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Archive for "Pickleball"

Picklemania MMXXII

Posted on June 10, 2024 by under Community, Pickleball.    

I know this recap is very, very late but it always takes me a while to recover from Picklemania. It is such a relief when it’s all over!


A bunch of us met at the tournament on Friday afternoon to tape the courts, assemble the portable nets, and hang up signage. Since most of the volunteers were coming at 3 PM, and Brian couldn’t get off work until 3 o’clock, we decided to load up his car the night before so then he could come straight from work instead of driving home first and taking another 20 minutes to load the car. He had to go to work on Friday morning with his car like this.


It didn’t take long to get all the signs hung up.









Taping the courts went pretty smoothly also. Half of the courts were painted so we really only had to make six pickleball courts. And, the markings we left from the October Minor League Pickleball event were still there so the guys didn’t really have to do any measuring. That saved ton of time!

This is a little highlight video that I made of the entire day. Brian and I left the house around 6 AM to meet Devin at the venue at 6:30 AM so we could unload and assemble the Wichita Wagonmasters tent canopies. That was the only time that worked for him because he had another commitment that morning. The tournament technically didn’t start until 8:30 AM but there were some players who were there by 7 o’clock, before our check-in desk volunteers were even there and before we were completely set up. The one thing I can say about Wichita players, they are very enthusiastic and most of them show up an hour early to events. Early is always better than late but, if you’re not ready for them, it can be overwhelming.

We were worried about the weather leading up to the event and I had several people text me asking about our “weather contingency plan” but, other than being quite windy during parts of the day, the weather turned out perfect. We did run later than I expected but I think things went smoothly overall. The competition was intense in all divisions and our champions (we had 4 divisions of 8 teams each) really earned their medals.

I am so grateful to all the players, sponsors, and volunteers for making our annual pickleball tournament a huge success. Now off to planning next year’s event!

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Weekend with Kumar

Posted on June 10, 2024 by under Food and Drink, Pickleball.    

Our friend Kumar Krishnan from Bartlesville came to stay with us the weekend of the Andover Rotary Club’s Picklemania tournament. I always love when Kumar visits because he brings surprise gifts.


Kumar made me black pickleball-themed tumbler and he also made a white techie-themed one for Brian.



Kumar arrived early on Friday and helped us get some signs up. And then he went to meet up with Kimberly Howe and the Friday night pickleball crew for some rec games. Later that evening a bunch of us gathered at Merle’s for dinner.


We did learn a hard lesson that night. The kitchen closes at 9 pm. There was an issue with a couple of orders that didn’t get rectified before the kitchen closed so some of us got fed and some of us didn’t. Not really great because Brian is not a huge fan of Merle’s to begin with.

However, we made up for the lackluster dining experience by taking Kumar to one of our most favorite local spots (Local Flavor) the next day after the tournament.


Stuffed Mushrooms


Sriracha Beef Tips (Brian’s fave)


Meat Loaf and Red Potatoes


Pork Belly Mac and Cheese


Chicken Bacon Wrap and Fries (another Brian’ fave)


I needed a drink after the tournament so I ordered the first one on the list. I think it’s Local Flavor’s version of Long Island iced tea but I can’t remember what is called. Will share highlights from Picklemania in the next post. Check back soon!

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It’s Pickleball Tournament Season Again

Posted on May 13, 2024 by under Community, Pickleball.    

Cinco de Mayo weekend was packed with tournaments but it’s only the beginning. Once we get to this time of year, I feel like there’s multiple tournaments competing for your attention every weekend.

Untitled Untitled

On Saturday, May 4, we were at Chicken N Pickle for Erica Case’s pickleball tournament to raise money for her Leukemia Lymphoma Society visionary of the year campaign. Ronnie, Jay, and Becca were actually playing in that one and they needed a fourth. I volunteered Brian. I hadn’t donated to Erica’s campaign yet at this point so I figured paying for Brian’s team was a good way to show my support.

The next day was the day of the first iPickle Nation 3-player team tournament which was held at Genesis Rock Road. We had just the right number of teams for the courts that we had. Katie Merrill and Deana Holman came up from Oklahoma to play. The event went pretty smoothly and we finished right on schedule.

Here’s a little highlight video that I made.

Speaking of iPN, the weekly Nation Builder Series round robins are back at Riverside. We are playing every Sunday starting at 9:30 AM (except June 16 because that’s the weekend of the Midwest pickleball tournament). You can sign up for the weekly iPN mini tournament here.

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Highlights from an Epic Pickleball Tournament

Posted on April 25, 2024 by under Community, Pickleball.    

I had the privilege of helping with the pickleball tournament at the Wichita Country Club benefiting the Wichita Children’s Home (WCH) again this year. WCH has two big fundraising events: “It’s a Big Dill” which was their pickleball tournament and “Fore the Kids” which was the golf tournament. This year they decided to combine both events into one truly epic weekend.

Festivities kicked off with the party at the Wichita Country Club on Friday night, April 12, followed by the pickleball tournament the next morning. The golf tournament was held on Monday at Terradyne Country Club.

My involvement is pretty much limited to pickleball but there are so many people who make the whole thing happen – from asking donors for sponsorships, inviting people to the party, recruiting players for both pickleball and golf, asking for donations for the live and silent auction packages, decorating for the party, helping at the party, setting up and tearing down the pickleball tournament – I am always super impressed at how seamlessly everything comes together.

This is one of my most favorite tournaments because the Wichita Country Club team is phenomenal. I’m used to doing everything – getting volunteers for taping, hanging sponsor banners, setting up nets etc., tearing down, running the event – but with WCH tournament, the country club staff pretty much has everything taken care of so all I really have to do is come up with the tournament format (we’ve been doing round robin into single elimination bracket) and put together the schedule/plan and then follow the schedule on the day. My job is super easy.

Anyway, if you are looking to play in this highly sought-after event next year, mark your calendar for April 12. Kickoff party will be Friday, April 11, and then the pickleball tournament is the next day. Hope to see you then!

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Not Playing, Running Tournaments Instead

Posted on April 18, 2024 by under Community, Pickleball.    

I’ve been having all sorts of issues (pickleball elbow, yips, monovision issues, etc.) since the start of the year so I am kind of glad that I’m on a self-imposed break from tournaments. I can’t imagine how frustrated I would be if I were competing and had all the problems I’ve been having.

Anyway, I’m not playing as much because of (a) the issues I’ve been having with my arm and (b) I’m not really training for any upcoming tournaments (since I don’t have any this year) but I’m still around pickleball because I’m still organizing tournaments and facilitating events of iPickle Nation and the Pickle Club.

Here are a few pictures from the St. Patty’s Day team pickleball tournament we had at the Pickle Club last month…

Group Photo

We had six teams compete:

Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Clan: Julie Pauly, Michelle Belew, Micah Jacques, and Matt Dutton

Kitchen Killers

Kitchen Killers: Jonathan Thorne, David Thorne, Leila Loomis, and Isabela Bifano


Smarties: Amanda Ades, Jared Smart, Lyle Smart, and Kendra Wicks

The Young and the Ruthless

The Young and the Ruthless: Derek Pruett, Janelle Lindeman, Susie Ternes, and Devon Fuller

Clover Gs

Clover Gs: Brandon Tran, Bee Bandasack, Karen Fox, and Reiko Trigo

Better with Vetter

Better with Vetter: Steve Vetter, Jen Tiano, Monica McGehee, and Fin Tatum


The tournament was MLP-style with pool play consisting of matches against every other team followed by a single-elimination bracket. The winners ended up being:

1st Place: Wu-Tang Clan
2nd Place: Better with Vetter
3rd Place: The Young and the Ruthless

Fun Pic of Medalists

It was really fun to watch the matches. I’m grateful that even if I can’t play, I can still be around pickleball. Our community is the best!

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