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PICKLEBALL RODEO EP2: Tournament Directors Talking Inside Baseball

0:00 [Music] each other 0:20 all right welcome to episode 2 of the pickleball Rodeo my name is John Roberts 0:27 I'm a pickleball tournament director located in Macon Georgia I worked with the making pickleball 0:33 Association as well as the southern pickleball Association we're getting ready to kick off on Wednesday March 0:39 22nd our third annual pinkest pickleball party on the planet it's our signature 0:45 event of the calendar this year we've got 350 players 0:51 as far north as Buffalo and as far west as Oklahoma coming to Georgia to take 0:56 part in the tournament and I'm joined today by Roger white the program director of 1:02 the Woodenville pickleball club and Mike Hoxie the president and founder of 1:07 pickleball is great and Mike you just finished up a tournament last weekend get you to tell us about it get started 1:14 absolutely so Roger and I just worked this weekend together in Woodenville at their Sports Club they do golf they do 1:21 tennis but this weekend in the dome it was all about pickleball so we had eight courts set up we went 12 hours for all 1:28 three days to make as many people as happy as possible uh only can fit 200 people on eight quarts uh so the 1:35 jokingly told Roger build more courts will bring more people it's one of those ongoing searches in the pickleball world 1:41 right how do we find more courts that are dry in the winter so that's why we 1:46 were in the dome uh no Whispering because your opponents can hear you on the other side so it's it was a fun 1:54 environment and uh Roger and I had a great time long hours Roger but with everything ran smooth very smooth my 2:02 name is Roger white I'm the program director here at Woodinville sports club and as Mike mentioned we focus heavily 2:07 on tennis golf and we really opened things up for pickleball this year our club has been historically known as um 2:14 majority of tennis club and so the transition with tennis players into 2:19 pickleball and really with new pickleball players has just been enormous and this weekend was just a 2:25 Kickstart right direction so it was just a fantastic the the growth of tournament participation is uh 2:31 like anything else in the sport of pickleball is exponential lately you know the you talk about the metrics of 2:38 growth 34 million players and uh have at least tried the sport and those 2:45 projections for the next five to ten years or off the charts as well and you see that in tournaments as well when I 2:51 started playing tournaments three years ago it was you know 150 was a great 2:57 tournament uh turnout and now if you're under 200 uh you feel like you left some 3:04 some money on the table um and uh 3:09 that's sort of progression from recreational player to tournament player you know I never even when I started 3:14 playing stuff I want to get y'all's input on is how you started in the game How Did You Start 3:23 game when I started tournaments weren't the farthest thing from my mind you know I I started about five years ago uh 3:30 coming off a divorce um in my personal life and was 3:36 40 pounds heavier and uh realized I needed to get back to sexy Town pretty 3:42 quickly and uh years of sedentary married life had domesticated me um and 3:49 I found pickleball which was you know not just the exercise but the 3:56 the community of people it's such a welcoming environment in a way that lots of sport I mean any competitive 4:02 environment you know there's always a standoffish nature adversarial component to it and it uh not saying it doesn't 4:10 exist in pickleball but it's certainly blunted compared to a lot of other competitive Endeavors 4:15 um Mike what's your pickleball origin story so I I started playing little or 4:20 12 years ago here in the Northwest so I was fortunate enough to start with a lot of the Hall of Famers and really kind of 4:27 have a great fun start to pickleball and as our club was formed in 2012 I was the 4:34 youngest guy in the room so I became the webmaster the club did their first tournament I somehow ended up behind the 4:39 computer at that at that time we're using pickleball tournaments we did a couple of Club tournaments and 4:46 then the state games of Oregon uh I helped them modernize from paper and 4:51 pencil over to pickleball tournaments and after a couple years of that it was 4:57 encouraged that I create a company to manage tournaments basically so I 5:02 started back in 2016 and did a half dozen tournaments on the side part-time 5:07 like a side Hustle uh I kind of enjoyed it more than my regular corporate job so I did 12 the 5:14 next year and then the following year I ran out of vacation time so I had to figure out do I do pickleball full-time 5:21 or do I continue in Corporate America so uh behind me is the wileya tennis club 5:26 where in 2018 we held our first tournament on Maui uh we went have gone 5:31 back every year minus that coveted asterisk year we had 600 people registered this year for Maui we got 5:38 rained out two days with 200 withdrawals so that's the reality of life but we average 5:44 last year was 80 tournaments year before was 65 tournaments this year will likely 5:49 break a hundred now that I have five different tournament directors from Texas to California 5:54 Arizona and the Northwest here where we started so um I'll be in Connecticut in two weeks 6:01 if anyone's out that way don't be afraid to come find me in this really uh camouflage t-shirt I like to make sure 6:07 that you know where to find the tournament director when you have questions Roger how'd you get started 6:12 and our our fine sport I'm just sitting here trying to wonder why I haven't got the invite to Maui yet I mean come on 6:18 better be coming that looks amazing um for me it's a little different I grew up playing really um 6:24 heavy contact Sports which neither of my boys do now because I learned a lot and beaten up my body and now in my 40s I 6:31 realized that getting out and doing some of those things with my kids just isn't even an option and so when uh you know 6:38 I've never was really much into racket Sports growing up either and so when my eight-year-old and I picked up a 6:44 pickleball paddle and we started playing I realized that this is something I could do with my little guy and really that's what it comes down to 6:51 for me and where my passion is here at Woodinville Sports Club you know we want to be the destination for all Pacific 6:57 Northwest families and family members to reach their athletic and personal goals in a supportive and respectful 7:03 environment pickleball to me is very unique in that you can be eight years old or 80 years 7:08 old and you can literally either play against each other or on the same team and that makes pickleball really unique 7:14 to me in the way that it's growing is just really exciting so for me it was more of just like a fun something I 7:21 could do with my kid um because you know throwing the football with him anymore just doesn't really it's not like it used to be 7:28 um but pickleball is great and we have a lot of fun with it and I'm seeing the the youth movement here at Woodinville 7:35 sports club and that's really where we're focusing we want to make this what I'm hearing a lot from a lot of the 7:41 population is hey we want to play Pickleball but we don't know how to 7:46 stack our paddle we hear them scoring and we have no idea how to do that and so here at Woodinville Sports Club our 7:53 mission is to help the beginner to the intermediate player understand how to 7:58 play with beginners classes and intermediate classes so that they can start to uh feel confident to 8:04 participate in those types of tournaments and really have fun so Retention 8:11 we've talked about the growth of the sport and you know uh 8:17 certainly in my anecdotal experience anyone that I have not met anyone who 8:22 tries it once and says that was good I'm not coming back um you know it has such a high retention 8:29 rate not only retention but addiction rate uh really in in the people who give 8:36 it give it a try once you get past you know whether people get hung up on the silly name or feeling like it's uh just 8:45 smaller tennis they pretty quickly become disabused of those those Notions 8:50 um what else what else do y'all think draws people in yeah you know like I 8:56 thought about the community we had a tournament a couple weeks ago up in Griffin 9:02 um Griffin Georgia just south of Atlanta where we had a terrible rain forecast on 9:09 Sunday which was supposed to be men's women's doubles day so uh 9:15 fortunately we were again in a facility with enough courts we moved the Sunday schedule to Saturday and 9:22 followed mixed doubles with it ended up being uh 16 almost 17 hour day of just 9:29 play on the courts we started 8 A.M finished uh a little bit after midnight and 9:36 I was telling Francois I got back you know I would very wrong I was tired at the end of it it was it was a long day 9:42 but um I was also about as relaxed as I can 9:47 remember being at the end of it there's just something soothing about being around pickleball uh that I can't really 9:54 like I don't know if it's ASMR and just hearing the sound or uh the the people 9:59 but you know for me that's what really keeps me coming back is what drew me in was uh 10:06 you know I could play for five hours and be exhausted but man I felt mentally so 10:12 good at the end of uh a long session of playing what do you all think 10:18 draws people it's demonstrated every weekend everywhere we go uh this last 10:24 weekend the story of the weekend was a mother-daughter team that everyone loved watching and cheering for 10:30 um and it was lots of fun to see how they played together and they played against each other 10:36 um and that was kind of one of those really nice story lines to really kind of emphasize that yes you can play with 10:43 your mom your sister your daughter Uncle there's a lot of families that come out 10:49 to the tournaments uh as I travel around the West they see a strong Polynesian family families showing up and it's 10:56 really multi-generational uh everyone playing with everyone else and it's 11:01 really it's fun to watch that happen and watch them celebrate together or help 11:07 with some of those life lessons of you can't win every match and you have to bounce back to the next one uh so it's 11:13 it is fun to see the growth of the sport truly in that family environment it's not just the competitive you know Ultra 11:22 athlete that does it it's everyone can play it and the thing that I notice about pickleball that's really unique 11:27 that I noticed is uh when you're around a basketball game football or even like all anything 11:33 there's it's it's with pickleball there was just a sense of togetherness like even though all these folks were 11:39 competing they were rooting each other on on the the Ambiance and the vibe within the Dome was just palpable and I 11:47 just I don't know if I've ever seen another sport that can bring such wide 11:52 varied age groups together the way the pickleball does and it's just phenomenal to watch it which is why we're doubling 11:59 down on it here at Woodinville Sports popularity is there the camaraderie is there and again because our mission is 12:06 to drive that family experience for all children and everybody else like pickleball is perfect for that CrossGenerational 12:12 yeah the cross generational piece is awesome yeah you're absolutely right about that it it's such it's such a 12:19 leveler of a sport where 60 year olds can compete against and be successful 12:25 against you know players 30 40 years their junior yeah and the nice thing is 12:31 that I'm seeing some of the organizations around the country are going after grants because it is 12:36 recognized as an intergenerational sport other organizations are formally recognizing it that all ages can play 12:43 together so grant money is starting to shake free a little bit more for pickleball because it's not just for one 12:50 age group there is a strong emphasis on ensuring that there is accessibility for 12:56 seniors because active seniors has been proven over and over again that it's a healthier lifestyle so we're seeing a 13:03 lot of the adult communities adding more and more pickleball courts because they see they have healthier residents so 13:11 it's on all sides of the scale whether it's intergenerational or the senior living active living Focus uh the money 13:18 is starting to shake free a little bit easier Washington recently made a 13:23 pickleball the official state sport and I've seen a dramatic change in the last six months with that because now more 13:29 municipalities realize hey I can't ignore this pickleball is not like horseshoes or disc frisbee frisbee golf 13:38 it's really on the other side of the scale it's closer to basketball or softball and it needs the infrastructure 13:45 to continue to grow and be great yeah that that hits on so that I think a 13:51 lot of other localities have started to bump into us you know uh 13:56 sort of the The Refuge of people who uh would argue against their lost growth or 14:02 don't want to see facilities Builder don't want to lose feel like uh 14:09 you know and I I'm hesitant here because I I don't really buy into the territorial turf war 14:16 between tennis and pickleball I know that there is that and plenty of localities I don't think that's a global 14:22 issue but the idea that a pickleball the pickleball courts being built or 14:28 even tennis courts being converted to pickleball courts is a net loss for tennis these aren't zero some games 14:34 right uh but the argument that I hear increasingly now is 14:41 that pickleball is a fad right like the growth projections are the same as Racquetball and pickleball 14:47 will see the same drop off and that is the argument used against Community investment in uh Greater Community 14:54 investment pickleball is that people don't want to build facilities like racquetball did in the early 80s and be 15:00 left with a boondoggle five to ten years later um Mike what would what what how do you 15:06 respond to that sort of well I when I go back and I ask them 15:11 questions specifically about whatever they're arguing whether it's racquetball or another Sport and have they seen the 15:19 the involvement of all the different age groups and all the different uh cultures that are embracing it it's not just a 15:27 small sector and world and as most facilities I run into start with tennis 15:33 courts and like behind me the two courts over my shoulder that were tennis courts 15:38 are now this year pickleball courts so they went from two courts to now ten courts and the tennis you know they 15:45 cannot deny that that Revenue opportunity versus an empty court 15:50 um a lot of the a lot of the municipalities even um Palo Alto is a great story they have 15:56 a strong tie-in in their park land is very expensive in the Bay Area it's hard 16:01 to build new facilities so you have to utilize what you have um and so even though there's a strong 16:07 tennis history there are are more pickleball courts being added simply because the popularity in the last 18 16:13 months since coven has really forced it to you can't ignore it anymore you have 16:19 to have a solution for all these people and it's it's continuing to grow all all 16:24 over the country and there's different stages in different communities there's no doubt that some people are ahead of 16:30 the other um but at the same time we're seeing that that ongoing growth and and The Fad 16:37 aspect of it um is that voice is fading because they're seeing it's nowhere close to 16:43 leveling off nowhere close to diminishing it is purely growing as fast as possible right now 16:49 yeah I would add to that by saying you know it is not I don't know it when it comes down to 16:56 the especially up here in the Pacific Northwest this is happening so I would I would say to those tournament directors 17:02 and Facilities folks out there that might be having these questions in their head specifically with regards to like 17:08 tennis and pickleball that I can speak from experience that these this community 17:13 has embraced so we are a club that is mainly tennis and we utilize our tennis 17:19 courts for pickleball we do a very stringent scheduling system around this and we're able to keep everybody happy 17:25 and make sure that everybody has reports that they need so I would just implore those other tournament directors and 17:30 Facilities folks to challenge themselves to meet the needs and demands of both demographics because I'm telling you 17:37 from experience it's very fruitful you have both tennis happiness as well as pickleball happiness and I'm starting to 17:44 see these two areas really kind of co-evolve together which I think maybe we'll do over time but uh again we're 17:51 able to utilize our tennis courts for pickleball and vice versa and um the 17:56 other thing up here for those of you that aren't familiar with the Pacific Northwest in general pickleball was 18:03 founded on an island in the Puget Sound Bainbridge Island Seattle is the closest metropolitan area to that and just east 18:10 of Seattle is what they call the east side and that consists of like Bellevue and Redmond and Woodenville these in 18:17 Kirkland these are areas where Amazon and Google Microsoft and these companies are on the 18:23 east side so Woodenville sits in the middle of that east side of Seattle so it's really spread Beyond and what we're 18:30 seeing on the east side is that all of these not only Senior Communities but just communities in general they're 18:36 getting themselves pickleball courts in their neighborhood we get four months a year of nice weather in Seattle so the 18:43 other eight to nine months they're coming to us and utilizing our facilities and so it just becomes more 18:49 of a community neighborhood so again we have been we've been doing this for a while now so I feel like we're very 18:55 fortunate in that we kind of trip and fell and got up and dusted off and figured out how to make this work for 19:00 everybody but know that this can work for everybody just because if you're a tennis club doesn't mean that you can't 19:06 hold um excellent pickleball not only tournaments but we also host open play 19:12 every night of the week as well as private sessions for these neighborhoods and people and corporate events that 19:18 want to rent for pickleball as well [Music] Tournaments 19:24 let me bring us back around the tournaments and drill down a little bit more on that one of I worked in college 19:31 athletics for 25 years and planned and executed uh conference tournaments for 19:37 All Sports uh at the division one level and one of the I I think okay it's now 19:45 my favorite thing about running a pickleball tournament as opposed to that is the 19:51 the sense of entitlement among pickleball players is so much less than 19:57 any other tournament organization I've ever done Eau bowling ball I mean you 20:04 name it you're you're right on 100 not it astounds me every time I mean you 20:10 know uh every every punch bowl has its turn or two right but for the for the 20:17 most part pickleball tournaments are on if I could chime in here Mike had more 20:22 4.5 and 5.0 players at this last tournament this last weekend and when he was telling me about that 20:28 I'm thinking okay this is going to get heated This is Gonna Get You know like a AAU Tournament or a high level whatever 20:34 it is and it was not it was definitely competitive but these com these comp 20:39 competitors they're going crazy in these matches and people are coming around watching and then afterwards they're 20:45 giving each other hugs like it was just such a wonderfully 20:50 um competitive but not like one person's got to overdo it's like a very Community involvement so I didn't mean to cut you 20:56 off there but I want to add to that I was super surprised in seeing that um especially with the high level of 21:02 players that we see and I mentioned to you Woodenville is about that really help in all levels of players 21:09 um so seeing that high level competition this weekend and seeing those 4.5 and 5.0 is just Crush our durables I've 21:17 never seen so many broken balls like it was really really fun to watch so and Mike told me before he's like you're 21:23 gonna have some broken balls and I'm thinking to myself I do open play all week we do all these little things and I 21:29 don't know if I've ever seen a broken ball well I think we have like 30 this weekend so it was just unbelievable 21:36 unbelievable very very fun uh yeah and that brings me to the the question I was Operational Challenges 21:41 I was driving at so great great segue Roger what what are people because players are so understanding 21:48 participants tournaments are in my experience always been fantastic and graceful but what are some of the 21:54 operational challenges in running a tournament that players may not see on the the front side of the desk 22:01 right whether it's making sure you have enough balls because uh you've got more getting cracked than you thought or you 22:07 know for me it's always t-shirts right like if I could figure out a tournament gift 22:12 the players would be happy with that wouldn't that wasn't sized I would do it 22:18 into perpetuity because the shirts are always a but I'll confess that I do not give away 22:25 free t-shirts they're now always optional so you can either save the money if you don't want it or you can 22:30 spend it to have the souvenir but we do we do shorts maybe half the time the 22:35 rest of the time we find functional samples we had Aetna as part of our sponsor this time uh so they brought us 22:41 water bottles handy wipes um they brought the food they brought water we were fortunate that we had a 22:49 CBD sponsor as well to give out little samples in case you had any aches and pains after playing for three or four 22:55 hours um so there is no Silver Bullet for tournament swag or giveaway items it 23:02 really does fluctuate um I agree with you there's a lot of under the water surface as I say we need 23:09 to look like a swan going across the lake but don't worry about our feet hitting the brass or the current 23:16 um you know Roger and I are trying to stay ahead of things as they were happening this weekend the simple things 23:22 like like keeping the restrooms clean right it sounds so easy until you're busy with a hundred people here asking 23:28 different questions um parking adequate parking and bathrooms are the two probably largest 23:36 unknown issues for a pickleball tournament if you are not prepared for both of those there's a good chance 23:42 it'll lead to other problems what do you think John is there any up is that the big two in your world absolutely 23:47 absolutely making sure you have you know uh we're really lucky at making we have 23:53 we've had 17 decade Courts for a couple of years we just finished another expansion this weekend we'll have 20 36 23:59 dedicated courts in that whole time we have not expanded the 24:05 brick and mortar facility so the uh the restroom situation remain I am so it's a 24:12 two-seater in the men's room and uh yeah I do a tournament down in Arizona at 24:18 ropes and ranch and um I came in a couple years ago where we had to 24:24 ex not allow the players to use the permanent building because of abuse from 24:31 the previous year so we brought in Portables and we received significant feedback that that was unsatisfactory so 24:38 the next year we found Waste Management to be one of our sponsors and we got one of the deluxe trailers that had music 24:46 playing in it and believe it or not we got a complaint that the music was too loud so when you spend the extra money 24:53 for the premiere uh restrooms it still doesn't solve everything but we received 24:59 a lot more compliments and complaints that year I try to always get ahead of the curve and get the better restrooms 25:06 but we're competing against weddings um so servicing the restrooms 25:12 daily cost more but it does help people no especially when they're getting God 25:19 forbid they're in line they get in touch with the court of assignment right like then it's uh 25:24 one of the other side notes that I was going to add John is uh the having food available on site I don't uh the players 25:31 don't truly understand the challenges in getting the right kind of food on site 25:37 I've been encouraging people in our Communications if you have dietary needs bring the type of foods you would like 25:44 um it's hard to service all people at a tournament it's not quite like a football stadium where we have 13 25:50 different concession Styles and stands um so Roger and I made an attempt this 25:56 weekend we'll revise it for the next weekend it's a live and learn situation based on the customers and where we get 26:02 but my biggest feedback to players is please come prepared a trail mix of your 26:08 favorite whatever a little bit of jerky to help you get through the day and by all means hydrate hydrate hydrate don't 26:16 wait until it hurts stay ahead of the curve if you have to cut down your celebration the night before it will 26:23 help you be more successful the next day John's over there shaking his head because we've asked me pickleball 26:28 players cutting down their celebrations is a it's a big ask Mike only if you want to win I just tell them you know 26:34 you just have to reduce it a little bit the night before just so that you can make it to the end because sometimes 26:40 it's a marathon to get to that gold medal match so I jokingly tell them on the podium you know when they get to 26:46 bronze I'm like well see you could have stopped an hour earlier last night and you may have made it to one more match and most of them understand that it's 26:53 it's within their control but hydration in all seriousness is is really 26:58 important even indoors in the dome last weekend we were drilling down on stay hydrated stay ahead of the curve it 27:05 really does make a difference we had some jigsaw samples with the pickleball cocktail players love it it tastes like 27:12 Tang by the way if you get the orange flavored one um but one packet is like two bananas 27:17 and that really helps stay ahead of the curve so you don't have to just eat mustard raw right I also threw out 27:23 bananas cheap bananas you know I put a little sign up and said cramp medicine free you know it really works and people 27:29 ate those up that was great um the only other I couldn't agree more about the parking in the bathrooms super 27:35 important if you can have a separate entrance that'll make things much easier like we were able to do this weekend but 27:40 the other two things I'll add you hit on it is you know for those of you I'm sure a lot of tournament directors will be 27:45 watching this episode thinking okay what can I get in front of get in front of chairs and garbages as well make sure you have enough garbages for everybody 27:51 in the chair situation a lot of folks want to be able to take a load off between matches and if you don't have 27:57 enough bleachers or chairs I would implore you to kind of do what I did I just grabbed a bunch of plastic ones and 28:02 brought them in so folks had a place to sit so just a couple little things to think about to uh ensure that you set 28:07 yourself up for success and if you're Outdoors over order your tents cover yes cover as much of that area as you can 28:13 with shade because same same thing everyone's going to want shade and I have yet to be at a outdoor facility 28:20 that has adequate shade structures built in 28:25 um because all these trees are where all 28:31 the players are hiding in between matches in the shade here on Maui so don't be afraid to come on out 28:41 do our best future forecasting as we can and I'll start with you on this one Mike The Future of pickleball 28:48 welcome to the the future of the sport obviously there is 28:53 if you look in your crystal ball Mike uh if we're having this conversation again on March 21st 2030 29:00 what uh what's the what's happened in pickleball what's the 29:05 biggest thing that's going on well so the biggest challenge right now is how do we keep our roots and our traditions 29:12 and how do we evolve at the same time um obviously over the last couple years ratings has become a giant 29:19 um topic that is not very easy to navigate or figure out 29:24 if we can get a little more clarity on ratings that'll help us drive forward as you said it's it's a bit of a challenge 29:30 right now to read the tea leaves because we do have some some pretty deep pockets coming into the sport so 29:38 um my ability to look around the corner or see the crystal ball has been very much complicated and clouded over the Tournament Themes 29:44 last last I would say six months to a year um and so what I keep reminding people 29:51 is that if you're going to hold a tournament or an event make sure you have a Core theme or a purpose 29:57 um if you don't have that you will just become another option out there so we're 30:03 going to see tournaments really start to evolve as far as are you pickleballing for a purpose 30:08 you know are you focused on a Senior tournament like U.S Senior pickleball 30:14 and driving more of a senior Focus I did help AAU pickleball back during covid we 30:20 ran some tournaments to kind of see about getting AAU pickleball for the Youth focused so there's a lot of 30:27 different areas of going forward the challenge is really going to be how do you keep it 30:33 fun how do we keep it fun for everyone we're starting to see the team events I think that'll really help some of the 30:39 competitive people really feed that competitive Drive um the MLP and that sort of Team concept MLP 30:46 I haven't ventured out into that world yet because I still see the strong need in a traditional pickleball tournament I 30:53 do most of mine round robin with a playoff because I know the ratings have a wide variety of where I'm at so this 31:01 kind of ensures that we get the right people to the metal matches at the very end of the day and and that way we can 31:08 ensure that it's fun for everyone and what's going to happen over the next year is it's going to take a lot of I 31:16 would honestly say patience patience equals points in pickleball we have to keep being agile and adjusting and 31:22 changing so what worked three years ago may not work in six months from now so 31:28 keep being flexible uh keep following there's a lot to see online I really 31:34 love the piccolo Rodeo the last episode is great as a good way to get people started on where do I find this 31:40 information it is a full-time job for me so I'm constantly following and finding USA Pickleball 31:46 what's going on whether it's new divisions announced by USA pickleball you know or moving Nationals from Indian 31:53 Wells to Dallas those are huge changes that just come out of thin air so if I 32:00 talk to the leaders of the world I would like more transparency so that we're not surprised or hit out of left field with 32:07 things we're just there's a lot of sudden changes and movements happening 32:13 and it's tough to stay ahead of that curve because sometimes I feel like I'm ducking when I 32:18 should be jumping if that makes sense no 100 I I work like I said I worked at division one conference office for uh 32:27 for 15 years and one of the things I learned was the same thing that you said our constituents our members Our member 32:34 schools would often say the same thing that this came out of nowhere and people in the conference office would say no 32:39 we've been working on this for 9 to 12 months this was this was an absolute Transparency 32:45 Marathon the announcement hap because announcements happen in real time right 32:50 but it was a nine so the biggest thing to me is the transparency you're talking about let us know what you're working on 32:56 what you're trying if you don't hit the Finish Line I that's fine that's that's life for all the announcements we made 33:03 the people complained about right like there were uh for every one of those there was a half 33:09 dozen to ten that announcers never got made because we did 11 months of work and Things Fall Apart right 33:16 um and that's why we Justified only making the announcement not keeping people looped 33:22 in for a while but eventually we did turn that mindset to say look this is 33:27 what we're working on this is what we're working towards and the plan may change because 33:32 the plan often does especially when you are Paving a road as you're traveling on it 33:38 right like you don't know where the curve is going to need to be put in or where you're going to turn Conclusion 33:43 right Etc um and I you know I I don't know what the future of tournaments holds the 33:49 consolidation of power between USA pickleball and PPA and all of that I 33:55 think you're absolutely right it could look like any of a dozen things in seven years what I 34:02 think is vitally important what I hope we see in seven years is a lot more 34:07 institutionalized classes things like you're doing Roger with your beginner 34:12 and intermediate classes best sort of programming being institutionalized at 34:17 the local Club level is to me what's absolutely vital to sustaining the 34:23 growth of pickleball and I hope that's something that we take for granted in seven years all right thanks again thank 34:30 you to pickleball Rodeo for Mike Oxley and Roger white I'm John Roberts play well everyone thanks guys 34:37 [Music]

It's Spring, the Season of Rebirth, folks, and if you haven't been reminded of what it's like to be fully alive, then watch PICKLEBALL RODEO Episode 2, and before you know it, you'll be making a beeline for the nearest Target to buy 4 PICKLEBALL paddles, whiffle balls, a net and chalk to set-up your own court in your family driveway or nearest vacant parking lot. PICKLEBALL RODEO EP 2 features three industry aficionados, each a deeply impassioned enthusiast who transformed their passion for the game into PICKLEBALL tournament life. Meet Michael Hoxie, President & Founder of PICKLEBALL IS GREAT, INC., the national tour taking the sport to more than 100 cities throughout the U.S. in 2023 alone. Facilitating the panel discussion is John Roberts, who, following a career running collegiate sports tournaments, is now immersing his professional skills and personal passion as part of the leadership at the SOUTHERN PICKLEBALL ASSOCIATION, including serving as Tournament Director of the 'PINKEST PICKLEBALL PARTY ON THE PLANET' hosted annually in Macon, Georgia. (This is one PICKLEBALL party that will leave you green with envy...) And if that's not enough to wet your PICKLEBALL whistle, Roger White, Program Director of the Woodinville Sports Club based in Woodinville, Washington, inspires with his inside perspectives about how America's most prestigious sports clubs are serving-up PICKLEBALL courts in response to customer demand for this sport that so uniquely serves not only the more competitive singles and doubles crowd, but also everyday folks like us, looking for activities that get us off our screens (and couches) and on to the playing field.


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