2024 Norris Invitational Pickleball Tournament

Peggy Martin

The Sun Lakes Pickleball Club Cottonwood (SLPCC) will host its 10th Annual Norris Invitational Tournament (NIT) on March 4, 5, 6, and 7 on the pickleball courts at Cottonwood Country Club, 25630 S. Brentwood Drive. The NIT tournament is named after Maureen and Dick Norris who first brought pickleball to Cottonwood Palo Verde, playing on a blacktop parking lot at Sisk Park! What’s that saying? Yes, indeed, “We’ve come a long way, Baby” these past 10 years!

In 2023 the NIT fielded almost 100 teams, and was just short of 200 players. Plenty of fans were in attendance to cheer on the tournament’s great pickleball players. A highlight of 2023 was the addition of a 75+ age bracket. One player said of his 80-year-old partner, “He flies around the court like a 79-year-old.” You don’t want to miss that day! The 2024 tournament expects to equal or break its 2023 record play.

Men and women tournament brackets are divided into numerical skill level: a 2.0 player is a beginner, a 2.5 player is a novice, a 3.0 player is an intermediate player, a 3.5 player is an advanced intermediate player, and a 4.0 player is an advanced player capable of hitting pretty terrific shots. Tournament play will be a foursome of all women, all men, and mixed doubles.

Players from Cottonwood Palo Verde are invited to play. The tournament will open up to players in IronOaks and Sun Lakes Phase 1 in January. Sponsorships are still available. There will be daily 50/50s and a basket raffle, with all proceeds going to Sun Lakes charities. The 2023 NIT raised $2,500 for Neighbors Who Care, a nonprofit agency serving the needs of our Sun Lakes family. Vendors, food, and drink will be open and available for purchase by all fans.

Whether you’re a player or fan, mark your calendars for March 4 through March 7 and join us for a week of great pickleball, food, and drink while supporting the important work of our Sun Lakes nonprofit community.

Cottonwood Palo Verde player registration opened online at SLPCC.net in mid-December. Please direct all questions, including vendor and sponsor, to [email protected]. See you at the 2024 NIT!