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.”