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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sarah on Referees

Continuing the discussion volunteering to be a referee, here is an article from the RV Picklers and Sarah Ansboury called Pickleball Volunteers.

Pickleball Volunteers

I really love to sit with people who have played pickleball for many years. Through them, I realize how incredibly quickly the sport has grown and the corresponding need for more and more pickleball volunteers.

Canadian Nationals

I recently returned from Kelowna, British Columbia where I participated in the Canadian Nationals. The tournament was extremely well run. You could feel the pride members had for their local pickleball club.

It is truly amazing how every tournament is run by an amazing set of volunteers. Some are from the local clubs, while others are traveling through to play or just watch. It is so much fun to see the name tags or club shirts from all over the country.

Volunteering to Referee

I stopped by the volunteer tent, in Canada, to offer to referee matches and they actually told me they had all the matches covered. That doesn’t happen a lot. If like me, you play in tournaments, you know that there are delays caused by not having enough refs and line judges to complete all the matches.

Having come from working at tennis matches I can tell you it is more difficult to referee a pickleball match than a tennis match. Watching for foot faults at the non-volley zone during a fast rally can be very challenging. I remember refereeing a 5.0 men’s match and I caught a foot fault going for an overhead about 20 seconds too late! I felt guilty, but we all make mistakes.I want to encourage folks to continue the tradition of volunteering at pickleball tournaments. Pickleball has survived and thrived because of people’s love for the game and the fact that they are willing to volunteer at pickleball matches. I understand that you might find refereeing intimidating. You might feel ill-equipped to referee an “open” match or get confused when teams are stacking. Perhaps you want to start by refereeing a singles match. Perhaps you can help as a line judge for a medal round. There are lots of things you can do to help your local tournaments. I want you to know that we very much appreciate all the pickleball volunteers!

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