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Pickleball tourney to raise funds for court improvements

To raise money for improvements to Boulder City’s outdoor pickleball courts, the city is co-sponsoring a Mix-Up/Fix-Up Pickleball Tournament March 23-26.

The tournament, a qualifier for the Pickleball National Team Championship in April, will be held at the recreation department gymnasium, 900 Arizona St., and is open to men and women 19 and older. It will feature four events: men’s and women’s doubles ages 50-plus and men’s and women’s doubles ages 19-plus. Registration for each event is $25, and the deadline is March 9.

The schedule for the tournament is as follows: March 23, women’s doubles 50-plus; March 24, men’s doubles 50-plus; March 25, women’s doubles 19-plus; and March 26, 19-plus. All events run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There also will be a free pickleball clinic at 2 p.m. March 25.

In addition to Boulder City, the National Pickleball League and NationalPickleballLeague.com are sponsoring the tournament.

“It’s like the greatest sport … it uses all the skills of tennis, badminton and pingpong,” said Rick Johnson, Boulder City’s pickleball ambassador.

The game is similar to tennis, but the players use paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. The court is smaller than a tennis court, as four pickleball courts can fit into one.

There is also a camaraderie aspect to the game, which Johnson enjoys.

“It’s good for the senior crowd,” he said. “The younger generation is getting into it because it draws athletes. It’s a family sport because everyone can play together.”

Pickleball players in Boulder City currently use the gymnasium at the recreation center, as well as a fenced-in basketball court near the library. Funds from this event will go to improving the outdoor area.

“It’s a good mixed-use area,” said Recreation Program Coordinator Patty Sullivan. “The pickleball folks want to put a more pickleball user-friendly surface on the court and reline the court as well. … The lighting issue is a larger issue, and it may take time to reach that goal.

“As this sport grows, we can see a need for barbecue grills and picnic tables in the adjacent grass area,” she added.

Sullivan encouraged all those who are interested in pickleball to attend the clinic or stop by the recreation department at 9 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays to experience the game. There are balls and paddles available to use.

For more information, contact Sullivan at 702-293-9340 or psullivan@bcnv.org.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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