Local Pickleball Guide – Ogden, Utah

Ogden is just a short drive north of Salt Lake City, and it’s a veritable hotbed of pickleball activity despite its snowy reputation—since it’s a gateway to many of Utah’s ski resorts. Ogden provides a picturesque view of the Wasatch Mountains along with easy access to many courts both indoors and out. The initial growth of pickleball in the area was largely thanks to avid player and philanthropist John Gullo.

Places to Play in Ogden, Utah

There are many courts in Utah available for free or for a small membership fee. See a selection of locations below. Visit the Ogden Pickleball Association or Utah Pickleball for additional options across the state.

Mt. Ogden Outdoor Courts – 1987 Constitution Way. Eight outdoor courts. Join open play Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday 7:00am – noon, Tues and Thurs 5:00pm – dusk. Times may change due to Ogden’s outdoor leagues.
Monroe Park – Eight free outdoor courts. Lights for evening use. Reservable.
The Shed – Four indoor courts with an outdoor surface. Memberships available for free or low yearly costs on their site.
Marshall White Center – Indoor courts, cost is free with admission. Open play Tues – Thurs, hours on their site. Indoor leagues available.
Barnes Park – Eight outdoor courts, four of which have lights. Year-round leagues and two tournaments. Indoor play at nearby Kaysville Recreation.

USAPA Ambassadors: Utah

Wendy McKay — Ogden Valley  801-791-3001
Kyle Klein — Brigham City (~30 min N of Ogden)   435-730-3231, pickleballtoc@gmail.com
Oscar Garcia — Salt Lake City (~35 min S of Ogden)   801-604-0939
Michael White — Salt Lake City (~35 min S of Ogden)   828-514-9316
Shannon Wright — West Jordan (~50 min S of Ogden)    801-860-7776, shannonwrightpickleball@gmail.com
Victor Phillips — Cache County (~1 hr N of Ogden)    vh_phillips@comcast.net

Utah Court Construction Companies

Parkin Courts
Tennis and Track Co.
TD Sports West
Utah Court Surfacing

Ogden, Utah Pickleball Clubs

Ogden Pickleball Association logo
Ogden Pickleball Association

Pickleball Tournaments Near Ogden, Utah

USA Pickleball Mountain Regional Championships (Brigham City)
Salt Lake County Summer Bash (Bluffdale)
Tournament of Champions (Brigham City)
Riverton Fall Classic 

For more events, take a look at Utah Pickleball’s tournament page.

Utah Pickleball Related News and Videos

The State of Pickleball
Ogden Philanthropist Moves Pickleball Tourney to Brigham City
How Pickleball Has Become One of Utah’s Fastest Growing Sports
Pickle Power! The Family-Friendly Sport That’s Taking Over Utah
Indoor Pickleball Courts Come to Roy with Outdoor Courts Expected This Summer
Pickleball Goes Outdoors in Salt Lake City

Local Pickleball Guide – Boise, Idaho

It’s no surprise Idaho is a pickleball haven since major paddle manufacturer, Selkirk, was created in Hayden. The company’s name itself was inspired by the Selkirk Mountains, which travel between southeastern British Columbia, the Idaho Panhandle and eastern Washington.

Several hours south of Hayden is the capital of Boise, where there are pickleball courts a-plenty and players ready to test their skills. Join in if you have the opportunity to explore this growing hot spot!

Idaho senior games

Idaho Senior Games (Credit: BAPA)

Places to Play in Boise, Idaho

There are 20+ pickleball court locations around Boise. For an easily referenced map with details, visit the Boise Pickleball Club’s Places to Play. A partial selection of the courts are listed here.

Baggley Park – Two dual-use courts. Free to use and no scheduled play.
Fort Boise Community Center – Drop in play. Portable nets, balls and paddles available. Free lessons for new players. Call for more info: 208-608-7680
Boise Hills Park – One dual-use court. Free to use, no scheduled play.
Manitou Park – Four dedicated courts, two dual-use with painted lines. Free use.
Treasure Valley Family YMCA – Free for members, day pass required for visitors. Three indoor courts for use Mon – Wed from 9 – 11am.

USAPA Ambassadors: Boise

Don Denton — Nampa (~25 min west of Boise)  208-453-9799

While they are not USAPA ambassadors, both the Boise Area Pickleball Association (BAPA) and Boise Pickleball Club (BPC) have officers who are happy to help visitors find courts and other players.

Boise Court Construction Companies

SportMaster Sport Surfaces
Cascade Famous Fences & Tennis Courts
JPW Sports and Courts Installation

Boise, ID Pickleball Clubs


Boise Area Pickleball Association

Boise Pickleball Club
Eagle Tennis Club (~25 min NW of Boise)

Pickleball Tournaments in Boise, Idaho

Boise’s Awesome Pickleball Adventure
Idaho Senior Games Pickleball Tournaments
Sun Valley Pickleball Championships
(All three of the above tournaments are run by BAPA. Follow link for more details.)

Pickle Jam!
Willow Lane Fall Classic

Boise Pickleball Related News and Videos

Pickleball Saved My Life (Dick Johnson, 78, Boise, Idaho)
The Pickleball Spear-It 
Featured Activity: Pickleball Takes ‘5 Minutes’ to Learn
Hayden Pickleball Paddle Company Is Growing with the Sport 
Annual Pickleball Tournament Brings Crowd to Twin Falls 
The Sport of Pickleball Is Growing Quickly in the Treasure Valley 

Local Pickleball Guide – Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is home to some of the best country music around, and many Tennesseans have started singing the praises of pickleball too! There are many locations where you can take your paddle and get involved in the growing competitive scene while experiencing some Southern hospitality for yourself, so don’t delay and join in the fun!

Places to Play in Nashville, Tennessee

Gordon JCC – Three indoor courts. Play is free for members and $5 for non-members.
Lipscomb University Racquet Club – Indoor and outdoor courts. Free for those with annual membership or $5.
Centennial Sportsplex – Eight outdoor courts. Available to public use and reservations. Free for members and $5 for non-members.
Academy Park – Four outdoor courts. Free play for public or reserve for $10/hr. The Franklin Rec Center also has scheduled play times.
Margaret Maddox YMCA – Outdoor court open with some scheduled play times.
Sevier Park – 615-862-8466 / 3021 Lealand Lane Nashville, TN 37204
First Baptist Hendersonville Church – Tuesday 6 to 9pm for $10. Available Saturday morning if enough people sign up. Call Kay at 615-504-1015.

Centennial Sportsplex

Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville

Green Hills YMCA, Hermitage Community Center, Fairview Rec Center and Franklin Rec Center also allow for pickleball games.

Maryville Pickleball Boot Camp is open to registration dependent on time of year.

USAPA Ambassadors: Nashville

Jay Wasack — Brentwood (~20 min south of Nashville)    615-994-0980, pickleballjay@gmail.com
Don Stanley — La Vergne (~25 min SE of Nashville)    615-945-1373, dstanley@christpres.org
David Hart — Columbia (~45 min SW of Nashville)    615-720-1855

Tennessee Court Construction Companies

SportMaster Sport Surfaces
Barton Sports Construction

Nashville, Tennessee Pickleball Clubs

Pickleball Nashville

Pickleball Nashville

Pickleball Tournaments Near Nashville, Tennessee

Gatlinburg Rocky Top Sports World (Gatlinburg)
Pickleball Nashville Labor Day Tournament (Brentwood)
Volley for Change (Knoxville)
Tennessee Senior Olympics (Franklin)

Nashville pickleball players

Nashville pickleball players

Nashville Pickleball Related News and Videos

Pickleball Princess Paddles Away the Pounds
Welcome to Pickleball Nashville
Pickleball Growing in Popularity Among All Ages
Jake Owen and Kid Rock’s ‘Grass Is Always Greener’ Was Born from a Pickleball Game
Pickleball Clinics Coming to Westhaven and Academy Park
Pickleball Holding Court in Spring Hill

Pickleball in the 2018 Singapore National Games

Pickleball in the 2018 Singapore National Games

We are delighted to be able to share this wonderful news from Singapore. Enjoy!

Greeting from Singapore! It is our exciting “pickleball” time in Singapore. Our tournament season is drawing near. Pickleball is finally recognized and included into the 2018 Singapore National games. It will be a national tournament and will spread over 2 weekends, organized by our sport body in Singapore. There will be appropriately 300+ players participating. We are co-organizing the event and details of the tournament can be found on our website pickleball: https://www.pickleball.sg/sng-2018.

History of pickleball in Singapore

Singapore started to introduce pickleball in 1998. It started in a small community with very limited places to play and little awareness on the sport. Having said that, in the past 5-6 years we have experienced a tremendous growth in the sport. Many community clubs in Singapore started to organize interest groups for pickleball and our sport halls have had a steady growth of players joining their morning groups. In the Hillview area, we have a small group of senior playing pickleball on our only outdoor court. Our neighborhood community has also started a pickleball interest group.

Weekend Pickleball Group

Hillview Pickleball Group

We started to play indoor pickleball when our new community center was completed in 2017. Three months later, we re-established the group as Bukit Gombak CSC Pickleball Interest Group, serving more residents in Bukit Gombak and Chua Chu Kang. The Interest Group reached the max membership in October 2017 and we decided to setup a Weekend Pickleball group in December 2017 after securing 8 courts in Hillgrove & Lianhua Indoor Sports Hall. Weekend Pickleball hit the target of 100 members in March 2018. We have 2 new indoor badminton courts that we now play pickleball on regularly, Mondays (6-9:30 pm) and Wednesdays (9:30-12:30am).

Hillview Community Center

Hillview Community Center

Our weekend pickleball clubs are also booming! In a short span of 3 months, we have 100+ members. Every Sunday we open 8 courts to accommodate 50+ players, the largest pickleball indoor courts in Singapore! Here is the link for Bukit Gombak CSC pickleball: sg/bukit-gombak-csc-pickleball. Our weekend pickleball website is:  https://www.pickleball.sg/weekend-pickleball-lianhua.

Bukit Gombak CSC Pickleball Interest Group

Weekend Pickleball Group

Since we have been so well established, we have hosted an inter-constituency tournament (Hillview meets Nanyang) and a few more mini-tournaments within our club (such as Jingle & Mingle and Million Hongbao Challenge).

With our many successes and connections to on-line media such as Facebook, we are now connected to many players overseas and have hosted games for our visitors from the USA, India, New Zealand, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, etc. It is a great opportunity to meet players from other countries and exchange skills to improve our games. We have formally established our affiliation with the Pickleball Association of Hong Kong, China to host our members when they travel to our countries. Likewise, we are extending our invitation to your readers for games if they are visiting Singapore.


Pickleball.sg is a volunteer network for all communities and interest groups to share and promote pickleball activities in Singapore. We have started to chart down the places to play within Singapore and we are sharing tournament invitations on the internet. We are hoping to establish more affiliation with the other countries especially in Asia to promote and raise the standard for pickleball in Singapore and Asia.

Singapore National Games 2018

This is the 2nd year ActiveSG (our sport government body) to organise the Singapore National Games and pickleball.sg will be their official partner for this year tournament which will be held the end of July. Details of the SNG 2018 can be found in this link https://www.pickleball.sg/sng-2018.  It will be the largest pickleball event in Singapore, this year we are anticipating 300+ players for this tournament.

The tournament is open for players above 21 yrs and we have a master group (women above 55 yrs and men above 60 yrs old). We don’t have player rating like in the USA, so the skill sets are simply divided into Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. Besides the individual event, this year we have added a team zone event. Each team comprises of 10 players of different age groups to compete to be the team champion. Bukit Gombak CSC Pickleball will be sending 2 teams for this tournament!

Thank you Michelle for sharing this wonderful story about the growth of pickleball in Singapore. I am sure some of our readers will be planning a trip to visit you soon to play pickleball. 

The Pickleball Magazine Provides the Latest and Greatest in Pickleball Trends

Pickleball Magazine continues to offer excellent articles about pickleball trends, best places to play and tournament features. In the latest issue, Wayne Dollard, publisher of Pickleball Magazine, shares his personal experience in “Building Your Dream Court.” Wayne shares the main reasons he considered building a home court, which include having a place for parties and social gatherings.

He also shares the list of things to consider before building a court, like space and cost. Excellent photos are included showing the stages of building the court, as well as a check list with a price breakdown. This article is definitely one of the best for explaining everything that goes into building a home court. The USAPA has also published a book, “Pickleball Courts: A Construction & Maintenance Manual,” that is helpful on this topic.

The Oct/Nov 2017 issue also contains two USAPA announcements: A Major Region Restructure for 2018 and the new USAPA Sanctioned League Play. It also has a great Q & A page “The Rules Guru” that answers some complex questions about the interpretation of the IFP Official Tournament Rulebook.

We enjoy hearing feedback from Pickleball Magazine subscribers. Here are some of our most recent customer reviews:

“This is a terrific magazine, and I’ve been passing it around the club for others to read. There is a good variety of articles, and the photos and physical pages are high quality! Personally, I would love to see more intermediate skills advancement articles, as well as product reviews.”

“I’m picking up useful tips from this magazine that are improving my game.
I highly recommend a subscription.”

A fellow pickleballer gave me a copy and it’s so informative to me (as a beginner trying to ‘catch on to how the game is played).
Articles with information are so appreciated”

Every Pickleball Magazine issue contains training tips from some of the best trainers in the country. Who doesn’t want to learn how to “Run Down a Lob Safely” with Sarah Ansboury or “Hit Down the Middle” thanks to Coach Mo? Subscribe today, and if you are already a subscriber, make sure your subscription does not expire.  You cannot afford to miss an issue!



Chicken N Pickle: Food, Fun and Pickleball All Under the Same Roof

Many players speak in awe of Chicken N Pickle, the “do-it-all” restaurant/entertainment complex hybrid that’s taking the pickleball world by storm. For those who haven’t heard of it yet, it’s time to remedy that so you can start booking a trip down to Kansas City, Missouri!

Chicken N Pickle Complex

The fantastic Chicken N Pickle complex

Chicken-N-Pickle consists of an incredible 8 courts (4 indoor and 4 outdoor), a beer garden with a shack serving 25+ canned beers, full bar and sandwiches.

There’s also a 5,600 sq. ft. restaurant featuring wood fire rotisserie chicken with all-natural healthy ingredients, 30+ TVs, a rooftop bar, courtyard with a jumbo TV and yard games that opened last November.

Maybe if we ask nicely we can live there?

Thanks to Kellen Mumm, the VP of Operations, for kindly taking the time to share new details about this wonderland and how it got started! [Note: This interview was conducted last year and so all mentions of specific dates were for 2016.]

How was Chicken N Pickle conceived? Or: What came first, the Chicken or the Pickle? 

Chicken N Pickle was born over a couple of beers. David Johnson, the owner, was the first to bring up the idea. [Want to know something really weird? David Johnson is the owner of PickleballCentral, but he’s a different David… weird coincidence!]

He saw pickleball and was amazed by the social aspect of the sport. It was incredible to see 30+ people all hanging around these courts talking and having fun. He played with some friends for the first time in AZ and (just like everybody else) played one game and was hooked.

Inside the Chicken N Pickle restaurant

Inside the Chicken N Pickle restaurant

He knew we needed this in Kansas City and his first thought was to add a restaurant. One of his favorite restaurants in the Grand Cayman Islands is called Chicken! Chicken! So he thought, “Why not a rotisserie chicken place?” Bill Crooks was brought on as a consultant because of his experience opening over 30 restaurants nationwide, and he’s helped us find some incredible talent such as Bill Koning as General Manager and Alex Staab as Chef.

Since that initial meeting, our idea has grown into the giant complex you see today.

Do you play pickleball personally? Where did you first discover the game and what are your favorite parts of it?

I first played pickleball in high school, but I didn’t know it was called pickleball at the time because my PE teacher decided to name it after himself! I rediscovered it (this time under the right title) when CnP was born and have been playing ever since. Since we opened I play 5-6 times per week and I like to think I’m getting pretty good.

Chicken N Pickle Indoor Courts

Chicken N Pickle indoor courts

I love how easy it is to get started, and it’s the only sport that you can play with anyone regardless of age, gender and athletic ability. It’s a great family sport and a great date night sport. Since I’m very competitive by nature it’s fun to compete at, and it’s humbling when someone twice my age runs me around the court and doesn’t let me score a point…

Your group seems to use a lot of Selkirk-branded paddles – is there are partnership between you two? And if so, how did that come about?

I was introduced to Andy Gensch, who is one of the few 5.0 players in the Kansas City area. He then introduced me to Selkirk and they’ve just been amazing to work with. We use the Selkirk 20P-XL as our rental paddles so our customers get to play with top-of-the-line equipment. We want everything at CnP to be tournament-grade pickleball and Selkirk helps us achieve that. I personally play with the 300A-XL and love it.

Andy Gensch

Andy Gensch

What are your eventual goals with Chicken N Pickle? Would you like to expand to more locations or are you concentrating on building your first location for the time being?

We would love to bring Chicken N Pickle to other cities across the country as we feel pickleball is growing faster than it can handle and we want to help that cause. We are focusing on making this first one work; there have been and will be more lessons from this prototype that will help us bring our concept to many locations.

What has the local response been like? Do you find yourself getting customers who are already picklers, or more newcomers to the sport who get hooked after visiting?

We’ve taught pickleball to more people than I can count. It’s been amazing! The local picklers and newcomers stop by because there’s no place like it and CnP has this atmosphere of fun. We have a lot of leagues going now and I would say 50% are people that have started playing at CnP in the past 2 months.

The Chicken N Pickle outdoor courts duting construction

The Chicken N Pickle outdoor courts duting construction

Andy Gensch seems to help out with teaching at Chicken N Pickle, and you have classes coming up with other pros as well. Are you looking to do outreach to develop other events like this?

Andy has been amazing and I have the testimonials from his lessons to prove it! He has been a big part of bringing people like Enrique Ruiz and Dee Davidson in for clinics, which were huge successes. We also have Dave Wienbach coming for a clinic and he’ll play in our October tournament.

Andy loves pickleball and has been instrumental in growing the game. We both love the fact there are so many new faces. The clinics and lessons he provides are going to make the sport that much more competitive. We do beginner clinics and advanced clinics as much as we can to help give our players more resources.

You host food trucks in addition to your rotisserie offerings. How did that idea develop and do you find it adds another layer of fun for visitors? It seems like you use a lot of nearby stores to give people a locally-flavored experience.

We are huge on everything local. Local produce when we can, local beers (we plan to have 28 taps with all local flavors). People in Kansas City love  supporting their neighbors and we’re no different.

David Johnson of Chicken N Pickle

Bill Crooks, primary Chicken N Pickle consultant

Is there anything in particular you’d like to say to our PickleballCentral readers?

I would invite anyone passing through Kansas City to stop by and play a game and give me feedback! We want to grow pickleball as much as possible. We also have events every month, such as: Oktoberfest on September 1st, Halloween on October 2nd and our first ever pickleball tournament Oct 20 – 24. Sign-ups have been going fast.

You can find out more about Chicken N Pickle on their site and find out what events they have coming up at their blog. Everyone visit if you can, and send them some love to let CnP know you want to see MORE of their facilities in the near future!


Pickleball in Papua New Guinea: Health and Pickleball, Hand in Hand

This story is from our customer Joyce Baranowski. Enjoy!

I recently returned from Papua New Guinea and wanted to share my story and pictures with you.


Being in a third world country makes one feel very appreciative for the conveniences we have in America, but also makes one wonder why we have so much stuff. The Papuan nationals are extremely poor with 90% unemployment. Most have no shoes and the clothes they wear are worn and dirty. They wash themselves and their clothes down by the river and cook their food in a large pot over a fire. Thankfully, they live in a climate that allows them to grow food year round, so they don’t go hungry.  They eat to live, unlike us, who live to eat.


The hospital station where my daughter and her family live is a lifeline to the people. Without the doctors and nurses at this hospital, many would die. Right now there are 9 American missionary doctors (along with their families), a radiologist missionary from South Africa, a dentist missionary from Canada, and 4 American missionary project leaders with their families.

Their service and commitment is a blessing to this area of Papua New Guinea. If you’d like to read more about the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, you can visit www.nazarenehospitalfoundation.org.

grandson Miles and Mom Rachel

Grandson Miles and Mom Rachel

Needless to say, the Papuan nationals had never heard of pickleball. They are always amazed by the strange games the Americans are playing like tennis and volleyball. Not only had the Papuan nationals never heard of pickleball, neither had any of the missionaries! It was great fun to introduce the game to the missionaries. They knew I was coming to teach them how to play pickleball and were excited to learn.

Joyce and friend with grandson Miles

Joyce and a friend with Miles

One of the guys got online to figure out the size of the court and had the lines painted on the area where they play tennis and basketball before I got there.

The surface is asphalt and not the smoothest, but it made the game more challenging to play. You never knew where the ball was going once it hit the ground in certain parts of the court!

I was not only encouraged by how fast the people picked up the rules of the game, but by how quickly they were able to pass the rules on to each of the newbies that came to play.

My daughter Rachel was really excited about getting a tournament together, but each weekend was busy with other activities. I’m sure it will happen, unfortunately  I just won’t be there to participate! It was nice to see the missionaries enjoying themselves with this new sport.

Several of them told me many times to please thank the people who donated the equipment. So a big THANK YOU to PICKLEBALLCENTRAL for the paddles and balls!


I really can’t say for sure this is the only place in Papua New Guinea where pickleball is played, but its fun to think that it is there now, and I was able to introduce local folks to this wonderful game.

Thank you, Joyce, for sharing your story with our readers. We are glad to support your efforts to take this game to a new place like Papua New Guinea. Hopefully some of the Papuan nationals will grow to love the game as much as Pacific Northwesterners, where the game began in the 60’s!

Bellevue Pickleball Meetup Finds New Fans

Pickleball meetup this Sunday (6/26) from 3:30 – 6:30 in Renton, WA on Talbot Hill! Click here to RSVP.

A couple weeks ago PickleballCentral had the good fortune of meeting a young player named Boyd Massie, who’s local to the Seattle area. After chatting for a time we found out that he was not only a talented player, but a great pickleball advocate! After finding several courts for use in Bellevue, Boyd decided to begin a Meetup group for those wanting to play pickleball. Score another point for the game’s growth!

Boyd was kind enough to take the time for a quick interview with us, so if you’re interested in how simple it can be to start a local pickleball group or want to find more players in the area, be sure to have a look.

Bellevue pickleball courts

Meeting at the Bellevue pickleball courts

What’s your background in sports and how did you find out about pickleball?

I’ve always loved spots and played my fair share, including competitive soccer, bowling, cross country, track, basketball and tennis. I had the awesome experience of playing collegiate tennis and continue to hit as well as play in a league.

I was first introduced to this great sport by a coworker nearly 2 years ago . I’ve always enjoyed racquet and paddle sports (tennis, ping pong, racquetball and badminton), so I had a feeling I would probably like pickleball… I just didn’t know I’d enjoy it this much!

What inspired you to create a pickleball meetup?

I had joined a few hiking Meetup groups to see what the service was all about. Meetup has the great ability to bring people together to enjoy an activity. Or better yet, it’s a way to find out about interesting events and meet new faces.

I created this group because it didn’t exist. I also wanted to bring the excitement I first felt to others. And (selfishly) I was having troubles finding players to hit with.

How did you go about securing the courts for your group? 

I literally ran across the International School Pickleball courts in Bellevue by accident. I was jogging one day from work to the Kelsey Creek area, and low and behold, legit pickleball courts… 6 of them! I then called the school and discovered that with a small fee and by signing a waiver, I could get key access to the courts.

Playing a game at the meetup

Playing a game at the meetup

How many people showed up and did they already know how to play pickleball? 

There have been 2 meetups so far and I would consider both a success! 14 people excitedly showed up for the first; 9 for the second. A good majority of the people were newbies, but they did have some background in tennis or some other paddle/racquet sport. Others had been playing for years.

Did the beginners take to the game quickly? Was everyone welcoming?

Pickleball is very accommodating for beginners. With a few adjustments (ball doesn’t bounce very high, the feel of the paddle and ball, court dimensions, etc), people catch on very easily and have a great time playing. Everyone was extremely nice and welcoming, making it even easier for those who had never played before.

Do you have any pending times/dates for future meetups?

Yes! Our next session is going to be in Renton on Talbot Hill this Sunday (6/26) from 3:30 – 6:30pm. Click here to RSVP. There are many players who would love to play weekly and I’m trying to spread the reach throughout the region. For more information and to join the Meetup group, check out Puget Sound Pickleball.


Another thanks to Boyd for sharing his success with us, and best of luck to the new pickleball group! Be sure to say hi and join up if you’re in the area.

USAPA Ambassador Tom Widden Introduces Pickleball on the Moody Blues Cruise

A bunch of pickleball players traveled together with USAPA Ambassador Tom Widden, Lake Oswego, Oregon, aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Pearl to the Caribbean”, which featured the Moody Blues Rock ‘n’ Roll Adventure to Key West and Beyond.

Daily play over excellent Deluxe PickleNet Portable Rolling Nets had no problems with the wind. The rolling nets stored easily when not in use. We played exclusively with the fabulous new Onix Pure Ball while cruising at a speed of 20 knots.

The game was not really affected by the wind.

moody blues cruise 1

Tom brought along variety of pickleball paddles from PickleballCentral to share with fellow “Moodies”, including John Lodge, founder of Moody Blues, seen here with yours truly, District Ambassador Tom Widden plus the concert promoter.  All new players caught on to the game of pickleball in just a few minutes..

Moody blues cruise 2

Everyone raved about the Onix Pure balls being more durable and easy to play with.  Not one broke during the cruise.

Moody blues cruise 3

After a morning of pickleball we settled into great concerts til late at night. We are taking in electric light orchestra here..

Moody blues cruise 4

Moody Blues perform on the cruise ship concert stage in the evenings.

Moody blues cruise 6

This historic voyage demonstrated that cruise ship sport courts are ideal for the pickleball player demographic and should be promoted as a natural combination to attract seniors who love cruises and love playing pickleball! More cruises featuring pickleball are being planned soon.

Moody blues cruise 5

USAPA District Ambassador Tom Widden on the Moody Blues Cruise

Best Reasons to Hold a Tournament: Featuring Northwoods Pickleball Tournament -Three Lakes, Wisconsin

Best Reasons to Hold a Tournament: Featuring Northwoods Pickleball Tournament -Three Lakes, Wisconsin

I was curious!  What are the main reasons for offering to hold a pickleball tournament?   So I started asking folks who have held tournaments recently.  Chuck Radtke and Steve Dennis have graciously taken the time to share some of the story behind the Northwoods Pickleball Tournament in Three Lakes, Wisconsin.  Enjoy!


If you are ever in the neighborhood of Three Lakes, Wisconsin, you absolutely have to stop in and play pickleball! Three Lakes is the only community in Wisconsin that offers a chance to play pickleball 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Their lighted courts and the screens around the courts allow anyone in town the opportunity to play pickleball, any time of the day or night.

Wisconsin Map#1 Best Reason to Hold a Tournament: A Great Location

Three Lakes has 8 outdoor courts that are screened and lit for 24-hour play, and have an additional 8 courts available for indoor play when the weather gets bad. They have a good working relationship with the local schools and the rec center. In the summer they will have people playing pickleball from age 7 to the low 80’s.
The town of Three Lakes entered a contest 5-6 years ago and won the distinction of being the Single Best Town in America. Three Lakes is a part of the largest chain of lakes in North America. There are 27 lakes altogether, including the Eagle River system. The population of the township where Three Lakes is located is about 2000. Throughout the year, sports enthusiasts often double the population, except for the “Mud Season,” with fishing, hunting, snowmobiling and summer lake activities rounding out some of the offerings.

#2 Reason to Hold a Tournament: Great Organizers

Chuck and friends

Chuck Radtke checking out the schedule with tournament participants

There are two cool people in Three Lakes who are the energy behind the Northwoods Pickleball Tournament in Three Lakes: Chuck Radtke, who has been playing about 3 years and Steve Dennis, USAPA Ambassador. Steve played tennis before Chuck introduced him to pickleball. After the first couple of times playing, he bought a couple of paddles and since then has been hooked for life. He became an ambassador after about a year to keep connected with the greater pickleball community.
In the summer of 2013, Chuck and Steve introduced Pickleball to the schools. They scheduled 1 day a week, and the school arranged their Physical Education schedule to allow community pickleball during the day.  These guys are very creative.  They are always coming up with ideas to promote the game of pickleball in Three Lakes.
A year ago, during a high school basketball game during half time, they did a pickleball demonstration with a portable net and the vinyl EZ Court Lines. Chuck did the announcing while others community members demonstrated the game. It was fun. A lot of folks had never heard of pickleball and the demonstration actually got a few new folks out to try it.

Another fun thing they did to bring attention to the game: at the 4th of July parade, which draws folks from towns all around the area, they marched in the parade and did pickleball drills. One time they even had someone (Chuck) dress up as a pickle.  So they marched in formation, bouncing pickleballs,  and they did a marching drill chants, like:

Pickleball is here for you –
Come to Burnside ‘n’ play today.

#3 Reason to Hold a Tournament: Community Support

Three Lakes Photo

A Group from the Villages, Florida who came to the Northwoods Tournament

The town of Three Lakes is very supportive of pickleball, especially the Three Lakes school district and the Parks and Recreation department. Play is coordinated every day at all locations. Not as many folks play in the morning as in the afternoon and evening. They have 150 on their email list.

People in Three Lakes like to support their Green Bay Packers, so, when there is a game, they adjust their pickleball schedule. If the Packers game is in the morning, they shift pickleball into the afternoon. If the Packers play in the afternoon, then they play pickleball in the morning. Three Lakes folks are more sociable than other places that Steve has played. If folks are gone for a while, the local players always make a big deal of welcoming them back to the game. He’s had experience in places like Florida, where folks tend to be more competitive. Chuck and Steve are also Russell Wilson fans  (Seahawks quarterback) because Russell went to college in Wisconsin.

Pickleball community members provide wood paddles made by a local carpenter and provide demo paddles for people to try. They charge a little more than what is needed to cover expenses in the tournament registration fee, and the extra funds go directly to support pickleball in the community. It helps with the purchase of nets, balls, and other equipment so that pickleball can remain free to the community.

#4 Reason to Hold a Tournament: Participants Looking for a Friendly, Sociable Competition


In the summer of 2014 they held their first non-sanctioned tournament. Because it is not sanctioned by the USAPA, they are able to keep it open for everyone to participate. There were a few folks who turned out for the competition, but most were there because of the social aspect of the game. So far they haven’t had to use the indoor courts much for their outdoor tournament. In July 2015, Coach Mo and his assistant came and conducted 3 days of clinics in Three Lakes after their tournament. The 3rd day of the clinics, they had to use the indoor courts because of inclement weather. This year will be their 3rd tournament.

Coach Mo at Northwoods

Coach Mo conducting Clinics

Responses for their tournament draw from 8 different states, involving 120 players. Their 3rd Tournament is this July. Their press release for the tournament is going out this Friday. They expect at least 120 pickleball players this year as well. The tournament is open to all and both men and women of all ages and skill levels have the opportunity to compete. It is not an elimination tournament, rather round robin, so everyone has a chance to play up to 7 times. In the last tournament, 2 men entered with their grandsons. Steve competed in his first tournament and lost all 9 times, but he still had a lot of fun, because all the folks he played with were so friendly and sociable.

#5 Reason to Hold a Tournament:
A Community With a Heart for Pickleball

The Northwoods Pickleball Tournament is offered under the umbrella of the Three Lakes Parks and Recreation Department so they don’t have to set up their own 5013c. All the money from the tournament, after expenses, goes to support pickleball and make it free to all who want to play.  Chuck and Steve also actively solicit sponsors for the Northwoods Tournament each year, and anyone who pays the $25 fee gets their company listed on the back of their tournament t-shirts.

Great Tournament Shot

Great Tournament Shot

The Three Lakes community certainly does have a huge heart for pickleball! Make sure you stop in if you are in the neighborhood!

For more info, go to the Three Lakes Group site (pickleball info at the bottom).