In this issue...
Have you ever wondered how really great pickleball players do it? Play fantastic pickleball day after day, tournament after tournament? And even more intriguing is how husband and wife teams partner in mixed doubles competition and maintain marital bliss (most find this frustrating, if not impossible). Well, this issue, in a new monthly feature titled Tips from a Pro,
top mixed doubles player Yvonne Hackenberg shares some of her secrets for playing compatible mixed doubles with husband Jim. Each month thereafter a different top-rated player will contribute some of his/her tips on what generates success on the court. Don’t miss it!
Also this issue, be sure to check out Bits & Pieces
to read about the first International Pickleball Tournament held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in May. In Mind Game
author Harry Carpenter provides advice on the mental side of getting along with your doubles partner; Fitness
guru Barb Wintroub tells us how to get the best results from a foam roller and in Rules Review
Dennis Dacey explains the official consequence when a player serves before the referee calls the score. All in all, this issue is filled with useful information. Enjoy…
Your Editors, Lynn & Linda Laymon, email@example.com
Tips from a Pro...
Mixed Doubles…The Emotional Dynamics
By Yvonne Hackenberg
First, let me say that I do not profess to be an all-knowing authority on the subject of mixed doubles. Over the past six years my husband Jim and I have enjoyed a measure of mixed doubles success at the tournament level and are honored to have been asked to write about what we have learned.
I find the dynamics of mixed doubles fascinating, in part due to a greater disparity in the abilities of the partners. The male is often the dominant player, but not always. I can think of a number of female mixed players who are equal or stronger, both physically and psychologically, but typically it is the other way around. In any case, how you handle the emotional dynamics of mixed doubles directly impacts your team’s success or failure.
Dwelling on your partner’s errors is a losing proposition. How many players do you know who have never been the reason for losing a match? To hear them talk, it was always their partner’s fault. Eye rolls and shrugs are quickly picked up by not only your partner, but the opponents as well. This type of behavior is deflating to your partner and only encourages your opponents when they see your team is divided. It is easy to show positive body language after a winning shot, but what makes an exceptional team is the ability to do so after a blown setup. A simple gesture works wonders -- touch paddles and hustle back into position, ready for the next point.
Kicking yourself over your own errors is also fatal. I have often heard people say they are not upset with their partner; they are upset with themselves. This can be equally deflating, especially to a mixed doubles team. No one intentionally misses a shot. To avoid problems, recover quickly and move on to the next point.
I once heard a top-ranked and very capable mixed doubles player happily admit that she had finally found a partner who didn't make her feel alone in the face of competition. Remember that what you say and do between points and games can unite and strengthen your team, or it can have the exact opposite effect.
ACES Summer Conference…
By Justin Maloof, USAPA Executive Director
In January of this year, I had the opportunity to attend my first ACES Conference in Pensacola. ACES is the Association of Chief Executives for Sport, with a current membership consisting of 62 CEO/Executive Directors from 62 national governing sports bodies. The ACES organization exists to support and enhance the business interests of non-profit member sport organizations, share best practices, promote professional development and formulate a collective voice on common issues.
The ACES summer conference was held during the first week in June in Columbus, Ohio. The trip expenses were covered by ACES and their sponsors, and it was certainly a great experience. Here are some highlights:
- Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman was on hand to welcome the conference attendees.
- Ohio State University Athletic Director Gene Smith shared some very interesting insights and developments into the changing world of NCAA athletics and the ramifications these changes are having on Olympic and recreational sports.
- Renowned speaker Chuck Underwood gave a fascinating two-hour presentation on the importance of generational marketing.
- Northwestern University Professor Dr. Daniel Diermeier gave a presentation on crisis management.
- Jim Baugh, former president of Wilson Sporting Goods and current USTA board member, gave an update on the PHIT Initiative and presented some eye-opening statistics on the current state of health and inactivity in America -- how we arrived where we are and a road map for getting America back on track. Speaking with Jim after the conference, he was actually very complimentary of USAPA and the direction of pickleball.
In addition to Mr. Baugh, I had the opportunity to spend quality time and exchange contact information with my counterparts at USA Basketball, USA Lacrosse, USA Ultimate and more. The networking opportunities alone were well worth the trip.
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Message from Your President...
By David Jordan, USAPA President
As our sport continues to grow we are seeing more and more tournaments becoming available for our members and players across the country. USAPA has a tournament sanctioning process that ensures players that the event will adhere to the IFP/USAPA standardized rules and guidelines. It also provides our members with secondary medical insurance coverage during the tournament and covers the hosting facility with liability insurance.
We now have several tournaments that are referred to as “National Tournament.” Of course there is the USAPA Nationals, which has been held in November each of the past five years. There have been three additional “National” Tournaments added recently; the National Senior Games Association (NSGA) started including pickleball in their group of sports last year during their 2013 National Games. And beginning in 2015, the National Congress of State Games will add pickleball to their National State Games. USAPA has also been working hard to provide a National Indoor Tournament and has worked with Valenti Sports on a possible site in Rochester, N.Y. Valenti Sports has agreed to put on a trial tournament this year to gauge the interest and facility capability for a
USAPA National Indoor Tournament beginning as early as 2015. The success of this year’s tournament will determine what avenue will be taken in the future for USAPA to host a National Indoor Tournament.
This year’s Valenti Sports’ National Indoor Championship will be held August 1-3, 2014 in Rochester, N.Y. It is a USAPA sanctioned event; you can find additional information at usapa.org under Tournaments, or click here
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The Mind Game...
Getting Along with Your Partner…
By Harry Carpenter
How Do I Handle an Overly Eager Partner?
It used to bug me when my partner would egg me on to win the next point, or to not make a mistake when I was already playing the best I could. Besides, calling my attention to a missed shot or to the importance of the next point is counterproductive. It brings up my judgmental, critical mind (conscious mind), which is only going to make me play worse. Now, when my partner urges me to play better, I picture a gentle breeze passing through a screen door. I let his words pass through me without notice.
How Do I Handle Any Partner?
Everyone is different and I suspect a sports psychologist could write a book on this subject. First, stay positive. Ignore your partner’s errors and congratulate him on his good shots. If he is making the same error over and over, then you might make a suggestion. But most bad habits can’t be changed during a match, so it may only make your partner play worse. Second, keep your partner in the zone. Help him be an observer, not a judge. Be encouraging. Touch paddles to show your support. Discuss strategy before the point; don't moan about slip-ups after. And don't tell him the next point is critical and “we gotta win it.” That won't make him, or you, play better.
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 the eBook, Pickleball; The Mental Side, as well as The Genie Within: Your Subconscious Mind – How It Works and How to Use It and a CD that contains mental conditioning exercises that will help you get in the zone.
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USAPA Great Lakes Regional Tournament...
Submitted by Rodney Grubbs, USAPA Ambassador, S.E. Indiana
Coming the weekend of August 15-17 in Fort Wayne, Indiana is the first USAPA Great Lakes Region tournament. This tournament will be a skill level format, played indoors on 16 air conditioned courts. Since we are anticipating a large number of players, each skill level will be divided into age brackets too, so everyone will be in the running for a medal.
Josh, Zack and Rodney Grubbs are the tournament advisers for this event; if you have any questions or need any help registering, give us a call at 866-406-8149 or email PlayerServices@allaboutpickleball.com
. Registration is now open at http://www.pickleballtournaments.com/welcome.pl?tid=262
Five New Courts in Paso Robles, California…
Places to Play...
Submitted by Jack Hodges, California Central Coast Ambassador, Paso Robles
Our Paso Robles Pickleball Club received permission in early April from the City Council to convert a seldom used outdoor roller hockey rink into five pickleball courts. After a six-week fundraising effort, which included personal pledges from members and an auction/raffle event, the funds were raised. The five-day transformation took place in late May and the result is the first permanent, dedicated multi-court pickleball facility on the Central Coast.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or tel. 949-547-2251.
Four New Courts in Owatonna, Minnesota…
Submitted by Rita Frizzell
We have four new outdoor pickleball courts located at Morehouse Park. We have some scheduled play, but the courts are open to the public. Contact me at email@example.com
or tel. 507-451-5046.
Beloit, Wisconsin on Board with Pickleball…
Submitted by Julie Fiebig
In the city of Beloit, Wis., I reached out to Sonya from Beloit Park & Recreation to get pickleball involved in the city. Once she played the game, she was on board! In June, Sonya and I and a few other pickleball players put together a pickleball
demonstration. It was a great start to forming a pickleball group in the community. We also provided a demo to the Beloit Senior Center and they definitely want to have this sport available for their people. This past April, Park & Recreation worked with a local school to make a gym available for pickleball from 4:30-6:30pm, one day a week. The success was outstanding! Many players kept coming back and bringing more friends or family. The group is now patiently waiting for the outdoor courts to be painted. Once painted, we will be using two courts for play. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel.
Pickleball Comes to Forked River, New Jersey…
Submitted by James P Wioland, Director of Recreation, Lacey Township, Forked River, N.J.
I want to formally thank USAPA for assistance in introducing a new program in our Recreation Department. One of your members, Robin O’Brien, pitched this new sport she had gotten into while spending the winter in Florida and introduced me to it via the Web. I saw that USAPA offers small grants to help offset the startup costs for pickleball, so we were able to introduce pickleball to our community this past spring. We currently have 12 to 16 players coming out each week. We are showing signs of growth already, as we have found a few players with experience and they keep the word of mouth going to attract more players. I anticipate being around 20 to 22 players by fall. We do not have a recreation center so our biggest challenge was finding a night that was available in the gymnasium at a local school. We will be playing indoors this fall, winter and spring and outdoors in summer. For more information contact me at 609-693-1100, ext. 2201.
Bits and Pieces…
First International Pickleball Tournament in Amsterdam…
Submitted by Bernadette Snijders Blok, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Seventy-five participants from six countries competed in the first international pickleball tournament in Europe. For a lot of the participants it was the first time they had played in a tournament with people from abroad. This, together with the great clinics from Indiana’s Zack Grubbs and Florida’s Bobbi Little, brought pickleball to a higher level in Europe and Asia! We are inspired to work on the growth of pickleball in the Netherlands and Europe. Next tournaments will be the Dutch Championship (April 2015) and the European Championship (October 2015). In May 2016 we’ll host the 2nd
International Pickleball Tournament in Amsterdam. If you can’t wait, Michael Hess from Spain organizes European pickleball tours with clinics and culture. For more information visit www.vivapickleballtours.com
International Pickleball Tournament Participants
Pickleball Unites Sorority Sisters…
Submitted by Tami Leach, Nampa, Idaho
Annie Kurdy Holton and Cheryl Koch Zollman hadn't seen each other for nearly 47 years when they happened to both sign up for community education pickleball classes this spring. They had both pledged the Pi Beta Phi sorority at the University of Idaho in 1965. Annie spent four years at the Pi Beta Phi house and Cheryl three. Now Annie has two children and Cheryl three. Pickleball has brought them together again after so many years. Who would have thought such a coincidence would occur? Pickleball does bring people together.
Can Help in Coachella Valley…
Submitted by Robert Firring, Calabasas and Indio, California
I am an avid pickleball player with homes in Calabasas and Indio, California. I would like to see new courts added in both cities; however, my efforts so far have had little success. I know the sport is growing in the Coachella Valley and there already may be ongoing efforts in Palm Desert, La Quinta and Indio. If that is true, I would be happy to help. Indio is particularly interesting since there are unused tennis courts that could be converted for a relatively small amount of money. There also is an unused facility at the Bermuda Dunes airport that could be converted into a dedicated club. I know others are interested in growing the sport here as well; contact me and I will be happy to help. Bob Firring, email@example.com
Teaching Home-school Students from Appleton…
Submitted by Diane Lambert
Wisconsin’s Sheboygan Falls Pickleball Club recently was asked to host a pickleball teaching session for a group of 11 home-schooled students from Appleton. We had a wonderful time spreading the joys of our sport to another generation. The kids loved the game and did a great job. They hope to find a place to play in Appleton. This truly is a sport for all ages and one all ages can play together.
Pickleball Blasts Its Way Into Delaware...
Submitted by Butch & Cheryl
In June the first Delmarva Dills Beach Blast Pickleball Tournament was held in Dagsboro, Del. One hundred five players from eight states showed up for an early summer shootout. The level of play was awesome, with some of the top rated players in the Northeast participating. People who stopped by to watch were given the local schedule of times and places to play and the USAPA website address so they could learn more and join the association. Everyone left the courts wanting to be on the list for next year’s event.
Pickleball in Panama…
Submitted by Mark and Jan Lewis
On a return visit to California Martha Vuytowecz, who with her husband Mike lives in Panama, purchased two pickleball paddles and some used balls. When we visited them in Panama we went to the tennis courts near their home and taped off a pickleball court, using bungee cords to keep the net at the correct height. We had a fun couple of hours teaching them the sport. They hope to introduce it to others in Panama as time goes on.
Left to right: Mark Lewis, Jan Lewis, Mike Vuytowecz, Martha Vuytowecz.
2014 USAPA NATIONAL TOURNAMENT
NOVEMBER 2 - 9, 2014
Registration is now open and moving along at a record pace. Register early and secure your place in this year’s USAPA National Tournament. Remember that there are only 100 spaces available for each of the clinics that will be offered on Thursday, November 6, and you are not signed up until payment is received. Stay up to date with all that will be happening this year at: http://www.usapa.org/nationals6/
National Senior Games…
Submitted by David Jordan, USAPA President
Roll Away Your Leg Pain …
By Barbara Wintroub
Are you finding knots and soreness in your legs from all the pickleball you are playing this summer? I realize how difficult it is to stretch, so maybe rolling out the knots on a foam roller is what you need. Tight muscles and lactic acid buildup causes these knots to occur. Sometimes it seems I have hard boiled eggs hiding in my quads. The foam roller presses on the knots like a pressure point massage and hopefully releases the soreness. Here are three of my favorite exercises.
Photo 1: Rolling the quads and getting an upper body
workout as well.
Photo 2: Rolling the IT bands (can be very painful).
Photo 3: Rolling the tight hips while sitting on the roller.
Ed. Note: Fitness guru Barbara Wintroub is the author of Fighting Gravity.
No Dumb Questions…
Submitted by Ken Macumber, President, WBV Pickleball Club
I have always been confused with the foot fault rule. In one place it says only one foot shall be behind the baseline and in another it states no feet shall touch the court or baseline. Which is correct? Does Rule 4B mean that the other foot can be in the air, but not touching the court?
4.B. Server Position. At the beginning of the serve, both feet must be behind the baseline. At the time the ball is struck, at least one foot must be on the playing surface or ground behind the baseline.
4.D. Service Foot Fault. During the serve, when the ball is struck, the server’s feet shall not:
4.D.3. Touch the court, including the baseline.
The two rules are not contradictory. Your presumption is absolutely correct. Rule 4B does mean that the other foot can be in the air, but not touching the court.
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Reader Feedback Regarding “‘Out’ as Partner Communications”
In the June issue reader Jeff McQuinn expressed his disagreement with the use of “Out” for partner communication; I feel differently. A partner’s call of "out" vs "bounce it" before the ball bounces, as correctly stated in the rules, is communication between partners. When players advise their partner with an "out" comment, they are saying that they are in a better position to make this type of call and their partner should let it go. Similarly, if my partner calls "out" I should let the ball go. The use of "bounce it" advises the partner that the ball may be out, but will be close and they should be in a position to take the ball after the bounce and should not take it on the volley.
There is no reason why this communication should confuse the opponents, any more than a player not being ready for a return that they thought was a "put away." I like the way the pickleball rules handle this issue. Thanks for the opportunity to respond.
Reader Feedback Regarding “Underused Paddle Tennis Courts”
The article regarding Underused Paddle Tennis Courts
perhaps confuses paddle tennis courts with platform paddle tennis courts. The dimensions of the doubles platform paddle tennis court is the same as a pickleball court – 44 x 20 feet. The net is almost the same height and you don't have to chase the ball. The bounce is not quite as high, inasmuch as the surface is rough, it roughs up the pickleball. Since the game is primarily played in the winter, courts are available the rest of the year.
Bill Cox, Darien, Connecticut
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Serving Before the Score is Called…
By Dennis Dacey, USAPA Rules Chair
I've been getting questions about what a referee should do if a server serves the ball before the score is called. Rule 4.I. states in part, “Serves shall not be made until the receiver is ready and the score has been called.” So, what happens if the server does not wait for the score to be called?
Some referees think that this should be a replay, while others think that it should be a technical warning for the first offence and a technical foul for the second offence; what do you think?
In reality none of the above is correct. There is no question that according to rule 4.I. a server shall not serve until the score is called, but what is the penalty for not waiting? This is where rule 7.D. comes into play. It states that a fault will be declared for “Violation of a service rule.” Clearly 4.I. is a service rule and a violation of it means that a fault occurred and the server loses the serve.
In addition to the above I always teach that if the receiver is ready and if the ball is not hit by the server until the complete score is called (even though the server may have started the service motion) there should not be a fault. I would, however, warn the server of the need to wait until the complete score is called before starting to serve.
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The USAPA home page contains buttons to everything from tournaments to places to play in each state and province, benefits of USAPA membership and an all-inclusive Guide to Refereeing. All this and much, much more. Take a moment to visit http://www.usapa.org, it is an incredible source of information about all things pickleball!
USAPA Online Store…
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Need an official portable net system, USAPA logo wear, instructional DVDs, the official USAPA-IFP Tournament Rulebook, window stickers and more? Find it all at the USAPA online store
USAPA Facebook Page
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 rapidly and we now have nearly 1,900 pickleball players who ‘like’ our page. Joining is easy; just click the Like
Want an Official USAPA/IFP Rulebook and a discount when registering for tournaments? Or how about an association t-shirt with the new USAPA logo? Visit http://www.usapa.org/membership-discounts
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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