Pickleball Tournament Held

Submitted by Steven Crawford

There was a pickleball tournament at the Bayside Courts over by Horny Corner Nov. 4 and that was a great time! I saw the flyer, it peaked my interest, so I went to investigate this oddly named game that is apparently taking off like crazy. Pickleball is a combination of ping-pong, tennis and chess all wrapped up into one. So much is going on and it is amazing how competitive the game really is. However, the true secret of what makes this game so special is the comradery amongst the players. Despite their competitiveness, this is a large group of people that are united through the sport of pickleball. These Long Beach locals are chock full of personality and athleticism too.

                Every age and every gender is represented and skill is the name of the game. The terminology and rules of the game pickleball are both odd, yet it makes perfect sense to the players. They play with an interesting etiquette and have no problem heckling one another relentlessly. It really is quite a show. While watching the teams dwindle down to the finals I thought for sure the dynamic father/son combo of Jeff and Parker Schall (above right) were going to be the last ones standing. The two of them played in such sync with one another but the prowess and ingenuity of George Banker and Kevin Cook (above left) was not to be outdone. George and Kevin’s aggressive approach to the game gave them top honors as they played solid and confidently. By the end of this small yet largely entertaining event I felt like a true pickleball aficionado. Really makes you feel proud to be a part of the community where people get together to have a wonderful competitive time. I can see why pickleball is as big as it is in such a seemingly short amount of time.


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