In 2019, the inaugural Rocky Mountain Tournament Series included the Steamboat Classic, in beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Pickleball Open at the Apex Pickleball Complex in Arvada, Colorado. Following a year delay due to the COVID pandemic, 2021 marked the reintroduction of the Steamboat Classic, with over 300 players from around the country at the Steamboat Tennis & Pickleball Center. The early July tournament proved to be a perfect time to visit Steamboat and have a great time on the courts. August introduced the Rocky Mountain Championships to Denver, Colorado. The history making tournament welcomed nearly 1000 athletes to the Gates Tennis Center. Competition included most of the world's top players, as well as amateurs from around the world. The Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) joined with Rocky Mountain Pickleball to further enhance the tournament experience. The 2021 Rocky Mountain Championships became an immediate hit among players and spectators alike. We're looking forward to even more excitment next year. Tentative dates for the 2022 Rocky Mountain Championships are July 25th through 31st. So stayed tuned and save the dates.
In preparation for the 2021 Rocky Mountain Championships, the Gates Center was transformed into a pickleball haven, with resurfacing of the Championship and Stadium courts. Expansive seating around the featured courts provided exceptional spectating of the matches. The Championships included 37 courts at the handsome Gates venue.
The Rocky Mountain Pickleball tournament series concluded with the New Mexico Open which was held on Labor Day weekend. Our host venue, the Manzano Mesa pickleball courts, featured 18 permanent courts and excellent specator seating. RMP was pleased to welcome over 300 athletes from 16 states and five countries outside of the the U.S. The New Mexico Open
With our 2021 season in the books, we're already planning some exciting tournaments and events for 2022. In addition to revisiting our Steamboat, Denver, and Albuquerque locations. we're looking to introduce two more exciting venues. Please continue to check here or subscribe to our newsletter for the latest information regarding the RMP Tournament Series, including dates and registration openings.
If you have any questions or would like to contact us, we would be happy to hear from you.
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Pickleball - The Sport
With over 4 million players, exploding growth and constantly increasing places to play, pickleball has continued to be the number one growing sport in the United States. The dink, soft game, bashers, concentration, exercise, competition, and most of all fun, are all part of the pickleball world. Basically the sport is a blend of badminton, ping pong, and tennis. Pickleball has a relatively short learning curve, thereby giving even a newbie beginner the chance to start having fun right from the start. Played with light-weight paddles and a plastic wiffle ball, games are played on a court the approximate size of a badminton court. The net is set slightly lower than a standard tennis net. Play format includes both singles (two players) or doubles teams (four players, two per team). Bottom line is the sport is addictive and a blast to play!
Pickleball players are among the most diverse of any sport, including folks within a wide range of age and skill. Many tournaments see the largest number of players in the 50+ brackets. However, pickleball is far from being a seniors-only sport. Top players of all ages are well conditioned athletes, with competition demanding excellent skill levels, conditioning and training. For a taste of pro-level action, check out some women's and men's matches on YouTube. Names like Ben Johns, Kyle Yates, Tyson McGuffin, and Riley Newman are a few of the top men's group. While, Simone Jardim, Irina Tereschenko, Lucy Kovalova, Sarah Ansboury, Corrine Carr, and Lindsey Newman are a few of the amazingly talented women pros. In pro competition, as in rec play, we find players of all ages. Considered to be the best senior player in the world and friend of RMP, at 50+ Scott Moore is a 20x National Champion and continues to show his unparalleled skill on the court. For the majority of players, pickleball represents a fun, challenging and competitive means of providing great exercise and socializing. As skills and conditioning improve, often the competitive drive emerges in many players as they strive for higher rankings and a tournament medal or two. The satisfaction of such accomplishment, especially at the higher age levels, is something not often available in most other sports. It's an awesome feeling at any age.
At 22 years old, Ben is the undisputed world champion in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. While currently being the best professional player in the sport, he's also an exceptional ambassador, instructor, and great guy. Oh, and all this while pursuing an engineering degree at the University of Maryland! We hope you had the opportunity to catch Ben in action at the 2021 Rocky Mountain Championships, winning another Triple Gold (singles, doubles, and mixed).
This exciting group of young athletes define the future of pickleball. While currently under the age of 18, some have already reached the the professional level of compitition. At 12 years old, Anna Leigh Waters and her Mom, Leigh, were gold medalists in the Women's Doubles Open Pro event at the prestigious Tournament of Champions. An awesome feat for anyone, but to be part of the national-level championship doubles team at 12, well that's spectacular.
Some of the current top juniors include Wyatt Stone, William Sobek, Danny Phillips, Kale Kline and many others. These are but a few of tomorrow's big names in pickleball.
Whether reaching the heights of these special players or just playing in some fun rec games, pickleball is a sport for all ages..... although, like most things, the sooner you start the more potential you may have! So grab a paddle and jump in. We're pretty sure you'll have a ball.
As new players improve and begin thinking about competing in tournaments, a next step is determining a skill rating. Rating are a means of determining a player’s abilities, based upon some well thought out criteria established by the USA Pickleball and the IFP (International Federation of Pickleball). United Tournament Players Ratings (UTPR) provide kind of a leveling of the playing field, comparing one players skills against others. Basically, the rating system assures that players of similar skill levels are matched against each other in tournaments and other match play. This makes the game more fun and competitive for everyone. In January of 2019 USA Pickleball updated its tournament player ratings to include a four digit rating system, although a two digit interpretation of it remains commonly used. The new rating system includes a range from 1.0 to 6.5. This provides a more accurate determination of a player’s skill level and even better matches. The best place to find more information on the new rating system and other related questions is USAPA.org.
Following some basic instructions and review of the rules, most anyone can begin playing, enjoying, and becoming addicted to pickleball.
The 2019 Margaritaville Nationals tournament in Indian Wells, California featured over 2200 players from 47 states and 18 countries.
The skill, tallent, and athletism of the professional players is trully exceptional. Watching Ben, Simone, Kyle, Irina, Riley, Jesse, and the rest of the top pros compete is extraordinary. They provide us mortal players with goals most won't be able to achieve.... but it's fun to try.
Welcoming nearly 1000 athletes from around the world, the 2021 Rocky Mountain Championships was truly an historic event.
A paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.