Monday, December 22, 2008


MeadowPointe pickleball players Don Bass and Rich and Donna Donald participated in the Holiday Pickleball Scramble at the Torrey Oaks RV Resort in Bowling Green on Saturday December 20th. The event was coordinated by Jean Mulder, USAPA Ambassador from Holland Michigan and a Florida RV Snowbird wintering at Torrey Oaks. In the spirit of the holiday, she planned a fun filled day of pickleball, mix and mingle and good food!

A total of 30 pickleball players from Torrey Oaks, the Tanglewood Pickleball Club in Sebring, the Kings Point League in Sun City Center and the Picklers from neighboring Thousand Trails RV Park in Wauchulla came to enjoy the day.

Players drew numbers to determine play rotation. Each game was played with a new partner against opponents in both men’s doubles and woman’s doubles. Scores were recorded for individuals based on wins/losses and game points. Prizes for the top scores included Torey Oaks Pickleball T-Shirts and Holiday Canisters of goodies and chocolate and everyone received a goodie bag to take home. Check out the Cryptic Carols below and see how many you can figure out. These were in the Goodie Bags!

Here's a picture of the winners. Donna took thirdplace in the ladies doubles!! Back row is Marcel LeMieux from Quebec, Richard Rivard from Torrey Oaks. Front Row with Donna is Sally Michalski from Thousand Trails Peace River and Al Goldberg from Tanglewood.

The cost of admission for this event was one h’ordeorve to share. We ended the day in the beautiful courtyard near the pool enjoying a vast array of food and beverage, and sharing pickleball stories on a perfect Florida day!

Click here to see pictures from the Scramble


During this festive season, we all begin humming our favorite Christmas songs. Most of these songs are well-loved and have been around a long time. However would these songs be recognized under different titles? See how many you can identify.

1. Small City in Judea
2. Colorless Yuletide
3. Singular yearning for twin anterior incisors
4. Righteous Darkness
5. Loyal followers advance
6. WEATHER: cloudless. ARRIVAL TIME: 2400 hours
7. Far off in a feeder
8. Aray the corridors
9. Bantam percussionist
10. Monarchial triad
11. Nocturnal noiselessness
12. Redman en route to borough
13. Initial Christmas
14. Frozen Precipitation commence
15. Proceed and enlighten on a pinnacle
16. The quadruped with the vermillion proboscis
17. Query regarding identity of descendent
18. Delight for this planet
19. Give attention to the melodious celestial beings
20. Hence arriveth Kris Kringle
21. To decry matriarchal osculation of Yuletide anthropomorphism
22. At the Zenith of the habitat
23. Endocarp vesicated in a conflagration
24. Jehovah dulcify blithe chevaliers
25. The dozen festive 24 hour intervals


Friday, December 19, 2008

A Few of the Meadow Pointe Picklers

Back Row: Pat, Mary, Karen, Brad and Bob.
Front Row: Suzi, Ed, Ruthann, Steve, Renee and Marilyn
Very Front Row: Don Bass??? Is that Don Bass???

Here's a few of the MeadowPointe Picklers..................Out for a few games on Friday night. Sending their Holiday wishes to everyone.......I THINK THEY'RE REALLY SINGING PICKLE BALLS (see the song below!) Leave it to Don to find a way to take the picture and be in it at the same time. Is that REALLY Don Bass??


Let me introduce you to some of the ladies that I play pickleball with every day down here in Sebring.
From left (back) Linda Kramer, Judy Goldberg, Louise LeMieux, Joann Bath.
Seated: Beverly Podgorski, Barb McKinney and Me!

Missing is Kathy Hughes - she took this picture, so you'll see her in the picture below.

These are just a few of the ladies that I play with each day down here, but this group not only plays together, we party together. Linda Kramer started it all, inviting us over to her house in November for a ladies night out. After ping pong and darts, wine and lots of food, we became the Ladies of the Golden Pickleball, and decided to meet each month and to work togehter to improve our game of pickleball.
Linda and Judy are tournament partners, and have brought home the gold and silver medals to Tanglewood more than once. Louise LeMieux is a USAPA Ambassador from Quebec, and plays tennis as well as she does pickleball. She is also a professional clown!! Joanne Bath, along with Rich and I and Wayne Roswell teach beginner pickleball twice a week. Beverly is the newest player and is quickly taking her play to the next level, attending Rich's intermediate/advanced play clinics. Barb McKinney is also a seasoned player, and she and I along with Joanne really enjoy line dancing.

On December 14th, Kathy Hughes and I hosted our monthly get together with a Sunday Brunch in the Outback. The Outback is the RV section of Tanglewood. The food was great, with everything from Bagles to Chocolate Cake and Mimosa!

We played several games of Monkey Ball Golf. Here' s the picture of Kathy Hughes!! Bob and Kathy are good friends that we met last year Rving in Wauchula. They're parked right across the road from us here.
The pickleball here is great! There is open play every morning at 8:00, Ladies round robin on Tuesday afternnon, Mixed Double round robin on Wednesday afternoon. Monday and Thursday is beginner training and Friday is when Rich does his intermediate/advanced clinics.
Submittted by Donna Donald

Sunday, December 14, 2008



MeadowPointe Pickleball Players met at the courts as usual on Friday night December 13th. Instead of going home after several games under the lights at MPI, the group made plans to congregate at Marco's for PIZZA and Holiday Cheer.

If you remember, Lorraine Koryus (that's her, front left!), fell on the courts a few weeks back. It was great to see her having fun with the group, since she obviously has not been able to enjoy the pickleball courts! Bob (her husband) says she's done a great job mastering the art of eating pizza with one hand! It was a very cold evening (at least for Floridians)but everyone enjoyed the company.

Info submitted by Bob Koryus , pictures compliments of Pat Zwolenski

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The Florida State Senior Championship Games were played down in the City of Cape Coral in Lee County. Here is Rich with a group of players who travelled to the games from down here in Sebring.

From left to right: Rich, Linda Kramer, Chuck Keller, Judy Goldberg and Al Goldberg.

Rich pulled a leg muscle real bad in the very first game and was ready to pull out of the games. Fortunately the medical staff was able to work on his leg for about 30 minutes. They taped him up and he was able to finish the day. He and Al Goldberg took the Bronze Medal in the Men's doubles. Al and Judy took the Silver in the Mixed Doubles, and Linda and Judy took the Silver in the Woman's doubles. These are a few of the people we play with every day in Tanglewood.

Here's a link to the article we wrote about the games out on the USAPA website. Hope you enjoy that and all the pictures of the games.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rich Donald Takes the Gold in Tanglewood Invitational

Saturday November 22nd was the First Annual Tanglewood Invitational Pickleball Tournament. The Pickleball Club there should be congratulated for the outstanding job they did organizing the day especially Jim Hoch and Al Goldberg, who spent months putting this together.

Registration for the games was only $8 per person and that included two hot dogs, chips and soda for lunch. Raffle Tickets were sold throughout the day with more than 15 drawings for cash and prizes. ThePickleball Bug had a great display for players wanting some early holiday presents for their pickleball family.
And our friend from Canada, Louise the Clown cheered on the crowd all day with her Tanglewood Cheer!

It was soooooooooooooo cold when we arrived at 7:00 in the morning to help set up tables for registration and food/raffle tickets. Everyone arrived wearing their warmest winter gear including hats and gloves. But the sun came out to make it a great day for pickleball.

Here's a picture of Rich and his partne Al Goldberg staying warm before their first match.

The double elimination tournament included both men's and woman's doubles. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded in both the A and B divisions. Congratulations to Rich and his partner for their Gold Medal Finish in the A Division of the Mens's Doubles. Donna didn't medal, but she and her partner Kathy Hughes from North Carolina, had a great time. They took their first match, but lost in the second round.

A representative from the local newspaper did a nice write up in the paper about the game of pickleball and the tournament. Here is some links that will take you the the article, the Tanglewood Website, and to more pictures of the tournament.

Tanglewood Site -

News and Sun Article:

Photo Gallery of Tournament Pictures:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Last Week At MeadowPointe Pickleball

We had a great week playing pickleball.
Now that it is winter all our friends are back to play. We had 14 pickleball players on Monday. It was wonderful. I heard we had a terrific turnout on Wednesday also.

Unfortunately one of our players fell and hurt her wrist. I wasn't there but Lorraine will need surgery on her wrist. We wish Lorraine a speedy recovery and hope that it does not stop her from playing pickleball again.

This Friday we had 10 players and after our game 8 of us went out for pizza. We have a great group of players and hope our group will grow. On Monday we had some visitors that were on vacation in New Port Richey and enjoyed meeting them and playing with them.

If you are in the area of Tampa Bay and want to play with a great bunch of people just email me at

We miss Donna and Rich and hopefully they plan on visiting us soon. We hope you are having a great time.


Friday, November 14, 2008

No Big Surprise!! Pickleball is Keeping Rich Busy in Tanglewood

We miss being with our HOME CLUB in MeadowPoint, but we are really enjoying Pickleball with the Tanglewood Pickleball Club here in Sebring, Fl. Thought I would share this message from Wayne Roswell, that went out to all Club members here and invite you to visit their Club's BLOG @ Wayne is a pickleball player and Ambassador for USAPA in Sebring, Florida and is one of the players that represent the Club on the Executive Board.

"Hi Pickeballers,

Rich Donald, one of new members to our club, has graciously offered to provide clinics for Intermediate and Advanced Players.

Rich is a seasoned tournament player, so he plays at a very high level. He spent the summer at The Villages taking instruction from Richard "MO " Movsessian a top flight tennis instructor who now teaches Pickleball Strategies to high level players at The Villages.
This is an excellent opportunity for the experienced and intermediate player to take their game to the next level.

Rich will be offering his first clinic this Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 11:00 am at the courts. Starting the week of November 17th Rich will be doing his clinics on Tuesdays at 11:00 am. and Friday's at 3:00 pm. to accommodate as many players as possible.

Please pass this message along to players that either do not have e-mail or can't open their e-mail. It will also be posted at .

Wayne Roswell
Pickleball Promoter P²--

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New York Picklers Visit MeadowPoint

People traveling from across the country, or even outside the country, who come to Central Florida can find our MeadowPointe Club in the "Places To Play" section on the USAPA Website. Pickleballers are always looking for a place to play when away from home base. Here is a recent example.

" Hi Donna,

Yes, we did play Monday night - had a great time and met loads of great people.
We were away Wed, so did not make it. I don't know if we will play on Friday - we are leaving Sat morning, so may be going out to dinner with my folks.
If we don't make it, please tell everyone THANKS.
Next time we are here, we will contact you again - it is great to be able to play a little Pickleball while on travel....

Thanks again....Laurie and Darrell"

Laurie and Darrell are from Upstate New York and were visiting in New Port Richey. Our Meadow Pointe Club loves pickleball, and welcomes travelers to join in play when in our area.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Up Close and Personal with Mark and Renee Glassman

It was just over a year ago that we introduced the game of Pickleball to Renee Glassman. She and one other player would meet Rich and I on the courts at least once a week to play. We can remembe when it was only four of us trying to fit time in our schedule. Renee loved the game the first time she played, and has been the leader of our group ever since. Over the last year she has worked hard to improve her game, and she has introduced the game to many of our current players. She is the glue that keeps our group together, making sure that everyone knows when and where we'll be playing every week. Renee joined three other memebers of the Club for a Pickleball Demo at the Bartles Middle School in Tampa. Mark and Renee also graciously opened their home to all of us for a wonderful Pickleball PotLuck last year.

Because of all their hard work promoting the game, we wanted Mark and Renne to be the first people we introduced on our new BLOG. We were going to do our regular story form, but we loved the answers so much the way that Renee responded that we decided to post this as a question/answer...........

Question: You live in Wesley Chapel, Florida now, but I know you are from New York?
Renee: I was born in the Bronx and lived in the Bronx untul I was 11 and then moved to Flushing, Queens. Mark was born in Brooklyn and at an early age moved to New Hyde Park. We raised our family on Long Island after Mark served 4 years in the Navy.

Question: Tell us about your family. Your children and grandchildren. Any chance they will get on the pickleball courts soon?
Renee: We have two sons, Brian and Gary. Both of the children have played pickleball and enjoyed the sport. Unfortunatly they don't have the time with their busy schedules to get out and play. I have two grandson's, Jacob 11 and Sean 7. They have both watched me play but have not attempted to play pickleball. They have busy schedules as well. Also, Sean is learning tennis and I didn't want to confuse him with teaching him picklball. I have a funny story about Sean. This week his class was doing compound words and Sean raised his hand and said a compound word was pickleball. I volunteer in his school and his teacher ran into me and told me the story. She said, Sean I never heard of pickleball therefore it is not a compound word. What is pickleball? He said it was a game his Grandmother played. So, she approached me and said that Sean used pickleball as a compound word and I told him it wasn't. I told her indeed it was. I gave her a history lesson on pickleball and told her to go to the site. She hasn't gotten to the site to date but she does believe Sean now. Never under estimate someone young.

Question: When did you and Mark move to Florida?
Renee: I moved to Florida in Dec. of '99. Mark moved a year and a half later when he retired in June of 2001.

Question: We know you play pickleball in Meadow Pointe. But how else are you are involved with the community?
Renee: Mark and I are very active and committed in our community. I have been a Vice President of the Voluntary HOA in our community since it's inception. I served prior to that as a council rep for Morningside. I activly am on the ARC and Deed restriction committee for Meadow Pointe Two. I have belonged to the NY Club in our community. I volunteer this yea 2 days in our local elementary school. I work in the schools media center one day a week and assit a teacher another day during the week. I also belong to a water aerobics class. Most important of all I am involved with the Meadow Pointe Pickleball Club. I send out the weekly notices of where we play and make sure we have enough players to play during the week. Mark had been a Council Rep for Meadow Pointe for Morningside and then became a CDD Supervisor elect. He won re election for CDD Supervisor and had to step down due to personal reasons two years ago. I am happy and proud to say that Mark was just re elected this past tuesday for CDD Supervisor for Meadow Pointe Two. He also belonged to the NY club and the pickleball club. He had to stop playing pickleball because he had knee surgery. He has to go for his other knee in 2009. He has played a game on an occasion since his surgery. I hope eventually he will be able to play again. He is a great pickleball player (better than I am) and he very much enjoys it. He doesn't come to watch me play because he wants to play the game and is afraid of injuring his knee and wants to wait until he recovers from his second surgery.

Question: We know how much you enjoy the game and how you are always on the look out for new players. Tell us about the people you have introducted to the game. Anything that you want to tell us about how you got people to come out and play?
Renee: I have introduced and promoted pickleball to several people. I just mention that I play a game called pickleball and they are welcome to come and try the game. That it is a great sport and we have a great group that we play with. Donna and Rich introduced Don (Bass) and I to the sport. There are too many people to name. Some were Pat Busbice, Lorraine Greene, Bob and Lorraine Koryous, RuthAnn Cantelmo, Serpil, Coletta, Chrissy and others that I can't recall. Some had to back out of the game for health reasons. We never turn anyone away and encourage what I call newbees to play when they come to watch for the first time. Most people love the game and find it adictive. We have many regulars. The group of pickleball players are a great bunch. We all get along famously. I enjoy playing and I enjoy the friendship. It's a great way to meet new people and it is a great source of excersie.

Question: Is there anything else about you and Mark and Pickleball that you want to share with our readers?
Renee: Pickleball is a great game. Mark originally did not want to come to try the game. Mostly because we never competed with each other in a sport. I coaxed him into trying the game and he was hooked. It is the only activity besides the NY club and Meadow Pointe involvement that we have every been involved in since our children left the nest. It's a great family game and I would encourage and do encourage as many people as I can to try the game.

Thanks Renee for the time you spend promoting this sport. We wish Mark the very best and a quick recovery from the knee surgery. And we hope to see him out on the courts again enjoying the game. Thank you both for your hard work and your friendship.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


It was February 6, 2008, when Pat and Suzi Zwolenski of Tampa, Florida were first introduced to the world’s fastest growing sport. They were watching Good Day Tampa Bay, where reporter Charlie Belcher was doing live coverage of a group of people in Sun City Center playing a game called Pickleball. This reminded Pat of a game called Paddle Tennis he had played in St. Augustine when he was in the Florida National Guard. He would soon learn that this sport was much more popular, and for he and Suzi, much more addictive. Pat called the number displayed on the screen at the conclusion of the program. It took a few calls to find courts near his home, but Renee Glassman finally invited them to play with our MeadowPoint group in Wesley Chapel, Fl.

Pat told us, when he returned home from playing that first night “I researched Pickleball on line until 2:00 in the morning and then gave Suzi printouts and a spreadsheet describing the different types of paddles and told her to pick one out.” And it didn’t stop there. To tell you what a great job they have done promoting our game since that first day would keep you reading for weeks, so you’ll only get the very condensed version.

Shortly after learning the game and buying their paddles they recruited two new players for our MeadowPoint group. Pat got a friend of his from his Scouting days, Steve Long, to come out with his good friend Mary Jones. Steve didn’t want to play because he was sick, but after watching for a little while, he started playing and now both of them play regularly with the group. Phil and Marianne Marty bought six new paddles before they even played the game!! They wanted four extra paddles to leave with their family when they visited them in Zambia this summer. Pat, a private investigator, has gotten one of his clients to promise to come out and play with our group when Suzi and he return from Washington.

That’s the State of Washington, folks……….where Pickleball was invented by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum; where the very first Pickleball court was built, and where Pickles the dog once lived!!

Pat and Suzi reside in Bellingham, Washington every year from June through September to be with their son and daughter-in-law. This year would certainly be different. They arrived with extra paddles in hand and began the search for a place to play. They found Pickleball lines on the tennis court at their complex, but where were the players? They left notes on all the mail boxes in the complex trying to encourage people to play. One neighbor, Anne Kauffman, a 12-year Pickleball player was excited to find someone to play with and brought along her friend Jim Trowbridge. Another neighbor, Jack Kaufman, no relation to Anne, joined the group and so did Debbie Zmistowski and her husband Eric Fisher, friends of Pat and Suzi’s son and daughter-in-law. At their church worship band barbeque, they put on a Pickleball demonstration and perked the interest of five more potential players. Pat finally tracked down a neighbor, Rob Gray, up the street who had a Pickleball court in his back yard, and got him out to play with the group. Rob is a PE teacher at a middle school in Bellingham and teaches Pickleball to his classes. Pat and Suzi went to the local YMCA where they also found another player for their group, Steve Rothenberg. Steve and a partner recently placed second in a tournament in Canada. In all they say they’ve picked up about fifteen players from their recruiting efforts and from people walking in the neighborhood while they are playing. They plan on getting some of the tennis players to start after their season ends. Hopefully, this group will continue once Pat and Suzi return to Florida, so they will have a group to play with when they return to Bellingham next summer.

On their way to a Garrison Keillor concert in Seattle, they visited Fran Myer, Public Affairs Officer for USAPA and owner of Pickleball Stuff to purchase a new paddle since they had sold one of theirs to their neighbor. Before leaving they also purchased official “Pickle Pins” to welcome each new person they introduce to the game. Later, needing to order wraps and other equipment, Pat got to talk Pickleball with Mark Friedenberg, owner of Pro-Lite and the President of USAPA.

Being an investigator, Pat wanted to know more about the history of this sport, and went in search of the original Pickleball court built in the backyard of Joel and Joan Pritchard. Joel Pritchard passed away in 1997, as has his friend and co-inventor Bill Bell. Pat was able to locate Joel’s wife, Joan Pritchard, living in Ohio, and spoke with both Joan and Barney McCallum, the last remaining architect of Pickleball. Both shared their stories of how the courts were built, how they made the first wooden paddles and, of course, the story of Pickles. We are sorry to report that Pickles was taken shortly after Joel died. Pickles fell off the family porch in Ohio and broke his leg. While being attended to by the Vet, Pickles developed a blood clot and had to be put to sleep. Pickles was cremated and his ashes are somewhere in Ohio. Joan later sent Pat and Suzi the picture of Pickles that you see in this article. And yes, they found the original Pickleball Court, built behind the Pritchard’s summer home on Bainbridge Island. These pictures of Pat and Suzi and their Cocker Spaniel Trooper on those same courts, as they look today.

And here is a link to an article written by Joan Pritchard that was featured in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel on June 27th, 2008. httpp://

It's great to have Pat and Suzi back home in Florida. As they continue on their journey for new players, the last thing that Pat told me was…..”We carry blue painter’s tape in our bag and a rope marked off with 7’-15’-10’ lengths so we can quickly line a tennis court and get a game started anywhere we go.”

Monday, October 27, 2008

Having Fun At the Labor Day Jamboree!

Rich Donald, Travis Weaver (a visitor to MeadowPointe) Steve Long, Mary Jones and Don Bass, chat between games and check out the competition.

Louann Dubendorf and the Kings Point Pickleball League hosted the Second Annual Labor Day Pickleball Jamboree in Sun City Center, Florida on Saturday September 6th. It was hurricane season in Florida, so participants watched closely for days as Hanna’s path threatened their event, but the weather cooperated and gave the players a beautiful pickleball day!

This annual event brings pickleball players of all levels together for a day of social mix and mingles play. Upon arrival at the event, all players received their name tags, a goodie bag with pen and scorecards to track their games, along with snacks and bottled water…AND a helpful hint from Professor Pick L. Ball to remember to “Keep Your Eye On The Ball”!

Don Bass plays in Men's Doubles. Mary and Steve play Mixed Doubles.

Everyone gathered at the event schedule posted at the courts to see what time they played and who they would be challenging. The name tags were a great idea in helping to locate your opponents. We had a great time meeting new players from Kings Point, from Englewood, Florida, and from Tanglewood, in Sebring, Florida. The whistle blew at 8:00 AM sharp to kick off the first mixed doubles partner challenge. A total of 53 players registered for the event, and teams rotated on and off the court every fifteen minutes until early afternoon to complete 57 scheduled games. Leaving the court, each team was responsible for posting their total game points, so highest point winners could be determined. We didn't win any High Scoring Ribbons, but we had fun!

Between games, participants found lunch available either poolside or at the Club House, visited or lunched with new found pickleball players, or checked out the new merchandise soon to be offered on Louann Dubendorf’s new website. She has designed some great new pickleball t-shirts, and had her Pickleball Bug T-shirt available at the event. Steve was "Bitten by the Pickleball Bug" and took home his new T-shirt!

You can visit her site and check in with Professor Pick L. Ball for your pickleball tips at . More information on the Kings Point League and their events is available at

To to see more pictures of the Labor Day Jamboree click on Labor Day Jamboree 2008 in the PHOTO GALLERY

(As Posted in the Monthly Meadow Pointe II Newsletter)

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country today. It has found its way into our community and is gaining popularity very quickly with our residents. Surely some of you in Meadow Point have seen us playing on the tennis courts with balls and paddles that do not resemble tennis equipment at all. What is that game? And why is it called Pickleball?

The game of pickleball was introduced in the summer of 1965 on Brainbridge Island in the Puget Sound area of Washington, by Bill Bell, US Congressman Joel Pritchard and Barney McCallum. While playing the game, Pickles, the Pritchard’s cocker spaniel took a great interest in the game, particularly the ball, and would continually fetch the ball and hide it in the bushes and thus he managed to get the game named after him. The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) was formed in 1972 and the first official rule book was published. And, did you know that the very first national tournament was played right here in the State of Florida? Today the game has found its way into middle and high school PE classes as well as the Sr. Olympics competitions in several states.

The game captures your interest because it can be played by all ages, requires little equipment or cost and is easy to learn. Pickleball is an exciting game that is played on a badminton size court with the net lowered to 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic ball, similar to a whiffle ball, and wood or composite paddles. While easy for beginners to learn, it can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for the experienced player. There are three unique facets of the game not found in any other racquet sport; the underhand serve, the double bounce rule and the non-volley zone. Like tennis it can be played as a Singles or Doubles game, and points are earned only when serving. The game is played to 11 points.

Rich and Donna Donald are Meadow Pointe Residents and Local Ambassadors for USAPA, and sit on the USAPA Planning Committee for the Atlantic South Region. They introduced the game to two of their friends in Meadow Point about a year ago. Today you may see as many as 15 or 18 players rotating play on the courts on any given evening. In February, Rich and Donna, with a league from Sun City Center, demonstrated the game with Charlie Belcher on Fox 13’s Good Day Tampa Bay. In April, Meadow Pointe residents, Don Bass and Renee Glassman joined the Donalds in a pickleball demonstration at the Nancy Bartles Middle School in Tampa, and would love to do the same next year right here at the John Long Middle School and the Wiregrass Ranch High School. Both Rich and Donna have competed in the Florida Senior Games and have brought the Gold Medals home to Wesley Chapel. Rich will be playing in the Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles at the Florida State Championship Games in December in Ft. Myers/Cape Coral. Florida will also be host the National Pickleball Tournament in Ft Myers in 2009.

The Pickleball League plays every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings rotating between the courts at MPI and MPII. Our players range from 14 years old, to Senior Citizens, so anyone reading this article can play!!! We get a little exercise, have some friendly competition, make some great new friends and have a lot of fun. However, we must caution you THE GAME IS ADDICTIVE !!

If you have tennis courts in your area, they can quickly be lined for pickleball. If you are interested in learning to play or learning more about the game, please contact Rich or Donna Donald 813-313-9265 / Or Renee Glassman at 813-907-7521 / For more information about the game visit or our Atlantic South Regional Blog at
To see more photos, click on Meadow Poine Players in the PHOTO GALLERY

Coach Megan Leahy Brings Pickleball Demo to the Nancy Bartles Middle School in Tampa, Florida.

Front Row: Megan Leahy, Physical Education Specialist, Nancy Bartles Middle School, Tampa, Florida, and Donna Donald

Back Row: Rich Donald, Don Bass and Renee Glassman

We were thrilled when Coach Megan Leahy from the Bartles Middle School, near our home in Wesley Chapel, Florida, invited us to her school. Ms. Leahy told us she had played pickleball in college and loved it, so decided to introduce the game to her Physical Education Class. They loved it too!!! That probably had a lot to do with how well she plays the game, and the enthusiasm and excitement she generates when she’s on the court with her class . Then she saw the Kings Point Pickleball League, with reporter Charlie Belcher playing on TV! Because her class was enjoying the game so much, she saw a potential visit from local players as an opportunity for her students to experience the game at a different level and to learn more about the rules and techniques needed to improve their game.

Don Bass and Renee Glassman, along with Rich and Donna Donald, didn’t hesitate to say yes when asked to assist us with a pickleball demo for the students. We would be guests during their regularly scheduled class, so our time was limited to just about one hour. Not a lot of time; we needed to use it wisely. Anticipating about 50 young people to be attending; we needed an agenda that would keep them interested and involved.

During the initial introductions we explained that Rich was a multi medal winner. That was exciting for them and even more so when told that several of them would have an opportunity to volley and do some practice drills with us on the courts. Rich addressed the group, talking about the history of the game and how it got its name. We were very impressed with how well the students had prepared for the day. They had visited USAPA on line prior to our visit, so they did a super job both asking great questions and giving some pretty good answers too. Rich emphasized safety on the courts, talked about the size of the court, the rules of the game and where to best position yourself on the court when playing. With the help of Don and Renee and Donna, Rich demonsted a proper serve as well as the groundstroke, volley, lob and dink shots, emphasizing placement over power.

Then we played a game for the group. Rich and Renee took the lead, so it was really exciting to hear the group cheering for Don and Donna to catch up!!!! After the game, several of the students rotated on to the court. Some practiced the serve, some the serve and volley, and others practiced doing a drill with dink shots. Even Coach Leahy came on the court to play with her classmates!

We closed with our official “Pickle Ceremony”. All of the students were officially sworn in and recited an oath to always promote this great game, to play safely, to always demonstrate good sportsmanship, and to always have FUN! We provided each student with a handout providing safety tips on the court, strategies to improve their game, and Pickleball Trivia and Word Find Games. Each student also received their official green Pickle Pin.

Great news is that Coach Leahy has promised to come play with our group in Meadow Point II, now that she knows we play regularly. Her students are welcome too, and we hope some of them are excited enough to bring their parents with them. We left our contact information with her, should students/parents want to contact us. We’ve also offered to meet with her and her students after school at any time for additional coaching, practice drills and playing. There were some students with great potential…………Maybe we just inspired a future Florida State Champion!!!

We had so much fun with these young people. Contact the local middle or high school in your area and take time to share your talents. You will find it personally very rewarding.