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                               MID-SOUTH REGION




                                   April, 2018




We have several new ambassador appointees this month: Karin Plotts (Bryan, TX), Larry Patrick (Hot Springs, AR), Brian Richardson (Tuttle, OK), and Lisa Keesler (Brenham, TX), Rocky Arrington (OKC, OK), and Shawn Koonce (Round Rock, TX).


Karin was actually a new ambassador when I wrote last month’s letter, but I failed to include her in the new ambassador listings.  I apologize for that.  She has been playing about a year and a half at six or seven different area venues.  Karin has helped with beginner clinics and has served as tournament director for two local round robin events.  Like many others, she loves telling others about PB and notes that it has been a life changing sport for her.  She plans to incorporate a PB program into their brand new Lifestyle Center for Seniors, and also into the local school systems.  Additionally, wants to present PB through a faith based program into the two ‘second chance’ ranches for troubled youth in her area.  (I have also seen Karin voluntarily work with the administrative team every day of a recent large tournament).


Larry has been playing about 3 ½ years.  He is the group leader of his PB crew.  He has taught or instructed at least ten beginners in the last six months.  He teaches skills & drills two days a weeks for abut an hour and a half before regular play begins.  Larry will become the director of the first dedicated PB courts in Hot Springs and those will be the home courts for their newly formed PB Club.  He wants to hold battle border games with other local ambassadors so that both can reach out and meet each other more regularly and play PB for bragging rights.


Brian has been playing about 4 ½ years.  He has plays at three local (OKC) venues and has played in several tournaments.  He has helped demo PB at the OK State Fair.  Brian has several goals for PB including holding tournaments, leagues, clinics, and using social media to engage the public in PB activities.


Lisa has been playing just over a year.  She has assisted fellow local ambassadors in promoting PB with a large display table as well as a mini court (NVZ to NVZ) for demos and introductionsto PB.  She has assisted in hosting/helping with several clinics and lessons and was included in a group of players with the purpose of brainstorming ideas to promote PB growth in the community.  Lisa obtained a new indoor location to play at Blinn Junior College during hot summer days.  She helped organize a group of members who helped clean up a home destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.  She is a strong force in getting their club organized.  Lisa has plans on getting PB into the local schools.  LISA recently was pictured on the first page of her local newspaper teaching PB during Senior’s Day.  (All this and much more in just a year.  Wow). 


Rocky has been playing a little over 3 ½ years.  During that time, he has participated in/ and led many demos in several venues, towns, and cities.   He is part of the administration of the large OKC PB Club and is on the local ratings committee along with assisting District Ambassador Vicky Noakes in the Beginners Training Program.  Rocky serves as the Court Operations Chairman and plans on adding to the already 14 sites in OKC by contacting large churches with gyms and schools as well as public/city recreation facilities.


Shawn is a former ambassador for the Mid-South and has decided ‘to go through the process’ again to return to that position.  And we certainly welcome him back. 




This seems to be an excellent, high-energy group of new ambassadors.  Please welcome them to the Mid-South family when you get the chance. 




By the way, all new ambassadors are welcome to join the Mid-South Region Ambassadors Facebook page.  This page is a Mid-South Ambassador only page.  Ask Barb Patterson to join (barbpatter1@gmail.com).




Our Mid-South Region website can be found by going to (midsouthusapa.com).





Dennis Schule (Mountain Home, AR) has just received a USAPA Grant and here is why:  The United Methodist Church has been a backup play facility with very limited use. The church has replaced all of the lighting in the gym to make play much more acceptable.  There were two temporary courts that received very little play. We now want to turn the facility into a permanent play facility for our community and club by adding three courts


which should provide adequate opportunity for all. The group mostly consists of seniors with a number of youth that play on the weekends. We have two net systems that have been donated and really need the grant to help pay for the third net, four rolls of court marking tape and more balls. Without the assistance from the grant we do not think we can obtain enough donations to accomplish our goals.


The Twin Lakes Pickleball Club has grown so much that we have pretty much outgrown our current play venue, Cooper Park Youth Center. By adding the Methodist Church, this will provide one more location to help grow the sport here in Mountain Home. TheMethodist Church will also provide a venue for play when we are unable to use the youth center when the kids are out of school.




Sharon Richard (Lafayette, LA) conducted a ‘Fun Day of PB’ in conjunction with National Pickleball Month (April).  Teams of six players, divided by skill level, played other teams.  This was similar to the same type event learned at the Ambassador Retreat, in FL.  A good time was had by all.




Pat Heurtin (St Francisvill, LA) shares the following: The West Feliciana Pickleball Club recently completed a 6-weeks OLLI Course [Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of LSU] PLAYING PERCENTAGE PICKLEBALL, with guest instructor Robert Kelly, a 4.5 player from Zachary. Robert and Pat Heurtin worked together to offer the 14 participants as many opportunities to improve their 'soft' game as well as all skills. Many of these  same class participants will take their new skills and use them in the April 21st Spring Fling Tournament to be held at the West Feliciana Parish Sports Park. (photo next page)







More from Pat…Early in the year I began thinking about having a small tournament just for the West Feliciana Pickleball Club Members, especially those whom I would rank as Advanced Beginners. I wanted to give them some tournament experience on their home courts. Then, my good friend and almost relative (ambassador) Howard Ward gets on board and the next thing I know, we're planning a tournament for not one but two different skill levels........adding Intermediate. We set a goal of 40 players. No, Howard set a goal of 40. I thought he was crazy, but went along for the ride. And what a ride we had. We started planning and advertising and before long we had 39 participants total.......men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles in both categories. I worked with our West Feliciana Parish Sports Park Staff to get the site arrangements made and Howard started working on the brackets. That's when the 'hiccups' began.....a few players had to withdraw for a variety of reasons. We were shuffling players and looking for others and finally the bracket was set with 35 players from St. Francisville, New Roads, Zachary, Clinton, Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Watson, Biloxi and Long Beach, MS.  (Mostly small towns in the BR area, except for the MS two).


     We were fortunate to have some experienced players come from the area and volunteer to referee all the matches. They really kept the tournament moving right along. By lunch, all men's and women's doubles were done; medals handed out; photos taken. Then, across the street we go to a smaller pavilion where one of the park employees had prepared a delicious jambalaya. Food, cold beverages, door prizes, and the auctioning of a top-of-the-line Engage paddle by Paddle Representative Tex Morris kept everything lively. Then, back across the street for Mixed Doubles.


     Mixed Doubles games were pool play with 'one game to 15' for both levels. Some of the medals were decided by one or two points – most exciting games.


     Kudos to our West Feliciana Parish Sports Park, all our participants, our spectators, our volunteer refs, the WF Club members who didn't play but helped in many ways, and to my good friend and co-tournament director Howard Ward.


     The local Bains Elementary PE Dept. will benefit from this tournament by receiving funds to assist them in purchasing PB equipment for grades 2 - 5th.  (photo of ambassadors attending to help below)





Mike Goldberg (Katy, TX) reminds players in his area about the following:  The Katy YMCA Main Street is still playing adult pickleball on Wednesday nights from 7 to 10pm, so come on by if you want to play after work.  There will be another DRILLS and SKILLS Clinic/Mixer at the Badminton Center on Wednesday, May 15th. You can learn the fundamentals of good Pickleball play, improve your game and lunch is included. There will be another Pickleball party at the No Label Brewery in Katy on Sunday afternoon, May 27th.  The 2nd Royal Carribean Pickleball Cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica  will set sail from Galveston September 16 to 23. There are three courts on the ship and courts on shore when it's in port. The program includes T-shirts and door prizes for what seems to be a good price.




Bobby Howard (Tyler, TX) shares that: On May 22  6-8 PM, he will be having a Pickleball Clinic/Play  Session at the Paula Martin Jones Recreation Center in Longview.  This is a result of the director


calling him to help jump-start their pickleball program.  Also…


Bobby just met with Mario at Faulkner Tennis Center.  He is now the new vendor/director which is good news.  He wants to promote pickleball there.  He has offered to let us tape 2 courts (on one tennis court) & leave the tape in place as long as he doesn t get too many complaints about it from the tennis members.  So we are gonna start 


regular play there on Wednesday nights  7-9  PM starting April  25. 


.   In the fall we are planning a BIG 2  DAY  PICKLEBALL TOURNAMENT   at Faulkner as a  fund raiser  to re -surface & line the courts. 




Chuck Flanagan (Georgetown, TX) sends his Club’s excellent April edition of their newsletter with some interesting articles:






From USAPA Grant Committee Chair, Linda Gartlan:  The High School Grant Program is a new endeavor for USAPA as the organization moves to promote pickleball to the younger generation. A primary motive for selecting to invest at the high school age group was at that age most youth select their “life-long” sport(s). The elementary and middle schools will continue to be serviced through the Community Grant Program. The complete High School and Community Grant Program descriptions are available on the USAPA website:


  • Community Grant Program

       High School Grant Program


    Tim Dean (Cedar Park, TX) reminds us of the Cedar Park Paddle Battle on May 17-20.  Call him at (512-401-5506) for more info.


    USING A USAPA BANNER??  The Director of Ambassadors sent the following: “in addition to sanctioned tournaments, it's appropriate for the current banner to be displayed at non-sanctioned tournaments (if the ambassador is present and is manning a table promoting USAPA).  Also, ambassadors can display a banner when they are running free approved/sanctioned clinics and outreach programs. They can also be used as a backdrop when the ambassador is conducting a USAPA/pickleball interview or other media appearance. It’s ok to display during USAPA state or regional retreats or meetings.”  


    Want to get away to play your favorite game??  Consider the following.  Two tournaments at the same venue, one right after the other.   July 20th is the Bainbridge Cup, while the Italian Open is July 21, 22.  This takes place in Montesilvano, Italy.  Go to PBT for more info.


    This month, I participated (not very well) in the recent Texas SOG, and the Acadiana SOG (better).  I am also conducting two ‘Scoresheet Refresher’ cliinics soon.  One in Baton Rouge, and the other is planned for early next month in Lafayette, LA.   These are help sessions to encourage and teach refs/potential refs to be more consistent in how they complete the scoresheet.  Once the participants feel comfortable with the USAPA system, they will have a chance to use their new skills during live play, which at that point, we can also work on watching the NVZ and not the ball.  J


    And a reminder that the Louisiana Senior Olympic Games PB Tournament is in Baton Rouge (June 9 & 10).  WD, MD, & WS on Sat and MX & MS on Sun.  Go to (lsog1.org) to register.  (Seniors only)


    The Louisiana State Games PB Tournament is in Monroe, LA (June 23,24).  WD, MD, WS on Sat and MX & MS on Sun.  Google (Louisiana State Games) to register.  (all ages eligible to participate)


    Each of the two events above ARE qualifiers for their own national tournament.  (LSOG for the national event in NM) (State Games for the national event in VA)


    Please share any info from this newsletter (or the whole thing) with players in your area.


    It looks like it is beginning to warm up some.  I just can’t wait for July and August to get here.  Yeah, right.


    I hope to see some of you in Denton soon.




                        MID-SOUTH REGION




                               March, 2018




We have six newly appointed ambassadors to introduce this month:  David & Kay Redding (Searcy, AR), Don Reed (Gentry, AR), Neil Conklin (Frisco, TX), Yvonne Mansour (Buda, TX), and Benjamin Paquette (Addison, TX).


David & Kay have been playing about 5 & 3 ½ years respectively.  They have either conducted or helped with numerous clinics or lessons at various venues in AR, CO, and TX.  They have reffed at several regional/national/state events as well.  This personable couple plan to continue to promote and bring PB to more locations near their area.

 Don has been playing over three years.  He has been working with about ten people in Siloam Springs and has brought several of them to an intermediate level.  Don wants too get a regular playing venue established in SS.  He is also working with the AD at John Brown Univ. and they have approved the purchase of nets and have temporary striping down in one of their gyms.  Negotiating is going on to establish a regular playing schedule since the facility is used by both the university and the public.  (Looks like things are headed in the right direction, Don).


Neil has been playing a little over a year.  He has been helping newbies with rules, techniques, and strategies whenever possible.  He wishes to find 2 or 3 locations to play PB in his area with specific times for the various demographics of players such as young singles, young families, middle age/empty nesters, and active seniors/retirees.  Lastly, Neil would love to find an investor/s to develop a new facility along the lines of Chicken Pickle in Kansas City.  (PB with restaurant, bar, or grill).  (Great idea).


Yvonne has also been playing a little over a year.  She helped organize a ‘Meet & Greet’ with her PB group that included former ambassador Matt Lazarine who is a certified instructor.  This event generated lots of interest and excitement.  Yvonne has played is several venues in TX, FL, and NM.  She notes that at each facility she was greeted warmly and wants her group to do the same with their visitors.  The now have ‘greeters’ who explain the rotation procedure for experienced players and others to help explain the rules, court, etc.  She wants to work toward getting beginner classes offered on a regular basis as well as periodic clinics for intermediate and advanced players.  ( You certainly seem to be on the right track.)  And more just in from Yvonne….

I've completed my first official Ambassador duty.  😊 Last week I submitted a proposal to the Director at the YMCA where I play four times a week to request approval to place the information about their Pickleball program on the Places2Play section of the USAPA website. Approval was granted in just a few days and I am glad to report that the information is now out their 'live' on the website!  (I used the online 'Help Guide' which walked me through the process of entering the data.)


I know that I really appreciate this resource when we're traveling and it makes me feel good to know others will be aware of the YMCA's program in Buda.


We have a group of about 50 players-a majority of whom play together several times per week at the YMCA in Buda. We recently bought Pickleball t-shirts---a total of 40 were ordered by group members! (I worked with a graphics designer to finalize the design and then found a local vendor to order the shirts from).  The t-shirts were distributed last week.  We came together yesterday to play, take a group photo, and then 20 of us attended our monthly group lunch. It was such a fun day!


My husband and I were wearing our shirts after lunch as we ran a few errands.  We had comments from others as they saw the graphics on the t-shirt. Pickleball is always a conversation starter. 


The group t-shirts have had such a positive impact on the group-we feel more 'connected'.  The level of energy among the group yesterday was incredible!  The t-shirts will also help promote the sport as we wear them out and about. 


 Benjamin has been playing over six months.  He has recently joined the Addison Parks & Rec Master Plan Committee.  He wants to get PB on the agenda to increase awareness of the sport in his city.   Ben has a goal to get the city to commit some outdoor space for PB courts.   He has been participating with about 20 players and has encouraged them to increase their abilities.  Ben wants to introduce PB to the younger set as well.


I am really excited about this group of new ambassadors.  Please welcome them to our ambassador family.


 Congratulations to DA, Vicky Noakes (OKC, OK) for being awarded a grant from the USAPA.  Here is why:  I was asked to put on a demo by the Stipe Recreation Manager. They needed more community activities in their gym. With 4 other members of the Greater OKC Pickleball club we showed 25-30 local residents how to play pickleball. This community has a large number of tennis players and they showed up to learn pickleball. We had an age range from 14-80 yrs old. All ages will be playing together. They will start with open play on Tuesday and Thursday mornings when they get 3 nets ordered.  McAlester is about 150 miles from Oklahoma City or Tulsa. Population is around 20,000 residents.


The closest pickleball is 60 miles away in Ada, OK.  (Way to go, Vicky).


(Remember, you are ALMOST guaranteed a grant if the potential venue does not have PB).


Don’t forget that April is National Pickleball Month.  You should have received a ‘promotion kit’ from the USAPA two or three weeks ago.  Feel free to do any kind of promotion and let us know what you did.  We can put that in next month’s newsletter.


Got any extra or old paddles laying around?   SSIPA (Super Seniors International PB Assoc) is collecting them to give to beginning young players in other countries.  Check with a SSIPA representative for more info.


 For those of you who REALLY want to travel, here are two PB events in Italy


Italian Open and Bainbridge Cup



• July 18 to 22, 2018




• Montesilvano, Italy


• Venue: Pala "Dean Martin" - Centro Congressi


• Games will be played on indoor courts




• Italian Pickleball Association







• The categories will be based on age and skill level.

• We plan to include the following age brackets: 19+, 50+, 65+, 70+, 75+, and 80+. Age groups may be modified or combined based on number of participants.

• Age is determined as of December 31, 2018.

• All playing levels are welcome.

• Events include Women’s Doubles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles.

• Each event will have Pool Play followed by Bracket Play.

• A and B level brackets will be created after pool play. Top teams from each pool will enter A Bracket. Bottom teams from each pool will enter B Bracket.

• Pool Play will be 2 games to 11, win by 1.

• Bracket play will be either best 2 out of 3 to 11, win by 2, or one to 15, win by 2, depending on the time available.

• Awards given to the top 3 finishers in each bracket (A and B) of each event.

• All games refereed. All players must referee or provide a replacement to referee for themselves.

• Participants are guaranteed a minimum of 4 games per event.


Corso Garibaldi, 56 - 65028 TOCCO DA CASAURIA (PE) - ITALY





(I participated in the Spanish Open and the Bainbridge Cup last year in Spain.  Lots of fun.  Took some extra days to sight see).



We have at least three newly certified refs in our region:  Don Stanek (OK City, OK), Roger Workman (Houston, TX), and Kate Williams (Rogers, AR).  (Congratulations to all three).


 Fred Thompson (Denton, TX) has been recently named as Middle Section Leader (comprised of the Mid-South, Great Plains, and Middle States Regions) of the National Referee Training Committee.  He will be assisted in the Mid-South by: Referee Training Coordinator, Bob Romagosa (Denton, TX) and Certified Referee, Jo Honeycutt (San Marcos, TX). 


The goal of this group is to improve the quality of referees and the quantity for all tournaments, not just sanctioned events.  If someone decides to go through the certification process, that is the icing on the cake.



I have received several emails/calls/texts re the NSGA (National Senior Games Assoc) National tournament in Alburquerque, NM in 2019.  Nothing is actually iced down at this point although it looks like we may get many more days to play than in the past.  If that happens, I would guess that we would run it just as before, but have more days per age divisions. The 50-64 age groups would go the first week and then the rest would play the 2nd week.  Please remember that this is logical guesswork on my part.



Let me review how one qualifies to go to the tournament.  Each state is allowed two qualifying events, but only one or two states actually have two tournaments.  You must finish in the top four of an event (MD, WD, MX, MS, WS).  If the state you are participating in is an open state (for instance, you can come to LA to our tournament and attempt to qualify) it is possible that more than the top four can qualify.  An out of state person/team cannot displace the local state players.  If the out of state team wins gold, then the highest instate team also gets gold.  This does not work in reverse.  If the out of state team gets bronze over all, it will qualify, along with the third place in state team.  (All four states in our region are open states, so this happens in each of our states).


To play singles in NM, you must qualify in singles in a qualifying tournament.  To play WD in NM, one of you must have qualified in a qualifying tournament while the other partner must have qualified in PB (which means in WS or MX, or, of course WD).  The key is this for any doubles….Both must qualify in PB while one or the other must qualify in that particular event.  Other items are…


You do not need to partner with the person you qualified with.  Some of you will not be required to play in the same age group that you qualified in because some of you might move into another age group (from 55-59 to 60-64, for instance, or down, if you partner with a younger player).  However, your age group placing is still determined by whoever is the younger of the two partners.  There are no skill levels in the state or national event…strictly age group.


If you have questions, just get in touch with me.



Re the USAPA Mid-South Regional in Grapevine.  We had over 500 registrations…something like 512, with 487 actual participants.  And by the way, we also had over 180 of the participants complete the survey that closed after one week of being open.  Thanks for your input.  I have not yet received feedback from the company that is tabulating and making sense of the comments, but I was told that re the possible 5 star rating for the overall event, you rated us as a 4.6, which is very good.  Thanks for that.  I felt we had a fantastic team in the administrative area and we had a great core group of volunteers.  Of course, many of you stepped up to help ref or be a line judge.  I know there are things we still need to improve on and that should come out in the survey.  In fact, I have already had some private discussions with our team members on making some possible changes.  One of those is the length of the days/nights.  There are options for this.  Lower the number of registrations.  Have an additional administrative team come in to finish up each day/night.  Find a larger venue.  Add an extra day or so.  The last two may not be an easy answer because of the cost factor.  I do know that Grapevine wants us back.  So if you have a thought about this, please contact your district ambassador, or me, and let us know what you are thinking.


A reminder… Please use our Mid-South website.  (www.midsouthUSAPA.com)  List your tournament or clinic there.  If your tournament is listed, there will be a good chance that you will not be competing against another event near your area. 


We also have a Mid-South ambassador Facebook page.  To be invited, please contact Barb Patterson at: (barbpatter1@gmail.com).  This is for Mid-South ambassadors only.


I hope to see some of you at the TX SOG (Senior Olympic Games) PB tournament in San Antonio.


FEb 2018


                     Mid-South Region Newsletter


                             February, 2018




We have two newly appointed ambassadors to introduce:  Amy Yarbrough (San Marcos, TX) and George Boutwell (Winnsboro, LA).

Amy has been playing a little over a year.  She has helped friends learn about PB and teaching them the game.  Coming from a physical education, coaching, and training background, she is a strong advocate of wellness and sport.  She thinks many people can benefit from pickleball and is so contagious that she enjoys promoting this sport in any venue from the young to the older.  Amy wants to contact local schools to see about introducing PB in to the physical education departments.  She wishes to set up clinics to promote PB to new players and to the other group of players who are interested in tournament play.  Amy also wants to work with the city of San Marcos to create more venues to play PB.




George has been playing almost three years.  He has assisted with a demo for a high school baseball team and has taught the game to several newbies in his area.  He has helped ref a small tournament.  George wants to get the game to schools in his area, as well.  (I was asked to come to Winnsboro to help get the game started, and George was there).  He has been one of the main sources for the growth of PB in this community since then.  Like many, he LOVES this game.




Susan Henderson (Mesquite, TX) has been approved for a $250 USAPA Community Grant.  Here’s how:  We decided to begin pickleball open play within our own church congregation on October 5, 2017 because several people played and there was interest from others who wanted to learn. We borrowed 3 nets from North Texas Ambassador, Charlotte Rivera, taped courts and one of our members loaned us a basket of pickleballs. For the past four months, we have met each Thursday night at 6:00 in the youth center/gym and the interest has grown. We have two game courts and one training court between them where we teach new people how to play each week. There are approximately 30 who have attended. At first, it was mainly church members, then friends of church members began coming. We decided to list the location on Places 2 Play at the end of January and open the site up to the community since there is no other site to play pickleball in Mesquite. We have a variety of ages and skill levels, but perhaps our most rewarding accomplishments have been how much some of our seniors have enjoyed coming. Our oldest player is 82 and she loves the chance to be active and get out of her house.  Another player is recovering from and stroke and tells us how much pickleball helps his eye/hand coordination and socialization.  We would like to have our own nets and return the borrowed ones to Charlotte, so we decided to apply for the grant.  (Way To Go, Susan.  I encourage all of you to take advantage of this program).




David Lasater (Russellville, AR) I've just got to share my giddiness.  We're breaking out up here. Been working Clarksville (30 miles west of Russellville) for a year, manager not really into it.  So we got the churches playing in that town.  She (manager)  cracked the door last week and 20 players flooded in.  LOL  Delicate - giving the manager time to feel ownership before I get her to list it as a place to play.  This is a two full court size rec center.  Big win.


I've made contact with Ozark (30 miles west of Clarksville). Brand new rec center.  Going up there when I get off crutches.


Marshall is full throttle in Ft Smith (30 miles west of Ozark).  Kate Williams and I are meeting him to give an introduction to a Ft Smith Tennis Club. 


Siloam Springs has started up.  And I've found little towns out in the Ozark Mtns playing. 


Getting kinda fun!  Haha  (Keep having that FUN, David).




Christie Borne (Hot Springs Village, AR) sends the following: Met these six Grand Rapids Pickleball Club chicas for a weeks’ worth of pickleball lessons, a little karaoke, sun and fun in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico in January.  Another Grand Rapids pickleball chica, Phyllis Wordhouse, who lives in Mexico 7 months a year is the ambassador at large.  Through her realtor, she found this tennis court on the property of a 6 million home up for sale.  With a group of other pickleball players, they taped lines and patched the holes for us and other locals who could give pickleball a try.



Although I only conducted one-two hour clinic here with the chicas, Phyllis supplied us with a laundry basket of balls and Wilson slap down lines after we found a tennis court at the Vidanta Rivera Resort where we were staying.  We began building on the lesson plans I created from day one which included dinks and 3rd shots drops, to lobbing from the non-volley line and learning how to recover their own lobs.   (photo next page) 






Chuck Flanagan (Sun City, TX) sent this pic (below) of a ref clinic in Grapevine, TX in preparation for the USAPA Mid-South tournament.  Ambassadors Bob & Irene Romagosa (Denton, TX) conducted the clinic for the 47 participants.  Lunch was served before the clinic.






George Boutwell (Winnsboro, LA) notes that the great thing about pickleball is anywhere you travel you can find places to play.


Ann B McIntyre and Rudy are doing just that.


Today they spent the morning at the Bobby Riggs Tennis Club in Encinitas, California.  Ann said they had enough players to keep 4 courts going steady and played at least 10 games. Probably picked up some pointers and I’m sure they made some new friends in the process. (Ann & Rudy were also central to PB getting started in Winnsboro).




Vicky Noakes (OK City, OK) shares…


This letter was from Jenny Marcos a tennis pro from Oklahoma City that took pickleball to the Philippines. Jenny is the one in the back with the blue shirt.


I wouuld like to thank you all for your generosity. It was an amazing journey to the Philippines!  


Introducing pickleball to 4 different cities made a great impact. The trip to Vigan City, Baguio City, Pangasinan, & Valenzuela created so much interest. 


By January 2019, Baguio City sports coordinators & myself will hold a conference/clinic. All the school system will be invited to this conference. 


Thank you so much to everyone who donated all the pickleball racquets, balls, nets, trophies, & medals. The kids, adults, & the clubs, considered every single piece of equipment as gold! They are all so grateful! 




The OKC PB Club helped furnish many of the donations.






Gordon Erwin (Copperas Cove, TX) Shares that  on the Quality of Life Board for the city and at the last meeting we reviewed the 2019-2023 Capital Improvement Plan.  In it was $170,000 to resurface the tennis court at the golf course and creating an outdoor sitting area for eating, entertaining, etc.  On the tennis courts will also be pickleball courts.  I am pleased that they finally understood how much pickleball is growing.



Dan Dyer (Amarillo, TX) tells us that the City of Amarillo opened a remodeled Activity Center with 2 indoor PB courts in a gym. He  began instruction there this month.




Bobby Howard (Tyler, TX) announces that 1st Tyler PBTournament will be held March 24th.  For info, contact Chris Singer (csinger@cascadesoftexas.com).




As you might notice, this letter is a bit early.  Since I do this on my desktop, and we are leaving for Grapevine the day you receive this, it was my only choice re when to send.


Thanks for the great pics for this letter.  I have to admit, some others that were sent, I could not rotate.  By the way, don’t forget that we now have a Facebook page strictly for Mid-South Ambassadors.  If you have not been invited, please contact Barb Patterson, and she will take care of you.


Feel free to share any info in this letter with your area players.  In fact, you are welcome to forward it to them.


I hope that those of you attending the USAPA Mid-South Regional will have a great time.  Please understand that we will be having long days and nights.  We also will be needing you to help ref.  If you are not experienced, we can have an experienced ref help you.  Please review the recent rule changes which should help make reffing easier for you.  I hope to see you soon.








JAN-18 (early edition)


I want to welcome everyone to our new four-state region.  There are exciting changes coming at us, fast and furious.  The addition of three new regions (we now total eleven regions) which required some of us to lose a state or two, a new rule book with several ‘major’ changes, a new rating system (hopefully coming soon) and of course, the immense growth (close to 500 players) of our USAPA Mid-South Regional. 


We are also welcoming our newest ambassador appointees:  Farah Gobalani (Plano, TX), Logan Dalgleish (Dallas, TX), Bill Dunn (Horseshoe Bay, TX), and Marshall Sharpe (Fort Smith, AR).


Farah has been playing about 3 ½ years.  By the time you read this, she will have given a presentation to the City of Plano re PB.  She wants to promote PB to the youth in local schools as well as help new players learn the game.  Farah also thinks there is potential for new courts being built or underused tennis courts being converted to PB to provide more venues for players.


Logan has been playing for about a year and a half.  Every other Friday, he gathers 5-10 fellow co-workers and younger industry professionals (ages 21-39) and introduces them to PB.  He uses these opportunities to network (this game IS social).  The end result is that many close friendships have been built, and they look forward to the next opportunity to play.  Logan has converted family members and friends to PB as well.  Je has purchased a portable net and has leveraged the relationships he has in commercial real estate to use building owners parking garage and roof space to set up courts after business hours.  This demonstrates the versatility of PB and has made conversation pieces out of the places they have played.  Lastly, Logan is interested in getting involved in outreach opportunities with groups such as First Tee, which builds life skills through golf for young children who lack structure within their family and home.  To say it mildly, Logan is a busy person…he is involved in 16 different social and non-profit organizations in the Dallas area.


Bill has been playing over three years.  He was instrumental in establishing PB at the Horseshoe Bay Resort and the new public courts in HB.  He also conducted drills at the Burnet ‘Y’.  Bill wants to try to get PB going in a couple of nearby towns that do not yet have PB.  BTW, he notes that this weekend, the HB Resort will hold their first Margarita & Beer Mixer.  (I am not sure if that is the first annual, monthly, weekly, or DAILY event. J  Do I see a double meaning with ‘mixer’?  It sure looks like fun is on the way at that venue, not to mention PB).


Marshall has been playing a little over two years.  He has conducted several demos to church groups and neighborhood groups.  He wants to get youngsters involved in PB and envisions having contests between several area churches in the four-city area.  Marshall has had two cookouts and fed about 60 players, and wants to makes these events an annual affair followed by PB play.


It looks like we again have hit the jackpot by attracting some outstanding people to our ambassador family.  I look forward to their reports of success.




Mike Goldberg (Houston, TX) set up a skills clinic for beginner & intermediate players at the Houston Badminton Center.  He also reports that there are two new outdoor PB opportunities:  Memorial Northwest Community Center in Spring, TX…Mon & Thur 7-9pm and Sat 8-11am.  In downtown Tomball, there is a court opposite the Train Depot Park.  Call 713-201-1931 for more info.




Pat Heurtin (St Francisville, LA) shares: During the Jan. 3 Staff Development In-Service Day at Bains Upper Elementary School, the staff who work with physical education, Play 30 and adapted physical education were introduced to pickleball.  Pat Heurtin, with the West Feliciana Pickleball Club, along with Tom Burkhart, Mid-South Regional director of the United States of America Pickleball Association, and longtime player Gene Dykes, of Baton Rouge, took the group through the basics of the game. With the exception of Brent Didier, the adapted physical education teacher, none had played the game before.  After going through some basic skills and strokes of the game, Paul Sirchia, Preston King, Kristy Barbe, Raki Barden and Brent Didier, all participated in a doubles game with Burkhart, Dykes, and Heurtin providing tips and strategy.  Following the game experience, Heurtin, a retired physical education teacher herself, distributed examples of teaching stations for elementary age students and walked them through these station ideas.   (Photo below)

















Christie Borne (Hot Springs Village, AR) recently received her IPTPA certification in December in Denton, Texas.  Below are some of her many accomplishments.  (Congratulations, Christie)


  • Currently teaching pickleball in Hot Springs Village, AR

  • 9 years of pickleball teaching experience from grassroots level to experienced tournament players and 15 years teaching tennis

  • Medaled four years in singles in her age group at the USAPA National Tournament and medaled in many other tournaments as a 4.5 player

  • USPTA wheelchair and able-bodied certified

  • Creator of Survive the Heat Pickleball Camps for Kids

  • Founder of Pickleball Sisters (http://pickleballsisters.com)

  • Published in five issues of USPTA’s ADDvantage magazine

  • Author of Pickleball ~ One Court at a Time (Growing Homegrown Programs)









Tim Dean (Cedar Park, TX) held a free Crazy Sock Tournament with 32 players.  Feedback from players was the most fun they have had playing pickleball.  Teams were evenly divided into eight teams of four players each.  Players were randomly playing with 15 different partners for 15 five minute games and a winning team was determined by number of total wins from all four players on each team.  The top two teams then had a playoff game to determine the winner. This format is a similar format that fellow ambassador Sandra Carrillo uses for some of her fun tournaments in San Antonio. 





Dig all those COOL SOCKS.