(Click on pics to enlarge)
This post is all about Pickleball. For those who don't care anything about this subject please feel free to move on to something else (truly, I won't be offended!) If you would like to learn a bit more about the fastest growing sport in America please keep reading. Questions about the sport are certainly welcomed.
We arrived at Palm Creek Resort, Casa Grande, AZ on October 15, 2015. This is our winter home and this year we had the added bonus of co-hosting the USAPA National VII Pickleball Tournament with Robson Ranch Resort. For any pickleball player, this is the mecca of tournament play. (Just as a side note, Palm Creek Resort will be solely hosting the 2016 and 2017 National Tournaments.)
For those not familiar with the USAPA (United States Pickleball Association) rating system, a beginner is rated at 2.0. Currently, the level of play increases by .5 steps (i.e. 2.0, 2.5,3.0 etc.) and the top level is 5.0.
The National tournament is divided into "Open" play in which you must be a 4.5 or 5.0 player to register to play, or register in an "Age Group" such as 18-35, 35-50, etc. When playing as partners, the team always has to play in the skill level of the highest rated player, or in an age-based tournament, the age of the youngest player on the team is used.
I state the "ground rules" so that it will be a bit easier to follow the rest of this post.
This season I played all but one tournament with Bill Pitzl. It really is a lot easier to play together for an extended period of time versus picking up new partners for each tournament. We entered the National Tournament in the 55-60 age group category with the goal of winning one match. Seems like an easy goal to accomplish until you consider that each age group can be comprised of any skill level from a 2.0 up to a 5.0. At this point in the season, both Bill and I were rated 3.5.
|Prior to Nationals VII
Our next tournament entered was the Voyager Open Skill Tournament near Tucson on 12/4/15. We finished one round short of the medals, but we were generally happy with our play.
On 1/30/16 we competed in the 5th Annual Mission Royale Tournament in Casa Grande. Again, we finished one round short of the medals. Not as impressed with our play in this one, though.
Level 4.0, Age 50+
Duel in Desert
Here's a short video clip of just one point in the Gold-Silver match for the Duel in the Desert.
(Best viewed in 1080p resolution)___________________________________________________________
Fun in Sun Tournament
(Level 3.5, Age 50-64)
Bronze Medalists not pictured
Robson Ranch Tournament
Encanterra Country Club Tournament
"The Agony of Defeat"
Bill and I were very pleased with our play for the season. We started the year wanting to medal in some of the larger tournaments for our skill level. We missed the medal round by one match in 3 tournaments, and won the Silver Medal in 3 additional matches. We felt that our level of play progressed as the year moved along. Apparently, the USAPA ratings committee agreed as we were both moved up to the 4.0 Level as of June 1, 2016. (Good, and bad.) Now we'll be playing against tougher competition in every tournament next season!
Medals won during the 2015-2016 winter season.
Prior to the Robson
FUN! FUN! FUN!
Thanks for stopping by to take a look at this lengthy post.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.