Jan papi
2018-04-23 13:26:24

U.S. Open Pickleball Championship competition begins Sunday at East Naples Community Park

Naples becomes the pickleball capital of the world again beginning Sunday with over 2,000 players starting competition in the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships at East Naples Community Park.

This is the third year for the tournament, which goes through next Saturday. There was a Kids Day on Friday, and a Margaritaville celebration and pro clinic Saturday while players practiced for the championships. Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country, with more than 2.8 million players.

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There were more than 800 in the inaugural tournament in 2016, and over 1,200 last year. This year's tournament registration sold out in three hours.

"We are really excited about this year's Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships," Terri Graham, the event's founder, said. "Not only do we have another sellout with more than 2,000 registered, but we have a wait list of over 200 people. Our spectator seats are filling up too."

The competition will include singles, doubles and mixed doubles play in a variety of skill and age groups. Players are from 17 countries and 47 states. Next Saturday's championship matches will be covered by CBS Sports Network.

Spectator admission is free except for matches on the Zing Zang Championship Court. Kiwanis will be parking cars again this year and there will be a charge of $5 per car per day. Complimentary shuttle service is provided from the parking lots. Parking is limited.

For more information, go to usopenpickleballchampionship.com.

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2018 U.S. Open Pickleball championships at East Naples Community Park

Play begins at 8 a.m. each day

2 p.m. -- Men's Senior Pro Gold

3 p.m. -- Women's Senior Pro Gold

4 p.m. -- Women's Pro Gold

5 p.m. -- Men's Pro Gold

2 p.m. -- Men's 25+ Gold

3 p.m. -- Women's 25+ Gold

4 p.m. -- Men's 55+ Gold

5 p.m. -- Women's 50+ Gold

2 p.m. -- Mixed 25+ Gold

3 p.m. -- Mixed 50+ Gold

4 p.m. -- Mixed 60+ Gold

5 p.m. -- Mixed 19+ Gold

Men's Senior Pro/Men's Skill

2 p.m. -- Men's 49- 5.0 Gold

3 p.m. -- Men's 50+ 5.0 Gold

4 p.m. -- Men's Senior Pro Gold

5 p.m. -- Men's Senior Pro Bronze

Women's Senior Pro/Women's Skill

2 p.m. -- Women's 55- 5.0 Gold

3 p.m. -- Women's 60+ 5.0 Gold

4 p.m. -- Women's Senior Pro Gold

5 p.m. -- Women's Senior Pro Bronze

4 p.m. -- Women's Pro Bronze

5 p.m. -- Men's Pro Bronze

6 p.m. -- Mixed Senior Pro Gold

6 p.m. -- Mixed Pro Gold

7 p.m. -- Women's Pro Gold

8 p.m. -- Men's Pro Gold