LBI Pickleball Tournament Open for Sign-ups

Jul 04, 2018
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Enthusiasts of a sport that has been spreading like wildfire on Long Beach Island in recent years are welcome to participate in a pickleball tournament Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 and 19, at the Nelson Avenue courts in Beach Haven.

The LBI Pickleball at the Beach Tournament is already getting sign-ups, said Andrea Jones, who is coordinating the event with Karl Lombel.

“We are limiting the number of participants to 120,” said Jones. “There are many pickleball enthusiasts on the Island, so it would be good to sign up soon.”

The Saturday event features women’s and men’s doubles, while Sunday games will be mixed doubles. Check-in time is 7:30 a.m. and the action is scheduled to start at 8. Age brackets are 19 to 49, 50 to 59 and 60 and up.

The fee is $40 for the first event, $10 for the second. Checks are payable to LBI Pickleball and can be sent to Andy Jones, 8 Cottage Court, Haven Beach, N.J. 08008. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Coastal Volunteers in Medicine, the free non-emergency family clinic for those who do not have medical insurance. It recently relocated to Stafford Township.

Jones said the racket game, which combines elements of tennis, ping pong and badminton, is currently one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S. On LBI, pickleball began drawing interest in 2013.

“It is played on a court about half the size of a tennis court, and the net is a little lower than a tennis court net,” she said. “It is also played with a Wiffle ball, so it won’t bounce very far.”

Games are played on the Beach Haven courts from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and then move to St. Francis Community Center in Brant Beach during the off-season.

Jones said there is a $3 fee to play pickleball at Nelson Avenue from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The rest of the time is free.

“You go to Nelson Avenue at 8:30 on a Saturday morning, there might be four people playing tennis, but there could be 40 to 60 people playing pickleball,” she said.

Jones is also involved in pickleball activities at her off-season home near Allentown, Pa., as well as Bonita Springs, Fla., during the winter.

“People of all ages can enjoy it,” she said. “And it doesn’t tire you out as much as tennis.”

For more information, call Jones at 610-737-7957 or Lombel at 610-291-5087.  —E.E.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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