By Bailey Faulkner
Beech Mountain Club is gearing up to bring one of America’s fastest-growing sports to the High Country again this year. The club will host Battle on Beech 3, a yearly pickleball tournament and fundraiser for Friends of Beech Outreach, on Thursday, August 17 through Saturday, August 19.
The double-elimination tournament will be broken into skill levels (3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0) and three categories for each day of the tournament.
Thursday, August 17: Men’s Doubles
Friday, August 18: Women’s Doubles
Saturday, August 19: Mixed Doubles
The event’s tournament director reserves the right to make schedule changes if necessary. Be sure to check any changes before attending the tournament by clicking here.
Never heard of pickleball? The relatively-new sport has picked up steam in recent years, with the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) forming in 2005 to “support the sport, maintain official rules, sanction tournaments and provide player rankings.” Since its founding, the association has tracked over 200,000 players and 10,000 courts in North America alone.
Pickleball meshes together elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. Using small wooden paddles on a badminton-sized court with altered tennis nets, players volley a plastic ball, much like a Wiffle ball, attempting to force the opponent to commit a fault.
Pickleball’s popularity in the High Country has reflected the sport’s growing following around the continent. Last year, Battle on Beech 2 drew over 80 contestants from four states for the three-day event. This year, over 157 players have signed up for the tournament since registration opened on May 1. This year, players from AL, NH, OH, NC, SC, FL, GA, TX and TN have already registered for the August tournament.
Battle on Beech 3 will cost $40 per person. That ticket price includes participation in one event, a tournament souvenir and lunch on the participant’s first day of play. You can also pay an additional $10 fee to participate in an additional event. The extra $10 will also cover another lunch. To sign up, visit www.pickleballtournaments.com. Cancellations will not be refundable.
A tournament social event will also take place on Friday, August 18 at 6 p.m. A $10 reservation and admission fee is required to attend the social.
You can hone your pickleball skills before the tournament begins by visiting the courts at Beech Mountain Club for open practice on Wednesday, August 16 at noon.
The tournament’s goal is to raise $1,000 for Friends of Beech Outreach. To learn more about the outreach program, click here.
For more information on Battle on Beech 3, visit the Beech Mountain Club Pickleball Facebook page here or call the Pickleball Center Office at (828) 387-4208, ext. 263. The Beech Mountain Club Pickleball Center is located at 111 Lakeledge Rd in Beech Mountain.
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