Sunday, August 29, 2010

UPG - Home & Away - P'ball - August 27, 2010

Home: Steve reports that 10 players were present for p'ball action. Johnny, Carol, Jan, Catherine, Dave H, Bob H, Claude, Ray, Charlie and Steve. The courts were wet, but the troops soon dried them and got heavy into the game. Many good games followed.

Away: A contingent from the UPG traveled to Lake Lure, NC to participate in the Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad Pickleball competition @ the beautiful Rumbling Bald Resort: Sharon (Cupcake to her friends) and I (Spike) formed a mixed doubles team to begin play at noon. John (Dr. John, the Spinmaster and now 'Johnny-come-lately') and I formed a men's double team to begin play at 10:00. Pete Fallon was also in attendance as our cheering section, general all-around-handy-man, good-guy and un-official second to fill in for John. Pete was wearing leather deck shoes. I said he may have to fill in for John in case he didn't show up. Pete gamely, snugged up his shoes and was going to play. That's pretty hard core. Lucky for Pete, John and his darling wife Judy, arrived a few minutes after 10:00, having missed a turn somewhere en route (wind was a factor). After some rushing around, we were able to play our match and Peter, thankfully, was able to loosen up his leather laces. Phew! John and I won our 1st round two games to zip. In the 2nd round we were soundly thumped 0-2. But, we managed to get a third place ranking and were awarded medals to prove it. Cupcake and I won our first round in three games; lost the first, but won the 2nd & 3rd both times coming back from 5-2 deficits. In the next round we met up with two toughies from the Hendersonville and they promptly blew us to smithereens.

We had a great time with a nice group of p'ballers. The event was exceptionally well organized. We (listen to this: played with only two balls per match - no kidding). The hosts provided ball shaggers. Pretty high-end, eh?

This was the first time for the Pickleball event in the Olympiad. Hopefully, it will be included in next year. If so, perhaps the UPG can rustle up a bigger contingent and go to Lake Lure in full force. It was a fun experience, not a bad drive, nice courts with wide, blue p'ball lines, stiff but friendly competition, excellent facilities and beautiful scenery. Can't beat that!

Big thanks to Smoke for keeping our group apprised about the events.

Sorry about the short 'home' blurb and wordy 'away' report and the first-person narrative.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

P'ball - the short and sweet of it. 8/24/10

Ten players were action on this lovely day and we even had a nice breeze. Present: John, Johnny, Carol, Jan, Steve, Pete, Charlie, Bob H, Sharon and this writer and part-time paper hanger.

Here's what happened. But, first - it was much quieter possibly because - Spidy was winging his way to Samoa where there are presently few incidences of cannibalism reported so he'll probably be back soon enough!
  • We hit the ball hundreds of times - many made it over the net and quite a few landed in the court of the opponent and these were often returned with some vigor and occasionally for a point.
  • We had to get used to the first breeze in quite a while, but it was nice to have it as an excuse for the rare shot that 'didn't travel the intended route'.
  • Other excuses uttered: "I wasn't ready." "The ball skipped on the white line." "It was your ball." "You poached and weren't able to cover your side of the court." "I thought it was going out of bounds." "It's too quiet." "The sun was in my eyes." "I thought you were going to get it." "I don't like the orange balls." And, on and on and on.
  • We played many games - hard and fast and no one got hurt so there were no emergency medical airlifts as I recall. We had fun, too.

Otherwise: Cupcake, Spike and the Spinmaster will not be at Timmons Friday, as we will be playing in a tournament at a resort in Lake Lure, NC. Stevie Wonder will be handling the Friday P'ball session.

See you next week and have fun this Friday. We will report on the tournament.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Treats & Heat. UPG Report: 8/20/2010

Johnny (Hoot) earns 'poster-boy' status (poster person, if you like) for his notoriously deadly kill shots at the net. Free advice: Don't serve up a lob to Hoot unless you are absolutely positive that you can get it well out of his long reach, otherwise you may end up wearing a pickleball for the rest of the match, or the rest of your life.

Twelve players were present: Jan, Johnny, Bob H, Ray, Charlie, Catherine, Peter, Ralph, Steve, Mike, Sharon & Ron. There was a recommended dress code for the day, but only 3 of our twelve got it right. Two of them are shown below. Buckeye and Cupcake are also featured for their dashing hats (the hats aren't actually dashing Claude - it's just a figure of speech). Mrs Bob, aka Geri, supplied us with treats - pictured below in the first collage. Thanks for the goodies.
We had many exciting games of Pickleball in the heat, but occasionally took time out to clown around, as the scene below clearly indicates.
Below: Ralph is captured, by the camera of a low-flying satellite, demonstrating to Charlie the almost lost art of a right-hander, executing a backhand shot, using the left hand, while holding the face of the paddle instead of the handle as is the custom in this hemisphere. Some would argue, and rightly so, that the move is actually a left-handed forehand. You judge. Charlie was still practicing the maneuver when we packed up and headed to our vehicles.
Thanks Catherine for taking some pictures.
Other newsy stuff: Jan took 3 direct Pickleball hits, one in the face. But, she played on like the trooper she is.
We'll be playing next week. Check your e-mail for the schedule and other exciting announcements.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Upstate Sauna & Pickleball - 8/17/2010

No photos today because the UPG Photographer inadvertently left his/her camera at home on the counter so he/she would definitely remember to take it to the match. So, you'll just have to use your imagination. Good luck. Fourteen players showed up. Stevo was first on the scene wielding a push broom to clear the courts after an early morning rain. Others soon pitched in with squeegees. Present: Mike, Carole, Johnny, Claude, Sharon, Jan, Bob the hat, Ray, Charlie, Lynne, Steve, Pete, Ralph & Ron. We had some light drizzle, and some notable SC humidity. We also had many spirited games including at least one heartbreaker that this author of dubious talent would prefer not to talk about - but, thanks for asking.

Gentleman Bob H (aka Buckeye) was sporting a new floppy, boonie hat and drew many comments - some were unsavory. However, Buckeye shouldered the abuse in a very sporting manner and is hereby commended. He later reported to the UPG Medical Team and Wardrobe Department (UPGMT&WD), that the adornment was not intended to be a Pickleball fashion statement as some thought and took exception to, but rather, a way to protect his ears from the ravaging effects of the sun.

We will probably be playing on Friday if weather permits. Stay tuned.

And: next time you see Stevie Wonder, thank him for taking on the P'ball scheduling duties for the last two weeks.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday the 13th - (8/13/10) - P'ball Report

Eight players reported in on this - Friday the 13th. No unlucky events were noted in Steve's report. Another hot and humid day, but the battles went on for over two hours. Players in action: Mike, Joanie, Pete, Bob H, Johnny, Catherine, Claude & Steve.
Also: Good news: Bob T reports that he had surgery on Aug 12th. He'll be out of Commission for a while, but is looking forward getting back onto the p'ball court. We'll be waiting!
T-storms are predicted all week, so we'll just have to squeeze our matches in when we can. The plan is to play on Tue AM the 17th. Check your e-mail.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 10, 2010 Pickleball report

A hot day and hot games. That's the long and short of this report. I'll do better next time. Maybe. Eleven players present: Mike, John, Johnny, Jan, Joanie, Lynne, Claude, Anne, Peter, Bob H & Steve.

Deep Creek
McHenry, MD

Saturday, August 7, 2010

August 6, 2010 - P'ball Session

The courts were wet at the start, but the troops pitched in and got them in working order in nothing flat. Then it heated up and plenty of games ensued. One (un-named) player stepped on an errant ball while charging after a ball in play. He or she managed to remain upright, but sadly, the ball was crushed beyond recognition and had to be retired (the ball, not the player).

Players: Mike, John, Johnny, Carol, Jan, Joanie, Pete, Lynne, Charlie, Bob H, Anne & Steve.

As reported by Steve.

Alexandria, VA

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 3, 2010 - P'ball report

Steve reports that 8 players showed up. Cloudy at first, then warmed up. Many good games including at least 4 'overtime' matches. Present: Gary, Mike, Jan, Joanie, Bob H, Pete, Claude and Steve.

Roving Reporter
Alexandria, VA

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Day of The Hellacious Serve(s) - August 2, 2010

Ten players showed up and enjoyed some excellent matches and coolish weather at 74 degrees and overcast. Present: Johnny, Carol, Lynne, Anne, Jan, Peter, Steve, Joanie, Sharon & Ron. Lynne (aka: Ace) is starred today in honor of her self-proclaimed 'hellacious' serve - one of which is shown above. It was a daring and somewhat brazen statement, but she followed it up with action, by blasting several aces past bewildered opponents.
Above: Jan reaches for a sideliner and executes a smart return. Below: Pete swats a backhander as Joanie looks on.
Below: Jan agonizes over a missed shot that she could have easily dropped over for the point.
Otherwise, what else happened of note? Well, Anne (Pit Bull) made at least two leaping returns where she left the ground pursuing lobs. On both occasions she managed to return them by making confirmed vertical leaps of at least 12". Well deserved standing ovations followed both returns. There were 2 shutouts and there were a few matches that reached into the teens. What else? We had loads of fun and we'll be back at it again on Tuesday, August 3rd, and if weather permits, again on Friday, August 6th. Steve is going to doing the scheduling for the next two weeks. See you in a few weeks.
Spike & Cupcake