Pickleball Magazine 2-6 - Page 21

To Play or Not to Play? AROUND THE POST Women & Men, Seniors & Open, Prize Money (or Not) – Players Beware BY ALEX HAMNER & JENNIFER LUCORE S enior man vs. Open woman… Pickleball’s first-ever Battle of the Sexes took place last month and what an event it was! The battle was held at Southern California’s Bobby Riggs Tennis & Pickleball Club (How appropriate was that!) where memorabilia from the 1973 Bobby Riggs vs. Billie Jean King match is displayed. The players put themselves out there and gave it their all every single point. And, the crowd was not disappointed at the level of play and quality of entertainment. This event carried on the long-time national discussion of women and men, age and pay equality. As all pickleball lovers know, the number of players, tournaments and events have increased exponentially. Players now have so many choices of where to play and in what levels or categories to compete. But, with so many choices and opportunities comes our caution for players to pay attention: Get all the facts—be sure to read the tournament information in its entirety to decide if a tournament is right for you. For example, you may want to play only with people of your AGE, yet find the divisions offered are by SKILL… or maybe it is unclear what the tournament director will do if the turnout is low (i.e. will you then be put into another division that you do not want?). Read the fine print and if the information is not clear, email the tournament director for clarification. You don’t want any surprises come tournament day. A misunderstanding we had this summer came when we participated in a tournament offering prize money. Once it came time for the winners to receive their reward, there was none for the Senior divisions. All prize money was reserved for the Open divisions. In addition, the tournament director awarded more money to each of the Open men’s winners—for a gold medal—than to the Open women’s winners. While we love how there are so many division options and cool tournament locations, this is your player head’s‑up: Know the specifics and pick the tournaments that are right for you.  • Jennifer Lucore and Alex Hamner started playing pickleball in 2010, and have competed in tournaments across the USA (and internationally). Between them, they have 25 National Titles, including winning gold in the Women’s Open Doubles at Nationals for four consecutive years (2011 – 2014). For more pickleball fun see Jennifer’s blog at www.allpickleball.com. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | MAGAZINE 19