(ROCKWALL, TX – April 27, 2016) Tons of blood-pumping, paddle-swinging, sweat-inducing excitement filled the JER Chilton YMCA of Rockwall gymnasium during the Pickleball PlayDay Double Elimination Tournament on Saturday, April 23, sponsored by Home Depot, Tom Thumb, Target and USAPA Pickleball. The event saw many Pickleball players from across Rockwall County compete in three different divisions: Men’s Under 59, Men’s 60 and Over, and Women’s (casual or high skill).
Division winners in Saturday’s tourney:
1st Place – Jeng T / Sue Kim / Charlotte Rivera
2nd Place – Courtney Johnson / Angela Luhman
3rd Place – Julia Stanley / Jeanne Stasny
Men’s Under 59
1st Place – Randy Shannon / Nowell Upham
2nd Place – Trey Lee / Guy Ringer
3rd Place – Ryan De Capua / Jake Swann
Men’s 60 and Over
1st Place – Jim Chambers / Darwin Day
2nd Place – Tom Horner / John Lakner
3rd Place – Randy Bishop / Galen Hilliard
“It was a great day and I had lots of fun,” said Charlotte Rivera, USAPA Pickleball ambassador of North Central and Northeast Texas. “I think this has the potential to become a good regular event for the Rockwall Y, especially considering that the sport of Pickleball is growing leaps and bounds.”
JER Chilton YMCA member Ed Wheeler, who along with Sports Director Bill Cadman helped coordinate Saturday’s tournament, said he hopes the fun event will bring more Pickleball tournaments to the Y in the future. “We want to bring more people into the Y and create more excitement for the sport with many future playdays,” Wheeler said. “I’m pleased with the support of the Rockwall YMCA staff, as well as the support and participation of Pickleball teams from Rowlett, The Rise, Forney and Sunnyvale.”
What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a fun sport combining many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, and played with a paddle and a plastic ball either indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court (20 x 44 feet) with a slightly modified tennis net. The sport was invented in 1965 by three Bainbridge Island dads for their kids, who were bored of their usual summertime activities, and has evolved and grown both in the U.S. and Canada as well as internationally across many European and Asian countries. Pickleball facilities can be found in all 50 states in the U.S. It’s a sport everyone can enjoy, with middle school and high school students often playing as part of their physical education classes, and seniors enjoying the social aspects and exercise that come with playing Pickleball.
About USAPA Pickleball
The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation organized to promote the growth and development of Pickleball, not only on a national but an international level. The organization provides players with official rules, tournaments, rankings, and promotional materials, and is governed by a talented Board of Directors committed to growing the sport of Pickleball among players of all ages and characteristics.
Story and photos by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.