Not your average Sunday pickleball session!
16 top pickleball players arrived at Charters to take part in a pickleball tournament with a difference. The players were allocated to a Team of 4, competing against each of the other three teams. Each team would identify their A and B pair and each pair would play against both the A and B pair of their opponents. In the event of a tie, each player participated in a singles match, playing 4 points before handing over to their next team player, as seen at the recent Major League Pickleball event.
Our Team, were Team LOCK
Round Robin phase
The first team that we met were Team Diversity, made up of James & Antonella and Greg & Julie.
Thaddea & Roberto played James & Antonella first and were beaten narrowly 15-13. We realised that the end that they were playing wasn’t as good as the other end due to poor lighting so when Chris & I started at the bad end we asked to switch at 8. This turned out to be important because we were 8-0 down (I was thinking I shouldn’t be playing against these strong players and was worrying about letting Chris down), we switched ends and we went 13-11 up before losing.
Next up we played James & Antonella. Amazingly we had every chance when we were 11-5 up but went on to lose 15-11.
The final match Thaddea & Roberto narrowly lost to Greg and Julie.
4 points to Diversity.
The next team we played were team Spider. Darren, Peps, Simon & Rob.
We lost our first game to Peps & Darren but I did manage to do an ATP! Thaddea & Roberto beat Simon and Rob and also Darren & Pep. We lost our game against Rob & Simon. We were tied 2-2.
The singles play off was fun but sadly we lost 12-15.
We weren’t despondent, we knew that everyone would be going through to the Semi-Finals.
Next up Team C. Ed, Wes, Sebastian and Andre. An even scarier group of 4 strong guys. Probably on paper the strongest team. To be fair, Wesley and Ed, took it easy on Chris and myself resulting in us winning 11-10. Thaddea & Roberto narrowly lost to Andre & Seb, and Wes & Ed and we were beaten by Andre & Seb. 3-1 to Team C.
Knock Out Phase
Because we were bottom in the round robin, we had to play the top team which was Team C (again) in the Semi Final. Chris & I won one game and Thaddea & Roberto won 2. Incredibly, we had won 3-1! Team Lock were giant slayers!!
In the finals we met Peps and Rob and we won! Roberto & Thaddea beat Darren & Simon. This was flipped when we each played the other pairs resulting in a 2-2 and a singles play off for the tiebreaker which went to 14/14 and Peps and I were meeting to decide which team would win overall. Incredibly, it wasn’t a serve and return scenario, I managed to return the ball and Pep sent it back and I got my paddle on it before it went into the net!
Congratulations to Team Spider.
Always know your exit routes!
Afterwards prizes were awarded in the car park. We had parked in a different car park so we went back for our car and found everything locked up and we couldn’t get to the car! We walked back to the other car park and found that everyone had gone by now and that the gate to exit there was locked. We were trapped. I confess that I was a bit worried, didn’t know who to call to get us over a 6 foot fence….whilst on the phone with some of the players (6 of them on the same call), I dropped the f-bomb. Not really the image I try to convey as part of pbEngland! In the end, Sebastien rescued us – he came back and with the aid of a pop up chair he had in his car, I was helped over the wall by Chris with Sebastian breaking my fall on the other side. I guess Sebastian has read Commandment 1 from the Pickleball bible – “never leave a pickler behind’.
An eventful end to a fun day. How many games can players in their 60’s play against players in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and give them a competition? Chris and I just turned 64 and 61 respectively and we had some very close games. Add to that that I am carrying far too much weight and need my knees replaced! I love pickleball! When the stakes were higher in the Semi-Final, we managed to pull off a win which put our team into the final! To lose the final by 1 point in a tiebreaker is nothing to be ashamed of.
Thanks for the memories created
Thank you Ed Hares for organising the tournament and inviting us to join you. You were very good at finding foot faults which your equipment could then verify. Chris has to agree that we probably lost several points with toes touching the NVZ – it’s not the first time but it was the first time someone could show him his infraction! Ed himself hit 2 tweenies that I saw. Thaddea did at least two successful ATP’s. Sebastian executed a perfect Ernie. Rob told me that Peps hit two successive ATPs, one on each wing! I am sure there were many other memorable shots. Thank you to all the players for the games. Lots of fun! My Apple watch told me tonight that I had completed more than 14k steps so hopefully I will sleep well after today’s adventure!
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