Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's all about the goodies! Pickleball - Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bob-the-Hopp brought along some yum-oh brownies (with nuts, of course). He also brought the little table and Zip Locks. Most of those in attendance took advantage of the calories; some even pulled themselves away long enough to play hard-core Pickleball: The tally: Bob H, Mike, Gary, Peter P, Ralph, Anne, Joanie, Johnny, Carol, Sharon & this Editor in Chief.
We had a nice day of P'ball, although some of the troops peeled away earlier than usual. Above: Johnny (Hoot) fires away as Peter P looks on. Below: Anne (formerly Pit Bull). She wants her handle changed from Pit Bull to Dutchess (with the emphasis on the last syllable - Dutch-ess, not Dutch-iss). Apparently one or more of our p'ballers occasionally addresses her as Pit. That stings. We'll have to see how the new moniker works out. Notice Ralph's new hat with a Pickleball cleverly attached to the beak.

Above: Ralph wearing his game face. Below: Peter P hauling back for a forehand return.
We carried on for about 2 hours and had tons of fun and more than a few exceptional games Looking to play again of Friday. Stay tuned. Spike

Monday, March 28, 2011

Friday Pickleball - March 25, 2011

A windy, bright day greeted us at the Timmons International Pickleball Facility. And, 13 players were on hand to test their skills against hotties like Muriel the Masher, shown above. Present (including long-lost Peter Potosky - hereafter: Peter P), Mike, Peter, Ralph, Muriel (Cover girl), Gary, Jan, Anne, Johnny, Carol, Lynne, Sharon & Ron. The wind offered up some challenges and sometimes moved in-flight balls a few feet off course. But, we are used to that and after some adjustments most players used the wind to their advantage. Some very exciting games followed.
Above: Cupcake and Lash attack the ball. Below: Clockwise from top L. Gary and Muriel, Peter, Spidy and Ace.
 Peter P started picking up his game after a few matches. Welcome back. Stevie Wonder has had hernia surgery and should be in action in a few weeks. Looks like we'll be at it again on Tuesday, March 29, 2011.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday P'ball - March 22, 2011

Above: Joanie de Arc fires a backhand while Pit Bull stands ready.

Close to 80 degrees today, and we aren't used to the warm weather yet. So, there was some suffering going on. Consequently, some attendees abbreviated their court-time and even their time at the court. Ten UPGers were present for all or some of the 2-hour session: Jan, Johnny, Carol, Ralph, Peter, Anne, Joanie, Bob H, Mike and Ron.
Above: Peter gets ready to belt a forehand while Spidy looks on.

Below: Spidy demonstrates a new hitting style that he learned in Fletcher, NC. It is called the forehand-overhand-underhand lob (FOUL). The Rules Committee is still deliberating as to the legality of the shot. That's Peter admiring the shot.
We had many fine games and, with a diminishing crowd as the day progressed, there was little down time. But, everyone managed to stay upright and plenty of excellent matches were completed. Joanie de Arc earned Player of The Day braggin' rights for her exceptional net play. She is now on the short list of players eligible for the drawing of a fabulous prize to be awarded during a drawing on April 31, 2011. Otherwise: there was a lot of discussion about reverting to our 'summer schedule' - that is - starting the sessions in the morning. Probably next week. We also revived the discussion about playing some evenings - maybe, late enough to play under the lights. Under consideration. Let's discussed these items when we play on Friday, 3/25/11 (at 1:00PM).  CHECK YOUR EMAIL!!! Spike

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Friday Pickleball - March 18, 2011

Eleven players were on hand for Pickleball on this hot day, including Her Ladyship Carol (Lash) who, after a few matches, took shelter in the only shady spot nearby (Photo above). The temperature reached 80 degrees, and some of the troops needed a little time to acclimate. Lash is showing how it is done here. But, she is not necessarily in a comfort zone, because Spidy was busy throwing balls over the fence - trying to land them on Carol. Players: Gary A, Ralph, Mike, Steve, Anne, Joanie, Carol, Johnny, Peter, Sharon and Ron.
Above: Spidy is on the court side of the backboard tossing balls at Carol. Below: Stevie Wonder encroaches on Joanie's turf. But, he made the shot - so, all is forgiven.
As mentioned, it was hot for so early in the year, so some of the players faded early. Usually when it so hot there are leaves on the trees and we get some shade on the courts, but not yet. Even though the crowd thinned out, we had plenty of good games and the usual amount of bantering. Below: Spidy and Pit Bull in action.
This blurb is short and sweet like it's creator (Not - The Creator). More important things call: Like the NCAA Tournament. P'ball Tuesday, 3/22/11. Spike.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday - 3/16/2011 - P'ball

We were short on players, but not on action. Six showed, but we never had six at one time, because a few left early and one arrived late. The weather was just right so, who's complaining? Nobody. Present and accounted for: Mike, Gary, Jan, Joanie, Sharon and Ron.

Joanie de Arc arrived when we were half way through our paucity-of-players-shortened-session. But, she got in some doubles matches, one Canadian Doubles match and her first ever singles match. And, made a very good showing. Over-all our crew played for two hours. There was no sitting around. Loads of fun as usual. We suspect playing on an odd day (usually we play on Tue and Fri) accounted for the low (but, not lowly) turnout. Plus, Stevie Wonder was absent with a Doctors appointment. We heard later that he has a hernia and will probably have surgery next week and will be out of P'ball (and his other sporting activities) for about 6 weeks. Still waiting to hear from Dr John (Spinmaster).

Hope you don't party too hard on this St. Patrick's Day - or, if you do - that you'll be tough enough to show up for P'ball on Friday, March 18th. See you then. Spike

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pickleball Action - Friday, 3/11/11

Above: Stevie-you've-got-to-Wonder demonstrates his world renown (and confirmed) twelve-inch vertical leap - easily beating the previous record of 6" set in 2010. Hoot (foreground) and Gary and Muriel look on in understandable awe.
We had 12 players in action including Johnny and Carol who have been out of action for a few weeks and Albert - visiting from Oregon who was playing is last session with our group before heading back home. Also: Anne, Jan, Gary, and Muriel, Mike, Steve, Ralph, Sharon and Ron.

It was great having Albert on hand for the last few weeks. he added a lot to our games and fit in with our crowd like a seasoned Upstate Pickleballer. He even brought cookies to a few matches which is always a plus. A very good player. Better to be his partner than his opponent. But, of course, there is plenty of excellent talent on the UPG roster, so Albert took his share of loses.

We had fine weather, with the usual March breezes. We are so used to windy days that it is hardly an issue - though it continues to be a good excuse factor.
Above: Clockwise from top L: Muriel and Gary; again; Ralph serving to Jan and Spidy; Albert gabbing with Cupcake and Pit Bull.
Above: Clockwise from top L: Carol (Lash) serving to Jan and Spidy; Spidy (with partner, Jan), pounding a backhander to Ralph and Lash; Jan (foreground) with Lash and Ralph across the net; Gab session.

So, one more great day on the courts, with some exceptional games, loads of camaraderie and another excellent final match where Stevie-no-Wonder and Albert  (Albert-of-O) hung on and beat Spidy and Spike.

Watching the weather. We might be looking at Wed and Friday, or some other combo. Stay tuned. Spike.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tuesday P'ball - March 8, 2011

Eleven players were in action today: Peter, Gary, Steve, Ralph, Mike, Bob H, Jan, Anne, Albert, Sharon and Ron. We had friendly skies and the courts were dry for a change. So, lots of matches followed - some fiercely fought. We destroyed two pickleballs, scuffed up some paddles and left welts on a few players who made the mistake of 'receiving' overhand kill shots while hanging around the kitchen. Advice: if you decide to serve up a lob from the non-volley line, be sure to get it out of your opponent's reach, or be prepared to accept an almost guaranteed torso tattoo.
Top photo: Peter, deep. Above: Clockwise from top L. Albert and Buckeye, Spidy and Cupcake, Peter and Gary, Jan. Miscellaneous: Spidy was was given an unofficial administrative warning because he made some colorful, comments about a ball which had been cleverly marked with a red a heart on it. Pit Bull managed to store several p'balls under her Spandex top along with other 'equipment'. Removing the balls for play caused quite a stir.

We played for 2-1/2 hours finishing off the day - when the crowd thinned  down - with a few "A" games the last of which was won by Stevie Wonder and Albert 11-9 over Spidy & Spike. A rematch is on the horizon. Looks like we'll be playing on Friday, March 11, 2011. Spike

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pickleball Pentad: - Drizzleball - Friday, March 4, 2011

Driving to Timmons with the windshield wipers on might have encouraged a few hasty U-turns, and perhaps it did. We'll never know. But, five came through. Upon arrival, the courts were wet and it was drizzling. We decided to play anyway, and vowed not to make any risky moves for fear of taking diggers. It drizzled on and off. We five: (Albert, Anne, Steve, Lynne and this scribe) kept playing and finally the rain stopped all-together and a breeze picked up to start the court-drying process. Our matches picked up in intensity. We ended up playing for 2-1/2 hours, rotating the odd player in after each game. Some very exciting games followed with one match going to 14-12. AbovePit Bull fires away. Below: Stevie Wonder leans into one.
Below: Ace winds up for a smasheroo.
Below: Prince Albert (All the way from Grants Pass, OR) sets a ball adrift from the back line.

Our fivesome was fairly well balanced in the ability department with the edge going to Albert. Consequently, each match was a battle. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly - you choose) the day's wins and loses came out even. Chew on that statistic for a while!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tuesday Pickleball - March 1, 2011

Ten players were on hand for today's matches. Everyone was hitting on all 8 cylinders and that made for some very exciting games - one with a touch of vehemence. Players: Ralph, Mike, Steve, Jan, Joanie, Gary, Gary A, Albert (on loan from Oregon), Sharon & Ron. Above: From top left, clockwise - Gary A.; Albert & Gary A.; Gary & Ralph; Spidy. We played mostly doubles, but managed a few Canadian Doubles matches as the crowd thinned out. Below: Albert serving to Spidy.
Above: Spidy 'takes one for the team' - in the Adam's Apple. Body strikes like that are one of the perils of playing close to the net. Cupcake stands at the ready. The last few matches were very intense - probably as fun to watch as they were to play in - lots of hooting and hollering. Great shots and tight games.

Watching the weather closely. Friday, 3/4/11 is touch and go with rain predicted. The UPG Weather Arrangers are working on that at this very moment. No kidding! Check your email. Spike