There are many ways to participate in pickleball tournaments. Our PCPB Club offers several different opportunities for our members to participate at their Club rating level. These tournaments include our annual Club Championship, Final Four, and a Club sponsored USA Pickleball (formerly USAPA) Tournament. Each event offers Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed divisions by rating.
In addition, USA Pickleball and SSIPA (Super Senior International Pickleball Association) tournaments can be viewed via the links below. You must pay an annual membership fee to these organizations to be eligible to play in these tournaments.
Upcoming PebbleCreek Pickleball Tournaments
November 10: Mixed Final 4
January 13: Women’s Final 4
January 14: Men’s Final 4
February 9, 10, 11: 6th Annual PebbleCreek Tournament (USA Pickleball sanctioned)
March 10: Club Championships - Women's
March 11: Club Championships - Men's
March 13: Club Championships - Mixed
Arizona Pickleball Players League
There has kind of been this mystery around better members playing off campus in Surprise and here we reveal the mystery and details with the masses!
What is great about this league is that 2.5’s and up can gather their peeps and make a team! You have to bring 6 to play but can have as many as 12. Teams frequently have more so that they can rotate, schedule for players being hurt or traveling, etc. It’s from January - March, 2022. Registration opens September 1, 2021 so start forming your teams soon. There are typically 8-12 matches during the season.
It would be great to see a lot of PC teams go to Surprise and partake! It would even open our overflowing courts during those busy months
Results From the New Mexico Open
Kevin Hillstrom, Pebble Creek Pickleball Club
In the old days Manifest Destiny drove the pioneers west, along what became known as Route 66. In modern times, Pickleball Destiny drove a hardy group of paddle pioneers east along I-40, motoring 459 miles to Albuquerque for the inaugural New Mexico Open on Labor Day Weekend.
On a glorious ninety-degree sun-soaked weekend Wendy Langhals, Jeff Antrican, Tori Benz-Hillstrom, Gary Bertolet and Kevin Hillstrom joined fellow creekers and summer Albuquerque residents Barb Wellington and Greg Wellington for competition among more than three hundred participants. Originally sanctioned as a PPA event, there were no UTPR ratings points on the line, freeing the competitors to battle unfettered.
As luck would have it, Tori and Wendy faced Barb Wellington and her partner Nancy Lesicka in the opportunity bracket on Women’s Doubles Day on Friday. The match went to Wellington/Lesicka, but the fellowship of the match led to a wonderful dinner hosted at the Wellington residence. We so enjoyed the mesas, the view of the Rio Grande River in the distance, and a rainbow hovering near a monsoon thundershower to the east.
Saturday was mixed doubles day. Jeff and Wendy stumbled out of the gate in a twenty-two team bracket. Dropping into the opportunity bracket turned out to be a blessing, as the pair blasted their way through the bracket with 15-12, 15-11, 15-12 and 17-15 victories before ending their run with a 15-13 loss and a fifth-place finish. Fifth place! Out of 22 entries in 3.5 50+. Wow!
Greg and Barb Wellington won two games in the 4.0 50+ bracket before finishing in fifth place.
Kevin and Tori won Gold in 3.0 50+, surviving fourteen games including seven against the same opponent, losing to the silver medal winners in the winners bracket in three games, beating the silver medal winners in three games in the gold medal match, and then winning the race to fifteen for the title. Here are my thoughts as the day progressed.
9:00am: I feel like I am in tip-top physical condition. Best shape of my life.
10:17am: I could play all day I feel so good.
11:33am: We may never lose a game in this tournament.
12:29pm: It’s getting hot out here.
12:10pm: The water at this tournament is REALLY COLD!
12:44pm: I HATE LOSING.
1:18pm: Where’s the food truck? Why isn’t there a food truck??
1:50pm: Maybe there is something to this altitude thing.
2:18pm: I hope the tournament organizers give us a few extra minutes of rest.
2:21pm: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOUR GOLD MEDAL MATCH IS ON COURT FOUR.
2:40pm: After losing the first game, the realization that we still need to score 37 points to win the title crosses my mind.
2:59pm: I need to lose 10 pounds when I get home.
3:16pm: I need to lose 20 pounds when I get home.
3:18pm: The water at this tournament is REALLY COLD.
3:20pm: I am absolutely energized by the COLD water!
3:24pm: I need to lose 30 pounds when I get home.
3:39pm: Why are my shoulders and arms so heavy?
4:01pm: WE DID IT! WE DID IT! GOLD.
4:02pm: Stretcher, please.
Sunday was Men’s Doubles day. Jeff and Kevin won three of the six games they played, but had the misfortune of being paired against the teams that finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the tournament out of 15 entries. Greg Wellington and Pick Pickard won Silver in 4.5/5.0 50+ (that’s quite an accomplishment, folks), and creeker Gary Bertolet won Bronze in 4.0 50+ partnering with Scott Spaulding.
Greg Wellington wrapped up Men’s Singles Day on Monday with a Silver medal in Mens 4.0 50+.
While winning a medal is fun, you play tournaments for the fellowship and fun. Don and Margaret Siegel (and their team) ran an efficient, crisp, organized tournament that was enjoyable for all who participated. Consider playing in a tournament in the Valley this Fall, Winter, or Spring, and join in on the fun!!
For those of you wondering, this is what is called “poaching."
Results From the PPA Rocky Mountain Championship Event
Kevin Hillstrom, Pebble Creek Pickleball Club
You might not be aware that there are numerous professional pickleball tours. On YouTube you’ll see PPA matches, APP matches, National Pickleball events, and occasional events supported by USA Pickleball. Regardless of the sanctioning body, it is fun to play where the pros play. I for one will faint on the spot the minute I see Jessie Irvine at the PPA event in Albuquerque in September.
But that’s a topic for another day.
Today I want to share exciting results with you. At the PPA Rocky Mountain Championship (where Jessie Irvine and Catherine Parenteau won Women’s Doubles, ahem) we had several Creekers who performed admirably.
Our own Greg Wellington took home Gold in 3.5 60+ Singles, winning four matches while giving up only twenty-seven (27) points in eight games. Holy cow! That’s a fabulous performance!
Meanwhile on Mixed Doubles side of tournament, the dynamic duo of Mark and Traci Buckingham took home a Silver medal in the 4.0 60+ bracket, though they had to beat Greg and Barbara Wellington twice … TWICE … once in the Winner’s Bracket, and once in the Bronze Medal game. Congrats to Mark/Traci and hats off to the Wellingtons for taking home Bronze on a boiling hot afternoon a mile high in the sky.
Your intrepid reporter learned that Jane Wood also battled the heat and the competition in Denver, while Creeker Greg Young took home a couple of Silver Medals in 3.5 60+ at the Pickleball Canada National Championships in Red Deer.
Remember, tournaments are a great way to bond with fellow Creekers, meet other people at a similar skill level to your skill level, and to improve your play. It doesn’t matter if you are a 3.0 player or Jessie Irvine, you can take home a hard-earned Gold Medal or feel proud of the way you played.
Up Next? Many Creekers are traveling to Albuquerque on Labor Day weekend to play in the PPA New Mexico Open. Later this fall numerous Creekers are playing in Monster Smash in Surprise on Halloween weekend, the SSIPA World Championships in El Mirage in November, and are playing in the PPA Foot Solutions Grand Slam at the fabulously new Legacy Sports Facility in Mesa in February 2022. The Legacy Sports Facility features 41 pickleball courts and a center court that seats 2,500 spectators.
Visit https://www.pickleballtournaments.com/ to sign up for one of the many tournaments in the region and have fun!!!
Results From the Pacific Northwest Classic
Kevin Hillstrom, Pebble Creek Pickleball Club
It can be warm in late July in Pebble Creek. Monsoon moisture coats morning pickleball players in sweat. Heavy, wet sweat. Uncomfortable sweat. While good for the joints, the moisture doesn’t yield a comfortable environment to play several games of intense pickleball.
To avoid the moisture players head north, seeking comfortable alternatives. Prescott, Show Low, or even as far away as Bend, Oregon offer opportunities for pleasant summertime play.
However, the Creekers who made it north to Bend for the Pacific Northwest Classic were in for a summer surprise. Yes, you guessed it … Monsoon moisture! The bumper crop of precipitation that yielded two inches of rain in Goodyear progressed to the north, interfering with the festivities at the Pacific Northwest Classic. The schedule proved to be flexible, with competitions held both indoors and outdoors.
The moisture didn’t interfere with the championship aspirations of many Creekers in attendance! Indoors or outdoors, several Creekers dazzled more than seven-hundred participants and dozens of professionals with elite play, earning medals in a manner not unlike the Olympians we cheered for this summer.
Joe Slocum covered numerous age groups, winning gold in 3.5 65+ Mens play and winning gold in 3.5, 55+ Mixed play. Those who will play against him this Fall expect him to play slower due to all of the hardware dangling from around his neck.
Roberta Diles and John Donovan earned a bronze medal in 3.5 70+ Mixed play. Well done!
Roberta Diles and Ellie Love took home a bronze medal in 3.5 65+ Womens play.
Lyla Rebel won silver in 4.5 60+/70+ Womens play – good job Lyla!
Many other Creekers battled admirably, including Chris Johnson, Scott Stewart, John Birds, Sue Johnson, Carol Knapp, and Steve Tamparo.
You may have noticed that tournament ratings do not necessarily align with Pebble Creek ratings. This isn’t good or bad, it’s just a reality of different ratings systems. If you plan on playing in a tournament in the future, consider playing at a level equal to or one-half-point lower than your current rating. From there, the UTPR or DUPR rating system will adjust your rating as you win/lose matches.
From the comfort of my couch, I was able to monitor the progress of Creekers via https://www.pickleballtournaments.com/. Most USA Pickleball / APP / PPA tournaments utilize comparable software, allowing you to monitor the progress of Creekers at your leisure. Visit the website, and track Creekers or Professional players as they test their skills against the best players in the world at each ratings level.
If you have interest, enter a tournament this Fall! As Sue Johnson told us, “we learned a lot playing different players”. While winning is undeniably enjoyable, nothing beats the camaraderie and fellowship of Creekers battling on adjacent courts for a coveted medal.
Pickleball "Beyond the Creek"
Have you ever been interested in playing Pickleball Tournaments outside of Pebble Creek but you aren’t sure how to go about it? Here is some helpful information about outside tournaments:
The main tournament website is: https://www.pickleballtournaments.com Under ’Tournaments’, you can search “Future Tournaments” sort by state/other categories and register.
Tournament event ratings are a “range", so even though you may sign up for a '3.0 event', it’s really 3.0-3.499. For example, if you are a new 3.5 you will have more success in a 3.0 event than a 3.5 event because the 3.5 event range is really 3.5-3.999. Remember, better players in any rating are the ones who usually play in tournaments, so the competition is more challenging than our normal day to day club rating play in Pebble Creek.
You don't have to have a predetermined partner to play in an outside tournament! You can register as an individual for mixed or doubles and the tournament website will have a ‘Players Needing Partners’ section. You can select someone, contact and partner up with them. Remember pickleball players are friendly and you’ll have fun!
You may be surprised to know we have a very active group here who play in outside tournaments! If you are wondering who is currently playing in which outside tournaments and what their ratings/age range are, see the PCPB 2021 Traveling Tournament Members Roster and the PCPB Members Playing in Upcoming Tournaments.
It's fun! Tournaments are a great way to reduce performance anxiety, see different kinds of play, meet new people and bond with/cheer for fellow PCPB members in the tournament.
Any questions or spreadsheet changes/updates (including adding your 4 digit UTPR if you want) can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org