The Best Non-Tournament Weekend in Pickleball

Posted on by Abbie David

The Best Non-Tournament Weekend in Pickleball 

The 4th annual Pickleball Pro Exhibition was held in The Villages near Orlando, Florida on March 20th & 21st 2016, sponsored by The Villages Pickleball Club lead by Jeff Shank. It is the only event of its kind and for each of the four years, Shank has invited sixteen of the top pro Pickleball players in the world to demonstrate, play and talk with the Pickleball Club members who bring their chairs and sit on the sidelines of four designated Pickleball courts to watch and listen to the pros.

 On the first day of the two-day event, four pros were assigned one court and invited questions from the audience and offered instruction on specific shots, tactics and techniques. Each set of pros then rotated to another of the four courts until they had been on each court, so everyone in the audience has a chance to interact with all sixteen players. 

The second day of the event featured an exhibition where the pros combined serious high level play with wild and crazy trick shots and humorous court alignments, and again provided insightful instruction. The eight men and eight women pros tried shots and ball placements they would be reluctant to use in tournaments, giving them a chance to play with their peers without the stress of a tournament; they love it as much as the audience. The exhibition provided delightful entertainment, a good deal of laughter and pretty much complete awe from the crowd at their style, extensive array of shots and excellence of play. The Villages Pro Exhibitions are Pickleball at its best.

On court instruction: (L-R) Bian Ashworth, Brian Staub, Wes Gabrielsen

Pickleball Pros:

Back Row: Kyle Yates, Wesley Gabrielsen, Phil Bagley, Robert Elliott, Brian Ashworth, Matt Staub  Middle Row: Jennifer Lucore, Deb Harrison, Brian Staub, Sarah Ansboury, Lydia Fenster, Diane Bock, Stephanie Lane  Front Row: Rafael Siebenschein, Jodi Elliott