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10:23 AM Tue, Nov. 20th

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. 

The events will be held at Pioneer Park on Commerce Drive. There will be five adult supervised trainers, from basic to more advanced skill-level players. Sign up for the lessons and or the tournament by May 31 at prescottpickleball.com.

It is all free and there will be a limited number of paddles provided.

YOUTH MONTH

One of the reasons this is youth month for Pickleball at Pioneer Park is to recognize the fact that the sport was developed in 1965 in the State of Washington to answer a simple question: How could a sport be put together so adults could play together with kids and have a lot of fun together at the same time? 

In many respects, at the recreational level, it is still the same sport as witnessed at Willow Hills Baptist Church and the Prescott YMCA where the kids and adults, as young as 10 and as old as 90, still enjoy the sport together.

We like to say if it is the ping of the ball and all that laughter, it has got to be pickleball.

LESSONS

For adults looking to learn the basic game of pickleball, there will be free  lessons starting at 5:30 p.m. each Monday starting in May — outdoors, weather permitting, at Pioneer Park — and at the indoor courts at Willow Hills Baptist Church at 9 a.m. each Saturday, also free with balls and paddles provided. This is in addition to the Prescott YMCA lessons at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday each month. In the case of the Y, the entry is a fee but the lessons are free.

EXPANDING

Are you curious how a group of about 200 or so players in the quad-city area in 2011 could expand to just about 2,000 players by 2018? Some of it had to do with being inexpensive, easy to learn and just plan addictive. But see for yourself. 

In June, from June 21-23, the United Pickleball Association (USAPA) will put on its first major sanctioned tournament for seniors, ages 50 to 70-plus at Pioneer Park. It will include women’s, men’s and mixed doubles on respective days, weather permitting. Spectators get in free and are more than welcome. Bring a cold jug of ice water, sunscreen a fold-up chair, some snacks and see what these more experienced players can do. 

It is called the Prescott Pickleball Round UP, sponsored by the Prescott Pickleball Association.

So, get out there this summer and have some fun and learn all about what a good time you can have learning and playing this most and inexpensive sport.