It doesn’t take long to discover the talents, humor, and warm companionship of the Oakmont Pickleball Club. In fact, one simple Saturday tournament may be quite enough. Friendly competition, delicious snacks, and an air of positivity bubbling from audience to courts.
What goes into plotting a 3 hour playoff for paddle battle bragging rights?
- Petitioning the weather gods. Sonoma County may feel like the land of eternal sunshine, but Mother Nature can be a wicked trickster. Slippery courts are a NO GO! Even the heavy-mist variety of the original tournament date, September 18. Thanks to coordinators, Mark Majkowski and Jim Howard, players added four extra practice weeks before enjoying perfectly dry courts on October 16.
- Expecting Change. From weather, to cranky knees, shoulders, or elbows, to unavoidable out of town plans…tournament coordinators know that rosters will change on a day to day basis. But club members’ sense of excitement never wanes. OPC coordinators simply fill empty slots with a steady supply of alternate players.
- Committing to a people-focus….it’s not about winning! While every pickleball player loves hitting the 11-point mark a step ahead of those across the net, it’s the cordial neighborly nature of the club that keeps members coming back. OPC’s Social Committee makes sure of that. With volunteers attending tournament tables laden with fresh baked goods and hot coffee. While beckoning a free exchange of smiles amid the pop-pop-pop of the day’s energetic court matches. Ever at the ready with information, paddle loans, and calendars of upcoming events.
This year’s tournament included two levels of play. A-players are self described as advanced. While B-players are self-described as intermediate. Players score their own games, just as is done in day to day play. Officials do NOT make calls. Trust goes a long way toward assuming competitors are validly calling shots.
Audiences enjoyed the air of excitement surrounding eight pre-playoff matches, signaled by officials with an oscillating bullhorn alarm. Ever supportive, members erupt into applause with each players’ handy tool kit of moves: deep digs, corner shot serves, behind the back placements, and power slams that could make even the most advanced players shudder.
Wrapping it up. Tournament coordinators tallied partner-scores sending top teams into the playoffs. Heading into the finals:
Sheila Ferguson and Mike Sheppard: 44 points Pete Gavin and Paul Ricossa: 39 points
Connie Medeiros and Linda Schilling: 33 points Jim Munger and Mary Janney: 29 points
And the winners! A-Group: Pete Gavin & Paul Ricossa. B-Group: Connie Medeiros and Linda Schilling. Thank you to all who represented our fun and fast paced club by participating in the tournament. And to those who haven’t yet tried pickleball, c’mon out. We love newbies.