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By CHELSEA CURTIS TODAY’S NEWS-HERALD
People from Havasu, Bullhead City and even San Diego gathered to participate in a new athletic tournament.
The Lake Havasu City Pickleball Association hosted its inaugural tournament at Dick Samp Park over the weekend, bringing together a total of 96 players for men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles matches at the new courts.
“Everything went very smoothly and everyone was very supportive,” said Suzanne Wheeler, tournament director.
The association organized the event as a way to raise money for seating, sunshades and windscreens at the new courts that opened a week before its ribbon cutting ceremony on March 1, during which City Council members were present, said David Rossing, president of the association.
“The courts are absolutely perfect, the surface is so easy to play on; it couldn’t be better,” said Wheeler, a three-year LHCPA member.
The tournament was open to public participation, with costs of $20 for LHCPA members and $25 for non-members.
“It’s part of our fundraising efforts to improve the courts,” said Rossing.
Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court during which a ball – similar to a whiffle ball – must bounce once on the floor before a volley is allowed, explained Rossing. The first side to score 11 points and is leading by two points wins the match, and the first to win two of three matches wins, he added.
“It appeals to the older set because we don’t have to run as far and it’s pretty easy to play, but it’s always growing in youth sports as well,” said Rossing, a four-year pickleball athlete.