Most folks know that in-house tournaments are fun. But it’s actually pretty easy to make them even BIGGER fun. Here’s some tricks, tips and techniques to make your next in-house pickleball tournament world-class.
A week before the tournament, have a clinic. This can easily be revenue-neutral. Charge a few bucks and get a good local person to be the clinician. Orient it to those who have never played in a tournament before. Usually these are your 2.5-3.0 players. You’ll see stuff on this site about how to hold a clinic.
During the week, have referees come in and practice with the groups playing, especially (again) with those who have never before experienced playing with a referee. Reduces tension and helps the referees who haven’t had a lot of practice. (Your tournament should have referees, which is also fun!) Check around on the site for information for referees.
Then, have a Meet and Greet party the evening before. Have music. DJ’s are amazingly fun even for listening music. Provide free food if you can afford it. Search on special events on this site for further detail.
Next, have some kind of pageantry around your opening ceremony. Find the folks in the club with the great voices; have them sing at least the National Anthem. Get in touch with Ken Porter of Pickleball Bling and have him teach you the pickleball song; after the Anthem have everybody clap along and sing it. Yes, we are serious. It’s fun.
Here’s a biggie. Get the brackets as small as possible. Divide them in whatever means are possible, smaller age brackets, arbitrary divisions of skill brackets like 3.25, 3.5, 3.75, or taking your largest groups and making different, equal brackets out of them. Why all this trouble? So you can award more medals! People who never before won a medal get to win a medal! Make sure you take pictures of all medal winners and post them in some internet-based bucket.
Lastly, have an after-tournament party to thank participants AND volunteers! Volunteers get to blow out the candles on the sheet-cake you buy for dessert….or something else, you get the gist. In our clubs we do all these things and more; it’s much easier to enjoy a club if the members see there’s more to it than the pickleball. Let us know what YOU did, and especially check back with what worked really well!Overall Site Map
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