As pickleball continues to grow here in Highlands County, local pickleball players are looking for more opportunities to test their skills, meet new players and learn new techniques.
On Monday, the Tanglewood Pickleball Club invited players from Sebring Village, Sun ‘n Lake and Crystal Lake to join in a fun gathering referred to as the “Getting to Know You Gathering” where all 32 players had a chance to play six games each.
Six players from each of Sun ‘n Lake and Sebring Village plus a single competitor from Crystal Lake competed with 19 of Tanglewood's picklers.
In the first half of the “tournament”, there was a men's doubles and a ladies' doubles competition. The second half of the day was mixed doubles play. Players of all ages and all ability levels met and were paired randomly for each game.
Pickleball games are generally played to a fixed total of 11, 15 or 21 points. To keep this event moving along smoothly, and to ensure every player had equal playing time, all games were 15 minutes in length.
At the end of the day, the leading point getter amongst the women was Barb Taylor of Crystal Lake with 102. In second place was Cheryl McCullough of Tanglewood who racked up 76 points. Tanglewood's Betty Dodge amassed 75 points during the day to finish in third.
The men's top point man was Tom Stadler of Tanglewood with 90. In second was John Prentice from Sebring Village with 77 points. Coming in third, with 72 points, was Tanglewood's Bob Dunston.