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Second annual Pickleball Tournament held at Kids America

| January 13, 2020

COSHOCTON – Competitors came from all over the state to compete in the Second annual Pickleball Tournament held Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 11-12 at Kids America.

Neatie Burris, who was one of the organizers of the event, said that 75 participants were competing over the weekend. On Saturday, men and women’s teams competed in the tournament and Sunday was the mixed team event. “We have 3.0 and 3.5 skill levels here. The highest level is 5.”

Burris said Pickleball was invented in 1965 by two men for their children to play.  It is a combination of tennis, ping pong and badminton. “It’s been popular in the south for several years and is starting to make its way north. It is the fastest growing sport in the United States right now.”

Players compete on a court that is similar to a tennis court. They use paddles that resemble racket ball, but are smaller, and a plastic wiffle ball. The ball is served as it is in tennis and must be returned like a tennis game. Points are scored for missing the ball or for hitting it out of bounds. The game is played to 11 and must be won by two points.

Mike Heidy came from Minerva to compete in the tournament. “I started playing because my doctor said I needed more exercise and this looked like more fun than walking on a treadmill. It is fun and this tournament is full of friendly people.”

Many of the players said that Kids America is one of the best facilities they have played in. “The staff has been wonderful for us,” said Burris. She also wanted to thank Joe Harold, from Canton, for designing all of the brackets for the tournament. “We couldn’t have had the tournament without his help. I also want to say a huge thank you to the local club that has been so helpful and supportive of this tournament.”

Burris said Coshocton has a group that meets to play Pickleball every week. “I play three to five times a week for two to five hours at a time. It’s great exercise. It’s been great for retired people, but it’s for all ages.” Burris would like to encourage younger people to try the sport. She said the group does give lessons and is always open to new member. For more information, you can contact Burris at 740-502-4643.

Saturday, Jan. 11 Results

Women’s upper division: First place – Carrie Clay and Crystal Ransaw; second place – Roxanne Binkley and Tiffany Evans; third place – Julie Kovich and Kathy Ferry

Women’s lower division: First place – Jennie Mesko and Phyllis Smith; second place – Suzie Tupper and Cathie Akins; third place – Paula Slocum and Molly Kurtz

Men’s upper division: First place – Steve Clay and Craig Knechel; second place – Mike Marzec and Bob Stroud; third place – Shane Brink and Nathan Rininger

Men’s lower division: First place – Rich Moyer and Mike Heidy; second place – Gary Lanoux and Fred Williams; third place – Tracy Fetzer and Rick Chambers

Sunday, Jan. 12 Results

Mixed doubles upper division: First place – Laura Lindquist and Craig Knechel; second place – Shelly Harper and Nate Rininger; third place – Dee Ann Mell and Bill Fitz

Mixed doubles lower division: First place – Cathie Akins and Pete Bujnak; second place – Phyllis Smith and Rodger Beougher; third place – Molly Kurtz and Gary Kurtz

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Category: Adult, Sports

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