Pickleball Tournaments

Tournaments, they’re not for everyone.  I have heard some say they don’t like them for a variety of reasons.  Some play for the pure joy and the camaraderie that is created playing with your local group.  Others out right have told me the competitive play makes them nervous and they don’t like the feeling.  Ultimately tournaments may not be for everyone and that is ok. 

However, if playing tournaments is in your future, I would like to tell you about a few things that may help you in your future endeavor. 

There are two types of tournaments, sanctioned tournaments and unsanctioned tournaments.  In order to play in sanctioned tournaments, you will need to register with the USAPA as a player.  That is the USA Pickleball Association.  You can register at www.usapa.org.  The registration process is simple and the annual fee is $20.00.  For unsanctioned tournaments you don’t need to be registered with the USAPA.  If you are unsure about tournaments, playing in an unsanctioned tournament may provide you some incite into tournament play without any long term commitment.  However, remember that one of the functions of sanctioned tournaments is managing player ratings, so playing in an unsanctioned event will not aid in determining your USAPA rating. 

Sanctioned tournaments are more structured.  They are required to cary such things as general liability insurance, referees, and reporting of results to the USAPA.  If you are interested in finding a tournament in your area, the absolute best place to look is www.pickleballtournaments.com .  For the larger tournaments, you will need to be ready with your personal information minutes prior to the registration time.  Some larger tournaments fill up so fast, hundreds of slots can fill up in a matter of 10 to 15 minutes, so your desire to play in a given tournament does not guarantee you a slot.  There are many smaller tournaments that don’t fill up for weeks.  If you have never played in a tournament, I would suggest one of these smaller tournaments.

Once you have signed up there are some important things to remember.  Tournaments will generally have plenty of water and player snacks.  However, you need to plan on brining your own snacks.  Tournament play takes a lot more effort than regular neighborhood play.  Plan on beverage and snack selection designed for athletic activities.  The generic trail mix is also a great option, but as anything in life, its better to bring too much and have left overs, than not to bring enough.  Not having enough fuel can be detrimental to your play and also your well being.

Finally, remember, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  In my last tournament we had a referee go down to dehydration and exhaustion.

Finally Finally, note that tournament play can add a whole different level of pickleball fun, and personally, I have found that my play has improved dramatically since I started playing tournaments.

I hope the information I have provided helps you in the event you are looking into tournament play.  if you have specific questions or require a little more guidance, please drop me a line at thepicklebob@gmail.com, and please follow my blog.



Trilogy at Verde River Tournament

Trilogy at Verde River

Two weeks ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to play in the Trilogy at Verde River Tournament.  I have played other organized sports in my life, and also attended countless events in my children’s past endeavors.  Generally you find yourself fully aware that you are attending as a 3rd party to the event.

This was not the case at the Verde River Tournament as once again I was impressed with the Pickleball community.  The tournament hosts were friendly and super accommodating.  I found that the host volunteers genuinely happy and themselves grateful at our attendance.  The tournament provided a fabulous lunch and all day refreshments.   

The hospitality was only equaled by the tournament attendees.  Smiles were found a plenty.  I did not meet one individual who was not happy to talk Pickleball or provide any kind of assistances needed.  The games were cordial and competitive.  If you have not found time to attend a tournament, I highly recommend it!  While the competitive environment gave me a nervous energy, I found that it challenged my game and that it made me a better player for having experienced the tournament.       

As a final bonus, we were able to place bronze in the mixed doubles 3.0 category.  Once again, I highly recommend you find the time to attend a tournament this coming year.  If you have never attended a tournament, I will walk you through some pointers in my next posting.

Trilogy at Verde River Medals

When you play Pickleball…your toes hurt 😦

From: The Pickle Bob Book of Wisdom   

Welcome to the Desert

Its April in Arizona.  The valley of the sun grows quite as our snow birding Canadians leave one by one, those of us, full time residents, remaining huddle together, like hippos in the Serengeti, congregating by their ever shrinking drinking hole.

Soon, our numbers will be so small, that we will have to look elsewhere.  Like a migrating herd of elephants, we will let our memories guide us…to where we found games in summers past.  Sometimes we will travel up to an hour, just to find a game.  Most times its by invitation only…and sometimes its no games to be found at all.

So we curse the day our Canadians and Snowbirds leave in April, and count the days until September when the cold winters of the great white north force their travel back the warm abundant sun of Arizona…and we wait patiently…for our pickleball courts to once again bloom with the sounds of laughter, pickleball, and friendships renewed.

When you play Pickleball…sometimes…the sun gets in your eyes 😦

From: The Pickle Bob Book of Wisdom 


The Journey Begins


To document my Pickleball journey.  From beginner to wherever the sport takes me, along the way sharing my experiences and things I have learned.  This is not a place to learn how to play pickleball, rather just snapshots of a guy that loves to play pickleball and the people and places he encounters along the way.

Thanks for joining me!

A day without Pickleball is just like any other day…except without Pickleball 😦

From The PickleBob Book of Pickleball Wisdom