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Kobritz: North America snags the World Cup

Beyond the Lines

The World Cup, the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet, is coming to North America. The combined U.S., Mexico and Canada proposal, dubbed the “United Bid,” for the 2026 World Cup was overwhelmingly approved last week by delegates from 199 countries. The United bid prevailed over rival Morocco by a 2-1 margin.

Kobritz: Justify among one of the greatest race horses of all time

Beyond the Lines

Justify thrilled the racing world along with millions of people around the globe when he became the 13th horse in history to win the Triple Crown.

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Johnson: Oak Creek Canyon’s West Fork Trail, part 2

Hiking Arizona

Back in the ‘70s we hiked through the old fruit orchard at the mouth of the Canyon and picked apples in the fall. We’ve hiked here a dozen times, mostly on day hikes. I’ve hiked through once in each direction. Each through-hike was quite different.

Howard: The greatest tennis player who couldn’t play … Ion Tiriac

My Point

When you think of the athletes who have acquired the most wealth over their careers and life-time, you would never imagine that Ion Tiriac would be at the top of that list. Many people wouldn’t even know who you’re talking about. Over two billion dollars later, the 79 year-old from Romania laughs all the way to the bank, his bank.

Gunby: Continuing the conversation about slow play on the golf course

Tee It Up

We are continuing our series on slow play and how to play golf in a timely manner.

Kobritz: NFL’s new anthem policy will do exact opposite of what it intends

Beyond the Lines

After spending months in discussions, NFL owners announced a compromise that, according to them, will end a two-year run of player national anthem protests.

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Atherton: How muscle memory makes a difference in pickleball

Paddle Up

Unlike many sports, people come to pickleball with very little sports background; and a lot of background, particularly in tennis.

Howard: Different surfaces of tennis, and what to expect

My Point

The majority of tennis courts in today’s world are of a hard surface, concrete or asphalt — but that hasn’t always been the case. Up until the 1960’s, grass and clay courts were prevalent and each of those surfaces as well as hard courts have their own special characteristics.

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Johnson: West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon, Part 1

Hiking Arizona

West Fork near Sedona is heavily managed. Due to its popularity, the Forest Service has contracted out its management to Recreation Resource Management Inc. Therefore, if you have an interagency annual pass, it is not accepted. Neither is the Red Rock Pass.

Kobritz: Dying sport, huh? More children flocking to baseball

Beyond the Lines

Hold your horses on the notion that baseball is a dying sport. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), a non-profit trade organization that promotes sports and fitness participation, youth participation in baseball is on the rise.

Howard: What I like about tennis, and what I don’t

My Point

Tennis has been in my life since the age of 12. During that time most experiences have really been great. But a few things I could have done without, and remember I’m just talking about tennis.

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Dahlberg: A golden marriage between team and city in Las Vegas

AP Column

Gerard Gallant took time out from preparing for the Stanley Cup finals to watch a Little League game this week, something that might be surprising to those who think there is little in Las Vegas besides showgirls, craps tables and nightclubs.

Gunby: Let’s face it, nobody likes slow play in golf

Tee It Up

Slow play is either the result of not being taught how to play golf in a courteous manner and at a good pace or a bad habit or habits ingrained over time that cause slow play. Let’s face it, nobody likes slow play.

Kobritz: Major League Baseball needs to lighten up

Beyond the Lines

Major League Baseball has an identity problem. It’s a $10 billion a year business with 30 divisions, all of which are profitable, but management and labor can’t agree on what they want the sport to be.

Johnson: Aravaipa Canyon a must-see destination

Column: Hiking Arizona

Aravaipa Canyon is a linear oasis on the edge of the Sonoran Desert.

Kobritz: Track’s new gender rules simple, yet complex

Column: Beyond the Lines

If you prefer to consume your sports without sex, this week’s column may not be for you. In an effort to maintain “fair and meaningful competition within the female classification,” and ensure a level playing field, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), track and field’s world governing body, recently published regulations limiting testosterone levels in female athletes who compete on the world stage.

Howard: Nothing like a visit with old friends to bring back memories and catch up

Column: My Point

Spending five days back in the area (Newark, Ohio) you grew up and seeing old friends jogs the mind, memory and fun days of past.

Gunby: ‘Snot over shot’ or ‘Boogers over ball’

Column: Tee It Up

Most of us learned the traditional method of chipping. I was successful with the traditional method when I practiced and played a lot.

Kobritz: NFL cheerleader problem returns

Column: Beyond the Lines

The NFL cheerleader problem is back, and this time the league may not be able to resolve the issue as easily as it did the last time.

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Column: Tiger and Phil improve relationship with age

PGA Tour

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Their relationship has been softened by age.

Howard: The next chapter for junior tennis star Taylor Johnson

Column: My Point

The following is an interview with Taylor Johnson, who learned to play the game of tennis here in Prescott as a child at the Prescott Racquet Club.

Atherton: Youth pickleball tournament in July

Column: Paddle Up

The first-ever Free Prescott Youth Pickleball clinic and tournament for ages 10-17 will be held Mondays, July 9, 16, 23, and Wednesdays, July 11, 18, and 25 — weather permitting. This will include a free Round Robin Tournament from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 28. 

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Kobritz: Surprise ... root of NCAA is money

Column: Beyond the Lines

In the wake of last fall’s federal indictments involving men’s basketball scandals, the NCAA formed a commission to address reforms. After months of deliberations, the commission issued a 60-page report containing a number of recommendations. ...

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Johnson: Canyon hiking at Lynx Creek

Column: Hiking Arizona

Riparian environments are distinct from adjacent uplands.

Howard: Spring, summer and fall in Prescott — tennis season has arrived!

Column: My Point

Today is May 1 and the temperatures are now at a level that tennis players are thinking about playing earlier in the morning to beat the heat or a bit later in the afternoons to early evening and with those thoughts who they’ll be playing against, where and in what organized events or just calling a friendly foe for a match.

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