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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Have you thought about the USAPA?

The USAPA is an organization devoted to the growth of pickleball, and, of course, there are a few links on this site to their website (usapa.org). The site alone is worth the price of admission but all pickleball players in the United States (at least) should join it. Why? The reasons are several, but they are all subsets of the same main reason. And that is that, as a not-for-profit organization, virtually 100% of its funds are devoted to growing the game we all enjoy. It provides mini-grants to Pickleball Ambassadors (like Irene and I) to start programs in various communities, and in fact has just authorized a $250 grant to be used to buy equipment to help Bend Parks and Recreation start a small program in Bend this summer. (Parks and Rec hasn't yet finalized their thinking about what the program will look like but they seem very interested in getting the program off the gruond during the summer season, for which we ar grateful.) Next, the USAPA provides a variety of resources for pickleball players to use. The USAPA training room link is a great source to get information as to how to play the game, how to organize your club, etc. etc. Their ladder and bracket software is a great way to get play organized within the club. Tournament software provides a way to run a tournament without too much stress. Places to play are listed by community and state. News about pickleball arrives on the site almost daily in a continuous feed. Player look-up is a way to find a player in a given community to play in a tournament if you need one. All the USAPA-sanctioned tournaments are listed there. They are the standardized rules organization and the rules are on te site as well as any updates as they occur. Really, you get the idea...the list does go on and on. And how much would we pay for a very active organization like this one, that in the last year has grown the number of sites available in the United States for us to play in from a few hundred to almost a thousand, and the numbers of players from a few thousand to probably a couple of hundred thousand? I just paid $80 for a FIVE YEAR membership....and got a free tee-shirt to boot. Check it out. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A little bit of news....

It's been far too long since we've written, but with that as way of apology, we do have some news about developments for increasing pickleball opportunities in Bend. First, we have been asked by Bend Park and Recreation to make a proposal for adding pickleball as a Park and Recreation Department program, and we've done that. They have read the proposal and are currently deciding on next steps. More to come on this one. Next, Irene has gained the cooperation of the USA Pickleball Association in identifying existing USAPA members who spend at least summers in Bend. Third, we have been contacted by a couple of enthusiastic picklers who wish to help in the expansion of the Bend program, bringing the number of volunteers who are willing to help to about ten. Fourth, we have identified at least two and maybe three other courts that can be used this summer. More on the list of available courts later. We are still working on finding a suitable indoor facility. If you are aware of a local Bend gymnasium or the like where we may be able to use space in an evening that would work well. Lastly, we have made a number of contacts in nearby locals like Redmond where existing players are working to build more courts. We ourselves plan to be back in Bend in May and will be working hard on these and other opportunities when we get there. Blessings!