Relishing Pickleball


David Zapatka

The Bainbridge Cup, similar to the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup in golf, was held in conjunction with the Italian Open in Montesilvano, Italy, in July. One hundred fifty players from 16 countries participated in the tournaments. USAPA board member and friend Pat Murphy was responsible for setting up 188 matches so team North America could play with players from all over Europe. For the second straight year, Team North America won the Cup, 106-82. Following are some tidbits and observations from Alice Tym who wrote for Pickleball Magazine.

French women winning the doubles competition sang “Marseillaise” as they draped themselves in the French flag winning the hearts of many players. Flags were prevalent throughout the venue as players hung their flags to mark their seating areas and used them to cheer for their team members creating a colorful, patriotic environment. Children, spouses and family members supported the athletes. Europeans see pickleball as a family sport. Parents play with their children.

The most touching moment of the tournament came during the Sunday evening banquet. Zelindo DiGuilow, the tournament director, thanked all his staff and the U.S. support team. He was very pleased with the success of the event. IFP President Mike Hess awarded the Bainbridge Cup to the U.S. captains. After explaining the meaning of the IFP Sportsmanship award, Mr. Hess broke down while describing Ian Medhurst’s contributions to the Cup last year. Ian is the first recipient of the award but was not present due to a medical condition. Roberto Rospo of Italy was then presented this year’s award.

Dusseldorf, Germany, was announced as the 2019 site. Consider putting this tournament on your calendar if you love pickleball and love to travel. What better vacation than doing land and river tours, seeing the sites and playing pickleball? You can join the fun by playing for the U.S. team in the Cup or playing in the attendant tournament!

On a positive note, IronOaks homeowners passed a proposal to build eight pickleball courts. They will be built in conjunction with much-needed additional parking. Date of completion is yet to be announced.

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]