Relishing Pickleball

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David Zapatka

If you’ve played pickleball around the Valley, you will likely know something about Bob Lanius and Earl Hill, two of this year’s three USAPA Pickleball Hall of Fame members.

Robert Lanius is being recognized for his contribution to the sport of pickleball by creating and developing the software which enabled the growth of tournaments worldwide with online registration and administration. In addition, Robert was the Commissioner of the Arizona Senior Olympics and Grand Canyon State Games for many years. He also created one of the first club websites that featured news, places to play and tournaments with match results from around the country.

Earl Hill is being recognized for his contribution to the sport of pickleball as a charter member of the USAPA Board. He founded the Ambassador program, serving for 13 years as the original director and later as assistant director. Earl also served as the Arizona Senior Olympics Pickleball Commissioner from 2001 to 2008. The tremendous growth of this tournament led to the creation of the national organization in 2005. He is a multiple-year USAPA National Champion, winning gold in Men’s Doubles in 2009, 2011 and 2014. He is a 2013 Huntsman World Senior Games Men’s Doubles Champion.

Fran Myer is being recognized for her contribution to the sport of pickleball by creating Pickleball Stuff in 1999, the first informational and retail website, selling equipment from all manufacturers. During eight years of service as a charter member of the USAPA Board, she was secretary, media director and vice president. She co-directed the first USAPA national tournament with Barney Myer in 2009, then with Dennis Duey in 2010 and 2011. She and Barney were Washington State Senior Games Commissioners for nine years and the Greater Seattle Senior Games for eight years. Fran won silver medals at the USAPA Nationals in Singles in 2012 and 2016 in her age group. She is a 2009 USAPA National Champion in Mixed Doubles 19+ and a three-time gold medalist at the National Senior Games Championship Festival. Since she started playing pickleball around 1988, Fran has won around 200 medals and awards.

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]