Are you ready to serve your way into the next fitness craze? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a new opportunity to meet new people in the area? Pickleball is sweeping the nation, and Mansfield has joined in. Now is the perfect time to join in and make your friends green with envy at how much fun you’re having.
The Mansfield Activities Center has offered open court times for pickleball players and a few smaller tournaments over the last few years. But based on demand, the MAC has expanded those offerings this year to rave reviews. Last September the MAC hosted the first Summer Slam Pickleball Tournament, a two-day event at FieldhouseUSA Mansfield that brought more than 250 players from across the country. Players ranged from first timers to highly-skilled regulars, but all saw great competition and plenty of on-the-court action.
“My wife and I began playing pickleball a couple of weeks ago and are obsessed with the game,” said Mark Viskoski. “The communication and organization [of the Summer Slam Tournament]was incredible. Everything was top notch, and we can’t wait for the next one.”
This winter the MAC launched a beginners clinic; five weekly lessons taught by a certified International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association instructor. Each 90-minute class is limited in size to give plenty of individualized instruction and help new students learn the game or existing players hone their skills.
In the spring, MAC sports coordinators are planning another large tournament at FieldhouseUSA, with a few big changes that should attract even more players.
“We had such a great response to our summer tournament that we’re raising our game for spring,” said Greg Guse, MAC recreation services supervisor. “The Spring Slam will be three full days of games, and the entire tournament will be USAPA certified.”
The USA Pickleball Association is a national organization that governs the sport, regulating official standards and rules as well as ranking members. Many serious players only play in certified tournaments to protect their ranking and ensure all game play is fair and consistent. The extra validation helps Mansfield’s event draw more skilled players to an already popular tournament.
Once here, players can enjoy a pickle of an entirely different kind. The spring slam tournament was scheduled to coordinate with Mansfield’s world famous St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade and Palooza, a two-day St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Players in town for competition can spend their evenings cheering on beer barrel racing through historic downtown, watching the pickle-dressed participants of the parade or checking out the nightly live concerts.
“We saw with the Summer Slam just how many people are happy to travel from out of town for a good event, so we wanted to plan this one at a time where they’d have even more to do,” Guse said. “The Pickle Parade is a perfect pairing to our tournament and should give visitors even more reason to come check us out.”
Beginners Pickleball Clinic (18Y+)
01/10-02/07 3-4:30 PM $25
Pickleball Open Court (18Y+)
12/03-02/25 Mondays 2-5 PM Free*
12/05-02/27 Wednesdays 5-8 PM Free*
12/07-02/22 Fridays 10 AM-1 PM Free*
*MAC Membership Required
Thursday 3/14/19: Tournament Social 5-8pm @ Steven’s Garden & Grill with live music and free prizes (including paddles)
Friday 3/15/19: Mens & Womens Singles & Junior Doubles 8am-8pm @ Fieldhouse USA Mansfield
Saturday 3/16/19: Mixed Doubles 8am-4pm @ Fieldhouse USA Mansfield
Sunday 3/17/19: Mens & Womens Doubles 8am-4pm @ Fieldhouse USA Mansfield