Flo Van Volkom
The fourth annual Robson Ranch Pickleball Tournament drew a record 448 avid competitors in search of medals over four action-packed days, March 16-19. Participation has increased every year over the 260 players in the inaugural year. Overall 562 matches were played. Robson Ranch was by far the most represented club with 67 entrants. Other clubs included Palm Creek (58), Green Valley (24), Sun City Anthem (22), SaddleBrooke Ranch (20), Mission Royale (15), Ahwatukee (13), SaddleBrooke (11), Casa Grande (nine) and Venture Out Resort (seven). Players and their supporters came from all over the country and Canada to cheer on their friends.
There was some very tough competition this year, but Robson’s very own team of Mike Campbell and Jan Ballman took home the bronze in the 4.0 Mixed Doubles bracket. Many others got quite far and just missed out on the medal matches.
The annual tournament is an important fundraiser for the club, and for the second year in a row the event generated a profit and is a good model going forward. Tournament organizer Al Hager has already applied to the USAPA to lock in next year’s date. Mark your calendars for March 15-18, 2017.
Things ran smoothly thanks to the efforts of tournament organizer Al Hager and the many department heads and other volunteers who served during the four days. The club would like to acknowledge all the department heads who helped make the event a success: registration, check-in and event desk, Sandi Feller and Barb Hager; posting of brackets, Sylvia and Norm Schupbach; referee desk coordinator, Steve Arthur; tournament announcer, Richard Shine; traffic and parking, Jerry Steger; shuttle coordinator, Dave Lawell; medical, Mary Burton; raffle drawing, Bonnie and Don Pixley; raffle sales, Brenda and Dave Amans; refreshment table, Edie Preis; photography, Marv Enerson; USAPA membership desk, Paula Steger; balls/nets monitor, Steve Falek; court taping, Al Hager. In addition these people had numerous club members serving as volunteers.
The club would also like to thank and acknowledge the many generous vendors and supporters who provided goods and services to the tournament including Robson Communities, Robson Grill (Heather and Austin), Dave Wilkins from Secure Retirement Solutions, our own IGA Food Town, Fry’s Food, Pro-Lite Sports, Pickleball Rocks, Pickleball Inc. and Selkirk paddles.
A hearty thanks also goes out to Eloy Fire and EMS for being here, just in case. Fortunately we did not need them.
And finally we would like to thank the Robson Ranch Tennis Club for allowing us to take over their courts for three days. We owe you one!