Tuesday, December 8, 2015

OMG, I am so sorry, Cary. I left you off the list of tournament scorekeepers. MY VERY BAD!!! And you were in charge of all of us.

While blogging again, I have a request from some members and regular players to have afternoon games at the Rec Center. At least Mondays and Fridays and possibly Tuesdays and Thursdays as well. Many of us want to spend our mornings on the slopes, which leaves pickleball in the afternoons. We'd likely start about 4 and play for a couple of hours.

Respond to me so we know how many are interested. kbeer62@msn.com


And Cary, I hope you accept my apologies!!!

Club Tournament

A successful tournament was held on Thursday, December 3rd. We had 27 participants who played their hearts out with slams, dinks, lobs, and well-placed-impossible-to-return shots. Ken Mickelsen was Tournament Director extraordinaire and had organized all pairings and matches. He also did a bit of scrambling for teams in the Mixed Doubles games after a few of the players had to leave early and a wounded ankle sidelined Doug Rosecrans. With the level of play, especially in the Women's Doubles, so competitive, the games took a lot longer than expected.

Participants were as follows:

WOMEN: Alix Thayne, Carol Lee, Bev Chaidez, Jen McCarthy, Myrna Perez, Jan Altieri, Donna Buys, Susan Lockhart, Judie Eaton, Karen Fakler, Marianne Wicks, Leslie Oksner, Kris Beer, and Carma Isaac.
MEN: Mike Altieri, Warren Dinter, Ken Mickelsen, Jim Stuart, Hans Stocker, Bill Miano, Ken Fakler, Jerry Ramult, Doug Rosecrans, Mickey Oksner, Ron Lockhart, Jack Richardson, Mike Eaton, and Ron Lee.

Winners of their Divisions were as follows:

WOMEN'S DOUBLES: Blue - Myrna Perez and Jan Altieri; Red - Judie Eaton and Karen Fakler
MEN'S DOUBLES: Blue - Hans Stocker and Bill Muano; Red - Mike Eaton and Ron Lee
MIXED DOUBLES: Green - Alix Thayne and Warren Dinter; Black - Marianne Wicks and Ron Lee

Thanks to the scorekeepers - Char Lovelass, Carlos Monssen, and Kris Beer - who not only kept track of servers and marked points, but also helped with line calls.

A large group of spectators cheered the good shots, moaned the missed shots, and generally had a raucous good time in the bleachers.

Potluck Social and Annual Meeting

Following the tournament, 52 members and guests gathered at the Valais Clubhouse to celebrate the first year of the Heber Valley Pickleball Club, formed just one year ago on December 2, 2014. Great food, from shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, and stuffed mushrooms, to ham and turkey and all kinds of side dishes, to exquisite desserts including hot cherry pie, a huge fruit pizza, and rum cake with a "kick." Man, this group knows how to put out a FEAST!

Outgoing President Kris Beer led a short business meeting with updates from Secretary Carol Lee, Treasurer Kay Shean, Social Director Leslie Oksner, and Training Director Mike Altieri. The Board's proposed By-Law changes were accepted. They include the following:
  • The Vice-President will change from a 2-year position that moves into the Presidency the second year to a 1-year position.
  • The Secretary to split off the Membership duties and add a Membership Coordinator to the standing committees.
  • Both Training Director and Social Director allowed to be Co-Chair positions.
  • A Fundraising Chair and Committee to be appointed as necessary.
The Board presented its recommendations for the new Board. Nominations were also accepted from the floor. The new Board will take over January 1st, 2016 and is as follows:
  • President - Lynn Keller
  • Vice-President - Cary Hobbs
  • Secretary - Alyce Weisiger
  • Treasurer - Carlos Monssen
  • Membership - Doug Rosecrans
  • Social Co-Chairs - Leslie Oksner and Carol Lee
  • Training Co-Chairs - Bill Miano and Brenda Blackham
Door prizes were awarded to someone at each table of a homemade loaf of bread, donated by Bill Miano, breadmaker expert.

Ken Mickelsen announced the tournament winners and each was presented with a "medal" (a whiffle ball on a ribbon) and a prize, for the women a visor and the men a ball cap.

A great party and fun OFF the court for all of us!

2015 Board
2016 Board

Friday, November 20, 2015

News from Heber Valley

Indoor Play

We're back at the Wasatch Rec Center and have expanded, with 4 courts available for play. The Club owned a pickleball net that was donated by member, Jim Nix. Now we have donated it to the Rec Center so it's always there and ready to use. Most mornings there are at least 16 people playing from 9 or so until 11:30 or 12. Many times we have folks waiting but play goes quickly so no one has to sit out too long. Some of us actually LIKE to rest between games; others can play all morning with little down time. Some players are also organizing games at the Rec Center other times during the day. As soon as we have a more regular schedule, you'll be notified.

Tournament Scheduled for Thursday, December 3rd

Ken Mickelsen has taken the Tournament Director reins and has organized three divisions of play for the day:
  • Women's Doubles will begin at 9 am
  • Men's Doubles will begin after, probably about 11 am
  • Mixed Doubles will begin about 1 pm
We can have 16 players in each division. So far (as of today, Friday, November 20th), the Men's Doubles division is full, but we could use 2 more women for Women's Doubles. In the Mixed Doubles division, we have room for 2 more men and 4 more women. If you aren't already signed up, please consider playing. See more details below.

Potluck Social and Annual Meeting Set for Thursday, December 3rd

The same night following the tournament, the club will host a potluck social and annual meeting from 6:30 to 9 at the Valais Clubhouse. The Board is planning a great meal - with your contributions, of course, a short meeting with an election of officers for 2016 - with your nominations, of course, an award ceremony of prizes for the winners of the tournament, and a fun time, of course! Put this event on your calendar and RSVP by Monday, November 30th! See more details below.


We had a great turnout for the social/meeting last December, and many pickleball enthusiasts joined the club. Throughout 2015, we've had many more people join, and we hope to continue to increase the number who love the game and want to play. We will plan more clinics for new players as well as for experienced players to improve their skills. If you know of potential members, consider inviting them to join you at the social on the 3rd. Comments from some of our new members have included what a fun bunch we are (YAY!), in addition to playing a great game of PICKLEBALL! (YAY!)

Help us to grow the sport in the Heber Valley, and beyond! A Membership Signup Form is attached to the email announcing the posting of this Blog.

Hope to see you all at the Tournament and Social on the 3rd!
The Board of the Heber Valley Pickleball Club

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Welcome, Summer and Welcome, New players!

Thanks to all who attended the great clinic Saturday, June 13 with 25 participants and Brenda Blackham's awesome leadership. She covered the 1,2,3 shot strategy and we learned just one more aspect of this great game of pickleball.

Here's what Brenda said about the clinic:

I really enjoyed the morning and appreciated how attentive and receptive everyone was. Your group is to be commended not only for the vast improvement they have shown, but for the beautiful sportsmanship they display every day.
And from the group: The clinic was perfect! weather, topics covered, and best of all, your instruction! So glad you could do this for the club and help us all become better players!

Yay! Another great clinic coming in July. Save the date and sign up soon for July 9th, 10 to noon clinic led by experienced players in Utah, Arizona, and the RV circuit. Jim and Alison Pelletier will conduct a skills clinic for those hoping to improve their games and learn some of the finer points of pickleball. Come for the clinic, come back for the appetizer potluck from 5 to 8 pm. Both events held at Valais courts and pavilion. To participate in the clinic, you must be a member of HVPC. Everyone, including non-members can certainly watch and all are welcome at the social. Bring an appetizer to share, your beverage of choice, and your lawn chairs. RSVP to Leslie, 2lolo@earthlink.net or 435-671-1405.

Early bird play

Summertime is here and the heat is cranked up, so many players have decided to start outdoors at 8 am. Tennis players still have the courts Mondays and Fridays, so we'll start at 9:30 those days. If you can find others who are real early birds, go for it even earlier. If you are interested in evening play, let me know and we can get a group together.

An update from our Vice-President, Cary Hobbs

In the past weeks, several regular players at the Wasatch Rec Center have asked the HVPC Board to consider scheduling pickleball games outside the "Open Play" times already scheduled by the Club. Some players have formed their own groups to play earlier than the regular 9 am start time. Many are interested in pursuing a more competitive level, somewhat based on the USAPA and International Association rating system. See the online description of the skill levels from 2 to 5 in ,5 increments. (www.ipickleball.org/ifg-rating-descriptions/ )

At the Board meeting June 15th, most of us felt that, in addition to growing the game, the primary goal/benefit of the HVPC is the social interaction we enjoy with each other. We also believe that playing regularly with other players who are more skilled tends to raise the level of play for everyone, another goal of our group. Many people have made many new friendships as a result of our "open play" format.

Although we don't promote league-type competition within the group, we realize that some people enjoy a game with others based on skill level or on other factors such as friendships, gender, couples, etc. Arranging groups of players and games other than the Club's open-type competition at scheduled times only expands the game of pickleball. And although the Club won't actually be scheduling those groups, we enthusiastically support any type of play that grows the game for all levels.

Just a reminder that our schedule of open play is 8 to noon daily (Monday and Friday at 9:30) at Valais outdoor courts. Games may still be going on at the Rec Center from 9 to noon as well.

Everyone is welcome to come and have fun!
Cary Hobbs

Save these dates:

Thursday, July 9 - 10 to noon - Clinic with Jim & Alison Pelletier at Valais Courts
Thursday, July 9 - 5 to 8 pm - Appetizer Potluck at Valais Pavilion
Wednesday, August 5 - 10 to noon - Clinic with Brenda Blackham
Social TBA

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Kickoff

Good morning, picklers!

The Summer Kickoff  held on Thursday, June 4 at the Valais courts and pavilion was attended by 33 members, spouses, and guests. Several played from 4-6, then joined the rest of the group for the potluck at 6:30. We were fortunate to have great weather, not too hot, not too breezy....pretty much a perfect pickleball day and evening!

And the food was amazing! If you missed the party, we hope you'll join us for the next one. No date set yet, but the board is meeting next week and we'll plan something fun and let you know. If you ever have any suggestions for the board, you can email any one of us with your ideas. We are the following:

President, Kris Beer - kbeer62@msn.com
Vice President, Csary Hobbs - caryhobbs@comcast.net
Secretary, Carol Lee - caleeinpc@aol.com
Treasurer, Kay Shean - kayshean@msn.com
Social Director, Leslie Oksner - 2lolo@earthlink.net
Training Director, Mike Altieri - ma1077@swbell.net

We'd love to know what is working or not, what you'd like to do about training and clinics, scheduling of open play indoors and outdoors, future tournaments, and of course, social get-togethers. Other clubs we have heard about have ladies days, breakfasts, lunches, cocktail parties...we are open to whatever suggestions you have.  So BRING IT ON!!!

Final Opportunity to Order Your HVPC T-shirt

Before the order goes in, later this week, order yours. Great summer dri-fit fabric, If you don't fall down n the dirt or drip your after-play ice cream cone down the front, or sweat profusely, you can even wear it multiple days without washing. You can also look like all your pickleball friends who have theirs. Togetherness may not help your game, but you'll be lookin' good!

Stay tuned for information about upcoming clinics and other pickleball-related news.

Check out the following websites:

Thursday, May 7, 2015

HVPC T-shirts

With the new growth of the Club, we want to be sure everyone has an opportunity to not only play a lot with a lot of fun people but also look great sporting the Offical Club T-shirt.

Many of the members purchased a T-shirt in March, but many missed getting theirs and now are interested. So Bill Miano has gone back to the drawing board and has designed a performance T for men (crew neck) and women (scoop neck).

With this fabric we are not able to print the full color logo, so no blue sky...we know the sky's blue anyway so figured this was an ok option. But read the information about the shirts. They should be great for summer play, although we think sweating is a GOOD thing, even for the ladies.


The Women's T

Details: This ladies performance shirt keeps you cool and on budget!
This flattering shirt is the perfect choice for your next event.
  • 3.8 oz. 100% polyester
  • Tear-away neck label
  • Slight scoop neck
  • Double-needle stitched for durability

The Mens' T

Details: Step up your game in this winning style!
Dominate sweat like a champ and amp-up your team's performance level!
  • 3.8 oz. 100% moisture-wicking polyester
  • Tear-away neck label
  • Double-needle stitched for durability
So, you're asking, "How do I get this fabulous shirt?"
Just post a comment below to the blog. Tell us which shirt (M or W), what size W: S, M, L, XL  or M: S, M, L, XL, XXL, and how many of each. Include your name, of course. We will let you know the amount as soon as we have everyone's order. The more we buy, the less each shirt costs. We'll complete the order and then we'll start collecting money (check or cash). We hope we can get the shirts before the June 4th kickoff party if everyone responds QUICKLY with their order. If you have any questions, please email me kbeer62@msn.com.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Spring Pickleball

Great news!

Lots of good things happening on the Heber Valley pickleball front. Midway City has now put dedicated pickleball courts in their capital budget with $85,000 allocated. The project plans for 4 new courts, hopefully beginning construction this summer. The courts would be located south of the Valais tennis courts. Since the funds may not cover the total cost of 4 courts, we may begin with 2 and still be able to use the tennis courts.

When we formed the Heber Valley Pickleball Club, we discussed helping the city with fundraising for courts. Your ideas of what we might do to raise more for this project would be welcome.

Approval of the budget will be at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, May 13. You can show your support by attending the meeting. Put it on your calendars. More information about the agenda will be sent out closer to that date.

Club Update

HVPC now has 2 new Board members: Cary Hobbs has filled the vacancy of Vice-President, and Mickey Oksner will be our liaison with city and county government.

The Valais courts have been taped and will be painted soon, as summer outdoor play begins. Some players may continue to play at the Rec Center as well. Those who enjoy playing outside, whenever the weather cooperates, meet your fellow picklers at Valais courts. Open play will be every day at 9 am except Monday and Friday at 10:30 until school is out, then at 9 those days also.

Wasatch County is also looking at outdoor locations for pickleball courts. Since we have been playing all winter at the Wasatch Co. Rec Center, they know how popular the game is and how much it has grown. Currently we've been told that the 2 courts in Southfield Park in Heber will be striped for pickleball.

Hooray! We now have 50 members and interest is growing. In the first 2 days of this week, we had 7 new (to us) players, some of whom had played other places, some who were new to the game. We also will have our "snowbirds" returning for the summer so prepare for a busy season of pickleball!

Those of you who participated in the recent tournament may have also responded to Mike Altieri's survey with positive feedback and ideas for future tournaments. The Board discussed the possibility of a fall tournament with a similar format as April 7th.

We also talked about holding mini-clinics during the summer as well as larger clinics with experienced players or pros. Your feedback on clinics and tourneys would be helpful in making future plans. Contact Mike with your ideas: ma1977@swbell.net, 913-449-3944.

And speaking of future plans:

Summer Kickoff

6:30 - POTLUCK

Bring your beverage of choice and a dish to share. Appetizers, sides, casseroles, or desserts - your choice. We'll provide tableware, utensils, napkins, & ice.

Bring friends & neighbors. Picklers & nonpicklers welcome!!!

RSVP by Monday, June 1st to Leslie Oksner - 2lolo@earthlink.net, 435-671-1405

The first order of t-shirts was a hit and many of us are wearing our club logo when we play. Great promotion of the club, yay! Bill Miano is working on a new shirt, a performance T, perfect for summer play. When he completes the design, he will send out the information for ordering. Stay tuned.

New member Carole Sanders shared this YouTube link to the Pickleball Blues. Listen at http://youtu.be/Atazp_5lJJQ.

Honing your pickleball skills

Most of us want to continue to develop in the game of pickleball. We play and play and play game after game after game and STILL, we make the same mistakes or don't improve either our technique or strategy.

Drills can help as can watching experienced and professional players. Since we all use the internet for almost everything, why not watch some pickleball?

Here's a list of great sites that show everything from serving to dinking to lobbing to stacking and all variations of play in between, including all the things you shouldn't do, like NEVER EVER err with a service fault. Now how many of us have EVER done that? You can also watch some great tournament play with champions in singles, men's, women's and mixed doubles.

Google pickleball and just see what there is out there, including equipment if you want to buy a paddle, balls, bags, clothes, etc.
www.usapa.com - Join the national association and receive a t-shirt, rules book, and monthly newsletter. The website is full of interesting information too!





Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Let the Games Begin!
Instructions for the Players and Officials
"Be Nice and Have Fun!!"


Apr├Ęs Tourney at Tarahumara
A Hungry & Thirsty Group

Tres Leches - YUM!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

First Tournament and Apres Lunch a Huge Success

Dedicated to the memory of our friend and fellow pickleball player Barbara Miano, whose passion for the game was unsurpassed, the first Heber Valley Pickleball Club tournament was held today at the Wasatch Rec Center. We were glad to have Bill and his daughter Kristin come over for awhile to watch the event.

Thanks to our club training director, and now tournament chairman, Mike Altieri, the games went off without a hitch. Organizational skills and experience running other tournaments, gave Mike a mastery of the this type of tourney. 20 players, 10 men and 10 women, competed in a round robin format with 10 games, allowing every person to play with 10 different partners. Utilizing 4 courts simultaneously, each with one of 4 "officials"- Kay Shean, Chesley Smiley, Kris Beer, and Leslie Oksner - the play was accompanied with hoots and hollers, cheering and jesting. The final tally awarded one man and one woman top scores.

Ken Mickelson won with a total of 70 points - that's a perfect 7 points per game! Congrats to Ken! Maybe he'll stay home and play more often now! With a "killer" serve and just plain great shots, Ken was unbeatable today! He was truly a "green machine." He probably had some outstanding partners too!

Alix Thayne was the top scoring woman with 68 points. She also has a power serve and many ballet-like moves that were not only lovely to watch but very effective in scoring many points!

The other 18 players included:
  • Barbara Alexander
  • Jan Altieri
  • Donna Buys
  • Lana Hillstead
  • Mike Ho
  • Cary Hobbs
  • Doug Jenkins
  • Lynn Keller
  • Carol Lee
  • Ron Lee
  • Jen McCarthy
  • Mickey Oksner
  • Bob Pelletier
  • Mary Pelletier
  • Jack Richardson
  • Franz Siep
  • Sandy Smiley
  • Jim Stuart
Spectators were there to enjoy the games too. And maybe even some potential new "picklers."
Following the tournament, 23 players and others gathered at Tarahumara for an apres tourney luncheon where prizes were awarded. Thanks to Leslie Oksner, who put together some incredible gag prizes, laughter was not in short supply. Some of the prizes were a jar of pickles (best way to get on game face), a hairnet to repair holes you have made in net, a pair of cheap glasses to help with line calls.

We hope to have another tournament in the summer and certainly more social activities. Stay tuned for news of outdoor play as well.

Please add your comments and observations/experiences at the tournament. Mike has sent out a questionnaire to all participants. Be sure to return your comments to him! Thanks!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Lots of "picklers" continue to play every weekday morning, dropping in anytime form 9 to 12. We always have 2 courts and sometimes a third. Games are not organized, so everyone can just drop in and play. If there are players waiting, we usually play to 7 points, otherwise a regular game to 11.

Mike Altieri has held two mini clinics, one on lobs, the second on serving. He will send out email reminders before the first Wednesday of the month and let you know what the topic-of-the-day will be. Just show up about 10 to learn some finer points of the game. If you want more individualized skills training, just ask Mike.

Depending on interest, we will start using the third court at 10 on Tuesdays and Thursdays for those who would like special work on technique and/or strategy. New players are welcome to join as well. Remember, beginners, we've ALL been there and want you to improve. Everyone is on board to help you learn!!

Tournament Coming April 7th

We're excited about a tournament planned for Tuesday, April 7th from 9 am to 1 pm at the Rec Center. Please sign up by Monday, March 30th for Round Robin play for only the first 24 players. We'll be awarding prizes and Leslie Oksner. our social chairperson, is planning a social following the tournament. If tournament play isn't for you, we will have bleachers set up for spectators.

The Club is dedicated both to growing the sport and making it fun for everyone who wants to play. To that end, some players have asked to have a general list of Pickleball Etiquette. The following was provided by Brenda Blackham from St. George, who helped many of us learn the game last summer.

Pickleball Court Behavior
1.  Sportsmanship is first and foremost in pickleball. As such, lines are called by the team on the side of the court where the line is in question. Your opponents are always given the benefit of the doubt. Bystanders are not linesmen. We will all make bad line calls. If someone consistently makes poor calls, they should be talked to privately. My experience is that the people who make the worst calls are poor players. so it really doesn't matter. Don't point out that you are a bad player by making poor calls.
2.  As courts become more crowded, stick to whatever rules the club decides on for rotational play. Better players sometimes feel they command more court time than lesser players. Do not let this happen. The HVPC has determined that for now, players who have been waiting will rotate in either after 7 or 11 point games.
3.  Don't hit the ball constantly at the less skilled player in recreational play. Either hit the ball as the situation demands, or hit to the better player. Everyone then gets better faster. If you are the better player, be kind.
4.  Only hit the ball as hard as you can control. We all get hit accidentally, but no one likes to be hit in the face by a poorly controlled fast ball. It is ok to direct a ball at your opponent, but should the ball hit them, it should be below the waist.
5.  Recognize that better players like to play together, but that people get better by playing with better players. In the course of play, try to make sure that both those needs are accommodated. The Club has set the times from 9 to noon daily for regular drop-in play. If you are a more skilled player and want to play with others at your level, please arrange times other than this.

Finally, many of you have asked where you can find more information about pickleball, rules, equipment, training, etc. Listed below are some links to sites that you might find interesting. The USAPA (United States of America Pickleball Association) has a wide variety of topics, including YouTube videos of tournaments, training tips, skill building, etc. It is your best source for pickleball information.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Blog is Live!

WELCOME to the first post of the new-as-of-December 2014 Heber Valley Pickleball Club. We are up and running, and going strong. Our Kick-Off party was a huge success, lots of food, wine, information about the club, and general excitement about the game of pickleball. We have elected (by show of hands) officers and committee chairs. The board is as follows:

      President: Kris Beer
      Vice-President: Barbara Miano
      Secretary: Carol Lee
      Treasurer: Kay Shean
      Social Chair: Leslie Oksner
      Training Chair:  Mike altieri

Many of us "picklers" had been playing since July on tennis courts in the Midway Park at Valais. After a presentation to the city about the growing popularity of the game and how we needed a place to play, the city council authorized and hired a striping company to paint lines on one of the two existing tennis courts. In early August we convinced them, through a survey sent to players and by the number of people turning out daily to play, to stripe the second court.

It was amazing how many people stopped by to see what we were doing, asking about the fun game with the funny name, and staying to try it out. We typically had extra paddles and learning the basics was fairly easy. Not surprising that once someone started to play, addiction was the next step.

To spread the word and try to grow the sport, we organized a pickleball clinic the second weekend in August. Wayne Bullock, the tennis and pickleball pro from St. George, conducted three sessions of 12 players each Friday evening and Saturday morning. We practiced newly acquired skills in a mini tournament Saturday afternoon, with many coming back for a potluck on the courts as Wayne, his wife Kristi and their daughter continued to demonstrate the game.

Our growing group of regular picklers received lots of tips from Brenda Blackham, who lives and plays in St. George but hangs out in Midway during the summer. When not golfing, she would show up on the courts to play and instruct on technique and strategy. Warren and Susan Dinter, also in Midway for the summer, play in St. George the rest of the year, were great teachers also. Throughout the summer, many other players heard about us and dropped in. We usually filled both courts and often had others waiting to circulate in.

Play continued through what was one of the most fabulous Utah autumns in memory. Some mornings we started when temps were still in the 30's but by mid-morning, we were shedding layers. By November we had moved indoors to the Wasatch County Rec Center in Heber City where 3 courts were striped. More confusing lines as courts were multi-use: pickleball, volleyball, badminton, basketball.

Indoor play required adjustment to wood floor, lighting, no wind (nice!) or weather issues. It is just a little different game. Through the winter we almost always have at least 2 courts of play and sometimes 3. Our training chair, Mike Altieri, has conducted 2 mini clinics to help players learn or improve their game.

Our social chair, Leslie Oksner, hosted our first board get together and meeting. Another event with lots of good food and wine. And the discussion was great too. We will be organizing a tournament later in the season, probably March or April. We hope to have a logo designed and Leslie thought her daughter who is a graphic artist might be able to help. (Erin's design currently is on the blog--fabulous work!)

This is just a brief summary of how pickleball has invaded the Heber Valley and of the club's activities. We will continue to post information about drop-in play, mini clinics, tournaments, and any other news about our fun group. Please post comments to keep the blog alive.