Efforts made to include more as pickleball tourney fills up

If you wanted to play in this year’s Founders Pickleball Tournament on Bainbridge Island it’s too late. It’s already full.

Yep, four months before the event 350 people have already signed up. Countries like Canada, Mexico and Thailand are represented, along with players from 16 states. But tourney officials want to get more involved so a free “Teach Our Own” clinic has been added to the weeklong event that starts Aug. 4 at Battle Creek.

Veteran players will divide attendees into groups on Battle Point’s 12 tourney courts from 11 a.m. to noon Aug. 4 and cover game fundamentals, including scoring and positioning. A brief history break will include stories from some of the game’s original family members.

Also, the Wooden Paddle tournament has been expanded to include more players.

“We have expanded the Wooden Paddle tournament which is a great way for more people to get involved, especially those who missed the cut for the main tournament. It presents a casual atmosphere for those new to the game and tournament play,” tournament chairman Sean Meagy said.

He said the regular tourney filled up fast. “Some of our popular brackets filled up within two hours,” he said.

The Aug. 7 Wooden Paddle event features a gender-neutral, scramble format offering multiple games in three ability levels. Participants receive a new wooden paddle with the Founders Tournament logo.

The tournament, in its fifth year, is sponsored by the Bainbridge Historical Museum, which will receive proceeds from entry fees. For details go to: www.bainbridgehistorymuseum.org/events

One of the highlights of the week is a visit to Pickleball’s original court. A suggested donation of $25 helps offset the costs to shuttle visitors to the site on the south end of BI. Those interested can sign up at the Historical Museum tournament booth. The booth will include displays of the game’s history, as well as other fun historic BI tidbits.