In the News
East Hampton Press – Jan 3, 2023
It was a breakout year for the sport of pickleball in 2022. It reached a national awareness unparalleled in any sport that I have ever seen, since the tennis boom of the early 1970s.
Pandemic restrictions eased, and the eager active adults champing at the bit to play something with their friends, found themselves playing pickleball across America and the world.
Our local scene on the East End of the island exploded. Our major concern this past year and heading into the future is simple: Where can I play pickleball?
According to USA Pickleball, the national average age dropped again to 38.1 years. Casual players rose 22 percent to a staggering 3.5 million and the number of “core” players who play eight or more times per year rose to 1.4 million. Core players out here play more than eight times in a two week period!
The East End and the rest of Long Island has become a hotbed for this sport, and it’s not going away. There are now close to a dozen indoor facilities across Long Island. There will be a new indoor pickleball court facility along with a beer garden and other amenities opening in Riverhead in 2023.
It’s here and it’s only getting bigger.
For the East End players, more courts are being converted, built and resurfaced. Southampton Town is preparing to reconfigure half of the tennis courts at Red Creek Park in Hampton Bays and get five to six fully dedicated courts installed this year. The town has already painted some courts on existing tennis courts at Hampton West in Westhampton along with the four beautiful courts already in place. Add the four courts that the town built at North Sea Community Park next to SYS, the five indoor courts at SYS, along with the eight courts to be painted into pickleball courts this spring at Hampton Bays High School — HBHS also introduced pickleball into its physical education curriculum — and it’s very apparent that local government and civic leaders have realized that this sport is here to stay.
That’s good news for current and future players, but will it be enough? For now, it will have to do, but to see taxpayer dollars used to provide places to play and private entities taking the risk to open facilities dedicated to the sport is a very welcome sight indeed.
As every new year rolls around, we all make some kind of silly resolutions. To be a better person, lose weight, don’t drink as much, yadda yadda yadda … so to my fellow pickleballers out there, here are a few from me and maybe a few you should think about when playing in 2023.
Spend a little more time playing with players not as talented as you. Sure, we all only have so much time and want to play in the advanced level games, but those few moments with intermediate players only help them become an advanced player.
Make it a habit when playing in a large group to either set up one net or take down one net. Stop showing up when the nets are set up and leaving before they are put away. At least offer to.
It’s pickleball. There is absolutely no need for any animosity, arguing, name calling or court nonsense. It’s what separates this game from others — it’s just pickleball.
Stop going on the court with the same partner. Unless you are tuning up for a future tournament and make it known to most of the players beforehand, the beauty of the game is playing with new partners. Save your advanced challenge court games for the end of the session, and put a net away while you’re at it.
Help fellow beginners and intermediates with a helpful pointer or two. Hitting the ball or court placement advice goes a long way, but only to a degree. Not everyone wants to be a 4.5 skill level player. Some people just want to have fun and don’t need the added pressure of learning all the intricacies of the game. (One of my faults.)
And finally, have more fun. If it gets to the point you are playing and not having fun, stop playing, you missed the point about pickleball. (Another one of my faults.)
Around the Post Pickleball wishes you all the best for 2023. We’ll see you on the courts soon!
Southampton Press – Nov 17, 2022
Will the pickleball destination of the Hamptons be Hampton Bays?
The answer: Sure, why not?
This past year, Hampton Bays High School embraced with open arms the re-figuring of eight hardly used badminton courts into pickleball courts. My company, Around the Post Pickleball, purchased and donated eight new portable nets, helped repaint the lines — badminton and pickleball courts are the same dimensions, 20 feet by 44 feet — so they could be used on an experimental basis.
The experiment was a rousing success, as we ran a large tournament that attracted players from all over Long Island to come out to the area for a weekend, and our weekend clinics were always full as we introduced the game to close to 250 players.
The clinics are still going, with the very mild temperatures, and John Foster, the district’s athletic director, has procured some time in the spacious middle school gym for the winter months to keep the clinics and maybe some open play time available to us and the community.
Why have he and the school district been so accommodating? As John told me, “It’s good for everybody — the school, the players, the students and the community. We want to be the leader with this fast-growing sport, not only for the area but for our students.”
When we were approached by John to give a tutorial on pickleball to the physical education teachers, we jumped at the chance to do so, and we are thrilled that Hampton Bays School District has added pickleball to its curriculum. It was quite heartwarming to see all eight courts being used by students and the teachers just the other day as I drove by.
In the coming days, we plan to contact all the area athletic directors with the hope of introducing them to pickleball and the benefits that come with the game.
Our plan for next season at the high school is to paint the lined courts into fully dedicated pickleball courts, which would mean that it would have the largest outdoor pickleball facility on eastern Long Island. We will be responsible for the court painting — and I can’t wait to make this into a showplace for our sport.
But we still need more courts.
I applaud the Town of Southampton for having added eight fully dedicated, beautiful courts in the past 18 months. The two locations — in Southampton, next to the SYS facility, and in the Hampton West Park in Westhampton — both have four courts and are used daily.
They were needed, and the town supervisor, Jay Schneiderman, who is also an avid player and proponent of the sport, answered the call of the local players. He and the Parks and Recreation Department staff should be commended. This town spends a fortune keeping all their public facilities in top shape.
But they need to spend just a little more.
The original courts that the town offered almost eight years ago at Red Creek Park in Hampton Bays, in the outdoor hockey rink, are deteriorating, and the facility needs a major upgrade.
If the town has turned its back to inline hockey then the surface should be redone to pickleball specs and six new courts could be installed. That would give Hampton Bays 14 dedicated courts within two miles of each other that no doubt would be used by the growing multitude of players, especially during the summer months. Imagine playing and not having to wait 20 minutes between games.
Hampton Bays, the Pickleball Capital of Long Island?
I see it. I hope the town does, too.
Albany pickleball tournament organized by veteran baseball entrepreneur
The businessman who pitched the Field of Dreams to adult baseball players is hosting Albany’s first major pickleball tournament.
The Albany Capital Center Classic will take place at the Albany’s convention center on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, 2023. Slots are filling up.
Scott Green, president of Around the Post Pickleball, said he expects 150 to 200 players to compete. The convention center will set up six to eight courts on wood flooring typically installed for basketball and volleyball.
Green lives in Hampton Bays on Long Island and runs Play at the Plate, a business that organizes adult and father/son baseball tournaments at Major League Parks around the country. Play at the Plate has also has hosted events at the Field of Dreams in Iowa. Before he founded the company, Green was head of baseball operations for the Major League Baseball’s All Star Game Fantasy Camps, where adult baseball players of any skill train at MLB parks for a week.
Green started playing pickleball seven years ago and became an instructor. He helped bring pickleball to Hampton Bays schools and is involved in organizing pickleball training for physical education teachers on Long Island. Green launched Around the Post Pickleball last year.
Albany “has rolled out the red carpet” for his tournament, Green said. Discover Albany gave Green a grant to help cover costs, and Green committed to holding a tournament here for two years.
“We are viewing this as the start of something we can build on,” said Jay Cloutier, director of sales for Discover Albany. “I think Scott’s two-year commitment is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Discover Albany is a not-for-profit organization funded by the occupancy tax collected by hotels in Albany County. The agency promotes tourism and economic development and tries to bring conventions and tournaments to the county.
Cloutier said he had been trying to snag a pickleball event. As Discover Albany’s sports commissioner, Cloutier attends trade shows that connect venues with groups that organize sports competitions.
“At those events, you would have to be deaf not to hear the whispers and furtive conversations about how pickleball seems to be emerging as one of the events that you want to get in on the ground floor of,” he said.
Green has hosted several smaller tournaments on Long Island, but this will be his biggest one yet.
More than 100 players have already registered. The tournament has two age brackets 14 to 49 and 50+, and two skill levels: 3.0 to 3.5 and 4.0 to 4.5.
To help promote the tournament, Green is offering free pickleball clinics for beginners and advanced beginners at the Albany Capital Center on Nov. 20 and 21. A few Nov. 21 slots are still available. go.thryv.com/site/s8gocx8xltf1pkmw/online-scheduling
“There is a movement afoot,” Cloutier said. “We are thrilled with Scott and his engagement and his drive to make year one a wild success.”
Dan’s Papers – Oct 9, 2022
In the mid-1960s, a new sport emerged in Bainbridge Island, WA, as a children’s backyard game. The game, which would soon be dubbed “pickleball,” would grow into a phenomenon to be enjoyed by individuals of all ages. And nearly six decades after its inception, pickleball has landed in the Hamptons, led by Scott Green, a Hampton Bays resident and founder of Around the Post Pickleball.
A summertime, fan-favorite for many, pickleball is played in singles or doubles, much like tennis. However, instead of using rackets and tennis balls, the game requires the use of paddles and plastic balls equipped with holes for aerodynamics. The set begins with a serve and a volley ensues, with points tallied when one team fails to advance the ball over the waist-high net or keep the ball in play.
“Sometimes, when I mention pickleball to people, I still get the reaction: ‘What’s pickleball?’ Not everyone has heard about it,” Green says. “I think that it’s getting more popular today because people have been cooped up for three years; Covid has separated people. Now, you can come to this sport, which is tremendously social, meet two or three groups of people, do something and see results quickly.”
“The learning curve is not that steep,” he adds. “Unlike golf, and I love golf, there is no frustration to pickleball. If you are in your late 40s or early 50s, and you may not have been very active outside of your college sports or the local softball league, you can play this game, and you can get the reward of learning it. It’s ultra inviting, and when you are playing with your friends, it never gets too serious.”
While pickleball may have been played on tennis courts, gym floors and blacktops in the Hamptons for years, 2021 brought about the first organized group for the sport on the East End. Around the Post Pickleball got its start in Hampton Bays and quickly emerged as a force for recreation and exercise for people of all ages.
“When tournament time comes around, then you see the hard-core pickleball player who wants to win, or wants to compete,” Green says. “But, generally speaking, people view this game as not something serious enough to get mad about. Nobody plays pickleball in a bad mood, I don’t know if you get that from bowling, or tennis, or golf.”
After its formation, the organization immediately gained steam among locals and seasonal visitors alike. Hosting several tournaments throughout the summer months, Around the Post is organized by Green, who some would call the region’s “father” of the game. Green is a twice-certified coach, hosting clinics in the Hamptons and elsewhere throughout the year, with some of the world’s and the East End’s top players in the game.
“We had 250 people come to our clinics this year and I have 10 more coming this weekend for the first time,” he says. “When you come to our clinics, we are ready. We are organized and ready to drill you.”
His hope is to continue to grow the game in various ways and capacities, creating enthusiasts and pickleball communities wherever the pickleball is served.
In September of 2021, the Hamptons held what was perhaps its most successful pickleball tournament, bringing players to the East End from New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. With approximately 110 players, the tournament, which was originally conceived to be a local tournament, proved that pickleball fever is far-and-wide and demand to play the game is growing each and every day.
Green brings with him a unique background and experience, which has served as an asset in networking the sport in our region. Professionally speaking, he specializes in corporate events. He has made a career of hosting events involving Major League Baseball, including “Play at the Plate,” a small company that runs adult and father-son baseball tournaments at MLB parks, spring training sites and historic baseball fields.
Some of his organization’s events have been hosted at the Field of Dreams site in Iowa, as well as the nation’s oldest continuously used baseball stadium, Rickwood Field, in Birmingham, AL.
“Going into the baseball business was a natural fit for me. The fields that we go to have to have a certain quality,” Green says. “The playing surface itself needs to be outstanding, and in most cases we require a clubhouse, showers and the whole nine yards. For me, the connection between the two sports is my passion about these two sports.
“People are making a large commitment to come and play ball with me,” he continues. “We always make sure in either sport that you are going to have a good time and it’s something that you are going to walk away from with a good experience.”
While much like his task in baseball, his efforts in pickleball are to build support for a game that is without a professional league with primetime broadcast rights. Pickleball, which is largely seen as recreation, brings people together, Green says, and establishes a shared sense of community in the spirit of competitive sport.
Seemingly taking off nationwide, though, major athletes and celebrities have begun to express their interest in the sport. For example, NBA star LeBron James has just purchased among the first professional league pickleball teams. The game has been competitively played by everyone from your neighbor who frequents the local Y.M.C.A. to Kim Kardashian in an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
In January of 2023, Scott and Around the Post Pickleball will be taking their show on the road. They will be bringing local participants and players to the state capital to participate at the Albany Capital Center against teams from many of New York’s 62 counties. The statewide showdown will begin on Friday, January 13, and proceed through Sunday, January 15.
“We are playing in a brand new facility that is absolutely state-of-the-art,” he says. “They are moving the basketball court upstairs for us. The City of Albany is embracing this, providing us with a grant to come this year and next. We will also be going up in November to provide a free clinic to the Albany school children, to help them learn the game.
“You don’t have to be an athlete or have tremendous hand-eye coordination to play pickleball,” he continues. “Even if you didn’t take instructions, you would still be able to play pickleball. If you just kept playing, you would have a basic understanding of the game.”
Green encourages local East Enders to get involved, by participating in one of the various tournaments or simply picking up a paddle for some instructional lessons. Teaching the game to beginners, Green says, is a key to growing the game for the future.
“Over the next few months, we will be helping 800 to 900 physical education teachers learn about the game and helping them introduce it in their curriculum,” Green says. “We did it for Hampton Bays middle school and high school teachers, and now the students, as we speak, are playing pickleball on those courts. Without the high school’s inclusion, the takeoff of the game in our area wouldn’t have happened.” He adds, “And it’s the teaching aspect we love more than the tournaments.”
reprinted with permission
Todd Shapiro is an award-winning publicist and associate publisher of Dan’s Papers.
Around the Post Pickleball Gets Props in the New York Post! Click to Read All About it!
Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at the recent NYC Pickleball open. We are humbled by your support and were very excited when Eden Lica (who we sponsor) and Andrei
Daescu took the SILVER in the tournament. Thank you for your support!!
Well, our first event is in the books, and we leave this experience with great expectations for the future. The overwhelming response was positive, and the tournament ran without any major hitch, finished on time, play was continual, competitive, fun and in a great facility.
Our medalists were:
Gold: Fran Alongi and John Cosme
Silver: Luisa and Frank Gramarossa
Bronze: Christine and Mayser Aljader
Gold: Maria Lobben and Vaughn Campos
Silver: Janice Collins and Robert Verga
Bronze: Maria Napoli and Tom DiVincenzo
Gold: Liz Ingassia and Any Rousseau
Silver: Shirley Brady and Andy LaCorte
Bronze: Meryl Kessler and Jules Valencia
Very special thanks got to my great friend, doubles partner and pickleball brother, Bob Lessard, for manning the scorers table all day with me and believing in this journey we are about to take. Also to Eric Brady who manned the check in table, handed out the gifts and helped in the set up and break down.
Behind the scenes, many thanks to Jerri Dobler, Lisa Schindler, Jules Valencia, Jack Kratoville, Allison DeTemple and Shelly Simms for all their hard work and helping to get this new brand of pickleball events out to you the players. We have big ambitions and without these people contributing it can’t happen. Thank you all. And of course, to the fine folks at Pickleball Plus for allowing us to bring our product to their great facility. We hope to be there for many more events.
This coming week our 2 tournaments in Vandalia, Ohio in August and Hampton Bays in June will be open for registration! We hope to have a gig in NYC in May, Saratoga Springs in July or August, Long Island this summer also and some events at Tennis at Barn in Westhampton Beach.
I am also getting certified to be an instructor through the organization, IPTPA IN March. I will start having private lessons and clinics out here in the Hamptons, get ready for those updates. So we are off and running……thanks again to all and we will be in touch with all things pickleball often.
Around the Post Pickleball
Welcome to Around the Post Pickleball!!
We are thrilled to announce the first confirmed dates for a tournament to be held at Hampton Bays High School, June 18-20. It’s the Juneteenth weekend. There will be 8 courts available to us. We’ll have a food truck on site, vendor’s and some of the best players from the tri state area.
If you played in the event at Red Creek Park last September, you know we are seriously organized and ready to provide players with wholesome, competitive events. The format will have 3 or 4 different age categories and 3 skill levels, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 Medals to the top 3 in each group, a goody bag and a long weekend in The Hamptons.
All the details will be finalized shortly. We also have several other events that are in the works, but this was our first confirmed date. There could be a big announcement very soon about an event at The Nassau Coliseum, also in June. For you snow birds, we are looking at a weekend event in Palm Beach Gardens in mid March. My Ohio friends will be happy to hear we are looking at several sites in Cincinnati, Dayton, Vandalia and Columbus for a tournament or 2 in May. The game plan is to go national and have a cumulative point scoring system for all participants and make ATPP the place for amateur pickleball tournaments.
Our website is: aroundthepostpickleball.com
The email address is: email@example.com
And of course we have a Facebook page: Around the Post Pickleball
We’ll be in touch soon, hope to see you on the courts.
Eastern Pickleball Hosts Over 100 Players For Inaugural Peconic Pickleball Classic At Red Creek Park
27 East – Drew Budd Sep 15, 2021
Over 110 people came out to compete in the first ever Peconic Pickleball Classic held on Saturday and Sunday at Red Creek Park in Hampton Bays and hosted by Eastern Pickleball. Despite it being largely a word-of-mouth gathering, organizers of the event, like Scott Green, were not surprised at the large turnout. Green helped put together the event with Jules Valencia and John Barrie.
“It’s the fastest growing sport in America, and younger people are playing it,” Greene said. “When I first started playing, there was the thought that it was a geriatric sport, that former tennis players who couldn’t move around anymore were playing. Now it’s getting younger, it’s blowing up.”
Green, who owns and operates Plate At The Plate, a company that specializes in forming men’s adult baseball tournaments and events at Major League ballparks, spring training facilities, Triple-A stadiums and other fields, parks or stadiums of interest across America, said pickleball is growing so much and so fast that he’s already in the process of starting a second company, Around The Post Pickleball.
“Play At The Plate has done very well nationally, and this is blowing up so much that I’ve already spoken to USPA officials and they’re looking for guys like me and we think we’re going to be holding a New York or Long Island Open at Nassau Coliseum next May, with maybe some smaller tournaments in between,” he explained. “A lot of these people go back to Florida or Arizona. I don’t know if there’s enough to hold a northeast tournament, but again, it’s growing.
“For our first time out to have over 100 people. Word of mouth is unbelievable,” Green added. “And look at everybody, they’re having a great time, they’re conversing with a nice crowd.”
Eastern Pickleball was taking donations over the weekend to help pay for expenses. Green said there was a small surplus of donations above costs which the company will be donating to the Southampton Town Animal Rescue, located right next to the court in Red Creek Park.
”Eastern Pickleball is not in this to make a profit at all,” he said. “We just need to cover our costs. We had to rent the courts, get insurance, turn the lights on, it adds up quickly. Buy new balls, goodie bags, scorebooks, scorecards.”
Some of the avid pickleball players in attendance on Saturday, in addition to Green, remarked how there should be more outdoor facilities dedicated to the popular sport in Southampton Town. Currently, there are six known courts in the town — four that are being built at North Sea Park and two that are at Hampton West Park in Westhampton.
This weekend, the Peconic Pickleball Classic was being played on courts that were outlined in tape on the outdoor roller hockey rink at Red Creek Park. “I commend the town for building what we have — they didn’t build this, they lined out a hockey rink — but the fact that they built four at SYS and there’s two in Westhampton at Hampton West Park is great,” Green said. “It’s a good start, but we need that,” he added, pointing to the tennis courts at Red Creek, “where we could put 10 to 12 pickleball courts and put it somewhere in the Town of Southampton. There’s demand for it. This is not enough.
“You come down here any time during the summer and you’re waiting,” he continued. “We have protocol — you play four on, four off, and it’s very organized and it’s the pickleball rules — but that’s what it is, so can we use more courts. And this is not a fad. This is not going to be a passing fancy because younger people are playing it, and if younger people keep playing it I think tennis is going to be in big trouble. Very big trouble.”
Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, an avid pickleball player himself, regularly playing at the indoor courts at SYS, said that the new courts at North Sea Park, close to the SYS property, are actually not part of SYS at all, and therefore a membership to that facility will not be required to play on those courts, only a town residency. Southampton Town Parks Director Kristen Doulos said those courts should be done in the coming weeks.
Both Doulos and Schneiderman said there are more courts throughout the town that are lined for pickleball, like the ones at Red Creek Park. Doulos said the town is adding more courts when feasible. Schneiderman agreed that pickleball is a growing sport and that younger people are starting to pick it up. He implored anyone who wants to convey a plan for additional courts to attend Town Board meetings.