The US Open Pickleball Championship is just around the corner. We’re looking forward to taking OLGA to the Naples RV Resort, as she has been in storage for nearly a month. Given this is the first year, for what many hope will become an important annual event, I am just wondering…
US Open Pickleball: The Heat
The organizers have taken a bit of a chance choosing the last week of April as the date for this event. I realize that the cost of Naples, FL during the prime winter season probably precluded February or March from consideration. But with average highs in the mid 80’s, one day last April it was 92, and humidity a bit higher than that in Arizona; one wonders how the weather may impact play. As someone who has lived in Florida and played sports in Florida for the last 16 years, one word of advice. HYDRATE!
Athletes should be drinking plenty of water starting the day before they play. On the day of competition, water is NOT enough. Make sure you combine water and electrolyte/vitamin replacement beverages. Some folks swear by coconut water. Others use powders or commercially available drinks. Whatever your favorite concoction is, make sure you have plenty on hand. Remember if you aren’t urinating you are not properly hydrated.
US Open Pickleball: The Numbers
Based upon the information available on the web there are 786 people registered for this event. Not the 1000 they hoped for, but certainly a very good showing for the first year of an event. As a Village person, it is nice to see so many Floridians registered for this event. Finally we don’t have to get on a plane! I should have spent the time counting every one so I could report it here, but frankly I got bored counting.
US Open Pickleball: The Format
The organizers have tried a few things that are not common in other national pickleball events. The Zing Zang Challenge, what we call the pop-pop drill, will raise money for charity.
For the first time ever they are selling tickets to non-participants to watch the pro events. I’m not sure exactly how this is going to work, but since Linh Ansboury is not in town I’m hoping to be using Sarah’s ticket for the finals. (This is a hint Sarah!)
Finally, there seems to be a bit of a controversy brewing about the double elimination format. You won’t be able to play for gold or silver in the Pro and Age events if you lose a match. Many people who signed up did not fully understand that once placed in the consolation bracket, the best you could do was bronze. Many assumed that double elimination meant what we have at every other major pickleball tournament. But you know what they say about people who ass-u-me.