The pickleball tournaments scheduled in Arizona have pretty much run their course by late April. Future sanctioned events will occur in the northern and eastern areas of the U.S. where the weather is starting to change from winter to spring, then summer. So the full time residents of Robson are looking to play each other with round robin play or intercommunity play with surrounding communities.
But this year the club had a just for fun mini tournament on Tuesday, April 29. The tournament was planned and organized by Mike Rains who is Director of the annual Robson Ranch Resident Tournament. With the help of Sandi Feller, Paula Steger and MJ Wong, Mike ran a top notch impromptu tournament. The format was limited to just women’s and men’s couples play. The competing pairs were determined by a blind draw in the attempt to equalize the teams’ different skill levels. No formal awards were given, just bragging rights for about five minutes after completion of play. The entry fee, as determined by MJ, would be at least one canned good food item to be donated to the local food bank. So the community benefited from the competition as much as the players.
Around 50 ladies and men signed up to compete. The tournament was a double elimination format so each team competed in at least two rounds of play before being eliminated. The play started around 8:00 a.m. and lasted until about 1:00 p.m. Mike and his crew kept the matches running smoothly and quickly so that downtime was kept to a minimum. The only adversity on the courts came from a pretty strong wind that made play a real adventure at times. All matches were participant self-refereed with only the Gold Medal matches using an official referee.
Even though there was an eventual overall winner in each group, there were no losers among any of the participants as exhibited by the smiles on everyone’s faces. In the ladies doubles category the whole enchilada or Gold went to MaryEllen Bigos and Sue Sherwood. The frijoles or Silver went to Carolyn Burtch and Teri Stechmesser and the chili or Bronze went to Sheila Corey and Barb Sewell. In the men’s category the whole enchilada or Gold was won by Chuck Bonesteel and Ron Herzog, the frijoles or Silver went to Doug Kant and Greg Long and rounding out the men’s category were Steve Arthur and Ray Corey getting the chili or Bronze. All the winners graciously donated their prizes to the food bank.
Play was fast and furious and very competitive. But all who participated had a thoroughly enjoyable time and are looking forward to the next resident mini tournament.