There is a craze that is sweeping the nation right now and it is called Pickleball. Players both young and old, are discovering this fun, volleying sport that is as much about the social aspect as it is about the competition.
"The growth of Pickleball over the past few years has been nothing short of astounding," said Kyle M Case, Huntsman World Senior Games CEO. "We knew that Pickleball registrations would come in fast and furious this year, because that was the case last year."
It's hard to imagine that anyone could have predicted just how fast the registrations would roll in though. At 12:00:01 a.m., the Games opened online registration. Within seconds, the first registrations were logged, and the pace only quickened from there. The Games' online registration system is designed to close down as the different events reach participation caps that are determined by how many games can be played on the available courts in the available time. The divisions reached these caps and were closed at the following times:
Mixed Doubles - 12:27 a.m.
Women's Doubles - 12:42 a.m.
Men's Doubles - 12:43 a.m.
Singles - 1:02 a.m.
Women's Skill Level - 7:08 a.m.
Men's Skill Level - 8:48 a.m.
"Based on how fast things went last year, we knew that it would go fast, but to have the sport reach those caps in less than one full day is amazing," said John "Rosey" Rosander, Director of Sports.
If Athletes did not get into the event, all is not lost. At least not yet.
When Athletes registered for a doubles event in Pickleball they reserved a “slot” for that doubles partnership. As both the Athlete and their partner complete the registration process and name each other as partners that doubles “slot” is complete. Since there was a limited number of “slots” in the tournament, and this capacity has been reached, a waiting list is currently being collected.
Athletes who registered and have reserved their “slot” will have until March 31, 2016, to complete their doubles “slot”. It is the Athletes responsibility to find a partner. From March 1 to March 31, as doubles partners are connected, this will open some “slots”. The Games' office will contact those on the Waiting List on a first come first served basis to give them a chance to register for the Games. On April 1, 2016, our office will begin contacting those with incomplete partnerships to help them complete or cancel their “slot”. Therefore, even though registration has closed for Pickleball, it still makes sense to get your name on the Games' Waiting List. Many people on that list will still get in the tournament.
All registered Pickleball Athletes will need to be USAPA members. Membership numbers were not required at registration, but must be submitted to the Games by September 1, 2016. For more information on how to get a USAPA membership please go to http://www.usapa.org/usapa-membership/. Once a USAPA number is secured, Athletes can log back into the Huntsman World Senior Games account with their username and password and enter that number.
If an Athlete registered for the event but their doubles partner of choice did not, that doubles partner will be allowed to register and complete this doubles “slot”. Athletes should input their doubles partner’s Athlete Number in the field provided and then they will be able to register for that event. If Athletes still have trouble, they can contact the Games' office at 800-562-1268 and ask specifically for Bonnie Mower.
"Over the next few weeks, we'll be working to match up partners and complete those 'slots' so we can get more people off the Waiting List," commented Derek Campbell, Games CFO/COO. "We hope people will be patient as we sort through the process. Our goal is to host as many people as possible at the best Pickleball event there is."
The Huntsman World Senior Games is the largest annual multi-sport event in the world for athletes age 50 and better. This year the Games celebrates its 30th anniversary by offering 30 different sports. The Games takes place every October in St. George, Utah, USA and welcomes over 10,500 athletes each year.