MID-SOUTH REGION NEWSLETTER
I want to welcome Matthew Westmoreland (Corpus Christi, TX) and Daniel Roose (Plano, TX) as our most recently appointed ambassadors.
Matthew has been playing a year and began a PB program at the Country Club where he works, starting with three players. Within three weeks, that number increased to 18 active players. They have weekly socials and the goal is to eventually have a league with all the other clubs in the city.
Daniel has been playing more than three years at many venues in the DFW area. He has separately started two small groups of players and is encouraging and teaching them along the way. Daniel has volunteered to be a ref in numerous tournaments and wants to gain certification in that area while also wishing to become a certified instructor.
Heather Fisher (Dardanelle, AR) was recently approved for a USAPA Community Grant. Here is how: This grant will help bring the community together to play a fun sport for all ages. We have many young children and teens in the area that don’t have access to activities that will keep them active and off the streets. We have already seen the senior age group helping and bonding with the youth in teaching and learning the sport. We are currently using borrowed nets.
Val Oliver (Fort Worth, TX) notes that their courts at Lakeside, TX had our first "Pilot" Round Robin Tournament.
“It was my first attempt at organizing a tournament...great fun and a great success.” (Way to step out of your comfort zone. We need to get that done with players who are afraid to ref).
William Bartman (Tulsa, OK) shares that we just had a huge kids camp here in Glenpool, Ok that saw over 35 kids play PB! Many for the very first time. We worked on 3rd shot drops and dinking along with volleys! We have 3 more camps left. Each camp is every Tuesday in June and is an hour and half long and we provide lunch and shirts to each participant! (Great news, William).
Bruce Davie (Cherokee Village, AR) mentions that after a long process with the city, we are getting LED lights in the gym that we play in. This will provide us with twice the brightness of lighting and make our players very happy! Also I just converted one of our two tennis courts to a pickleball court. (another long process) Right now it is a single court over the tennis net, if enough people use it I will make it a two court set up.
Also in the works, (probably another long process) three dedicated outdoor pickleball courts. It is being considered and hopefully we will have things started in the next 12 months.
Slowly things here are happening. I guess slowly is better than not at all. (It certainly is. Kind of like needing to be patient when dinking, then when the opportunity shows itself…explosion time).
Michelle Eggimann (Rockport, TX) reports that Rockport is going to put in 3 permanent pickleball courts! “I had attended a city council meeting and a parks a rec meeting. Although most of them had never heard of Pickleball, they were all intrigued by my presentation and after the meeting when they searched the internet for more information, WOW! To their surprise, I wasn't kidding. The mayor has suggested these courts will be installed before the end of the year! Let's hope there are no slowdowns. I'm just so excited!!”
(Great job, Michelle…it seems you were fully prepared).
Terry Stone & Jo Lynn Anderson (Houston, TX) have had an initial discussion with our local school district and has gotten approval to teach pickleball to the PE teachers as part of their inservice the 2nd week in August. (Way to get PB into the schools).
Is Kari-Ladd (Weatherford, TX) reports that Our Haws women’s clinics has grown tremendously. I’m not sure how many players Val Spacher has touched, but more than a hundred. Today we had 24 there and she decided on the spot to add another two hours to divide us into two groups. I call us, Val’s Gals!
Larry Patrick (Hot Springs, AR) is proud to show their new designated PB courts in Hot Springs. They are open and free to the public with led lighting. This is the home court of Team Vulcan pickleball and where I give lessons to beginner to intermediate players from all over and is listed on places to play. These courts are provided by a private company that loves and supports our growing sport. (Impressive)
Mike Goldberg (Katy, TX) reminds us that the The Houston Alzheimer's Benefit Tournament entry deadline is approaching and there are still a few open spots, primarily in the 50-64 age divisions. A current list of teams and the registration form are posted at
The SUMMER GAMES OF TEXAS will be held in College Station from the 25th to 27th of July. It includes MD,WD and MXD plus a Super Senior event. You can register on www.pickleballtournaments.com
Barb Patterson (Georgetown, TX) shares that the Sun City PB Club raised over $2600 in their annual ‘Big Bopper’ Olympic style tournament. Events included water volleyball, horseshoe pitching, and putting. (pics below and next page…and a big congratulations to the club members for supporting this worthy cause).
(That (previous page) was NOT one of the events, but it could have been).
Chuck Flanagan (Georgetown, Tx) reports…
Pat Heurtin (St Francisville, LA) tells us that thirty-two summer day campers from the West Feliciana Parish Parks & Rec. had a fun morning with seven volunteers from the West Feliciana Pickleball Club. Richard Stalder, Debby Lilly, Linda Duhe, Cissy Holcomb, Catherine Landry, Stephanie Fontenot, and Ambassador Pat Heurtin had set-up 4 stations with all activities focusing on hand/eye coordination.
Every child got to experience each station for 10 - 15 minutes before having to rotate.
At the conclusion of the session, the campers were told the story of how pickleball began [the dog named Pickles version] and then watched four of the club members play a short game while Pat Heurtin narrated the action, explaining some of the basic rules.
The Club Members have been invited back for late July to teach the youngsters more pickleball skills before having to return to school.
Jamie Elliott (McKinney, TX) has been an ambassador for several years. I received her permission to print the following: I wanted to keep you updated on me, as I'm not doing any pb right now. I've set a goal for Dec.
As you probably know, my right leg was paralyzed during surgery. Just barely over 2 months, since surgery, I'm walking with a walker, small distances, then I'm back in wheelchair. I feel my progress is going good, with OT and PT. Of course not as fast as I want, but nerve endings are on their own schedule.
Before this latest episode, I had talked to the pastor and youth director at the church , I attend, about starting pb in their gym. They were excited about it being something new for the youth, members, and inviting outside community in to play or learn.
Again, I have set a goal to be up and about by Dec, so hopefully get my Ambassador duties back on track.
(We are proud of your determination and the setting of goals to get back to PB as soon as possible)
A former ambassador, Jim Bauser, passed away recently. He was one of the first ambassadors in the Houston area and is responsible for much of the ‘early days’ growth of PB. He will be missed not only for his love of PB, but also for his ability to enjoy meeting and helping many players grow their game. He will be missed.
Are you or your group putting on a tournament? Be sure to add your event to the Mid-South website (www.midsouthusapa.com). The more events we add to this tournament list, the better chance you will not be competing for players/donors with another tournament being held ‘down the street’.
If you are an ambassador, you are invited to join the Mid-South Ambassador Facebook page. Contact Barb Patterson at (email@example.com).
I have been in Albuquerque helping to run the NSGA National Tournament. We had 1166 players from 48 states plus DC and three Canadian provinces and our event consisted of ten days of competition (the longest tournament, days-wise). A couple of other interesting tidbits from this event: There were 2,354 matches and 10 gold-medal matches that went to the 1 to 15 tie breaker before completion. We also had the largest bracket ever, with 77 teams in MX 65-69. I know you probably won’t be able to read it, but there is a photo of this bracket below. We couldn’t line the top bracket with the lower one because it was so large, hence the diagonal upper bracket.
Randy Johnson (Jonesboro, AR) is the latest
addition to our Mid-South Ambassador family.
He has been playing over twelve years as he taught the game in both junior high and high school physical education classes. He also assisted in setting up a demo at the local community center. With the cooperation of the Jonesboro Parks & Rec Dept, they are utilizing one of the city’s community centers for PB play. Beginning next month, there is a plan to be included in the city’s rec budget for the purchase of additional equipment. “Our Parks & Rec director hopes to have us introduce PB to children in two of our local school aftercare programs.” Please welcome Randy when you have a chance to do so.
Hailey Lada (Jenks, OK) was recently awarded a USAPA Grant . Here is how she did it: Jenks West Intermediate school services 987 students in the Jenks community. They have recently adopted a "healthy and fit club" in an attempt to promote healthy lifestyles. My goal is to add pickleball into our options for activities! Many students of JWI have never heard of the sport. I love that kids of all ages, and varying physical levels can enjoy this sport. Our school has students from all walks of life and I know this sport will be a blessing to them!
With a grant from USAPA we will be able to purchase the needed supplies to launch this program. (To watch Hailey’s daughter, Avery, give a presentation to her school principal and others regarding wanting to start a PB club at the school, click on the link below).
(Congratulations, Hailey & Avery).
Jamie Elliott (McKinney, TX) and her PB Club raised $948 for the Salvation Army in just three hours. (Great work).
Joyce Mitchell (Pharr, TX) shares that the City of Pharr Media Dept. sent a crew to our new courts to film a promotional video about our clinics and open play. (Click below to view the result. It looks as if Joyce has had some acting experience).
Bob & Irene Romagosa (Denton, TX) reminds us that Robson Ranch in Texas continues to offer clinics to its members to help beginners to skill level players and is supporting it by multiple programs throughout the year. Whether you are a social player or a person interested in tournament play, there is a program for you. Those programs include the following:
Academy- each month a 3-day session (2 hours each) is done to introduce new players to all facets of the game. They include, but not limited to scoring, dinking, serving, lobs and court ethics. Below is a picture of the most recent Academy (beginners’ clinic). We usually average about 8 new players per month.
Skill clinics- The 3rd Thursday of the month clinics are run for those interested in enhancing their skills. The clinics include dinking, serving, blocking, lobs, 3rd shots, etc. There a 4 people to each group (4 groups) and they rotate among four different instructors for 30 minutes at each station.
Referee Clinics – these clinics are done on an as needed bases based on upcoming tournaments. The first 4 hours are in class discussions and the next 4 are on court practice. Players practice their ref skills with a few challenges thrown in for them to recognize. Players pick cards before the match to try to catch the ref off guard. As an example, a card may tell the player to foot fault or serve before the score is called.
We are always looking to add new ideas and programs as our membership continues to explode, if you have i