(Note: This section contains the various new things about pickleball that have come to our intention, interest us and may interest you as well…equipment enhancements, new rules, gadgets to make your p-ball life more worth living, other pickleball services and the like. Come back to this page often!)
Here are our current favorite new things:
1.1 Have you ever tried to buy a pickleball ball machine and been disappointed with it? Would you now enjoy buying a pickleball ball machine that you are NOT disappointed in? We have now purchased two Simon Ball Machines on behalf of two of the clubs we are associated with and feel that the machine is entirely satisfactory. Impossible, you say? Not so, ferret-breath! Check it out!
1.2 And while we’re on the subject, how about the newest ball picker-upper-thingee? Dave Majick, inventor of the original, patent-pending, high-quality welded-aluminum, low-cost Pic35, has now come out with the brand-new Pic65, which can handle 65-70 Dura or Onix balls, and is just the ticket to complement your purchase of your brand-new Simon. The Pic65 is featured on the Simon page above, but there’s a picture of it next to Simon below, and here’s a link to their site. We own a Pic35, A.J. intends to buy a Pic65 as soon as Irene gives him his allowance, and we heartily recommend this very nicely made and useful tool. (BTW, their site also has a bunch of fun drills on it…check those out as well!)
1.3 Or, say, you don’t like something about the Simon machine and would like an alternative? How about the Pickleball Tutor? We haven’t had direct experience with it but basically The Pickleball Tutor appears to be a straight-up competitive alternative to Simon; to us it looks slightly less robust, perhaps with a feature or two missing, and has a tiny bit less capacity….125 balls vs. 160 for Simon…but it’s definitely less expensive, almost a third less. Certainly it’s worth considering and if you purchase one of these, we’d appreciate a review! Thanks!
2. Have you checked out the Referee Handbook? This is also a “training manual” and essentially outlines the process to be followed to become a certified USAPA referee. Check it out here!
3. How about a complete manual for how to run a tournament? While this is a draft, it’s 50 pages of how to run a major tournament by committee. So who could write this? Well, Bob VanderLinden, Tournament Director for Palm Creek, coordinated its writing by cajoling all his sub-committee chairs to write up their responsibilities and then “hung it all together” in his own style. As you may know, Palm Creek hosts the largest Tier Two tournament run by a single club, and in addition is co-host for the Nov. 2015 USAPA Nationals. Check this one out and compare against your own tournament…maybe you’ll find some ideas or if you have never run a tournament this could be your new BFF!
4. Is this the best pickleball song yet? Many think so! Richard Shine, of Robson Ranch in Eloy, AZ, is a songwriter and singer who has really nailed it with his latest offering. Check it out and also advise us of any other pickleball songs you know so we can add ’em to our collection. Thanks!
5. Coolest invention lately? Certainly Jim Hackenberg’s ReferEZ is a contendah! This inexpensive, lightweight, durable product combines form and functionality to enable you, the referee, to more easily keep track of scores, time outs and more while communicating the same information efficiently to the spectators. No more shouting to be heard over loudspeakers at tournaments! Yay!
6. Anothah contendah? The Pickleball Court Stencil! Just like it sounds, this nifty tool has the possibility of being of real value when it comes to laying down either permanent (or, we’d suppose) temporary lines, straight and fast. Please check it out and, if you buy it, come back and let us know how you like it.
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