Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday - March 27, 2012

Beautiful p'ball day and mobbed courts. We had 13 veteran players: Mike, Gary A, Steve, Ralph, Bob H, Johnny, Carol, Joanie, Anne, Peter, Gene, Sharon and Ron and 9 new players: Anne R, Joe, Joan N, Richard N, Sam, Hank, Jerry and Jim and Elly (visiting from Keowee Keys). It's very likely that some players are not listed here or have been mis-identified. If so, please advise the UPG Editorial/ ePublishing Division know by emailing Spike at The BLOG and "labels" listings will be corrected accordingly.
Above: Steve (Stevie Wonder) in action. The UPG Official Vehicle can be seen in the background.
For a while we had more new players than veteran players. This situation caused some disorganization for a short while because 3 courts were occupied with a mix of players with little or no supervision while only one court was being used by experienced players. Admittedly, we UPGers were not prepared for so many new players - brought on by the recent Greenville News article. So, by mutual consent we designated 2 courts for new players and two courts for experienced players - where, eventually some of the more skilled new players were invited to play. Otherwise, many regular players, assisted the beginners on their designated courts, and in some cases individuals were given one-on-one guidance.

Overall, UPGers did an excellent job, instructing and partnering with the mostly inexperienced players, teaching them the basics, including P'ball rules, strokes, scoring and UPG protocol. Most vets were able to play in several competitive matches on the courts reserved for that purpose.

Some of the new players have ordered paddles and others are sure to do so. We recommend that, players who are not sure that they can or will continue in the sport, play for a few weeks using loaner paddles before ordering a paddle.

Once the new players are established, they will be tapped by Gary A for a $10 contribution toward another batch of balls, that are in short supply when 4 courts are in action and which wear out faster with so much more activity.

Good show UPGers and welcome to all of the new players.

High Carbon

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 23, 2012 - Music to our ears?

We had 16 players - 9 regulars - and 7 new players. Things soon got too hectic to allow  for many real competitive matches in a row. So, we limited most of the newer players to two courts where they practiced among themselves or where one or two of the regulars would work with them. This system allowed for some consecutive games among the experienced players. Thanks to the veteran UPGers who helped out with the training.

Players: Steve, Gary A, Gene, Sharon, Anne (welcome back), Lynne, Johnny, Carol and Ron. Newer players: Grizzly, Joe, Anne R, Henry, Sam, Joan N and Richard N.

The whole time were were playing we were serenaded by a Bobcat and leaf blowers (for a courtside project) and corporate aircraft. The noise was nerve-wracking to say the least. Apparently, no player totally lost his or her mind due to the racket although there is some doubt about Professor Pop. Testing is being done as we speak.
Below: Johnny and Hank

Below: Sam and Gary A
See you at our next session. Bring your best game.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Almost Spring - Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Warmish weather for this time of year, but that didn't stop a good crowd of  'regulars'  from showing up and at least six newbies who appeared from over the horizon. This Bloggist and Gary A arrived at noon to give a little clinic to two new players. Other prospects arrived during our regular 1:00PM session and were helped mightily by Gene and Johnny with plenty of assistance from the rest of the troops.

This time around we had all three bags of balls, plenty of tie downs and extra paddles including two woodies bought and brought by Gary A.

The system worked out well with the new players limited to 2 courts - while learning the ropes; otherwise, we kept 4 courts busy with plenty of exciting action. In some cases, new players were moved right into regular games while those just getting the hang of it were content to take instruction and play with their novice cohorts and at least one seasoned UPGer.

UPGers in action: Mike, Steve, Bob H, Johnny, Peter, Jan, Sharon, Gary A, Gene (prefers to be called Pop), John, Ray, Joanie and yon editor/bloggist/bullthrower.

Newbies: Anne R, Judy K, Sam G, Henry B, Jerry and Cyd C.  It's always nice to have new blood (a figurative term, of course - right Gary?) on the courts. We welcome you new players and hope you enjoy learning the game, improving your skills and mingling with your fellow p'ballers. After this blurb, you won't be saddled with the moniker 'Newbies' so you can rest easy.
Lost but not found by owner: A purple ELITE paddle. Check your equipment. If you have not put your name on your paddle yet - it's a good time to do it.

See you @ Gower.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hectic Friday P-Ball March 16, 2012

Beautiful, busy day. Fourteen UPGers were on hand. Ten prospective players also joined us as a result of the March 15 Greenville News article about our group. Some of the prospects tried out the game and a few played several matches. At one point all five courts were occupied, but there were notable shortages. Paddles, balls and tie-downs. We have divided the ball into three bags - each of which contains at least two tie-downs and about 30 balls. The bags are delivered to each session by Steve, Gary A and yon editor. G and S were not present - a rarity for both to be absent. Virtually everyone was playing - each player with their pockets stuffed with balls (nine by Bob H, alone - just kidding). Balls that did stray, weren't shagged, because we were also short on shaggers. Whew. So, things were very hectic, but we made it through the session.

UPGers in action: Mike, Peter, Jan,  Joanie, Sharon, Carol, Johnny, Sue, Sharon, Lynne, Gary, Ray,  Gene and Ron. Thanks for loaning your paddles and for assisting our visitors.

I guess there were some exciting games, but it was hard to tell with all of the activity! No time for pictures except the one above.

SPECIAL NOTE: We retrieve a purple Elite paddle with a wrapped handle w/ no name attached. Will bring it to the next session. REMINDER: If you haven't done so already - put your name on your paddle.

See you next week, or on Tuesday whichever comes first.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

P'ball. Friday, March 13, 2012

Twelve players were in action today: Mike, Steve, Peter, Carol, Johnny, Bob H, Joanie, Sue, Craig*, Ray, Sharon and Ron.

* Craig has the dubious honor of playing the least amount of time in any UPG match in recorded history (since the dawn of time) - according to our archivist, who almost never lies. Unfortunately, Craig pulled a muscle or a tendon or something like that in the 1st few minutes of the day's opening match. So he had to sit out the entire 2-1/2 hour session. Sue, showing great concern, continued playing - as she should!

We played many excellent matches - switching players at will - trying and occasionally succeeding - in having a good mix of teams and players.

As you folks may know by now a nice article, with photographs was published in the Life Style section of the March 15th issue of the Greenville News. The very nice photo of Mike and Gene mis-identified Mike as Gary A. There is a nice shot of Sharon. The hand with two balls belongs to yon editor. The article has already drawn some interest, so we may have a few more potential players showing up - starting on Friday, 3/16. Some UPGers will have to 'step-up-to-the-plate' and work with new players. Don't wait to be asked.

See you at Gower.
Case Hardened (and dis-tempered) - Spike

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mariah Winds - Friday - March 9, 2012

Nine players ventured out on this very gusty day. Mike likened the wind to the the Mariah wind (They Call The Wind Mariah) - even though those particular winds are always quite a bit west of Greenville. The Wayward Wind would fit as well. In any case, the blasts were so strong, that on 3 occasions balls hit over the net and landing in the 'kitchen' came back over the net on their own accord. Check the rules on that. In fact everyone should check the Official Pickleball Rules every once in a while.

Welcome to new players - husband and wife - Craig and Sue. Both former tennis players. Their first session at p-ball in record-breaking winds demonstrated that they have what it takes to develop their skills and become active and competitive UPGers.

All players: Sharon, Steve, Mike, Lynne, Peter, Sue, Craig, John and Ron. 

Below: Mike (Spidy) demonstrating how not to dink the ball over the net.

Below: Newbies Craig and Sue - bucking the winds.

Below: Lynne (Ace), Peter and Sharon (Cupcake).

In spite of the wind, we kept at it for 2-1/2 and managed to keep most of the balls in the courts and all of the inside the fence.

We UPGers laugh at the weather.
Pnuematically Hammered Spike

Friday, March 9, 2012

Click and Scoop.- P-Ball - Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Today UPGers were photographed and interviewed by Greenville's version of the Paparazzi or Pavarotti or something like that. Only, on a much smaller scale. Gary A arranged for the interview by Amy Clarke, with photographs by Owen Riley Jr both of the Greenville News. Click and Scoop joined us on the courts for about an hour. Several players were interviewed and a batch of action photos were taken. We enjoyed their company and they enjoyed the games and the bright day.
 Below: Gary A being interviewed by Amy.
We had 15 players on hand and everyone was on their best behavior! Players: Ron, Sharon, Gary A, Gary H, Mike, Bob H, John, Johnny, Carol, Jan, Joanie, Gene (Pop), Ralph, Steve and Peter. Gary H was kind enough to take a rather impressive dive - not too far from the photographer. Shots were taken of the event, but we don't know if they will be made public.
Below: Peter and Steve vs Mike and John.

Below: Pop and Sharon

Below: Yummy brownies lovingly prepared by Mrs. Buckeye (Geri) and delivered fresh by Bob H (aka Buckeye).
Even with the novelty of having Amy and Owen present, we managed to keep 3 courts awfully busy and had our usual assortment of matches and mis-matches. Many hard-fought games were duly recorded. A swell time by all on a bright, breezy day.

UPGers have already been notified about the availability of the photographs. You will be notified when the story appears in the Greenville News.

Spike (Extruded stainless).

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Guts P-Ball; Friday March 2, 2012

Eight players, 2 courts, excellent weather, great matches. Enough said.

Players: Mike, John, Johnny, Carol, Lynne, Steve, Gary A and yon scribe.

See you at Gower
High Carbon