Archive for Sports

A Funny Name, a Serious Sport. Pickleball, Anyone?

I was doing some research and came upon this six years old article on pickle ball.

The New York Times by By Peter T. Kilborn, May 14, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Va. — MAYBE it was the whimsical name — pickleball — that got baby boomers to try the game. A hybrid of racket and paddle sports, it was not notably new. Pickleball began on Bainbridge Island, Wash., where legend has it that Pickles, the resident cocker spaniel, would chase the errant ball. It was Pickles’s ball, thus the name.

Here and there, mostly in the Northwest, pickleball drew some interest. But nearly a half-century since its creation, pickleball has reached critical mass. It has hooked the hardy and quick among the 77 million Americans who began streaming into retirement three years ago at 65. “That is where the growth is coming from,” said Justin Maloof, executive director of the USA Pickleball Association in Surprise, Ariz. The association counts 150,000 active players now, almost triple the number in 2010, and Mr. Maloof is sure there are many more he can’t track.

Too impatient for golf, too prudent for skateboards and skis, and too mobile or proud for shuffleboard, boomers are carving up underused volleyball, basketball and tennis courts to bring pickleball to their gyms and parks, their country clubs and retirement communities. Players are “picklers.” They “pickle.” Lose, they’re “pickled.”

Perhaps no organized sport since baseball, football and basketball matches pickleball’s seduction of so wide a swath of the population. Last year pickleball was admitted to the National Senior Games, the first new sport in 20 years. States, counties and cities are adding pickleball to their games. The District of Columbia does not have a single permanent pickleball court, but in March the city added the sport to its senior games.

Pickleball’s precursors are tennis, table tennis and badminton. The game is played on a smooth, hard surface, usually concrete, blacktop or a gymnasium floor. The court resembles a tennis court, but its net is a bit lower. It doesn’t have alleys for doubles (although the game is often played in doubles), and at about half the size of a tennis court, it is more like a badminton court. The ball is hard, hollow and perforated, a modified whiffle ball.

Like table tennis, pickleball is played with a paddle, about 8 inches wide and 15 inches long, including the handle, faced with plywood, graphite or composite. In singles or doubles, players serve underhand and diagonally from one side of the baseline, then the other. The ball must bounce before the serve is returned, and, unlike in tennis, the return, too, must bounce. Then volleying, or hitting midair before a bounce, can begin.

The play can be dainty and slow, or it can be fast and ferocious. Pickleball’s appeal to older adults lies in its kindness to joints and bones. Most play doubles, so they can hit most balls within one or two steps.

Pickleball can stir resistance from neighbors. They complain that the incessant thwhack of the paddles rattles their ears worse than children slamming skateboards on asphalt. In 2009, two homeowners sued the Rockford Park District in Illinois to stop pickleballing at new courts that the department installed near their homes. In January, the court ruled for the parks. Buy a house near a recreational park, the court basically said, and you set yourself up for some noise.

Near the community clubhouse of the Heritage Hunt retiree development of $250,000 to $700,000 homes in Gainesville, Va., 40 miles west of Washington, are two pristine tennis courts that are not often used for tennis. Three years ago, Esta Gladstone, 70, a resident and semiretired photographer, beat back the tennis lobby to lower the nets two inches and paint red pickleball lines inside the white tennis lines.

Twice a week, Ms. Gladstone assembles players for two hours of doubles. On a sunny and brisk Thursday in April, 10 showed up. The first was Jill Devanney, 53, a former tennis player. Tennis, she said, had become too fast and muscular. She can control a pickleball better. “It’s more of a finesse game,” she said.

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Next was Ronald Foltz, 71, a retired map services worker for the federal government. “He’s spanking new,” Ms. Gladstone said. “You get a new guy like Ron and pair him with a good player. That’s how you get them into the game.”

“You need good enough knees,” Ms. Gladstone said, “a good back, good eye-hand coordination, good balance. That probably eliminates two-thirds of the people who live here.”

When newcomers appear, she checks them out. “Are you well enough to play?” she asks. “I can tell immediately who should come back, but I can’t tell them that.” Watching Mr. Foltz start, she said, “He’s qualified.”

She dispatched him to play with experienced players like Ralph Tapp, 70, who spent a career with the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Marketing Service. He wears a deeply carved gold rock of a ring. It commemorates the 40th anniversary of his Oklahoma State University basketball team’s winning the Big Eight Conference in 1965. “I’ve been playing this for five or six years,” he said.

Mr. Tapp is tall, limber and strong, and lethal catching a lob that he slams at his foe’s toes. Wilier players like Ms. Devanney tend toward “dinking” the ball — tipping it barely over the net, which, with a twist of the wrist, produces a little bounce.

Pickleball is going pro, though not to the level of the N.B.A. At national tournaments, men and women grouped by age, like 60 to 65, 80 to 85 and 85 and up, vie for cash prizes up to $1,000. Businesses like Pickleball Mall and Pickleball Rocks! have surfaced to sell and produce game gear, joining older companies like Pickle-ball Inc., which was formed in 1972.

As a measure perhaps of septuagenarian aspirations, manufacturers label their paddles with names like Enforcer, Storm, Attack, Avenger, Blaster, Stryker, Kryptonite, Predator and the $100 top-of-the-line Whomper. Hyland’s Inc., a homeopathic medicine company in Los Angeles, sponsors the new online Pickleball Channel with its Hyland’s Leg Cramps, quinine-laced tablets that ease the pain of fierce play.

Last year, the once all-volunteer Pickleball Association hired Mr. Maloof, a former executive director of Coyotes Ice, the owner of the home arena for the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team, to manage the association. In February this year, he started its first website. He said 527 pickleball locations opened in 2013, bringing the total to 2,281.

Also last year the association organized its fifth and biggest national tournament with 594 players from 39 states and five countries. It has recruited 700 volunteer regional “ambassadors” to promote and teach pickleball. The game has caught on outside the United States, notably in British Columbia, the northern neighbor of Washington State, and lately in Spain and India.

For the hardy and quick, pickleball is easy to learn. A good paddle costs around $70 and the ball $2. With portable nets and posts, players can set up a court on any hard surface for less than $300.

Helen White, 61, is the Pickleball Association’s ambassador for an area around Arlington, Va. Last year at the National Senior Games in Cleveland, she won a silver medal for her 60-to-65 women’s age group. Retired from a web management job at AARP, Ms. White brings beginners together with experienced picklers to learn and to play. “It’s all about living your passion,” she said. “Getting older adults to play sports.’ ”

One Saturday, Ms. White assembles a group ages 56 to 84 in the gym of a public recreation center on Georgia Avenue in Washington. She lays out two temporary courts and hands out paddles and balls.

“Hold the paddle,” she says, circling around them. “Shake hands with it. Walk around and try balancing the ball on the paddle. Bounce it up and catch the ball on the paddle. Walk around doing that. Bounce the ball off the paddle five times. Find your sweet spot.”

“It’s fun,” said Helen Quick, 72, a former health care contractor and Planned Parenthood official. She and Kathleen Grant, 69, a former public policy mediator, were in a dance class a year ago when they came upon Ms. White. They are advanced picklers now. “It’s social,” Ms. Quick said. “I love the movement. I love hitting the ball. You laugh a lot.”

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On the rock

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Jimmy Ma

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Elkneck

The state park is huge.
image image image image image image image image image image

31154

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golfer’s first outing ..

Marina Park in Brooklyn.
It’s a nice day and saw a cute white car -:). The Verrazano Bridge charges half the rate $5.5 for SI residents and $11.06 for NYS and $16 other states. First time saw it.
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IMG_7494 IMG_7489 IMG_7501

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Highest Paid Female Athletes 2014

According to Sporteology:

  1. Maria Sharapova, Earnings: $27.1 million, 5 grand slam titles
  2. Li Na, Earnings: $18.4 million, 2 grand slam titles
  3. Serena Williams, Earnings: $16.3 million, 18 grand slam titles
  4. Caroline Wozniacki, Earnings: $13.7 million, 0 grand slam title
  5. Danica Patrick, Earnings: $13 million
  6. Victoria Azarenka, Earnings: $9.7 million, 2 grand slam titles
  7. Kim Yuna, Earnings: $9 million
  8. Ana Ivanovic, Earnings: $7.2 million, 1 grand slam title
  9. Agnieszka Radwanska, Earnings: $6.9 million, 0 grand slam title
  10. Yani Tseng, Earnings: $6.1 million

Danica Patrick is an American racing car driver who also models whom I followed for a while. Kim Yuna is a South Korean former figure skater and Yani Tseng, a Chinese golfer from Taiwan. Wenxue & sina

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The golf courses and tennis courts

  • Bethpage Black: green $150, club rental $40, ele cart 18 hole $34
  • Bethpage Red: $96
  • Long Island National golf club: $59?
  • Montauk Downs, state park: $96, club $34, cart $17 single $34 double
  • Harbor Links: $113, car $22 pp

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100 Double Ten Tennis Tournament

June 25, 2011 NJ

Saturday June 25 2011
Washington Township Tennis Club
620 Pascack Rd
Township of Washington, NJ 07676-4323
(201) 666-6121

We won it! In the final Jerry and I (7.0) out played the 7.5 from the get go in a timed match. Something to talk about.

Remember its sportsmanship that count, not gamesmanship. Congratulate to my comrades and thank you. Have fun at the tennis camp.

I just got this new toy Babolat’s Roland Garros edition: it feels great and does wonder, maybe it can cook dinner and serve drink too if I explore it more.
I’ve been using the left over from my kids and then using Pumpkin’s Andy Roddick Pure Drive, which is about 11 oz. When Pumpkin first purchased, I didn’t like it due to its weight. But when I broke one of the rockets, I began to use it and began to like it.

Afterward we went to A Taste of Shanghai in Flushing, had a tasty dinner.

The exciting tournament is coming soon: Sat., June 25 at Washington Township tennis club. You will meet many old and new tennis friends on that day. 23 teams and more than 140 players will attend this big event.

The court will be open at 9:00am. The first match, advance men and senior men will begin at 9:30am.

The “100 Double Ten Tennis Tournament” will be hosted jointly by Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York and New Jersey Chinese Tennis Association on Saturday, June 25th, 2011for celebrating 100 birthday of Republic of China.

The match schedules – we’re team 1 that starts at 3:30pm

The followings are the tournament information and rules:

  • Team:

Each team consists of 6 players, or 3 pairs of Doubles in the order of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Doubles.
There will be 6 flights:

  1. Men’s A: USTA rating 4.0 or above
  2. Men’s B: USTA rating 3.5 or lower
  3. Advanced women : USTA rating 4.0 or above
  4. Senior men
  5. Advanced Mixed Doubles: combined rating 8.0 or above
  6. Intermediated Mixed Doubles: combined rating 7.0 or lower

Due to limited number of courts, each flight will accept a maximum of four teams.

  • Format:
  1. Under each Flight, every team will play round robin against each other.
  2. 3 matches play by the order of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Double against other teams with 8- games Pro set method (first to win 8 games by two wins the match).
  3. No-Ad scoring will be used. If the game is tied at 40-40, the receiver has the choice for which side to take the serve. For mixed doubles, the server must sever to the same gender.
  4. Winning team will be decided by the total matches won. Winning two courts wins a match. If points are tied within 2 teams, then courts and games will be counted.
  • Captains responsibilities:
  1. Make sure all players are ready when called for the match.
  2. Spin a Racquet to determine who serves first prior the 5-minutes warm up.
  3. No need to change sides after games.
  4. Turned off your cell phone during match play.
  5. Leave the balls on court, and report scores to the tournament desk immediately after your match. All players (winners and losers) report scores, as accuracy is important.
  • Cost: $120 per team
  • Schedule:  To be announced
  • Award and Gift (Winner trophies will be presented by the tournament organizers and event sponsor)

The winning team in each Flight will be awarded 6 trophies.
All attending players will receive a player gift.

  • Recognition:  Sponsors: Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Margaret Lam, Dr. Kenneth Chang, Dr. Andy Chang, Dr. Timothy Chang, Dr. Morris Hawn.  Taipei Economic and Cultural Office and NJCTA provide event planning and organizing.
  • Drinks and food will be provided.

Comments (2)

June 1 match

Captain Cuthbert forfeited two courts, gave ys a sweep. 10 players roster to fill five courts/8 players seemed bit stretched. Reportedly the girl who served me a bagel was on Wong’s team last season. So it isn’t in the stone that once a player played on the team s/he is bond to stay, forever. Shifting alliances do happen in the league.

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The season finale

Their last game of the season vs North at home’s close contested, they lost 15-16. They were leading most of the times. More pix on FB, video
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a heartbreaking season finale

the time out

my view to the right: the baseball field...

her weapon

a little celebration

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