Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pickleball - The Event - March 26, 2010

Above: Ralph and; Spidy
Below: Spidy in the 'slam' mode.
Below: Johnny digs one out as John looks on.
Below: Camo-hatted Cupcake making a running return.

We had a beautiful day for P'ball, but a low turnout - probably the result of weather predictions made 3 or 4 days ago. We of the Upstate Pickleball Group operate on ACTUAL weather conditions - not PREDICTIONS!!!
Seven turned out: John, Johnny, Mike, Ralph, Peter, Sharon and yours (not necessarily) truly.
We started the days activities, by clearing the deck of water from recent rains. This mission was deftly handled by Chief Swabber, John and his crew of two.
We played doubles on one court and Canadian Doubles or singles on the other - depending, in part - on who we could extract from their lounge chairs. Peter F, competing in his second session, is making a lot of headway, and made several nice hustle plays. The wind was a slight factor, but had no actual influence on the outcome of any matches except perhaps in someone's subconscious.
Lots of good matches and more to come - depending on the real - not imagined - conditions.
Our thoughts are with our good friends and their loved ones.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pickleball - The Sport - March 23, 2010

Present: Jan, John, Johnny, Ralph, Gary, Mike, Sharon, this Blogger and visitor Carolyn (shown above being tutored by Johnny). We had a very nice day, with some wind at the start, but it settled down as the session wore on. Sunny with the temp hanging right around 70 degrees. No complaints there. Below: Spidy is about to take one deep and send it flying.

Above: Ralph lifts one, while John looks on.
Below: Sharon charges the net and pounds the ball as Spidy stands ready for a return.
There was a lot of net-play today including several exceptional volleys. There were more than a few 'torso-shots', but no one suffered any lasting damage.
Carolyn (first photo), showed up to watch us in action. She has never played P'ball before, but is a tennis player so we expect that she will get the hang of the game in short order. We had an empty court, because our group thinned out, so Johnny spent some time showing Carolyn how to serve and other playing techniques. Spidy and this writer also spent some time going over the rules and scoring, so Carolyn should be ready to roll when she shows up to play.
Next session. To be determined depending on the weather, which is being worked on at the moment you read this!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pickleball as we know it. 3/19/2010

If you are on the ball, you will immediately notice that there are no photographs attached to this report. So, don't spend a lot of your precious time looking for them.

Nine players were present on this balmy day: Newbie Peter (who made a good showing), Johnny, Ralph, Mike, John, Bob H, Gary, Sharon and this Blogist.

We had many exciting games, the first few of which, Gary was on fire. Consequently, he and his lucky partner blew away their opponents. But the rest of us picked up our games in short order and the scores reflected the balance.

Pete F joined us for his 1st time a P'ball. He played several games and came around nicely. Welcome Pete.

Chief cook and bottle washer, Bob H arrived early, but he didn't come empty handed. He brought along a box of fresh-made granola bars. And, he brought a small serving table so the yummies could be properly displayed and consumed in a dignified fashion.

Spike and Johnny were pretty lethal at the net, wounding several players on the receiving end of their kill shots. Two of our players - formerly altos, are now sopranos.

We plan on playing on Tuesday, March 23, 2010.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pickleball Reunion - 3/16/2010

Above: Our group minus Johnny, Carol and Gary who escaped before the photo session got under way.
We had a great day for Pickleball, and a good turnout of folks to welcome Ken & Lynn who arrived here from Florida on the 15th and will head back that way too soon. Joannie came out of hiding and got right into the game. Anne came, but didn't play because she was feeling a little punky with allergies. PRESENT: Lynn, Ken, Johnny, Carol, Ralph, Anne, Joannie, Mike, Gary, John, Jan, Sharon and Ron. That should add up to 13. We played for 3 hours. It was great to have Ken & Lynn back in town. They showed off some of their Sunshine State moves and we locals promised not to use them, especially the Orange Blossum, side-arm shank shot that was Ken's specialty. Lynn's Backhand double-shunt with a twist was very effective as well.
Below: Spike and Cupcake (standing nearby) accept the coveted PICKLE during the renown "Passing Of The Pickle" ceremony that originated here in the Upstate, but is copied all over the world. The Pickle was first entrusted to Ken & Lynn during a lavish ceremony
last December. Thanks to Anne for the picture.
Kelow: Ken leans into one. John at the ready.
Below: Ralph lets one rip. Faster than a speeding bullet.
Below: John huffs as he hurls the pill toward his (and Ken's) opponents. John had a beauty of a fat lip, but he didn't get from playing Pickleball. Just a little bad luck.
Below: Jan and Lynn mix it up.
Above: Johnny fires away as Cupcake looks on.
Below: Gary was on his game, as usual. Blasting away.
After many hard-fought matches we adjourned to the Brick City Grille to do a little more socializing before Ken & Lynn returne to Florida. Some folks couldn't make it and a few gave plausible reasons why not - even though excuses were not solicited, or even necessary. The STORY about one of our members delivering a baby at Timmons Park was a Pinocchio doozie.
Revelers @ the restaurant: Lynn, Ken, Joannie, Jan, Anne, Ralph, Lynne, Sharon & Ron. We killed a few hours there, had some adult beverages, good food and excellent service. And, thanks to the generosity of Ralph, the rest of us got out of there scot free.
So, we sent Ken & Lynn off in good style and are looking forward to their next visit. Thanks to K & L for bringing Pickleball to Greenville. Look at all of the fun we are having!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pickleball Experience - 3/09/2010

Beautiful day. Temperature to 73 degrees, mostly sunny and enough wind to keep the games interesting. Eleven were in attendance and also present: Anne (aka Pit Bull shown above about to pulverize the little yellow ball), Jan, Sharon (Cupcake), Bob H. (Buckeye), Johnny, John (Spin Master), Mike (Spidy - shown below - eyeing the ball which is about to go for a ride), Gary (no nick name yet), Ralph, Steve (Stevie Wonder) and this writer of dubious writing prowess, Ron (aka Spike).
As always, we had many hard-fought battles, accompanied by the ever-present hooting and hollering by our most vociferous players. One shut-out was recorded, and there were a few games that weren't completed until they got into the low teens. Below: Stevie Wonder takes a little rest, in the middle of a game. He finally took a 'medical time-out' which is allowed under the International World Pickleball Federation Rules of South Carolina and the Eastern United States (IWPFROSCATEUS).
Buckeye brought these supremely, sumptuous granola bars (below). Their presence caused quite a commotion and some notable game delays, because a few players tended to mill around the box of goodies, pretending to fetch balls while - in fact - they were supposed to be playing. The Rules Committee is looking into this problem and will report at the beginning of our next session.
Below: Buckeye covers some ground and deftly hefts one back over the net.

Below: Johnny and Stevie Wonder man their side of the net.
Below: Jan tags one while Cupcake looks on.

Above: John smokes a forehander.

So, that's it for today folks. We had a blast, lots of great games, some laughs and munchies, too. Doesn't get much better than that. Hoping the weather cooperates so we can get another natch in this week.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pickleball Adventure - March 5, 2010

Above: Rebecca, about to mash a forehander. The recipient of her return should be discharged soon and is expected to be back on the courts an a few months.

We had a near-record crowd on this bright, windy day including two newbies pictured somewhere below. In attendance and having fought fiercely throughout the entire 2-1/2 hour event: Johnny, Rich (one of the first-timers, - all the way from Beaufort, SC), Jan, Ralph, Bob H, Bob R. (newbie, but a quick study), Mike, Catherine, Dave H. (aka David), Rebecca, Anne, Gary, Sharon and this blurbist (This word is not in Webster's Collegiate Dictionary - Tenth Edition - but, it should be. Commit it to memory).

Above: The Peanut Gallery.
Below: Johnny, returns a shot as Dave H looks on.
Below: Bob R. Is about to smear the ball with an under-cut, forehander. His first time @ P'ball, but like most tennis players, he caught onto the game quickly.

Below: Jan at, but not over the red line, prepares to put away a mis-placed lob.

Below: Rich and Sharon are ready for a return from their opponents. Rich plays tennis, racquetball and other sports. He got in the groove immediately, and was able to keep track of the score, something that even some of the 'veteran players' have a problem with, especially after a lengthy rally. But, we are working on it. We have the time!
'Catherine the Great' took over the photojournalistic duties and shot several rolls of film which is no simple chore with a digital camera. She took many photos including the one below. This game is best when played with a paddle, though none is evident in my right hand.
As always, we had many exciting matches, made somewhat challenging due to swirling wind-gusts. And, as usual we had an 'incident'. In this case, Spidy and Buckeye were playing against the formidable team of Cupcake and Jan. S & B were building a worthy lead. Spidy seemed to be taking most of the shots on his side of the net, leaving Buckeye standing around twiddling his thumbs to kill time. In an overwhelming act of kindness Spidy fetched a chair for Bucky and placed it on the playing court so he could rest his weary bones while Spidy single-handedly held off the competition. Somewhat later in the match - as Cupcake and Jan battled for the lead, Spidy sat in the chair and allowed Buckeye to have a few shots. S&B eventually won the match but, as expected the outcome of the match is being challenged by the much disgruntled team of C&F. The Upstate Pickleball Rules Committee (TUPRC - pronounced Tup -er-see), will meet within the next few months to decide, if a rule should be enacted to prevent the introduction chairs and/or other appurtenances on the court during play? Will advise accordingly.
We'll be playing next week.


Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010 P'ball Journal

We had 11 players today and nice weather to boot. Some wind events caused a few errant balls, but overall we had a great time and completed many fine games. Players present: Johnny, Carol, John, Bob H., Ralph, Jan, Mike, Gary, Anne, Sharon this scribe (Ron). Picture above: Gary slams a backhand as Jan looks on. Below: Carol lifts one over the net.

There were many hot games today, including the one below where Spidy is seen swatting a forehander at his opponent.
Below, Pit Bull finishes a potent forehand shot.

Below, two unidentified players shun the onslaught of the everpresent Paparazzi. They (the unknown players, not the Paparazzi) had just been soundly whipped by their opponents. They took the loss rather badly, as clearly indicated in the candid, unposed & un-retouched photo.
Nevertheless, the rest of us had a blast, and we plan to have another go at it on Friday, the 5th if the weather cooperates. See you then.