National pickleball tournament in Rockford Aug. 3-4

July 31, 2013

Online Staff Report

LOVES PARK, Ill. — Described as a combination of tennis, table tennis and badminton, the sport of pickleball will draw players both nationally and internationally when the Northern Illinois Pickleball Association hosts a the Third Annual Hot Slam Aug. 3-4. Hot Slam will be at the Louisa Street pickleball courts in Loves Park, Ill.

Pickleball is best described as a small version of tennis with a few key differences. It is played on a badminton-sized court with a tennis-style net lowered to 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic ball (similar to a whiffle ball) and solid paddles. It is easy for beginners to learn, and can attract any age level of player, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. Anyone who has played other racquet sports such as table tennis, tennis or racquetball, will adapt quickly to this game.

This is our third annual round-robin, and this year we appropriately named it the Hot Slam,” said Jennifer Selchow, a USA Pickleball Association ambassador. “The first year was 89 degrees and the second year it was 105 degrees. Our group has grown to be diverse enough to host a skill-based tournament rather than an age-based event. We are a sanctioned event, which will allow USAPA members to earn tournament points when placing in sanctioned events.”

The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) sanctions the event taking place in August. The USAPA was organized to promote the growth and development of pickleball, on a national and international level. This organization provides players with official rules, tournaments, rankings and promotional materials.

Locally, there are five pickleball courts in the region: Loves Park Playground on Luisa Street, Sinnissippi Park, Nick Saelens Memorial Park (Durand), Club Fusion, Westlake Village and Indoor Sports Center at Sportscore Two. The Hot Slam competition will welcome teams from Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Arizona, Wisconsin, Iowa and the country of Ireland. For more about how or where to play pickleball, or to register for one of the tournaments, visit www.northernillinoispickleball.com.

Posted July 31, 2013

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