Pickleball tournament raises money for BC tennis

Issy Barrientos, Photo Editor

The tennis complex at Bakersfield College hosted the Second Annual Pickleball Cup from Sept. 22 to Sept. 23.
Nick Jacobs, the head tournament director, said the majority of the proceeds from the event would go back to Bakersfield College’s tennis team and the remainder would go to the 20-30 Club in town. The 20-30 club, according to its website, is a youth development program for men.

Miranda Defoor
A team of four practices on the half-sized court made for pickleball.

The registration fee was $45 dollars which covered the tournament fee, a t-shirt of the event, one raffle ticket and a product to alleviate leg cramps.
The separate men’s and women’s division games were played on Sept. 22, while the mixed division was played the next day.
Before the event officially began the area near the tennis complex was filled with staff, players, and many onlookers.
Before the games started Jacobs thanked the players and the sponsors for coming out to the event.

Miranda Defoor
Pickleball referee coordinator Rosie Roper hands Pickleball gear to a registering player.

Rosie Roper told players which of the 16 courts they would play on. Roper was the referee coordinator and serves as a district ambassador. Aside from keeping track of where the player would play she would hand them a red band. The red band was used to keep someone from serving twice. She handed each team two balls because they are “not expected to run.”
Roper started to play two years ago after some of her friends told her about the game. She said that the game saved her life because of her half lung. Through the game, she was able to build endurance. Roper described the pickleball as not as intense as tennis, easy on the joints, and slow paced though it can be fast. Within the first three months of playing, she participated in her first tournament.  Which she lost.
Johanna Coyne, the program assistant for Visalia, was also at the pickleball cup. She said in 2014 her boss asked her to look up events for seniors. The first ‘hit’ on Google was pickleball. She and her boss headed to Fresno to see what the game was about and decided to bring it back. She later found that the city was already building courts for pickleball. Visalia now has 10 courts to play on.  “It’s exploding,” Coyne said. Now she needs to help the game grow.
Karen Ledee-Lewis was one participant from Clovis, California. She also became interested in the game through her friends. She also played three sports in college. One of those sports was tennis which made it easy for her to transition into pickleball. The Claremont tournament, in October, will be the furthest one she has traveled for.
Jacobs said the participants almost doubled as they went from 90 to 200. He also said people from Arizona came to Bakersfield to play in the tournament.
While Jacobs plans to do the event again next year, he does not have a specific date yet.