The City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department will host the area’s first pickleball tournament April 15-17, 2016, at the new outdoor pickleball courts in West Hills Park, 7624 Sheffield Drive. More than 150 players have registered for the first-time event.
Vice Mayor Duane Grieve will host an on-site opening ceremony for the tournament at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 15.
The tournament will begin with a dynamic skills division, the first of its kind in a pickleball tournament, which will include opportunities for players with disabilities to compete. Other competitors can sponsor dynamic skills players through monetary donations or training.
“The City Parks and Recreation Department is taking measures to ensure that we offer programming for all members of the Knoxville community to enjoy,” said Aaron Browning, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation. “For some time, we have been working to modify our facilities so that they are accessible, and it’s important that we follow through by programming those facilities with a variety of opportunities such as this pickleball tournament.”
Pickleball, a sport created for all ages and skill levels, is a growing phenomenon in Knoxville. It combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong resulting in a fast-paced and strategic game.
“It’s an extremely fun game,” said Steve Causey, a recreation therapist and pickleball player. “Athleticism doesn’t rule. It’s as much of a mind, technical and strategic game, so it provides an opportunity for all ages and skill levels to participate.”
The tournament will begin Friday, April 15, with registered participants competing in elimination rounds until winners are determined and announced on Sunday, April 17. Singles divisions will be held on Friday, Doubles on Saturday, and Mixed Doubles on Sunday.
For more information, visit www.KnoxvilleAthletics.com or call 865-215-4311.