January 2015  USAPA e-Newsletter 
In this issue...

‚ÄčFrom the Editors...

Happy New Year! As chronicled in Justin Maloof’s E.D. Corner, 2014 was a great year for pickleball. We now have greater than 2,800 documented places to play totaling nearly 10,000 courts and 2015 looks to continue the growth. In USAPA Board Update David Jordan introduces two board members who take office today, and announces the new USAPA Tournament Calendar Policy and that work is currently being done on restructuring the board to better serve the membership. Scott Moore contributes this month’s Tips from a Pro, sharing the strategy that propelled both him and son Daniel to go undefeated in age, senior open and open singles competitions at this year’s USAPA Nationals VI tournament – quite an accomplishment!
In this issue’s No Dumb Questions we attempt to demystify the misguided interpretations of the Non-Volley Zone rules; Rules Review presents the expanded Paddle Material Specifications and in Fitness Barbara Wintroub shares how to avoid pain in the buns. As we begin our fourth year as Editors of this e-Newsletter we pause to ponder just how far the sport of pickleball has come and are confident that there is no end in sight. Have fun and enjoy this issue.

Your Editors, 
Lynn & Linda Laymon

Message from Your President...
By David Jordan, USAPA President   

January 1, 2015, WOW! How time flies when you’re having fun. Pickleball has been a life staple for Nancy and me for the last 12 years. It seems like just yesterday that we first stepped on the courts at the Thousand Trails Resort in Hershey, Penn., where we learned about this great game. Since that time we have been fortunate to be able to travel the country, play pickleball and meet so many wonderful people. 
As I reflect back on what this sport has meant to us and to all of you, it is not hard to understand why the growth of pickleball has taken off and our numbers increase every day. Pickleball not only brings about a satisfaction of accomplishment, but with it the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, a social atmosphere of friendship and belonging and, of course, a national network of courts where you are always welcome.
As the years have passed and the sport has grown so has the commitment of the players to keep pickleball in its true form of a fun loving game that brings a smile to your face every time you step on a court. But most of all it has brought about true lasting relationships that extend beyond the court and into our everyday lives. Pickleball for us and for you has been our diamond-in-the-rough that has created an enjoyable adventure based on friendship. Let us never forget as this New Year begins that this journey of life, I think, has been much enhanced because we found each other on the courts throughout our great country. Pay it forward to those who have yet to find the joy we all know pickleball has brought into our lives.
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Tips From a Pro...

Singles Strategy...
By Scott Moore, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Singles in pickleball is a simpler game than doubles. It is about hitting the ball where the other person is not, getting to the net and finishing the point as quickly as possible. Very seldom do you have to dink it out, or be overly patient, as both players are rarely at the net at the same time and it is much harder to cover the court.
Like most everyone else in pickleball, my son Daniel and I started out playing doubles, where we learned to dink, hit a set drop shot and get to the net in order to volley when possible. But soon we wanted more action, so we started playing singles. We learned quickly that we were better suited for singles because we are fast, have great footwork from having played other racket sports all of our lives and both like to hit the ball hard.
After somewhat disappointing finishes in our first singles tournament, the Tournament of Champions last year, we focused primarily on singles and developed some drills that helped us learn to hit the ball on the run. We found that the third shot drop is not that effective in singles and therefore exchanged it for the third shot pass. Instead of waiting for our opponent to make a mistake, we changed our strategy to attempt to either hit a winner or force the other person to make a mistake.
In all honesty, it was two of the more frustrating months of my life between September and November last year, as Daniel incessantly and extremely pleasurably delivered a daily beating my way as we would play singles for an hour a day after having warmed up and drilled for an hour. Time after time I hit what I thought were perfect shots -- deep in the corner -- and ran up to the net, waiting for shots to come back that I could kill, only to have them whiz by me on either side for passing winners. I did not see how anyone in the world could beat him, as he had almost perfected the art of hitting a winner from anywhere in the court even while running full out.
Sure enough, I was right on, as at USAPA Nationals VI he established himself clearly as the premier singles player in the game, which leads to my best singles tip and secret weapon: find someone better than you and practice all out with him or her on a consistent basis. This definitely will improve your game.

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E.D. Corner...
Looking Back with an Eye on the Future… 
By Justin Maloof, USAPA Executive Director
Happy New Year!  2014 was such a great year for pickleball and for USAPA, and I know we’re excited to build on our current success. Here are some statistics that demonstrate our growth this past year: 
  • Places to play pickleball:  ↑36% to 2,838 (743 locations added in 2014 - nearly 62 per month)
  • Number of pickleball courts:  ↑48% to 9,863 (3,210 courts added in 2014 or 267 per month)
  • USAPA members:  ↑38% to 7,101
  • Facebook page likes:  ↑209% to 2,787
  • USAPA Ambassadors:   ↑39% to 975
  • District Ambassadors:  46 new this year
  • National Tournament Registrations: ↑10% (713 registered players)   
Looking back at 2014, we started the year with the launch of our new website. This project spanned nine months so we were glad to finally see it go live. Once the site was up and running, we were able to create and implement new advertising and marketing initiatives. This allowed us to substantially increase our sponsorship revenue this year with improved website and national tournament packages. Let’s also not forget the NBC Nightly News feature that aired in February. This provided a nice boost for the sport and brought pickleball into the homes of millions of Americans.
Looking ahead, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of pickleball (1965-2015) and the National tournament will have a golden theme this year. Also, USAPA is currently putting the finishing touches on a new pickleball book that’s been in the works for the past 18 months. It is scheduled for wide distribution both nationally and internationally later this year (more details will be shared as we get closer to launch).
I thank all of our members and sponsors for their continued support and look forward to seeing us reach new heights in 2015. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy year both on and off the court! 

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USAPA Board Update...

By David Jordan

We welcome two new officers to the USAPA Board for the 2015-2016 term. Jack Thomas, incumbent Ambassador Chair, was elected Vice President for the term beginning January 1, 2015. Jack’s focus will be continuing to work with the ambassador program as well as assisting the office of the president as needed.
Also joining the board is our new treasurer, Darryl Noble. Darryl resides in Ft. Myers, Fla., and brings a sound financial background to the board. Welcome aboard Darryl.
Not only do we congratulate these two individuals, but we also thank Linda Neil for her dedicated service to USAPA as treasurer for the past two years and Mark Friedenberg who has served USAPA in many board positions since its inception and as Vice President for the past two years; his service is greatly appreciated and hopefully we can continue to look to him in the future for guidance and wisdom.
As we search for ways to improve services to our members, the board is in the process of developing a reorganization plan that streamlines and increases the efficiency of the association. Additional information and possible new board positions will be detailed in next month's newsletter.

New USAPA Tournament Calendar Policy
As of January 1st, 2015, non-sanctioned tournaments will be required to pay a fee of $25 for posting their tournament on the USAPA Tournament Calendar (this fee does not apply to USAPA sanctioned tournaments). This posting will include the Tournament Name, Date(s), Address, Contact Phone Number and Email Address. For an additional $25 fee, the posting can also include a link to a tournament website, flyer and/or tournament registration form.
Any tournament that requires all players to be USAPA members will be exempt from this posting fee. Any tournament currently listed on the calendar will be grandfathered into the Tournament Schedule/Calendar and remain as now posted. For an acceptable grace period, all 2015 tournaments which have a start date on or prior to May 1, 2015 may be listed on the calendar without a posting fee.

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USAPA National Tournaments...

November 8-15, 2015
Casa Grande, Arizona

Robson Ranch will host all age events – November 8-11, 2015
Palm Creek RV Resort will host clinics and all open events – November 12-15, 2015
There will be No split venue

March 6-8, 2015

Information on the tournament and location
For FAQ go to www.usapa.org

2015 National Senior Games Association
Bloomington, Minneapolis, St.Paul, Minn.
Dates for pickleball – July 9, 2015 will be a practice day with events running July 10-15
Registration is now open

For details/registration visit: https://registration.nsga.com/registration/242/nsgawebsite/ or the USAPA website:

2015 National State Games
Lincoln, Nebr.
Registration is Now Open
You can qualify until
 July 1, 2015
For all the new information and FAQ visit: http://www.usapa.org/state-games/
or http://www.stategames.org/

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USAPA Regional Tournaments…

2015 USAPA Atlantic-South Region Tournament
The Atlantic-South Regional Tournament will be held March 19-22, 2015 in Concord, North Carolina. For information click here or contact Karen Parrish, USAPA Atlantic South Regional Director at 850-699-1692 or karenparrish@usapa.org.
2015 USAPA West Region Tournament
The West Region tournament will be held May 8, 9 and 10, 2015 at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is a date announcement only, so players can put it on their calendar. More information will follow in upcoming USAPA e-Newsletters. 
2015 USAPA Great Plains Region Tournament
Colorado Springs will host the inaugural Great Plains Regional Pickleball Tournament September 10-13, 2015. Registration opens May 25, 2015. Events will be played on 13 recently converted courts at Monument Valley Park. For more information contact Great Plains USAPA Regional Directors Steve and Ramona Boone at 719-231-5874.
New Regional Directors in Southwest Region
Submitted by Jack Thomas, USAPA Ambassador Chair
We are pleased to announce that Linda 'Hoagie' and Paul Hoggatt have been appointed Regional Directors for the USAPA Southwest Region, filling the position vacated by Carl and Juanita Vincent. Juanita and Carl served admirably in this role ever since USAPA regions were formed over five years ago. Carl passed away in August and Juanita is stepping aside. The Vincents were our last remaining original Regional Directors and we thank them immensely for their hard work and dedication to pickleball over these years.
Hoagie and Paul live in Surprise, Ariz., and both have extensive backgrounds as pickleball teachers and referees. Hoagie also serves on the USAPA committee working to standardize referee training throughout our sport. We welcome Hoagie and Paul in their new role as leaders in the Southwest Region.

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In the December 2014 e-Newsletter we ran an article – Nationals VI by the Numbers – which listed statistics and named players who won four or more medals at Nationals VI. Unfortunately, it overlooked Hilary Marold, who won Gold in 60+ Singles and 60+ Women’s Doubles, and Silver in Senior Open Singles and Senior Open Mixed Doubles. Congratulations Hilary.

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Places to Play...
Pickleball in Puerto Rico…
Submitted by Carli Soto-Busigo, USAPA Ambassador, Puerto Rico
In August pickleball arrived in Puerto Rico with a game demonstration, instructions and clinics provided to a group of Veredas de Gurabo and Caguas Country Club members. The event was well attended and actually we have recruited 21 new USAPA members in Puerto Rico and created a growing interest for the game. The project was made reality due to the orientation and guidance of USAPA Ambassadors from Arizona, Florida and Nevada. For more information contact me at csbusigo@gmail.com.
 Pickleballers in Puerto Rico

New Indoor Courts in Elk Grove, California…
Submitted by Karen Alfsen
Three indoor pickleball courts have been set up at the Wackford Community and Aquatic Complex in Elk Grove, Calif. The local Parks and Recreation Department has committed to the three indoor courts on a trial basis. Starting in January, the courts will be available for open play for $3 every Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. If all goes well, more courts may be set up at the facility and additional playing times may be offered. For more information, call 916-405-5600.
Raleigh’s New Outdoor Courts…
Submitted by Joe Borrelli
Get ready to play pickleball on Raleigh, North Carolina’s new outdoor courts. The Method Road Park Pickleball Facility is now open. Raleigh has taken a giant step forward by transforming two underutilized tennis courts into six new pickleball courts. PickleballCarolina and the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department have been working together for two years in promoting and providing playing facilities. With the pickleball community growing from about a dozen players in 2012 to over 500 now registered with pickleballcarolina.com, the city offered the Method Road Park tennis courts for temporary pickleball play.
Following an analysis of player participation, on November 4th PickleballCarolina, Raleigh Parks and North State Paving Company announced that the courts would be transformed to permanent courts. The work included tearing out the tennis nets, repairing cracks, resurfacing the slab, creating six pickleball courts, painting and installing a fence between the courts. The project cost approximately $18,000 and took about three weeks to complete.
Starting in March, we will have designated open play hours and reservation court hours. One court will be designated for teaching new players during open play time. For more information contact me at joeb@pickleballcarolina.com or 919-426-1110.
Method Road Park Pickleball Facility

Ed Note: The facility has three indoor courts available Monday/Wednesday 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Weather permitting, the outdoor courts can be used during that time as well.
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Pain in the Buns
By Barbara Wintroub

Here’s a quick story. At my local optical shop the 20-year-old, six-foot-tall son of the owner was in terrible back pain. I put him on the floor, did some FST type stretching and he stood up basically pain free. What does that mean to you on and off the pickleball court? It means there is hope for your sciatic bun pain. Do you stretch? Hmmm. Why not try it? Do the exercises below two or three times a day for five minutes on each bun and see if it helps.
Cross left foot over right knee (called a figure 4).  Lean forward (smile) till you feel the stretch.

Move your body toward your foot for a bigger stretch.

If your knees will allow you to sit in Z sit (one leg bent front, one leg bent back).  Do the same movements as above.

Change legs to other side and repeat exercises.
Ed. Note: Fitness guru Barbara Wintroub is the author of Fighting Gravity

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Pickleball Channel...

Do you hit down the middle? Maybe you should… Take a look at the Pickleball Channel and see why.
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Bits and Pieces…
USAPA Grant Gets Pickleball Moving in Martinez…
Submitted by Karen Siemsen
We are finally able to get pickleball rolling in Martinez, California. After receiving the grant from USAPA and help from the city, we now have two outdoor, lighted courts. Our grand opening was Saturday, December 6 and we had a great turnout of enthusiastic players. Thanks again to USAPA for helping us get this started.
 Martinez, California

Nets and Balls for Talbert Recreation Center…
Submitted by Renee Bailey, USAPA Ambassador, Mooresville, North Carolina
Thank you USAPA for awarding us the grant money to purchase the nets and balls. Our first night at the Talbert Recreation Center in Mooresville, North Carolina we had a great turnout and fun was had by all.
Talbert Recreation Center -- Mooresville, North Carolina




No Dumb Questions…

Reader Interpretations of the Non-Volley Zone Rules…
This past month we received Non-Volley Zone rules interpretation questions from Sue Fox, Mark Brisebois and Walt Conway. Although similar in nature, each was slightly different. One questioned, “Can the paddle cross into the non-volley zone when volleying the ball, even if the feet do not cross into the kitchen?” Another, “I recently was made aware of a controversy over the wording of Rule 9C, particularly the second sentence. The second sentence in the paragraph fails to refer to a “volley” when it discusses entry into the NVZ. Some take this omission to mean that the sentence prevents entry into the NVZ even after playing a bounced ball.” A third, “If a ball bounces outside of the non-volley zone, and I return it, but my momentum carries me into the non-volley zone, it is NOT a fault. Correct?
From these questions it is pretty clear that some players are stretching their imagination when interpreting the NVZ rules. Let’s begin with the definition of the NVZ.
Rule 9.A. states: The non-volley zone is the area of the court bounded by the two sidelines, the non-volley line, and the net. The non-volley line and the sidelines are included in the non-volley zone.
Therefore, the NVZ is two-dimensional – the surface of the court, as defined by Rule 9.A; it does not include the air space above the court surface.
Rule 9.C. states: A fault will be declared if, in the act of volleying the ball, the player's momentum causes the player or anything the player is wearing or carrying to touch the non-volley zone or touch any non-volley line. It is a fault if the player's momentum causes the player to touch anything that is touching the non-volley zone, including the player’s partner. It is a fault even if the ball is declared dead before the player touches the non-volley zone.
The second sentence, which is questioned by the reader, is a continuation of the scenario presented in the first sentence -- in the act of volleying the ball. If you are not involved in volleying a ball (or the associated momentum), entering the NVZ is not a fault.
The answer to the third question is the same as above; in the act of volleying the ball is the key phrase. When striking a bounced ball, you are not volleying.
There was an additional related question regarding momentum and stepping in the NVZ after the momentum caused by volleying the ball has ended. Once the momentum caused by or associated with volleying the ball has ended (i.e. the player has totally regained control), the player can legally enter the NZV as long as he is not in the act of volleying a ball.
Upcoming Tournaments by State…
From Brett Augsburger 
Question: Is there a way to be notified about all upcoming tournaments in your state? I am new to pickleball and just want to be notified about all upcoming tournaments in my state, as I am just interested about that.
Answer: www.usapa.org (http://www.usapa.org/events/month/) provides a calendar view of tournaments by month and state, and pickleballtournaments.com displays tournaments listed by state.

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Sound Off...

Reader Appreciates Tips from Enrique...
My thanks to Enrique Ruiz for his Tips from a Pro article that included "another way" to play doubles. I especially liked the comment, “The third shot drop is highly over-rated.” I was taught to return the ball deep and in the middle of the two players standing on the baseline and then mixing it up once you've established who has the weakest backhand, forehand, etc. I cannot tell you how many players feel defeated if they don't have a third shot drop and continue to work on it at the expense of the remainder of their game. Also, in agreement with Mr. Ruiz, I've been finding that having a great lob shot, both offensive and defensive, is another valuable asset to anyone's game.
Thank you for helping me regain some needed confidence. There are so many different types of players out there now (those that have converted to pickleball from another sport, such as squash, racquetball, ping pong, and of course, tennis). There is no need to pigeon hole a player if he or she doesn't play the game exactly like the forefathers did when they were taught to play it so many years ago. The game is growing into a multi-faceted experience and those that can play a variety of different types of games are just that much more prepared for a tournament or simply traveling on the road to a lot of different pickleball venues, both indoors and out. Thank you for letting me sound off. Jacquee Ware

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USAPA Online Store…
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 -- http://www.usapa.org/usapa-retail/

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 greater than 2,800 Facebook fans. Joining is easy; just click the Like button.

Member Benefits...
Member benefits are many! 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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e-Newsletter Submission and 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 newsletter@usapa.org. The USAPA Editorial Guidelines are available for viewing here

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