July 17, 2010

Dedicated Pickleball Court Delight!

July 17, 2010

Dear Players,

The NEW Whittier Park Pickleball Skill Level Ladder games begin July 26.

Pat Sullivan invited a handful of players, who have registered for the Ladder, to the NEW Whittier Park Pickleball Complex so she could determine where we fit before the games begin. I was lucky to be among them. It was my first time playing on a dedicated pickleball court. Lovely – just lovely!!

Pat is doing Michigan Pickers a great service -- taking the games to the next level of competition AND enjoyment!!

I look forward to attending the Whittier Park Pickleball Complex Grand Opening  on July 26!

Yours in pickleball,
Janet Razz
Rated Pickleball Player - 2.50/"C"

CLICK HERE to read more about Royal Oak Outdoor Pickleball and Player Ratings

::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: :::

My Movement Up/Down The Six Week Skill Level Ladder

Week #1 July 26th
Tonight was the first night of the Royal Oak Outdoor Ladder games on eight dedicated pickleball courts!

I scored 100% (21-12, 21-13, 21-16) on Court #7. Now, what's the use of doing all these flexibility exercised, if I don't pat myself on the back every now and again. After six months of being on the couch more than on the courts, I was thrilled to play three games in a row to 21! Not breathing real well -- but thrilled! My foursome laughed heartily, encouraged one another, the young man perspired, the women glowed and the rallies were filled with zing!!! I know "pride goes before a fall" and I know next week I'll be singing a different song -- but for this moment of fleeting glory --- thanks to FANTASTIC partners -- I'm singing "La-La-La I am the champion of the court" - the "C" court that is. The FUN of playing my own skill level is that I get to touch the ball and even win every now and again.
"Court #3 with Andy Torvinen, Rick Liebau, Mark Karwas and Tom Reilly lasted 2  hours and 25 minutes-what a match!!!!" Nancy Robertson, Ladder Manager

Week #2 August 2nd
Nancy Robertson is the Whittier Park Ladder Manager. Her extensive sports knowledge and experience is affording us an opportunity to experiment with an alternative Ladder format. We started with 32 players in seeded positions on eight courts. Players perceived to have the highest skill level started on Court #1 etc. Each week of the six week competition similar skill level foursomes are playing 3 games to 21 win by 1. Movement up/down the Ladder works like this: the player within the foursome who scored the highest moves up a court and the player within in the foursome who scored the lowest moves down a court.

I was the top scorer in my foursome during the first week of play, so tonight I moved up from Court #7 to Court # 6 – – – where I worked 10 times the intesity to score a 46 (14-21, 11-21, 21-2). Not pretty, but good enough to keep me on Court #6 another week. Penny scored 21 in all three games, so she will move up to Court #5 next week.

Lots of FUN! I'm very grateful to Pat Sullivan, Nancy Robertson and the Royal Oak team of Volunteers! We had great rallies and (in my opinion) that the best part of the game. Love the physical and mental challenge of staying focused during three games to 21 -- highly satisfying! Thank you!

Week #3 August 9th
My movement targets maybe-kind of-sort of include moving from a 2.5 >>> to a 3.0. I would certainly like to learn how avoid The Seven Deadly Sins of Pickleball. But mostly I'm just happy moving! Happy moving from being a watcher >>> to being a PLAYER! Happy moving from physical therapy >>> to spicy HOT summer pickleball!

Tonight, the rain moved through Oakland County and my foursome moved through steamy competitive games filled with sustained rallies and delightful dinks. We didn't leave many points under the bus. Final scores were 61, 60, 59, and 54. I was one of the middlers at 59 (21-19, 21-18, 17-21), so I play on Court #6 again next week.

Talk about MOVEMENT! Stan was the man with the 'wheels' in the foursome. He sure has great court coverage! Stan's top score of 61 points moves him back up to Court #5 next week. Go Stan!

There was only one point difference between Stan (61) and Debbie (60). If there was a tie, Debbie would have moved up to Court #5, because at the start of the night Debbie was at a higher rung than Stan.

Week #4 August 16th
I slipped down a rung, but scoring 56 allows me to play on Court 6 another week. Close games -- the foursome totals were 59, 58, 56, and 47.

Carla played strong as a sub for Debbie. Ladder Manager Nancy Robertson stressed the importance of choosing a similar skill level sub. In this format a sub's score will hold the player's position on the court, but the player will not move up based on the sub's performance. Ummm does the player move down if the sub underperforms? Don't know -- I will ask Nancy. Yes. A player will move down a court if their sub's scores are weak.

Week #5 August 23rd
Tonight's foursome totals on Court #6 were 62, 61, 56 and 53. Again very close and competitive games!! I earned the top score of 62, so for the last week of play I will bounce up to play on Court #5. Not too shabby for a spunky, but skill-less 2.5 player without a backhand :O.

I don't even have to wait until next week to tell you that I won't last on Court #5. I'm going down, but there certainly was joy in the journey moving up and down SE Michigan's first ladder played on dedicated pickleball courts!

Final Games -- Week #6 -- August 30 at 6:00pm -- 32 Players Skill Levels 'A', 'B' and 'C' -- 3 Outddor Games to 21 on 8 Dedicated Courts at Whittier Park Pickleball Complex -- Fans Welcome!

ShaZam! I scored 63 (21-16, 21-15, 21-14) at tonight's games. Landing me on Court 4 for the Final Standings with a Final Overall 92.32%. Pat Sullivan and Papa Razz watched with smiles of disbelief on their faces. Unquestionably taking Advil prior to the games helped, because as much as I keep telling my kness that 57 is the new 37 -- they just don't believe me. Unquestionably I don't have anywhere near the athletic knowhow, ability or experience of the other women on my court, but that’s Pickleball -- ever a surprise!

Bud Stefanko
Sanford Simons
Tom Crowley
Andy Torvinen

Patrick McPhail
Jim Luzod
Nancy Robertson
Larry Kraus

Mark Karwas
Tom Reilly
Rick Liebau
Laura Kragh

Dick Manasseri
Penny Kragh
Amy Kessler
Janet Razz

Elaine Tovinen
Nancy Thoenes
Judy Vandenbossche
Nancy Kraus

Diane Meitzner
Kenneth Woodmore
Donna Clancy
Stan Nakama

Debbie Carson
Elaine Curran
Linda Simons
Sherry Crowley

Frank Stutcher
Barbara Ash
Donna Talafski
Julie Tillotson

Taking it indoors CLICK HERE to learn about Michigan's Fall 2010 Ladder Leagues