Relishing Pickleball

 

David Zapatka

The USAPA National Tournament scheduled for November 3–11 is just a month away. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden near Palm Springs, CA, is hosting our national tournament for the next five seasons. They are providing 40 fully-painted, cushioned, Plexipave courts and one beautiful stadium court. The buzz in the pickleball community has been loud in approval.

The response to the tournament has been overwhelming. The August registration period saw unprecedented numbers of registrants. During the first minutes of each of six registration periods, the USAPA received over 2,000 registrations, straining their systems. That’s over 12,000 players fighting for a spot in the tournament. There is no way to accommodate this many players at one tournament. As a result, the USAPA is taking steps to limit the number of registrants and make the tournament the “best of the best” in the country. The USAPA has already given special registration benefits to players who have won an Open division medal in the previous USAPA National Tournament or won a gold medal in an age and skill bracket in the previous USAPA National Tournament. In years going forward, the USAPA will only accept registrants who have participated in a sanctioned tournament over the previous year and will likely restrict registrants to those who have participated in a USAPA sanctioned Regional Tournament over the previous year. This year’s tournament will be the largest pickleball tournament ever on the planet. At the end of the nine-day tournament, we will have crowned Singles, Gender Doubles and Mixed Doubles champions in all these age brackets: 8-12, 13-15, 16-18, Under 35, 35-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84 and 85+.

Robson Communities have produced a number of national players over the years, many who have medaled. If you would like to see the best of the best compete at the national level, make plans to go to Indian Wells. You’ll love the venue, the vendors, the exhibitions, the atmosphere, the competition and, best of all, you can root for your favorite players and friends. There’s nothing like the sound of pickleball on 40 courts and the cheers of the fans having the time of their lives.

Have a question about pickleball? Want to know more about the sport, the rules, equipment or have some pickilicious news you would like to share with our pickleball community? Email David Zapatka at [email protected]