The tournament will take place at the Wings Event Center in The Zoo and The Valley arenas, located at 3600 Vanrick Dr., Kalamazoo, MI. It is open to the public and free for spectators.
More than 200 of the best players from around the Midwest, many of whom have won gold medals at the USAPA Nationals, U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, and tournaments throughout the country, will soon be in Kalamazoo. On Thursday, June 2 beginning at 5:00 p.m. there will be an Exhibition of top male and female players. It will be followed by a "Learn to Play Pickleball" free to those who want to try the game. Men's Skill Doubles will be played Friday, June 3; Mixed Skill Doubles will be held Saturday, June 4; and Women's Skill Doubles will take place on Sunday, June 5. Start time each day is 8 a.m.
This USA Pickleball Association sanctioned event recognizes Bob Northrop, who was very instrumental in bringing pickleball to the Kalamazoo/Portage area. Northrop, along with Melissa Muha, organized several pickleball tournaments in 2009 and 2010.
The game was invented in the 1960's in the state of Washington. The game is played on a court with the same dimensions as a badminton court or platform tennis court. Players use a light-weight, smooth paddle and they hit a ball very similar to a whiffle ball over a net that is 34 inches high. The game is often described as a combination of tennis, table tennis, and badminton.