Players Gather to Battle it out at the Texas A&M University Beat the Heat Pickleball Tournament
Updated: Aug 19, 2019
Almost two hundred players gathered August 10th and 11th with paddles ready to rip it up on the courts in College Station, Texas. Tournament Director Mary Beth Henthorne has honed her passion for pickleball into running an excellent tournament. This years Beat the Heat "Team" Pickleball Battle was no exception. The tournament was held on campus in the beautiful Physical Education Activity Program Building which has 12 indoors courts. Tournament sponsors were GAMMA pickleball and Texas A&M University. The team game format was interesting and a lot of fun. I'll explain the format in a moment. But I want you to know that Mary Beth's future tournaments held at Texas A&M will be sanctioned!! The next one is coming up in November 2019: Aggieland Turkey Tourney.
The minimum age to play in this past tournament was 12 years old. When I first met Mary Beth at a tournament in Mansfield earlier this year one of the first things I asked was if she would be willing to lower the tournament minimum age (which was 18 at the time) to allow me to play. She was willing to work out the details so that I could. This Beat the Heat Team tournament is the second tournament I have playing in at Texas A&M since she agreed to lowed the minimum age. This tournament had 3 serious competitive juniors playing: Santiago Lopez age 16, Jackson Marzani age 15 and myself age 14.
This was the last 4 point of my first match of the day with my partner Anthony Curtis:
TOURNAMENT "TEAM" FORMAT
Each team men's doubles team had 5 players per team.
Each team will have 5 players on their team in their respective skill division. A team match will consist of 3 rounds (see example below for more information). Each game will play to 21 points. A player/captain must be identified during registration and must be present to turn in the match line-up on day of competition.
See below for an example of a men's "match."
Team vs. Team
Get Em Gig 'Em”
Player A: Mike vs Player A: Tony
Player B: Luke vs Player B Josh
Player C: Mark vs Player C: Matt
Player D: Jordan vs Player D: Elliott
Player E: Will vs Player E: West
Round 1: Competitors in round 1 will each be playing as such.
Mike/Mark (Players A C) will play Tony/Matt (Players A C)
Luke/Jordan (Players B D) will play Josh/ Elliott (Players B D)
Will (Player E) will play West (Player E)
Round 2: Competitors in round 2 will each be playing as such.
Mike/Jordan (Players A D) will play Tony/Matt (Players A D)
Luke/Mark (Players B C) will play Josh/Elliott (Players B C)
Will (Player E) will play West (Player E)
My Team "Hot Shots" Pictured from left to right:
Wyatt Stone, Jeff Arnett, Anthony Curtis, Seni Sanogo, Jackson Marzani
One of my favorite things about pickleball tournaments is that inevitably you want all the people you have competed against to be your new best friends. I have never experienced any sport where the community/culture is so friendly. I really look forward to seeing people I have met before at upcoming tournaments. Here are a few highlight of my pickleball friends...
Our team road a high until we came up against Team "East German Women" where we dropped to the losers bracket and then played a solid medal match against Team Heavy Dinkers which we won. One interesting fact is that the courts at Texas A&M are badminton courts and in this tournament the non-volley line has not been adjusted to USAPA court regulations standards. Essentially, the non-volley line is 6 feet from the net instead of the designated 7 feet. This is one reason why this tournament was not a sanctioned tournament and it is worth noting that the upcoming sanctioned tournament will have regulation non-volley lines. Video: Anthony Curtis/Wyatt Stone (Team Hot Shots) vs Ryan Ruess/James Aguire (Team Heavy Dinkers):
After this match we came up against East German Women again and they gave us another good run for our money where they ended up coming out on top.
A few action shots...
MY BRACKET'S COMPETITION
4.0/4.5/5.0 Men's Doubles
Team "Relish the Moment"
Team "Lucky Laddie"
Team "Cobra Kai Pickleball"
Jr (Sultan) Ally
Team "Sweaty (Pickle) Balls"
Team "Heavy Dinkers"
Team "Hot Shots"
Team "East German Women"
Dominick Greco III*