First Senior Pickleball Tournament Heats Up
Wintry Oakland County Michigan
The first Oakland Senior Invitational Pickleball Tournament was held Saturday, February 16th at the OPC Senior Center in Rochester. Fifty men and women from Sterling Heights, Rochester, Troy, Waterford, Royal Oak, Warren, Auburn Hills, Northville, and the Northern Oakland YMCA participated in 45 Men’s and Women’s Doubles matches that lasted throughout the day.
What is Pickleball? Pickleball is a combination of Ping-Pong, tennis, and badminton that has been enjoyed for over 30 years by people of all ages. This is a mini-tennis game played by 2 or 4 people on a badminton-sized court using wood paddle racquets and a plastic, poly baseball with holes. Pickleball can be played on any hard surface and is ideal for small spaces. This exciting sport can be played on driveways, cul-de-sacs, tennis courts, and multi-purpose game courts like those found in gyms.
Since the opening of the Senior Gym in Sterling Heights in October 2007, Pickleball has become a very popular event. Every day, seniors flock to the center to play this exciting game. Monzie Edmonds was the first to jump in and volunteer to teach the game to the seniors. Very quickly, Dick Manasseri started to help teach as the response to the game exploded. It was Dick’s brainchild to hold the Oakland Seniors Invitational as a way to unite al of the senior communities in Oakland County actively engaged in this fun sport.
A random selection process was used to choose partners from the different communities. Since Dick is a member of the USA Pickleball Association, we were able to get advice from the USAPA and use their very helpful Tournament Software to make up the brackets and record our results online. Once the Tournament was over, we could direct our grandchildren to the USAPA website to see just how well Grandma and/or Grandpa had done.
Our own Sterling Heights (SH) Sr. Center sent eleven women and five men to the event, and three women and one man from our Center received awards. Sharon Salamon came in first with a Gold certificate, Pat Waschewski, second with a Silver and Gloria MacDonald third, with a Bronze. For the men Al Andreshak came in second with Silver.
Women Winners for this Invitational were:
· 1st place for the Gold - Sharon Salamon (SH) and Phyllis Veillet (Rochester)
· 2nd place for the Silver - Pat Waschewski (SH) and Patty Papke (Waterford)
· 3rd place for the Bronze - Gloria MacDonald (SH) and Clair Bushman (Warren)
For the men:
· 1st - Ray Curtin (North Oakland YMCA) and Pat Dennan (Waterford)
· 2nd - Al Andreshak (SH) and Owen Papke (Waterford)
· 3rd - Roger Waid (Rochester) and Dave Davis (Troy)
Wintry Oakland County Michigan has discovered what our warm-weather neighbors in Florida and Arizona have known for years – the fun of Pickleball. The growth of Pickleball is exemplified by the Arizona Senior Olympics, which is being held this week with 269 seniors registered for Pickleball. More information can be obtained by contacting the USA Pickleball association at www.usapa.org .
(The above is a specially-edited version of a article from the Sterling Heights Senior News by Pat Waschewski)