Youth Tournaments in Pickleball

There continues to be a growing trend in pickleball with the re-resurgence of bringing youth into the game.


AAU, the Amateur Athletic Union, has teamed up with the USAPA with the primary focus of youth in pickleball.

Along with the USAPA education initiative, whose primary goal is to reach out and teach Physical and Health Educators in the K-12 grade levels and teaching kids how to play, we are now looking at creating youth only tournaments.

The USAPA offers youth entries at the Nationals as young as 8.  To have a youth only tournament will help give local kids the vehicle to get to larger tournaments.

This year, the Battle of the Paddle IV, is actively pursuing the idea of adding a youth day on the last day of the tournament.

The Paddle of the Paddle IV is scheduled to run Dec 6-9, with the 9th being a open day for makeup, tournament director Steve Manolis is working with others, including AAU, to bring a youth tournament into the event.

For more information on AAU please go to



Local Physical Educators Introduced to Pickleball

Local USAPA Ambassdadors Susan Manolis and Joan Gillespie, along with friends Mark Merrill, Bob Ham and Nancy Howe joined Steve Manolis in introducing pickleball to 15 Kyrene School District PE teachers.

We donated 8 paddles, 2 dozen balls and a portable net to the host school.

Each PE teacher received a 2018 IFP Rules Book and age appropriate curriculum packet to teach student ages 5-13.

This brings a total of 27 PE teachers in SE Valley of Phoenix that have been introduced to pickleball.

We are seeing a huge upward trend in the game at the grammar and middle school levels.

Also with us were two grammar school students (ages 5 and 8) who learned to play.

Morning and Evening Play At Pecos

Early mornings and evenings have quickly become great times to play pickleball at Pecos Park.

With temperatures still in the lower 70’s in the morning and cooler sunsets you will find more play and great rotation of the courts.

Everyday is open play for any and all levels, no need to bring your own group, just mix in with everyone else.

We all have returned with our favorite social event, Pickleball Under the Stars, a Saturday Evening get together that starts around 6:30pm every Saturday.

Saturday NIGHT Pickleball (1)

We plan on doing this get together to meet new players and friends through May and June.

Come out, everyone is invited.

New Shirt Company Hits the Market

Fear the Pickle, started by local pickleball player Nick Hart, offers a line of great looking t-shirts for men and women.


We say several yesterday during play at Pecos Park Pickleball Complex.

Very different designs and some wonderful color combinations are being offered at his online store

I am hoping to see some hats come out soon.  You will see FearthePickleball at the upcoming Battle of the Paddle IV in December.