Some people love to play pickleball with their local neighborhood friends. We commonly call this social pickleball. It is what over 90% of pickleball players do on a regular basis for fun, for exercise and for the social aspect too. That is why they enjoy pickleball. They can show up at the local court, grab a partner and play games to eleven points until it’s time to go home. Win or lose, everyone gets to play as much as they want as long as the courts remain open for play.
Then there is the “other” people. Yes, they have fun playing the game, but they want more. Their competitive juices just flow a little faster and a little hotter than your average social player. These are the tournament players.
They love it when they arrive at the courts and there is a swag bag of goodies waiting for them at Check In. They love to hear their names called on the loud speaker system. They love it when there is a special place set aside just for them. We call this the free hospitality tent and it is generally loaded with fruit and snacks and drinks to help the players stay hydrated and nourished for the duration of their playing time. These things all go into any good pickleball tournament. Take these things away and you essentially have social pickleball, only you got to pay for it this time.
Yes, all of these things make for a good pickleball tournament, but what makes a good tournament great???
Yes, tournament players love it when they walk on the court and are greeted by a referee. It is the single biggest thing that separates social pickleball, where players often forgo calling foot faults, and play a let when they can’t remember how to apply a rule, to tournament pickleball where you always have the correct score and players are always serving and receiving from the correct side and people are not stepping all over the kitchen with no consequence.
A referee makes your pickleball playing experience feel special. And better yet????
A certified referee helps transform any good tournament into a great tournament.
We are about to wrap up this year’s USAPA Southwest Regional with over 600 registered players. And just like every other USAPA regional tournament throughout the United States, it has a referee on the court for every single match. And better yet, it has a fully certified referee officiating every single bronze and gold medal match.
What a wonderful sight to see the team of certified referees stepping up to make this regional a truly special experience for the players.
Yep, they’ve got the free hospitality tent and yep they’ve got some cool stuff in the player’s goody stash. But this tournament, like all USAPA sanctioned tournaments has the one thing that makes a tournament great. REFEREES. Lots of them, and many of them USAPA Certified.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO STEPS UP TO REFEREE!!!!! Our sport is a much better place with you on the court.
And a special Pickleball Rocks shout out to the great and growing team of Certified Referees. You truly do make our sport great.
You truly rock!