Welcome to the home of the
USAPA MID-SOUTH REGION
We want to welcome the following recent additions to our Mid-South ambassador family: Chris Carson (Frisco, TX), Jonathan Braun (Frisco, TX), and Val Oliver (Fort Worth, TX).
Chris has been playing a year at six different venues in the area. He has introduced PB to others in a way that benefits the individual as well as the sport as a whole. He wants to become a certified instructor so he might be of more service to others as he introduces the sport. Chris also wants to work with and in the local cities to introduce PB and its benefits.
Jonathan has been playing over two and a half years. He has helped demo PB for a new beginner clinic. He wants to help find new places to play in Frisco as there are no public courts available. Jonathan would like to teach younger people in the area to learn this amazing game. He is planning on talking with the local schools about promoting PB to their students and also having new lines painted on their current tennis courts.
Val has been playing over a year and participates at five different venues. She would like to help organize some beginner round robin events to help players get familiar with tournaments. She wants to continue to help teach beginning players PB. Val wants to be involved in getting PB to the youth of her area…particularly at schools and camps including ‘teaching the PE teachers’ about our game.
Please welcome these new appointees when you see/meet them.
Joyce Mitchell (Pharr, TX) was recently approved for a USAPA grant. Here is how: There are very few courts available to the public here in the Rio Grande Valley. The nearby facilities run by other cities offer play during the daytime, when students or people in the workforce cannot attend. These facilities cater mostly to winter Texans and a small group of year round players. One of our goals here in Pharr is to open up the opportunities for students and families to play alongside our current group. We are open on Saturdays and Sundays and have begun offering Friday evening beginner clinics for all ages following the suggested format on the USAPA website. In the Rio Grande Valley, obesity and diabetes are common chronic diseases. By teaching pickleball to students and families, we are giving them an opportunity to stay active for their lifetime. Many families here are low income, and we are providing paddles, balls, coaches/instructors and the courts/nets-so they can afford to enjoy this family friendly activity together. It is my sincere hope that we will demonstrate to the city a need for more courts (we only have 3 here), and that we can have a large group playing year round. I have begun speaking with police officers and firemen to organize a "Guns and Hoses" pickleball exhibition game to bring more attention to the sport and our new facility. I'm also speaking with school board members about holding clinics for PE teachers at an in-service. Here in the valley we have many different cultures, including the winter Texans from our Northern states and Canada. People of all education levels and backgrounds can enjoy pickleball. I can't think of a better way to bring people together! This grant will be a great benefit to the program and help us afford to do more for our players and the community.
(Congratulations, Joyce. Well done.)
More from Joyce…My first beginners group class held with our new USAPA nets (purchased/reimbursed with our USAPA grant)!
Chuck Flanagan (Georgetown, TX), District Ambassador for Central & South Central Texas, conducted a referee clinic at the Cedar Park Recreation Center. This was held as a prelude to the five-day Cedar Park Paddle Battle tournament. Over two dozen people attended the clinic, which was hosted by ambassador Tim Dean, the recreation manager for the city of Cedar Park. (Way to build the ref population, Chuck)
Charlotte Rivera (Lewisville, TX) ,District Ambassador for North Central and Northeast TX, shares the following:
The North Central and North East Texas (NCNETX) Districts had a great retreat on Nov 18 at Robson Ranch with 21 (about half) of our local Ambassadors attending! A wide array of topics were covered including implementing Area Team Leads, how to better support local tournaments with ongoing referee and tournament administration workshops, keeping Places2Play current, how to better coordinate tournament/clinic/event dates across our Districts/States/Region, how to improve communication among Ambassadors and across the Districts, and more. One of the best parts of the retreat, aside from dinner and a little bit of PB playing (outdoors in the cold-brrr!), was the brainstorming breakout groups.
The Ambassadors attending split into 4 groups covering 4 different topics:
1. How to get outdoor courts in your area (in the door, multi-use vs. permanent, who to build, follow-up, etc.)
2. Recruiting younger players (kids, teens, young adults, etc.)
3. Running a tournament (target audience, formats, working with facility, sanctioned vs. unsanctioned, equipment, promotion, etc.)
4. Player Etiquette – Rec Play – (play organization – paddle stacking, skill levels, challenge court, welcoming/teaching new players, player responsibilities, communication, etc.).
After all the brainstorming of great ideas, each group summarized their topic and presented to the rest of attendees. It was a great way for our Ambassadors to get to know each other better, pick each other’s brains, come up with new ideas, and gather insight from those with more experience. There were many positive comments!! Notes for each topic are being consolidated and will be sent out all the NCNETX Ambassadors.
We’re all in agreement that this should be a yearly event, so the planning for 2019 begins!
Like to travel to PB events?? Think about attending the 2019 Bainbridge Cup and German Open.
Bainbridge Cup: Friday, July 12, 2019
German Open: Sat and Sun, July 13 and 14, 2019
Open Play and Clinics: Wed and Thurs, July 10 and 11, 2019
Essen, Germany (Essen is 20 minutes from the city of Dusseldorf which has a world-class international airport)
Essen and Dusseldorf are located near the Rhine River and are very nice cities to visit.
Indoor Tennis Club with 28 pickleball courts
Registration is open at PBT.com
(I attended the first Bainbridge Cup and Spanish Open a little over a year ago and had a great time).
You will soon be contacted by your District Ambassador regarding updating Places to Play on the USAPA website. With the fantastic growth of PB, and as we get more and more venues, it is extremely important that ALL ambassadors help with this project. Do NOT begin now, as we want the update date to show as 2019. I feel sure that your DA will probably assign certain venues (or counties) for you to take care of. If you have not done this before, there is a ‘help guide’ on the USAPA website. We would like to have this required project completed by the end of January. Please contact your District Ambassador if you need help.
Reminder… registration for the USAPA Mid-South Regional will open January 1st at 1pm.
PICKLEBALL PIONEER AWARD
In conjunction with our regional, we will announce our 2019 Pickleball Pioneer Award winner at the dinner social the night before competition begins. Anyone (USAPA member or not) can nominate. However, the nominee MUST be a member in good standing, live in the Mid-South Region, and have been actively instrumental in growing the game for at least seven years. The nomination forms are located on the Mid-South website (www.midsouthusapa.com) so all one would need to do is to complete the info asked for. Please do not leave anything blank, or the form will not be accepted. The nomination period opens December 1st and ends February 15th. You will also find samples of past award winners on the regional website that can be used as a guide, and that the award committee will compare to the nominations sent in. If no nominations compare, then we may not have an award winner. (This has not happened in the ten years we have given this award).
I participated in a tournament in Tupelo, MS recently. We played in ‘The Bubble’. It covered four tennis courts. The Bubble is erected on November 1st and brought down after the winter. The center is about 30 ft high. (pics next page)
The Ambassador Handbook is in the process of getting final approvals. This is a truly handy book of helpful info. A lot of hard work by the committee went into adding and putting the information together. I hope you can take advantage of using it soon
Please remember to send in tournament info to Tim Dean, webmaster of the Mid-South Region website. If there is something you would like to see added to our website, just let Tim (email@example.com) know.
All Mid-South Ambassadors are welcome to become members of our Mid-South Ambassador Facebook page. If interested in participating, contact Barb Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
District Ambassador of LA Johnny Venezia shares this photo of the first PB court on Mars. The only items it needs is a fence and lights.
This newsletter is for ambassadors, by ambassadors. I merely put what you send me together to send out in the letter. When you send items of interest or accomplishment, it certainly helps me (and your DA) know what you are doing. You are welcome to share whatever you think that players on your email list might be interested. This letter can also be found on the Mid-South website.
This letter is a little early due to the fact I will be away from my desktop while we roll into December. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is now enjoying the holiday season.
2018 PIONEER AWARD WINNER - CHUCK FLANAGAN
Chuck has been playing PB for about 12 years…after learning about the game by playing in an RV parking lot. He has been a USAPA ambassador for four years and promotes the game as well as anyone I know. He has participated in many local, regional, and national tournaments…and trained referees for many of these events.
He has participated in the USAPA Nationals, the NSGA Nationals, TX SOG, LA SOG, along with other tournaments in AR, OK, NM, and has traveled and played in WI, IN, MO, San Juan Island Indian Reservation (WA), and Harrowsmith, Ontario, Canada.
He just plain LOVES the game of PB. He is the first one to greet new folks who wander by the courts, no matter where he is playing. He conducts training clinics for novice, intermediate, and advanced players, and does it happily (and free of charge). He also spends a great deal of time training referees. There is NOTHING that he likes more than a good rules question! He is a District Ambassador and is always willing to pitch in and do whatever is needed for the game of PB. He is always a great sport while playing and people seek his advice on the court. His enthusiasm for the sport we all love is contagious.
BTW, he is also the Assistant Director for the Mid-South Region.