Meet The Pros: Ty Petty

Meet The Pros: Ty Petty

Ty Petty, 2018 US OPEN

Ty Petty, 2018 US OPEN

Ty Petty loves this game and he is ready, willing and able to share his love of pickleball with anyone who steps on the court. Enjoy!

Can you list for us your major wins so we can correctly introduce you to our readers?

2018 Minto US Open, Mixed Doubles Over 40 with Lucy Kitcher – Gold
2018 Logan Stanley Memorial Classic, Nashville, TN, 5.0 Men’s Doubles with Jeff Carlson – Gold
2018 Logan Stanley Memorial Classic,Nashville, TN, 5.0 Mixed Doubles with Mary Helen Atkins – Gold
2018 North Carolina March Madness, Concord, NC, 5.0 Men’s Doubles with Jesse Simon – Gold
2017 Piggleball Tournament, Lexington, NC, Mens Open Doubles with Jeff Carlson – Gold
2017 USAPA Atlantic South Regional, Griffin, GA, 5.0 Men’s Doubles with Brad Tursky – Bronze
2017 Battle on Beech, Beech Mountain, NC, 5.0 Mixed Doubles with Stephanie Lane – Gold
2017 USAPA Great Lakes Regional, Kalamazoo, MI, Mixed Doubles 5.0, 35-49 with Kat Smalley – Bronze

What paddle do you play with and why?

I just switched from the Engage Blade to the new Engage Poach Extreme. I have played competitive table tennis my whole life so I am used to having a paddle that is only 6 inches wide and I love the long skinny paddles for their aerodynamic feel. The Poach Extreme still has a lot of power when I need it, but I really needed the excellent control it offers for third shot drops, volleys and dinks. It gives me a chance to compete at the highest level. I have been sponsored by Engage for over a year and am very thankful for their support.

What is your pickleball story? How were you introduced to pickleball?

My wife Cindy actually discovered pickleball for our family, and we immediately became addicted. It combined the best elements of table tennis and badminton, which we’ve played for years in the backyard. This has been a great enhancement to our marriage and I am proud to say that my wife is my favorite pickleball partner, although we stick to recreational games. Unlike playing competitive table tennis, you can play pickleball with anyone and have a fun and competitive game, while getting good exercise.

What is your preference, playing indoors or outdoors?

My first introduction to outdoor play was a tournament in Las Vegas on the roof of a hotel and casino, with over 30 mile per hour winds. It was so windy the nets were blowing over and across the court until they hit a fence, even though they were weighted down at the base. Since then, I have slowly come to embrace playing outdoors and definitely prefer it over indoors. Although all of the organized play in our area is indoors, I try to get outside to play every chance I get.

2018 US Open, Lucy Kitcher/Ty Petty, Over 40 Mixed Doubles - Gold

2018 US Open, Lucy Kitcher-Ty Petty Over 40 Mixed Doubles, Gold, Takako Tourangeau – DJ Howard, Silver

Do you like singles or doubles better? Why?

I preferred singles when I first started because it was easier to figure out strategies using skills from other racket sports, but I prefer doubles now since I have come to understand and embrace smart pickleball strategies.

What is your favorite place to play? Why?

My favorite tournament is the Logan Stanley Memorial Pickleball Tournament in Nashville, TN. They play great music in the gym, provide an amazing assortment of snacks, and the tournament is run by one of the best referees in pickleball, Don Stanley. Two of the most beautiful places I have played are Beech Mountain, Nort Carolina and Hiawassee, Georgia.

What is your secret sauce? Any tips for players?

Ty Petty selfie

Ty Petty selfie

If you want to improve, it is more important to be able to slow the ball down than to speed the ball up. I wish I had learned that a lot sooner so I hope it helps someone else as they climb up the pickleball ladder.

What is your day job?

I am an Agriculture and 4-H Extension Agent for the University of Tennessee Cooperative Extension Service.

How many hours a week do you play? How do you make time to play?

I usually play 2-4 hours per week, but it’s tough because most of the organized play in our area is in the mornings. We finally have some outdoor pickleball courts with permanent lines on four tennis courts, so we have been able to play in the evening more often. Pickleball is my main source of exercise and the practice helps me stay sharp for tournaments, so I make it a priority to find a day or two to play most weeks.

Any lucky rituals before a big tournament?

My most important ritual before any tournament is to make sure all of my tie-dye headbands are clean and ready to go.

Do you have any pickleball goals you would like to share?

My goal is to win another Mixed Doubles Gold medal and also win a medal in Men’s Doubles next year at the US Open. I am also looking forward to teaching several clinics this fall around East Tennessee.

Anything else you would like to share about your experience being one of the best pickleball players in the world?

I have been blessed to have an opportunity to play this sport with some of the world’s best players and will continue to share my love for the sport with anyone who steps on the court.

PickleballCentral Acquires PickleballTournaments.com for Easier Tournament Management and Success

In September of last year, PickleballCentral and PickleballTournaments.com became affiliate partners through the creation of products to help tournament directors run a successful event. Since then, PickleballCentral has also started using the PickleballTournaments.com system to help manage and run tournaments for our sister business, Pickleball Station. We just finished running our 7th tournament in the last 6 months.

A Continued Partnership

As both of our companies have found success in this partnership, PickleballCentral is pleased to announce that PickleballTournaments.com is officially joining the PickleballCentral family. On February 9, 2018 both organizations announced publicly that PickleballCentral’s parent company was acquiring PickleballTournaments.com.

We want everyone to know how excited we are to bring Melissa McCurley, the president of Pickleball Tournaments, into our family. She will be president of our Tournament Operations Division which is responsible for operating PickleballTournaments.com and other tournament-related businesses.

Melissa will remain based in Arizona along with much of her team and will continue to lead these efforts with the same drive and energy that makes her one of the most powerful forces in pickleball!

Melissa PBT

PickleballCentral has always taken a very serious approach to customer service and support. Our 40 employees already work with over 100,000 pickleball players, and we work hard to make sure our various websites and businesses run smoothly. Last year alone we sponsored almost 300 tournaments and provided support to over 1,200 clubs.

Pickleball Tournaments’ Success

These factors made joining forces with PickleballTournaments.com logical from both an operational and strategic perspective. This unification will allow for even more resources to be made available that will immediately benefit tournament directors, players and partners of PickleballTournaments.com.

Pickleball Tournaments’ meteoric growth has been nothing short of spectacular. Originally founded in 2004 by Bob and Jettye Lanius, PickleballTournaments.com has provided software, services, advice and on-site operational assistance to over 1,000 tournament. As they were “retired” and wanted to say that way, when the business took off they sought a way to have some serious “pickleball people” take over the company.

In 2014 Bob and Jettye sold the business to Melissa McCurley and her brother, Greg. Melissa and Greg were both I.T. professionals and Melissa was becoming a very good player. They continued the grass roots commitment to supporting tournaments of all types with Melissa traveling around the United States from event to event making sure things ran well for the tournament directors.

Grand Canyon State Games Medalists

Miles and Mike Martin, bronze medalists from the Grand Canyon State Games… which is run through PBT! (Credit: Michael and Sherry Martin)

To give you some perspective on how far things have come since just 2014, in 2015  (their first full year of operations) Melissa and Greg helped tournament directors operate over 150 tournaments with over 22,000 participants. Compare that to what is planned for 2018 where they expect to support over 550 tournaments with over 60,000 registrants!

New Opportunities

So why is there such synergy with PickleballCentral? What many of our customers and readers of this blog may not know is that the partners in PickleballCentral have over 70 years of software development experience in their background, and these skills have helped PickleballCentral.com (and its related properties) become the largest company in the world exclusively devoted to pickleball.

These skills have served our customers well as we have designed and deployed 5 websites to support our business including Pickleball.com and the USAPA’s online store USAPAStore.com.

As frequent users of PickleballTournaments.com’s software, PickleballCentral will assist Melissa in nurturing this incredible software platform with upgrades that will benefit the growing number of tournament organizers and players using the system. Stay tuned for more details as we intend to make another announcement about this topic soon.

With the addition of the resources available from PickleballCentral, Melissa plans to use this additional bandwidth to spend more time “in the field” in order to help make events successful and focus feedback from users back into new software features that will benefit tournament directors.

The Best Pickleball Competitions in One Place

PickleballTournaments.com can be used for both casual and USAPA-sanctioned tournaments in the handling of player sign-ups, organization and structure. No matter the size of the tournament, having all associated data stored in one easy-to-use web database allows for easy management and sharing of brackets and results.

The PickleballTournaments.com software is already used to operate over 90% of the major pickleball tournaments around the world including the USAPA Nationals and Regionals, the US Open Pickleball Championships, Tournament of Champions and the International Indoor Pickleball Championships.

USAPA Tournament Logos

The management team here at PickleballCentral is truly humbled by having someone with Melissa’s reputation join us. We are already home to some of the sport’s very best players, instructors and product development professionals including Peter Huduchko, Brian Ashworth, Glen Peterson, Tonja Major, John Cowley and Jimmy Blue.

Continued Growth

This event is part of PickleballCentral’s continued evolution as a company devoted to meeting the needs of players around the world. In 2015 we acquired PickleballPaddlesPlus.com, and in 2016 we acquired Pickleball Inc. (the company which originally introduced pickleball to the world and continues to produce popular products like the Dura Ball and Champion Paddles.)

In 2017 we launched Pickleball Station, the Pacific Northwest’s premier pickleball athletic facility.

Brian and Peter at Chicken-N-Pickle

Pickleball Station’s Brian Ashworth and Peter Hudachko competing together at a Chicken-N-Pickle Tournament

We hope to continue unifying the world’s best pickleball organizations and businesses so that players everywhere will benefit from these wonderful services.

If you have any suggestions for features you’d like to see included on PickleballTournaments.com, please let us know in the comments or email us at info@pickleballcentral.com!