Current NewsWe finally started outside play after a very cool and wet May. June rolled in with plenty of sunshine and warm days. The Southfield courts are alive with picklers every morning. Still, some like to play at the Rec Center, so if you prefer, check out the courts there. Rainy days, too.
Thirty-two players participated in the first "Whistle Stop" Round Robin on Monday, May 23rd. All thought it was great fun and the good times kept coming at the Soldier Hollow Grill afterwards. Prizes were awarded to winners of A and B groups, with the most points scored in one game going to Chesley Smiley with 25! A Team Top scores: Carlos and Lea - 68; Mick and Kris - 59. B Team Top scores: Chesly - 80, Myrna - 71, Steve - 68, Jack and Kevin - 66.
The limericks were great fun...if anyone still has one they'd like to publish here, send it to me...firstname.lastname@example.org. You can achieve literary fame right here...well, with our members anyway. Thanks to Leslie Oksner, Bill Miano and Brenda Blackham for organizing this fun event.
Speaking of members, Doug Rosecrans, Membership Director, reports that the club is up to 85 with more joining regularly. Now that it's after June 1st, the dues are only $10. The clinics and tournaments are 2 benefits of membership. And, of course, any social activities aside from playing with a lot of very fun people!
With a growing membership, the need for more courts is clear. The club board has made a presentation to Midway City Council, and is meeting with both Wasatch Co. and Heber City to lobby for funds to be allocated. The ideal site would be Southfield Park where we already have 3 courts. Stay tuned for more information.
Brenda Blackham and Judy Mooster held a "dink and 3rd shot short" clinic on Wednesday, July 6th. About 20 people participated. We learned how challenging it can be to play the net game, and those who enjoy slamming the ball from the back of the court uttered many words of frustration. $#%$*& Keeping the ball in play with a softer, shorter game is difficult for most of us!
A second clinic was held for beginners and others who want to learn strategy on Monday, July 11th, again lead by Brenda and Judy. At the same time a Round Robin was held at the Rec Center for those who didn't take the clinic. Following both events was a picnic lunch at Southfield Park.
Wasatch Wave Article on May 25th
For those of you who may not have had a chance to read the article about pickleball in the Wave, here's a reprint.
There’s a New Game in Town
By Kris Beer
And many throughout the country have yet to hear of it. However, it’s considered the fastest growing sport in the United States, garnering the attention of young and old alike. Senior citizens love it because it’s easy to learn and easy on the body. Young folks love it because it’s fast-paced, fun, and can take a challenging level of skill. And all ages in between are getting hooked on it because it’s a social game that is as fun as it is competitive. So what’s all the hoopla about?
PICKLEBALL, the fun game with the funny name. Story is, according to its founder, that it was named after his dog, “Pickle.” Briefly, it requires a court that’s about 1/3 the size of a tennis court, a paddle that’s about 1/3 the size of a tennis racquet but solid, a whiffle ball a little bigger than a tennis ball, and a net a little lower than a tennis net. And yes, it’s sort of similar to tennis, except the rules are different, the learning curve is shorter, the fun factor is greater, and players can become addicted in a matter of minutes…it’s THAT fun!
Nearly two years ago, pickleball came to the Heber Valley when Midway allowed a small group of players to paint stripes on the two tennis courts at Valais Park. Since then, play has expanded to five indoor courts at the Wasatch County Rec Center and three dedicated outdoor courts at Southfield Park. A handful of players has grown to a regular group of 20 to 30 who play daily and another 50 or so who support the game by belonging to the Heber Valley Pickleball Club.
Drop-in players are always welcome, and everyone who plays will help newbies on their own path to addiction. The Club holds clinics and tournaments as well as recreational play combined with social events. Our mission is to grow the game in the Heber Valley. The only risk is that we don’t have enough courts for the number of people who want to play. So we’re hoping for more dedicated courts, both inside and out.
A few facts about the popularity of pickleball: It fills up within hours of opening registration at the Huntsman Senior Games, held in October in St. George; it brings in 100’s of players and spectators who spend $1000s on lodging and food for every tournament – Singles, Doubles, Men, Women, and Mixed Doubles – in towns across the country. It is REALLY BIG!
For more information, check out the USA Pickleball Association’s website, www.usapa.org. Closer to home, check out the club’s blog at www.hebervalleypickleballclub.blogspot.com. Better yet, check us out as we laugh and play every morning at the Rec Center or when the rain stops and the sun shines at the Southfield courts from 9 to noon. We’re hoping to get a regular group to play afternoons or evenings as well. We’d love to have you join us!