Friday, May 29, 2009


There was just a small group of us out to play tonight. Rich and I and Chris warmed up for a while waiting for a fourth player. Steve and Don came along so we played a few games with just one of us sitting out. Then along came Pat and Suzi.........dressed alike tonight with their brand new USAPA shirts!!

We were just one person short of having two courts going so three of us would sit out, chase balls and catch up on what's new while the other four played. It seemed that either Rich or Chris played every game and unless you played with them as a partner you probably lost.

Well enough of that. That's right folks check this picture out. We had had just about enough, so to make things a little more FAIR, we (or maybe it was Pat?) decided we should play 5 on 2. I know...........there is only four in the picture............but I had to step out temporarily to take this picture, you know.

We would for sure have a good match. Well, if you ever tried to put five people on one side of the court, then you know it takes a little getting used to. Who serves? Stay out of the way of the return of have to let it bounce. Don't hog the court, stay in your own space.... Well we lost the first game 11-3. Now that we figured out how to do this, we planned our strategy, and we would now get five serves to their two. Ready? The score this time was 11-1.

Who won? Who do you think? We'll never tell.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

News from the Pagglionies..........

OR IS IT..........THE PISSCATELLIES? Anyway, you all know who I mean. from Rich and Dee !! Travelling in their Motor Home they are now in Wilson, NC.

".......... for the last week and a half, we were in Poinsett Park in Sumter SC., with no cell or internet service. We leave tomorrow for Chesapeake Bay TT, and keeping our fingers crossed, pickleball players...... Well too say we are missing everyone is a understatement, we really miss the pickleball play, you don't realize how much you like it till you can't play. Tell Pat and Suzi to travel safe and tell everybody else to have a wonderful summer...."

Send us some pictures guys..........we miss your smiling faces.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The last time that our picklers could get out and play was Monday May 10th; that was 15 days ago. For the past two weeks, if you opened your front door, this is what you saw. The roads and sidewalks covered with rain................

But on Monday May 25th, the rain stopped early in the day, and the sun came out. The sun was hot, and the air was heavy, but we packed our pickleball bags and went back to the courts.

Pat and Suzi are leaving for Washington in another week and wanted Rich to do a training clinic before they left. Last summer they introduced the game to a lot of new players in Washington, and this year they want to do a clinic for them and maybe a fun tournament.

Pat, Suzi, Don, Chris, Steve, Renee, and Jeanne came for the clinic at 5:00 before open play started at 6:30. Normally rich does his clinics in one hour sessions over several weeks. Tonight he would do a condensed version for the group. He talked about the importance of serving deep and returning deep. He talked about optimum positioning on the court when serving and returning the serve. He talked about the importance of controlling your shots, concentrating on placement and not so much on power. The group practiced punching shots back from the non, volley line, and lined up for practicing dink shots. Rich covered a little on both the offensive and defensive lobs, and reinforced the need to not just come to the courts and play games. Practice and doing drills before or after playing every week will help improve our game. Time was limited, but he covered a lot of good information.
Here's Don and Rich playing Steve and Chris, practicing a little of what they learned tonight.

And tonight, Pat and Suzi came bearing gifts. For Steve, just returning from knee surgery, they presented him with a skeleton KNEE (key) chain. Perfect!! And Rich and I, the Happy Campers.................. thank you both for the Happy Camper wine. Absolutely Perfect!!!

It's now Tuesday, 7:30 in the evening, and guess what? Yes. It's been raining for a couple of hours. Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow.........The photographer from the St.Pete Times is supposed to be there!!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Meadow Pointe Picklers Stumble on NY Pickleball Courts

Heard from our Meadow Pointe "Snowbirds" back in New York for the summer! Bill and Judy found some courts to play on in Scotia, NY the other day. It's a pretty long drive from where they live..........but looks like they might get to play a little bit this summer.

Yesterday after a VA doctor's appointment in Albany, they drove to Collins Park in Scotia. Here's what they had to say about their visit:

"We managed to make one wrong turn and got lost, so by the time we got to the park we only got to play one game. It was with Pete Briscoe and another very good male player. We lost 11-9. Judy played such a good game, so I guess it's my fault. (I never play a good first game).

After the game Pete was telling me that he has 12 victories and no losses at the NY State Empire Games for the last 4 years, even some with his wife in mixed doubles. He was the Gold Medal winner in 2008 men's singles 60-64. This year he will move up to the next age group.

They have six courts, full of polly noses and little twigs that we kept slipping on. Thursday there were only 5 people but he said on Tuesday there were 22 with 5 courts going. The courts are dirty, most nets at the wrong height, bad shadows from the trees and unbelievable amount of background noise from passing cars and trucks, ......but it's pickleball! ....Bill & Judy"

Bill and Judy have contacted Pete and his wife again to see if they might be able to set up a mixed doubles match (and even out the competition a little bit!) when he returns for his next doctors visit. Bill did mention that Pete and his wife had plans for a movie that night, so couldn't stick around to play. I think they miss us MP players who like energizer bunnies just "keep on playing and playing and playing."

Glad to hear you found a place to play. We miss you guys!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Well, it's a darn good thing we planned our picnic and tournament for last weekend, because this weekend would have been a complete wash!!!!!

We played on Monday following the tournament and had about 10 of us out that night. Wednesday would have been a pretty good group, and the last night that Rich and Dee could play before they took off for the summer. By now they are on the road in their Motor Home with several stops planned before they end up in Maine.

Rich and Dee we will miss you guys.........Have a great summer and let us know where you are and what you're up to..

Friday the St. Pete Times reporter and photographer were supposed to join our group. Well, we all know what happenned. Even our friend Travis drove 70 miles from where he was camping to play with us that night. We went to the courts about 6:10, and not long after, Don pulled in. AND THEN IT RAINED AND THEN IT HAILED..........and then I called the reporter and told him not to come.

And while we didn't schedule play for the weekend we all know it RAINED on Saturday evening, and it's raining now as I write this. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we can play tommorrow evening............and the photographer from the St.Pete Times gets some great shots of our group playing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

First Annual Spring Pick-Nic and Pickleball Round Robin

It was supposed to be a SPRING pick-nic, but with the temperatures soaring well into the 90's, it felt more like one of those sweltering Florida mid-summer days, where you prayed that an afternoon shower would cool things down. But today, the pickleball play on the courts would get hotter than the sun, and the tournament and festivities would rate high on the 'FUN-o-stat'. As for the showers, well, you could have that too if you wanted, before a dip in the pool.

Players and their families started arriving at the courts just after 3:00 pm to sign in, pick up their tournament goodie bags, draw for their rotation number and get in little practice before the games began. Rich Donald wasn't playing today; he agreed to manage the table, set up the draw, keep the games moving and track the results. He found a nice shady spot, but came prepared to perch himself on the chair under his Florida beach umbrella if necessary!

Today would include both a men's and woman's round robin event. USAPA Rules would apply. Each player drew their position number and would play a minimum of four games. Then the top four players would play the 'gold medal' match. (In our case -the "blue ribbon" match) . Everyone lathered on the sun screen and the games began.

Just a note here fellow players: As you know, Brad and his son Tyler, both played in the tournament today. Now.......... we saw Tyler out mowing the yard this morning!! We think this was Brad's strategy to even out his competition????

This is Brad and Jeff (far court) in one of the early rounds with Steve and Pat.

The ladies play in the one of the first rounds. This is Mary and Marilyn(front) and Ruthann and Jeannie on the far court.

Here are the winners of the Men's draw: From Left to Right: Pat Zwolenski, Lutz ( 4th Place). Jeff Zwolenski, senior at Florida State in Tallahassee (3rd place) Chris Atkinson, Meadow Pointe I,(1st Place) and Brad Finch, Meadow Pointe II (2nd Place). Congratulations Guys!!

Here are the winners of the ladies draw: From left to right: Suzi Zwolenski, Lutz ( 1st Place), Donna Donald, Meadow Pointe II (2nd Place), Mary Long, Temple Terrace, (3rd Place) and Marilynn Howell, Meadow Pointe II (4th Place) Just so you know folks, Mary came to the tournament after a 40 mile bike ride this morning!!!

The Proud Family Photo!!!! Mom takes first, Son takes second and Dad takes third!!!

Following the tournament, players and families left the pickleball courts, went to their vehicles and exchanged pickleball gear for Pick-nic coolers. We fired up the grills and while the hot dogs were cooking ( That's Steve and Rich at the grills!) the tables were lined with an array of delicious FOOD!!! Everyone was hungry, thirsty and a little tired from the sun, but you could still hear the pickleball chatter among the players. Everyone was already talking about plans for another such event in the Fall, when our Snow Birds return,

At the end of the day........everyone had enjoyed a great day of pickleball, good food, great company and the winners would go home happy and show off their Ribbons to friends and family.

But in our group.......every one's a winner. So Rich and Donna presented all participants in the round robin event with the coveted Meadow Point Trophy, complete with their own individual pickle!

It was a fun day......but we can't forget to say thanks to the people and business's who supported our first event by helping us fill our 'goodie bags" Thanks ,Renee Glassman, for getting our event advertised in the MP II newsletter and for reserving the courts. MP player Don Bass, provided all the bags and Rich and Donna Donald solicited businesses in the area to fill them. They included USAPA Atlantic South Flyers and membership information along with Pickleball Word Find and Crossword games to entertain players between the games. Special Thanks to the following:

Regions Bank- Wesley Chapel
Don Bass of Future Home Realty
Any Time Fitness - Wesley Chapel
Bank of America - New Tampa
Southwest Florida Water Management District
State Farm Insurance, New Tampa
The Eye Doctor of New Tampa - Dr Samual J. Teske

Our First Place Winners, Chirs and Suzi.....Rate the Day a First Class Event!!!
Thanks from Everyone for making our First Annual Pickleball Round Robin Tournament and Spring Pick-Nic a Great Success.

Check out the Slide Show of our event to the RIGHT!

Click Here To See All Our Pictures

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pickleball this Week

Friday was a busy picklebll day. About 5:30 in the morning Rich was headed to The Villages to participate in The Villages Sr Games competition. His partner was Gary Ball, a player from Sun City Center. There were 19 men's doubles teams in the 60-64 age division with some of the best players from the area. Rich an Gary played 3 really great games, but did not make it to the final round.

Friday evening is a regular pickleball night for the Meadow Pointe players. Not too many came out to play but it was nice to see Pat and Suzi back on the courts. Brad, Chirs, Mary, Ruthann, Rich and Donna were also there.

Thursday was knee surgery day for Steve and everyone was asking about him on Friday. Hope all went well Steve and that we see you back on the courts soon.

It was great to see Jeannie out on Wednesday. Haven't seen her in a while. Always smiling and having a good time! Rob was there Wednesday and gave us an update on Betty Anne. Glad to hear she's starting to feel better. And Tyler (Brad's son) was great seeing you on the courts again this week. Tyler and Pat and Suzi's son, Jeff will both be joining our round robing this weekend.

See you all on Sunday. And to all the MOMs in our Group. A Verry Happy Mother's Day

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Meet Meadow Pointe Pickler, Marilyn Howell

Marilyn Howell, like most folks here. is not a native Floridian. She moved to Florida from New York, New York…. (you all know that song, right?) She resides in Meadow Pointe and is the proud mother of one daughter and grandma to one grandson. You've all seen Jaden on the courts running and collecting our stray pickleballs.

Marilyn spends a lot of time with our youth as a high school math teacher and computer systems manager. She is an Alumni of Queens College/Iona College. She’ll tell you “we need to get this younger set interested” in pickleball and “I’m working on getting my daughter to play.”

When she’s not teaching or playing pickleball, Marilyn enjoys playing cards, cooking, reading, crocheting, movies and dining out! Where does she find the time???

Marilyn read our article about pickleball in the Meadow Pointe newsletter and decided to give it a try. Her experience in racquetball, and tennis made her a natural for pickleball and she is definitely one of our better competitive players. You’re sure to see her at one of our local events/tournaments real soon.

Why does Marilynn play pickleball? I “like the exercise, competition and social interaction.”

Friday, May 1, 2009

Spring Arrives in Florida and our Snow Birds Head North

Friday night at Meadow Pointe is Pickleball and Pizza Nite. The group was a little smaller tonight than Wednesday, but Don, Renee, Steve, Chris , Bill, Judy, Rich and I were all there again, and tonight Mary joined us. Most of the time it's mixed doubles play, but tonight we got the chance to play a lot of ladies doubles and men's doubles. Most all of us watched as Rich and Chris played singles. After pickleball it's relax, chill out and enjoy some PIZZA!!

Unfortunately as Spring arrives in Florida we have to start saying good-bye to many of our players who head north or west for the the summer. Tonight we had to say good-bye to Bill and Judy as they head to their home in Red Hook, New York for the next seven months. Both of them are great players and a lot of fun. We're really going to miss them.

Have a great summer Bill and Judy. See you in November!