Inaugural Georgia-Florida Pickle Bowl

On the gridiron, the Southeastern Conference matchup between the University of Georgia and the University of Florida is always hotly contested. The Bulldogs-Gators rivalry recently spilled over to the pickleball courts in the inaugural Georgia-Florida Pickle Bowl.

Every October, the annual Florida Gators – Georgia Bulldogs football game is a tremendous draw to the Jacksonville, Florida area. And those who live nearby on Amelia Island feel the impact by all the visitors this game attracts. The Fernandina Beach Pickleball Pirates decided to hold a Georgia-Florida Pickle Bowl event on the weekend after the football game. Nearby neighbors in Camden County and St Simons Island, Georgia eagerly took up the challenge. Each side fielded ten teams: Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed Doubles, from 2.5 to 3.5 and one team at 4.5. Match format was best 2 of 3 games to 11 points, winning by at least two points. One point was awarded for each winning match. On a beautiful 70 degree sunny day, matches were held in the morning, followed by a potluck picnic, then open play for all attendees. Final score: Georgia 6, Florida 4. The Georgia Ambassadors, Judy Goodson and Charlie Crawley, graciously accepted the trophy from Florida’s Dave Cultice. For those interested, the football Bulldogs beat the Florida Gators by the score of 36-17 between the hedges in Athens, Georgia.

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