Pickleball Magazine 2-3 - Page 9

FROM THE USAPA FROM THE PRESIDENT 2017 USAPA BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS PRESIDENT David Jordan VICE PRESIDENT Jack Thomas SECRETARY Laura Patterson TREASURER Darryl Noble BOARD MEMBERS (COMMITTEES) AMBASSADORS Carrie Jermstad COMMUNICATIONS Bob Nibarger GRANTS Ray Pereyra RATINGS Chris Thomas TRAINING CHAIR Pat Murphy LEGAL COUNSEL, GRIEVANCE Phil Mortenson NON-VOTING BOARD MEMBER ADVISORY COMMITTEE Mark Friedenberg STAFF Executive Director, Justin Maloof Managing Director of Competition, Christine Barksdale Business Manager, Linda Gartlan USAPA PRESIDENT DAVE JORDAN It is that time of year when the road is calling and our motorhome is itching to get its wheels rolling. So, on April 30 we left St. George, UT, and hit the road on our way toward Cartersville, GA, for the St. Jude National Indoor Classic. Along the way, we make stops to see old friends and make new acquaintances while also visiting family. It is going to be a busy summer with tournaments, visits to pickleball venues and family get-togethers— an exciting summer—and we look forward to new adventures along the way. As this sport has evolved and become such a popular activity, we have begun to see some evidence of what this popularity has brought. We see great new players joining the sport every day, we see the youth of America starting to discover pickleball in their schools and colleges, we see the young and old playing together and against each other, parents and grandparents teaching the younger generation and, most importantly, we see the friendships and social interaction among all folk. In pickleball the term “generational gap” seems to disappear. On the other side of the coin, let us look at how our growth has changed the sport in less positive ways. Too often we see “groups” claiming territory (e.g. “This is the 4.5 or 5.0 courts”), we see egos get in the way of having a good time, we see the “money factor” taking over, we see spectators at tournaments not cheering for their favorite team but cheering against the opposing team, and sadly enough we are seeing the sport become more about winning than about how to have fun. Don’t get me wrong: everyone would rather win than lose, but there can be grace in winning rather than gloat. Every sport has its growing pains and pickleball is no different. I have met some great people who have worked so hard to make this sport grow in every state and town where it is played. I guess looking back over the last 14 years we have been involved, you might say that I sometimes yearn for those days when showing up at a pickleball court was more of a social activity than a die-hard competitive event. Not to say the competition aspect of pickleball is not good, because it is—it definitely serves a purpose and the rewards of competitive play are numerous, both physically and psychologically. So where lies the answers for the future, I’m not real sure, but what I do know is that pickleball is a unique sport with unique characteristics and rules. We can only hope that the future will see a sport with minor change to these unique features; after all, that is what makes pickleball the great sport it is. Hope to see you on the road this summer, so safe travels to all. From our court to yours, be safe, enjoy what you do and stay out of the kitchen. Nancy & David Jordan MAY/JUNE 2017 | MAGAZINE 7