If you’ve played in Pickleball tournaments, then you probably know about the USAPA Ambassadors. They’re 1,700 strong, spread across the USA into 11 regions.
When they’re not volunteering at tournaments they are:
Gary Gossett, USAPA Ambassador for Simi Valley, CA, located about an hour northwest of LA, didn’t play sports growing up. His Dad thought watching sports on TV was a waste of time and put his kids to work.
(What time is college bowling on ESPN 4 tonight?)
How does someone that didn’t play sports growing up become a USAPA Ambassador at age 67? A woman of course. Gary’s wife, Pippa, played tennis for years and about 4 years ago received a flyer in the mail from the Parks & Rec department about a new sport being played at their rec center. The flyer said Pickleball is open to any residents age 50 or older. (Really?)
Not being 50, she held onto the flyer but kept playing tennis. About a year later, Gary took Pippa to a picnic lunch next to the tennis courts for her 50th birthday. While sipping champagne and smelling the roses Gary brought, a passerby commented on their romantic lunch. As they were talking they noticed their new friend was carrying an odd-looking tennis racquet.
Gary: “Where are you going?”
New friend: “To play Pickleball”
Pippa: “Really? I turned 50 today, so I guess I can play”
New friend: “Huh?”
Gary and Pippa stuck their heads in the fence of the courts and both were sold. They immediately bought wooden paddles and started playing. After a few months, they were playing daily and upgraded to graphite paddles.
Like many players, Gary’s love of Pickleball went from 0 to 100 almost overnight:
Why did Gary want to become an Ambassador? “I fell in love with the game and the people.”
What advice does he give new players:
Congrats to Gary and all the 1,700 Ambassadors growing the sport of Pickleball!
© Quick Pickle 2018
Last week, the USAPA rolled out their new player rating system. The UTPR (USAPA Tournament Player Ratings) was established to have a more accurate assessment of all players.
With the previous or legacy system, the ratings were based on tournament directors and each player’s own ratings. (Surely no one would play down a level, would they?)
With tournaments getting bigger and more players entering the sport, it became difficult to track everyone correctly.
The UTPR is comprised using up to 3 years of tournament history from pickleballtournaments.com. It’s based on past performance and will help in seeding future tournaments.
I was playing doubles recently and had a match against a couple former tennis players new to Pickleball. I’ve shared some stats about the Tennis to Pickleball migration on our Instagram account and how great it is to see firsthand.
Our opponents as former tennis players were used to driving the ball but didn’t have much experience with the soft game.
“Dinking? What is that?”
Not being one to give unsolicited advice, I let them play using their banger or slammer techniques.
What do you do when playing against a banger?
There’s a debate going on in Pickleball whether we should change from Side Out scoring to Rally Scoring. Not sure what the difference is?
Rally Scoring is a scoring method where points can be won by the serving or receiving team
Side Out Scoring is a format of scoring where points can be won only by the serving team