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June 2016 Edition

A message from the Publisher

If you didn't know, Monday, June 20 was the first official day of the summer solstice. No doubt, you've already noticed the change in seasons whether you have a young son, daughter, or grandchildren done with school, you've noticed the days are getting hotter, or if you live near the beach like me, the streets are busier and good parking is hard to find.

What I also notice is how busy my pickleball friends are with traveling to tournaments almost every weekend. And I've heard that open play at our courts is busier in the mornings. With things getting busier, why not spend 15 minutes catching up on what's been happening with the USAPA?

In this issue, we have some board related updates, including Christine Barksdale joining our staff. We've also included a great training video from Pickleball Channel and a recent podcast from The Pickleball Show to help hone your skills. We're introducing a new section of the Pickleball Magazine which will feature each of the USAPA's eight regions; in the next issue we talk about the growth of pickleball in North Carolina – the fastest growing districts in the Atlantic South. And there's a big announcement related to a new online pickleball forum.

Make sure you scroll and read through the entire newsletter; we have some great stories this month. Also, don't forget to become a fan of the USAPA on Facebook or Instagram, we sometimes give away free gear from some of our partners. 


Kevin Curley
USAPA eNewsletter Publisher & Social Media Manager

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Registration Update

All registration fees & partners must be finalized by July 15

Nationals VIII is filling up fast and we are anticipating record levels of participants. Although some events, including clinics and seminars remain open, The National Pickleball Tournament has grown to the point that the number of players who want to play exceed the capacity of the venue.

For the first time, policies were put in place for 2016 to ensure that as many people as possible can play given the constraints of the venue and the availability of administrative personnel, referees and volunteers. As a result, registration had to be handled differently than prior years.

Some players have registered for events without partners and others have registered but not paid all of their fees. Players without partners in closed events must find a partner, either someone already registered or a new player by July 15, 2016. If a player is unable to locate a partner their registration will be moved to the respective Wait List for that event to make room for another team that is currently on the Wait List. In addition to naming a partner, all players must pay all fees due by July 15 to complete the registration. Any unpaid registrations, whether with or without partners, will be moved to the respective Wait Lists.

The registration policy changes are necessary to provide an equal opportunity for all players to register and to allow players to make travel plans with the confidence of knowing which events they will be playing.

Lenny Chimino, Nationals VIII Tournament Director

Upcoming Regional Tournaments

Register for these upcoming USAPA Regional Tournaments

  • Atlantic: June 23-26, 2016 (Portland, ME)
  • Great Lakes: August 12-14, 2016 (Fort Wayne, IN) – Wait List started
  • Pacific Northwest: August 12-14, 2016 (Bend, OR) – Register
  • Great Plains: September 7-11, 2016 (Colorado Springs, CO) – Register

Rulebook Change

Implementation date for 2.E.3 extended to 2017

2.E.3. Paddle Size: The combined length and width including any edge guard and butt cap shall not exceed 24 inches (60.96 cm). The paddle length cannot exceed 17 inches (43.18 cm). There is no restriction on paddle thickness. (revised January 1st, 2016, effective July 1st, 2017)

UPDATE: New Tournament Rating System

Board approves computer-based rating system concept

At the May 2016 USAPA Board Meeting, the concept of a new computer-based and objective tournament rating system was unanimously approved. This proposed system will use actual match scores of sanctioned tournaments going back at least one year prior to the system's implementation. Such a system would be similar to those used in other sports, such as table tennis.

The next step in this process is the creation of a RFP (Request For Proposal) to be sent to software vendors to: create, develop, test, implement and maintain an online tournament rating and database system. There is no scheduled timetable for implementation of this new tournament rating system. Any significant developments and updates in this endeavor will be communicated to USAPA members via the bimonthly USAPA newsletter and/or the bimonthly Pickleball Magazine. Prior to system implementation, there will be an extensive testing process as well as a detailed FAQ and Forum for USAPA members. While the new tournament rating system will be for sanctioned USAPA tournaments, the USAPA has decided to retain the current 1.0 to 5.0 "skill level" rating system for the recreational and non-sanctioned tournament player.

Barksdale joins USAPA

Christine Barksdale to serve as Managing Director of Competition & Athlete Services

After a national search that drew interest from many qualified candidates, USAPA Executive Director, Justin Maloof announced that Christine Barksdale has been named as the association’s new Managing Director of Competition and Athlete Services. Barksdale will begin the transition to USAPA immediately, working closely with Maloof and the rest of the USAPA staff and board members. She will assume her entire complement of full-time responsibilities on July 1, 2016. 

Read the full press release on

Q&A on Referee Training & Certification

Questions answered by Training Chairs Linda & Lynn Laymon

This month the USAPA Referee Certification program went live on June 8 with the addition of the Certification Application to the Rules & Referees section of In addition to numerous applications, we have received a number of questions about the prerequisites and process for application and evaluation. Following are answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Read the full Q&A session on

Pickleball Magazine Preview: Regional Spotlight

Next issue will feature the HOTTEST state in Atlantic South Region

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When someone talks about pickleball in the Atlantic South Region, they typically mention the Villages or Naples. And while Florida may be the hub of pickleball in the South, there is an up-and-coming area that is absolutely booming: North Carolina.

In the next few issues of the Pickleball Magazine, we will explore the different USAPA Regionals and some of the unique pickleball stories that you might find in these areas. For the upcoming issue, we travel to North Carolina  – the fastest growing state in the Atlantic South Region. We'll take you on a tour of the three districts and plan a multi-day trip that combines some of the best pickleball in the state with amazing tourist destinations. We'll also introduce you to the ambassadors in the state that are making a difference.

Subscribe today for the print version of the Pickleball Magazine

USAPA broadens outreach programs

In an effort to help pickleball grow, the USAPA has extended our programming offerings to include content from The Pickleball Show and Pickleball Channel. Moving forward, on, in the member newsletter and on Facebook, we will be promoting content from these two outlets. Look to see their banners on the USAPA website in the coming weeks. This month we have posted Sarah Ansboury's Tips to Improving your Game from The Pickleball Show and a Quick Tip from Blake Wilcox and the Pickleball Channel

The Pickleball Show: Sarah Ansboury's Tips To Improve Your Game

Pickleball Channel: Quick Tip: Chip and Charge to Control the Point

This month's Newsletter sponsors

Practice your shot balance with Barb Wintroub

Barb Wintroub demonstrates how to practice your balance when hitting your forehand, backhand and overhead pickleball shots. 

Playing pickleball at 90!

Maxine Johnson proves that pickleball is a sport for all ages

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Maxine Johnson celebrated her 90th birthday on April 23rd at a picnic with 40 Pickleball friends at Pacific Park in Glendale, California. Maxine hadn't heard of pickleball until she was 83 years ‘young’. She was lifting weights at the Glendale YMCA seven years ago when a trainer took her to the roof to see the 2 new Pickleball courts. She became the first student and player at the Glendale Y, with Marshall Pura teaching her to serve and return shots.

Watch video on Facebook of Maxine playing pickleball with her friends

Today, at 90, she plays Pickleball three times a week at the Pacific Park courts in Glendale, California and the Allendale courts in Pasadena, California. She has a good serve and hits return volley, but is not afraid to say ‘yours’ to give her partner a chance to lunge for a difficult shot. She said she played ping pong, volleyball and other sports ‘in school’ but Pickleball was her first sport since then.

Pickleball players swear they have never seen her wear the same outfit twice. She is always dressed in coordinated outfits with matching jewelry. She makes quite a fashion statement surrounded by players in T-shirts. Way to go Maxine for making ninety the new sixty!

Like USAPA Member eNewsletter – June 2016 on Facebook
Beginning July 1, the PBX Club will begin hosting a new online pickleball forum on Be part of this online community and share your questions, thoughts and opinions on all things pickleball. will join the suite of free digital offerings brought to you by PBX Club, which includes the popular weekly podcast, "The Pickleball Show.
"I'm excited to be giving pickleball players around the world a place for their voices to be heard," said PBX Club founder and podcast host Chris Allen. "PBX stands for ‘Pickleball Excellence,’ and I think a dedicated forum filled with passionate pickleball discussion will continue to raise the level of this great sport."
Join the conversation and visit!

Remembering Joe Parnell

Ambassador of pickleball will be missed at Cypress Creek YMCA 

On February 22, 2016 the pickleball world lost one of its best ambassadors. Joe Parnell, a young 86 years old played out of the Cypress Creek YMCA. He had been recovering from a recent bout of pneumonia and was, hopefully, on his road to recovery. Even though not an official ambassador, he was that and more to the game. He would help anyone with their game. Over the last couple of years his main involvement with pickleball was facilitating play in the afternoons at the YMCA, which involved setting up and taking down the nets.

Read more about Joe's impact on the community.

This month's Newsletter sponsors

Great Pickleball on YouTube

Pickleball in the Zoo – Open Women's Doubles Finals

US Open Pickleball Championships Highlights

Submission & Editorial Guidelines

If you have articles, news items, questions or photos that you would like to submit for publication in the e-Newsletter please send them to the USAPA via our online form. The USAPA Editorial Guidelines are available for viewing here.
Copyright © 2016 USA Pickleball Association, All rights reserved.

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