What a difference a day makes.
Yesterday was rain, rain, rain and today was sun, sun and more sun….and some pretty stiff winds in the afternoon.
Today was my first event to play. Mens Age Doubles 60+ with 58 (29 teams) of my closest pickleball friends. And what a day it was. Ran off two wins in a row only to drop our third match by a 11-9, 15-13 score and drop into the dreaded survivors bracket, where in this particular tournament, the best you can do is capture a bronze medal.
Must say, I am not a fan of the newly made up format. As a 5.0 player, we travel to 35 tournaments a year and I play 15-20 of those, and this one loss and you’re out of contention for the gold medal is not played anywhere else. It just seems to neglect the heritage of pickleball, where about 60% of gold medal winning teams do so by navigating through the hard fought losers bracket to triumph in an exciting Gold Medal match. It is what fans want to see and players want. It will be interesting to see if the US Open organizers pay attention to the player’s wishes.
Anyhow, back to the day. After dropping down, we ran off two more hard fought wins before falling to Bronze medalists and friend Charlie Einsiedler and his partner Rob Rowse.
Two things popped out bigtime in today’s matches. When it’s warm and humid as it was today, water stations are never close enough. Unfortunately, the US Open facility is a big, spread out venue. Between games if you needed a water refill, you had to stop your match and hit a water station. Unfortunately, they were located at the Match Coordinators table which was a long trip from many courts. Great for between and before matches. Would be great as the temperatures rise and the week moves on, if they come up with some additional water stations located nearer the action. Players would certainly appreciate it, says the voice of experience today. 🙂
The second thing that I noticed as I gasped for air and tried to recover quickly between matches, was that the large misting station was never turned on. Don’t know if it was broke or just not turned on. But it was a tremendous idea that wasn’t used today. Would have loved to have it between our matches. Someone said it was because of the wind, but the morning winds were not bad at all, so I’m not sure the reason. Hope they can make it available for the players the remainder of the week as it doesn’t sound like it’s going to get any cooler.
Did get a chance to catch Indianapolis friend Rick Witsken in action today. Congratulations to Rick and his partner on a well deserved Gold as well as the many other medal winners of the this fun day three.
Also, had a chance to stop by the Thank You Across America truck. What a magnificent rig, but more importantly what a great cause. I hope everyone takes a few minutes out of this fun week and visits them. Thank a Vet today!
So after a very long day on the courts for me and for Zack at the Pickleball Rocks booth (by the way, thank you for the huge crowd of people who stopped by the booth today. It means the world to us.), we stopped by a cool little Italian restaurant, Bruninos, and had some great lasagna, then headed to the house to do what we generally do after every day at a tournament…..work. Most people don’t know that our work day does not end at the courts. Here’s Zack getting his post tournament day’s work done next to his host family companion Gracie.
We usually put in another 2-3 hours filling orders, creating videos, blogging, updating you all on social media and the many other things that go into making the Pickleball Rocks business run smoothly.
No complaints though. Wouldn’t have it any other way, because…..You and Pickleball Rocks!!!!!
Calling it a night.