David shared with me his involvement with a public charity called VIDA (Volunteers for International Development and Aid), which has worked on extensive projects such as building schools in Ghana, West Africa. While in Washington David and a Ghanian partner visited a family who had a pickleball court in their backyard.

The thought of exporting pickleball to Ghana immediately took shape. David and his colleagues have since developed a construction plan and the first pickleball court in Ghana is now scheduled to be built in April of 2012, in a village where VIDA was previously involved in building a school. In addition to the new pickleball court, the project team will run teacher workshops and build desks for the school. David is confident that pickleball will take off, and in a few years one will see children and adults in Ghana playing pickleball in various communities. VIDA will conduct social impact studies to see if there is a positive effect in the communities where pickleball has been introduced. Since paddles, balls and nets cannot be acquired in Africa, David is appealing on behalf of VIDA for help in getting this equipment so the travel team can take it to Ghana. I can’t think of a better way of spreading pickleball than by assisting David Levine through VIDA with this worthy and unique project. For more information visit VIDA’s Website (http://www.thevida.org/).
 
WANTED:  Pickleball Tournament or Club T-shirts From Around the World…
Submitted by Louise Matz, Muskegon, Michigan
 
Our club is involved in an Expo that will introduce and demonstrate pickleball in the West Michigan area. The theme is “Pickleball Around the World.” Do you have a t-shirt that you could send us for display? We will happily pay the postage, if requested. Please direct questions to: louisematz@yahoo.com
Shirts can be sent to:
Pickleball Ambassadors/Age Well Expo 2012
John and Peggy DeHoog
1856 Shorewood Drive
Muskegon, MI  49441 


Youths Learn Pickleball in Argyle, Texas…
Submitted by Ellen M. Gilgore
 
Pickleball has become very popular at Argyle Intermediate School in Argyle, Texas. This is the second year for the after school pickleball club with 52 students in grades five and six involved. They are taught the basics during a week of physical education classes and then treated to a demo assembly by members of the Robson Ranch Pickleball Club.During the following eight weeks, volunteers from Robson Ranch spend time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays teaching participants scoring and strategies. A tournament is the culminating activity. Both students and volunteers have a wonderful time!


Sharing the Addiction…
Submitted by Alex Thurman
 
Two 30-day cruises to South America and French Polynesia on board Holland America’s MS Rotterdam! Sweet, but what about our pickleball addiction? No problem – take our own equipment and play on board. We had done it before. Loitering around the lone tennis court and joining the ship-sponsored tennis tournament led us to potential recruits. By the end of the second cruise we had introduced the pickleball habit to 40-plus new addicts from several countries, including Australia, Germany, Canada, and Holland. Pickleball was eventually added to the daily activities list for the ship with round-robin tournaments. The “life-stylist” and the cruise director both played and suggested they would be pursuing the purchase of equipment for the ship. A great ending for our cruise and a beginning for some who now share our addiction.


More Pickleball at Sea…
Submitted by Mike Kessler, Sun City, Texas
 
Seven avid pickleball players and their spouses recently went cruising out of Galveston on the Mariner of the Seas. We arranged with the ship's sports supervisor to have two time slots reserved for pickleball play on the full length basketball court. Using a borrowed USAPA portable pickleball net, the Sun City group gathered at seven a.m. on the first day at sea. Unfortunately, a persistent cross wind made playing a real challenge. Nonetheless, we played for almost two hours before calling it quits and heading off to breakfast.

After a morning of touring in Cozumel, afternoon playing conditions were excellent: no wind, overcast skies, no prior reservations for the basketball court. Even more exciting, the Mariner's sports supervisor and his assistant stopped by. Having never heard of pickleball, both were impressed. As natural athletes, they were eager to give it a go, quickly learning that pickleball is not as easy as it looks. But they persevered, had fun, played well and agreed to look into pickleball in the future. The best pickleball day of all was at sea. The weather was outstanding: sunny, warm, virtually no wind. The players rotated in and out and had a fabulous time. So, if you are interested in combining cruising with pickleball, consider going on the Mariner of the Seas out of Galveston and bring a portable pickleball net. Have your travel agent communicate with the sports supervisor in advance to arrange playing time.


Future Eagle Scout Promotes Pickleball in Door County, Wisconsin…
Submitted by Bill Reifsnyder, USAPA Ambassador
 
Pickleball is not only alive and well in Door County, but growing by leaps and bounds. We average one new player per week and are experiencing the usual growing pains. However, with the efforts of a very enthusiastic future Eagle Scout, Danny Jacobs, we may be able to expand our facilities and enjoy two outdoor courts this fall at the Nor Door YMCA. Danny, who attends Gibraltar High School, is working towards his Eagle Scout badge. As part of his scouting endeavor, Danny is developing an outdoor multi-use area that includes family recreation areas and two pickleball courts. Our pickleball players along with representatives from the Y system will volunteer to help Danny achieve his ambitious goal. Good luck, Danny!  Photo: Mr. Pickle, Danny Jacobs, greets two participants in the 2012 Winter Tournament in Fish Creek, Wisconsin.  


Keeping the Kids Playing in Casa Grande, Arizona…
Submitted by Irene Fraties and Mark Nelson, President, Palm Creek Pickleball Club
 
One of the key objectives of the Pickleball Club at Palm Creek Resort in Casa Grande, Ariz., is bringing pickleball to the youth of the community. Two years ago we raised funds to provide equipment to a local elementary school and had a great time teaching the game to about 100 enthusiastic fifth graders. A number of the thank-you notes we received asked us to continue the pickleball program at Cactus Middle School, the school they would be attending the following year. The challenge was on!  How were we going to follow these kids and continue their opportunity to play pickleball?

Last winter we began fundraising. Our annual club training program includes a “Pro from Dover” clinic given by an expert guest instructor. Mark “Yoda” Friedenberg was our featured presenter. Mark donated his share of attendance fees to our pickleball-for-youth fund. After other successful fundraisers, we were ready to approach Cactus Middle School about starting pickleball there. The physical education teachers were surprised and pleased to learn that pickleball could be played outdoors as well as in the gym. In order to have 35 students per class take pickleball they would need to line eight courts on a large cement slab used for basketball, but they had no funds for the project. We applied for and received a USAPA training grant. From the grant, our fundraisers and the proceeds of Mark’s clinic, we now had enough money to paint pickleball court lines and buy nets. Club members painted the courts and spent two days teaching students and physical education staff the fundamentals. The kids loved the game and the teachers were thrilled to have a new sport on their playground. The result of our project was win-win. Our club was able to help promote pickleball to the youth of the community and students at Cactus Middle School were able to continue playing their fun new sport. Photo: Cactus Middle School Students on newly painted courts. 


What a Game!...
Submitted by Tom & Linda Irwin, USAPA Ambassadors, Lawrenceburg, Indiana

 
Every snowbird season here in east central Florida we add a few more players. This year at Seasons in the Sun RV Resort in Mims our player roster climbed to 16. We truly have an international cross section, with players from Ontario and Quebec, Canada as well as Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina. It is great fun to introduce new players to the game at home, as well as at our winter home here in Florida. It is also great fun watching the new players catch on to the rules and strategy of the game, and try out the various paddles, searching out the one they think is right for them. We must keep reminding them, however, that the player makes the paddle, the paddle does not make the player. Being in an RV park, we will lose some players next season, but look forward to introducing the game to others. Great fun!


Using “Uno” to Choose Partners…
Submitted by Stephanie Smith, Angel Fire, New Mexico
 
Partnering up teams so that it is fair to all can be challenging. Our Angel Fire group has tried various techniques. We finally settled on one that everyone seems to like; we use Uno®, the card game. It works well for a group of eight to 16 players. The Uno colors designate the side of the court. For example, we may have a blue side and a red side to match those colors in the deck. Then we use the numbers to designate which court, for example, card numbers 1, 2 and 3 for courts 1, 2, and 3. 

Let's assume the players want to fill two courts with four teams. First, separate out the cards that you need from the deck. In this example, the cards are numbers 1 and 2 and colors red and blue. The two red and two blue number ones will fill court 1 with a red team and a blue team. Similarly for court 2. Players draw one card and go where designated via that card. Sometimes we have to make minor adjustments to balance out the skill level or to be sure there is a good mix-up from a prior game, but usually it works well. People finish their game(s) and come off the court asking, "Where are the cards?" so they can draw for their next game. We use the Uno skip cards when someone has to sit out a game because we don't have an even number of players. Whoever draws the skip card sits out the next round. You can also have fun being creative with the wild card.  Uno is a registered trademark of Mattel. 
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Lyrics of the Month…
More "Oh Pickleball, Sweet Pickleball" lyrics
By John DeHoog, USAPA Ambassador, West Michigan
 
Oh Pickleball, Sweet Pickleball, How vast your myths and stories.
Oh Pickleball, Sweet Pickleball, How vast your myths and stories.
 
The two-inch line, I once had spurned,
And in the kitchen, I got burned.
Oh Pickleball, Sweet Pickleball,
How vast your myths and stories.
 
Oh Pickleball, Sweet Pickleball
How vast your myths and stories (2x)
We taught the game at Shelby school,
They caught on fast, those kids are cool.
Oh Pickleball, Sweet Pickleball,
How vast your myths and stories.
 
Oh Pickleball, Sweet Pickleball
How vast your myths and stories (2x)
Her shots are in, and his go out.
"Finesse, NOT power," we hear her shout.
Oh Pickleball, Sweet Pickleball, how vast your myths and stories. 


No Dumb Questions: Where May I Stand?
 
Question
John Bliffen of Troy, Ohio writes: During a serve, is there any restriction on where a receiver's partner must stand? More precisely, is the receiver's partner permitted to stand in the receiving court or in the non-volley zone during a serve?

Answer
John, the answer is found in Section 5 of the IFP Service Sequence Rules. Rule 5.B.9. addresses receivers: The receiver’s partner may stand anywhere on or off the court. On occasion a receiver’s partner will stand in the receiving court near the non-volley zone. You may be asking, “Why?” The answer varies depending on who you ask. “Because I can!” is a common, although pointless, answer. Some players do it to force the serve away from their partner’s backhand. Others seek to challenge the server to hit a forceful serve at them, instead of aiming for the service court. Regardless of the motivation, a receiver’s partner standing in the receiving court can be intimidating and somewhat distractive, but legal.

In a related question, Rule 5.B.2. states: There is no restriction on the position of the server’s partner. Sometimes, when a left-handed player is serving from the left side of the court the server’s right-handed partner will stand on the far left sideline; this puts both partners on the same side of the court. As soon as the ball is served, the server moves to the right side of the court and the partner takes up position on the left half in preparation for the serve return. This sometimes confusing maneuver positions both forehands in the middle – a strategy often considered stronger than having both backhands in the middle. As the IFP rules state, there are no restrictions on where a partner stands. To avoid becoming confused as to who is the correct server or receiver, it is important that the opposing team focus on where the server or receiver is standing and ignore the position of the partner.
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Places to Play…
 
Bloomington, Minnesota
Submitted by Jerry L. Maas, USAPA Ambassador
 
Playing pickleball in Minnesota involves overcoming some significant handicaps.  Wintertime requires stocking caps, gloves or mittens and heavy coats. Three years ago we started playing with two dual-lined tennis courts and a handful of participants. Since then our program has spread throughout the Southwest Metro area. We now have three new dedicated pickleball courts in Bloomington, plans for a six-court complex in Eden Prairie and several other outdoor locations for play. We have four indoor courts at the Eden Prairie Community Center, two at the Williston Center in Minnetonka, two more at the Chanhassen Recreation Center and three at the Bloomington Armory. All locations have an enthusiastic core of dedicated players. No stocking cap, mittens, or coats required indoors. The SW Metro Pickleball Club has nearly 70 members, and our email roster has more than 180 names and e-mail addresses of people who have come to play and provided their information. We are a dynamic group committed to having fun, getting exercise and playing pickleball. Contact: John Stutsman, 952-563-8880.


Greece, New York…
Submitted by Dave Thomas, USAPA Ambassador, Rochester (West)
 
Pickleball fever has reached Greece, New York in a big way! Local resident Pete Forte has been instrumental in getting the game into the Senior & Community Center as well as the Basil Marella Park, an outdoor facility five miles away. Pickleball has become so popular in Greece that the town’s parks foreman is recommending that six courts be installed at Basil Marella Park and another two at Barnard Park! Players meet regularly on Tuesday & Thursday afternoons and Pete has persuaded the town to start a regular league night. The most gracious $250 grant from USAPA has gone a long way toward introducing pickleball to Greece, the largest suburb in the Rochester, New York area. Contact: Pete Forte, (585) 905-9543; peteforte@yahoo.com


Fowler, California…
Submitted by John Browning, USAPA Ambassador
 
On April 3, 2012 the small town of Fowler, Calif., (near Fresno) held its second tournament on the new public courts. This was kids only, with 30 participants and lots of excited parents in attendance. Ages ranged from 4th thru 8th grades. The Fowler courts are lighted and used seven days and nights a week. Contact: John Browning 559-834-2688; jbsb59@comcast.net
 
El Dorado Ranch Pickleball -- San Felipe, B.C.N, Mexico…
Submitted by Dee and Walt Turner
 
In 2006 we introduced pickleball at El Dorado Ranch, a private tennis and golf retirement community on the east side of Baja California. We began by taping off two tennis courts and scheduling play three times a week, including lessons. El Dorado Ranch provided paddles and balls. By 2010, when 102 members were playing consistently the need for pickleball courts became evident. With both tennis and pickleball players addressing this issue, El Dorado Ranch agreed to four new pickleball courts, which were constructed and ready for play in January 2011. El Dorado Ranch now boasts four beautiful courts and a gathering area for member events. In March 2012 El Dorado Ranch celebrated the fifth year of the week long El Dorado Ranch tournament with 47 players participating. El Dorado Ranch Pickleball Club is international, with members from Mexico, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Argentina, Canada, Italy and the United States. For more information about El Dorado Ranch Pickleball Club, visit Facebook, El Dorado Ranch Pickleball. Contact: Dee Turner 541-993-1134; 011-52-686-576-0596 (Oct to May).


Branson, Missouri
Submitted by Chuck Lasky, USAPA Ambassador, Branson, Missouri
 
I retired and moved to the Branson, Missouri area from the suburbs of Chicago. I had played pickleball for about a year before moving, so to get the game going in Branson I became a USAPA Ambassador. We now have four indoor courts at the Branson Sports Center, where between 10 and 18 players gather every Monday and Thursday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Come on down to Branson for the shows, fishing, swimming and now pickleball, at 418 Buchanan Road. Contact Chuck Lasky at 630-293-0326.
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Demos & Clinics
Exciting New USAPA.org Feature…

A new feature for listing group events such as demonstrations, clinics and lessons has been added to the USAPA website. 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 in the pickleball zone of the left menu of usapa.org. Give it a try. 


Member Benefits: Theme Park Discounts at Working Advantage…
 
Spring has sprung and theme parks across the nation are opening their gates! Purchase your favorite theme park tickets early and save even more this season. Click here to register for these and a variety of other money saving USAPA member benefits. 


Fitness: Preparedness...
By Barbara Wintroub

I received an e-mail from a new pickleball group outside of Atlanta, Georgia expressing concern about how many injuries pickleball causes. This should not be the case, so I decided to address this issue with a few training tips and some words of wisdom. 
  • Improve your mobility by jogging both forward and backward.
  • Without using your hands to pull yourself up or down rise from a chair and sit down in a controlled motion.
  • Loosen your torso by twisting from forehand to backhand in cross punches.   
  • Before you play stretch your chest muscles on both sides by holding onto a pole while turning away from it (photo 1). 
  • Hold onto the net while rounding and flattening your back (photos 2 and 3). 
  • From a sitting position extend one leg straight in front of you and lean forward to stretch hamstrings. 
  • Stretch hip and calf muscles by doing a runner’s stretch (photo 4).


Beginning a new sport requires an honest evaluation of your fitness level. If you have been a couch tomato or potato for some time, you really need to begin playing pickleball slowly and non-competitively until you can do my exercises easily. Do them every day and start a walking program, increasing your distance or time each week. It's no fun being injured. Pickleball is way too much fun to not be able to play.
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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 in past events. Tournament Directors, contact your USAPA Regional Ambassador or Media Relations Chair, David Johnson at the USAPA Contact Page for assistance with creating a press release to promote your upcoming tournament. 


Newsletter Submission Guidelines…
 
We encourage members to submit items of interest and contact information for potential Player Profile individuals. 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 15thof the month. The desired length is between 100 and 175 words. 


Do Not Forward...

Reader Note: Please do not forward this newsletter. It is intended as a benefit of USAPA membership. If one of your forwarded recipients clicks the unsubscribe link, you automatically will be unsubscribed from the newsletter and all future USAPA communications. Newsletters are available in the newsletter section at usapa.org 30 days after they are e-mailed to members. 
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Another fun issue of Pickleball, Pickleball, Pickleball. Enjoy!  Jennifer Lucore, Publisher

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