Game on! Pickleball players from 11 states come to Truckee
Special to the Sierra Sun
Three medalists were honored in each division for men and women, organized by skill level and age. All final results are posted at PickleballBrackets.com.
More than 300 players from across the United States came to Truckee to play in the Tahoe Peak Pickleball Tournament, Truckee’s first ever pickleball competition.
Held at Northstar’s homeowners recreation center, from Sept. 5-8, players competed on 20 courts for 10 hours of match play each of the four days.
“It was one of the best run tournaments I’ve ever been a part of,” said Trisha Pollack, who won gold in the 35-plus ladies 3.5 bracket. “Everyone was so kind and helpful, and we all hope they do it again next year. It was a blast!”
The tournament was the dream of Truckee’s Pickleball Ambassador, Matt Juskiewicz, and retired tennis professional, Fred Safipour. They wanted to bring the community together in a big, fun way, and to showcase the potential of this booming sport in this top vacation destination.
“I really wanted everyone to see what a beautiful place Tahoe is for pickleball,” Juskiewicz says. “The best thing about this sport is that every age can play. We had a 12-year-old playing with his grandfather. And we had an 88-year-old player from Reno.”
The local pickleball community volunteered in droves to support to the tournament, arriving before dawn to stripe tennis courts, set up check-in, and welcome players from 11 states. Some traveled from as far as Hawaii, New Jersey, Minnesota and Arizona. The match schedule stayed on time thanks to volunteer court monitors and score runners. All in all, volunteers dedicated hundreds of hours to make the tournament a huge success.
“We embraced the vision of the tournament directors as a way of supporting and increasing the interest of pickleball in our community,” said volunteer Roger Wells, a long-time Truckee resident and avid pickleball player.
As planning for the tournament progressed, the dream grew from hosting a tournament, to working with Truckee-Donner Recreation Center officials to eventually build a permanent pickleball complex in Truckee. Rec Center officials gave their enthusiastic support to the community effort — and proceeds from the tournament, including a daily raffle, will be given to the town to start that project.
Organizing the event took months of planning. Numerous local businesses supported the tournament, confirming Tahoe’s commitment to its active and healthy outdoor lifestyle.
Sponsors included the Truckee-Donner Recreation District, Best Western Plus, Ace Mountain Hardware and Sports, Tahoe Trail Bars, Alibi Ale Works, Safeway, Raley’s, and Starbucks. Major pickleball companies, including Pickleball Central, Paddletek, Head, and Selkirk, also made significant contributions.
“I’ve been to hundreds of pickleball tournaments across the nation and never have seen one in such a beautiful of a location, run so smoothly and professionally,” says Joan Deputy, who teaches a weekly Drills and Skills class in Reno. “It’s unheard of to get over 300 players to register for a first-time pickleball tournament. They knocked this one out of the park!“
See this story at SierraSun.com to view the final results of the tournament.