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:
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!