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First US Open Spec Tennis Championship
Set for February 4-6, 2022, in South Florida
Played on a pickleball court, Spec Tennis offers players an alternative racquet sport that builds and improves tennis skills
Spec Tennis players will gather in South Florida in February 2022, for the inaugural US Open Spec Tennis Championship.
The first-of-its-kind event will be held from Friday, Feb. 4 to Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, at the Country Club of Coral Springs, in Coral Springs, Fla. Men’s, women’s, and co-ed doubles competition, and one co-ed singles division will be contested.
Advance registration for the US Open is required by Jan. 14, 2022. There will be no on-site registration. Space is limited to the first 16 doubles teams to sign up per division. Registration will close once all the spots are filled.
One of the nation’s fastest-growing new paddle sports created by Northern California-based tennis pro Nate Gross in 2016, Spec Tennis is more closely aligned to tennis than pickleball. Spec Tennis uses the same strokes and strategies as tennis and is played on a pickleball court. All that is needed is a paddle and orange-dot low-compression tennis ball. Spec Tennis is a true bridge sport to tennis as experienced players and beginners can grow their tennis games by playing Spec Tennis.
“It’s an amazing sport and the popularity has exploded here in South Florida,” said Ricardo Marcotulli, organizer of the 2022 US Open Spec Tennis Championship who works closely with co-organizer Anthony Allen. “Regardless of players' level, spec tennis lends itself to frequent spectacular points. The reasons for the amazing points' abundance are the shorter court dimensions, the lighter ball, and the less powerful racquet. And if you think it is fun to watch, it is even more fun to play, and men and women have great matches against each other.”
Another factor that adds to the excitement is the “No-ad, No tie-break” scoring system. For instance, a match could come down to just one point. That is, when the score is at 3-games all and deuce, both opponents have match points. Whoever wins the next point, wins the match.
“We have a co-ed singles division and a non-gender-based draw,” Marcotulli continued. “One of the reasons men and women can compete against each other within a level playing field offered by Spec Tennis is that the underhand serve (only one serve per point) is not an advantage for the serving player.”
Spec Tennis is easy to learn, even for someone who has never picked up a tennis racquet. The smaller Spec Tennis paddle and low-compression balls are easy to control. That makes for longer rallies for beginners, which increases enjoyment.
“The paddle is less powerful than a tennis racquet, yet a similar weight,” Gross said “This promotes better biomechanics, forcing players to turn their shoulders and use their legs in order to generate power. Spec Tennis helps players develop control. Any new shot or tactic you want to learn in tennis can be learned first in the more favorable environment that Spec creates, and then directly translated to tennis.”
MEDIA INTERVIEWS, VIDEO, AND PHOTOGRAPHY:
Marcotulli is hosting interested media to try out Spec Tennis by offering hitting sessions during the month of January 2022 at the tournament site. This is a one-on-one chance for stories, photography, interviews, and video to be gathered leading up to the tournament. For information contact Marcotulli at 954-633-0316 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: 2022 US Open Spec Tennis Championship
When: Friday, Feb. 4 to Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022
Where: Country Club of Coral Springs, 10800 W. Sample Road, Coral Springs, FL 33065
Divisions: Men’s, Women’s and Co-ed Doubles, and Co-ed Singles
Tourney fees: $40 per player initial registration fee. $15 each event.
Steve Pratt; 310.408.4555
Ricardo Marcotulli: email@example.com; 954.663.0316
(Joe Dinoffer is a master professional in the USPTA and PTR, has written 9 books, produced 22 DVDs, and has appeared on the Tennis Channel. His company www.OnCourtOffCourt.com manufactures training aids for tennis, pickleball, fitness, and yoga.)
Does Spin Matter?
By Joe Dinoffer
(Re-published from Pickleball Magazine with permission)
The ongoing debate about the importance of spin in pickleball continues. Taking the “bull by the horns” (or pickleball by the horns?), we hired a film crew to shoot high-speed footage of top-level pickleball players to let the facts speak for themselves. Then we simulated that average ball speed, RPMs, and trajectory with a Pickleball Tutor Plus to film ball after ball in order to film consistent patterns that meet the rigors of scientific study. To share our research, we produced a 15-episode video series for YouTube called “The Science of Pickleball.” In this column, we put pen to paper to share this data with the readers of Pickleball Magazine. This first article shares the basics of pickleball RPMs, compares them to tennis, and discusses some of the basics of spin. Future columns will go into more depth with key indicators to help all levels of pickleball players improve.
First, we learned that both top men and women can hit in the 1400-1500 Revolutions Per Minute (RPMs) range with topspin groundstrokes. While this may sound like a high number, the effect on ball flight is much less than tennis for two reasons. First, tennis players of similar levels can hit topspin groundstrokes with twice the RPMs and top professionals reach over 4,000 RPMs. Second, tennis balls do not have holes in them! The effect of 1500 RPMs of topspin in “holey” pickleball is far less than tennis, as the high pressure created above the ball only minimally pushes the ball downward as compared to tennis due to these holes.
Does topspin help keep the ball in play? Yes, but just to a small extent. It is also much more challenging to hit topspin in pickleball as compared to tennis because pickleballs are hard, do not compress on the paddle, and the stringless hard paddle surface makes the ball rebound twice as fast as a tennis racquet as well. More on this intriguing topic in future issues of Cup of Joe and The Science of Pickleball.
Lynn Cherry, Owner
I wasn't around Pickleball very long before I knew I wanted to start a website about the game. That's because I became addicted to the sport in 2018 shortly after finding it when I moved to Connecticut from North Texas. When I saw the local recreation center had Pickleball, I looked up the sport on Youtube and thought I'm going to love this game! I hadn't played a racket sport in quite a few years because of my bad knees but I realized on the small court I could probably handle the movement. So, using my skills from when I played open-level racquetball and a couple years of tennis, I started playing and writing about the game. Contact Lynn Cherry
The latest Pickleball Fire Podcasts
Local Women Launch Pickleball Apparel & Accessory Business jojo+lo Pickleball Wear ~ With Flair
East Lansing, Michigan, January 10, 2022 – jojo+lo Pickleball Wear ~ With Flair has launched their e-commerce business. Local residents and co-founders of jojo+lo Pickleball, Jodi Wujkowski, and Lori Bosch have 40+ years of combined professional experience in design, marketing, sales, communications, and public relations and have paired their talents with their passion for pickleball to design trendy apparel and accessories for all pickleball players.
Co-founder Lori Bosch says, "Pickleball is America’s new favorite past-time and the fastest-growing sport in America with over 4 million avid players, and thousands playing in the Greater Lansing area. However, pickleball often isn’t taken seriously."
Most pickleball apparel is lime green with comical dancing pickles or pickleballs with smiley faces. We believe these images do not accurately represent the athleticism of pickleball players or how prominent and professional the sport of pickleball has become. We keep hearing from players in our community and around the country that they love our edgy, trendy pickleball apparel and accessories—they are our inspiration. We have made it our mission to change the image of pickleball one graphic shirt at a time. Our jojo+lo graphic tee and accessory line includes something for everyone…Hipster, Retro, Americana (patriotic), Flair (flirty), and our newest…Statement collection which features the shapes of states and the caption dink local. We also have a custom bag hook, pickleball pop-sockets and we are ready to release three more designs for our apparel and accessories in the next 2-3 months”, said co-founder, Lori Bosch.
Jojo+lo are official sponsors of Michigan’s largest annual pickleball tournament – The Beer City Open held in July in Grand Rapids, MI, and are also sponsors of the PPA Professional Pickleball Association National Tour of the 20 largest tournaments nationwide.
Jojo+lo Pickleball apparel and accessories can be purchased online at jojoandlo.com.
What Others Are Saying
“Their patriotic apparel is my favorite – their hats & shirts make a statement on and off the pickleball courts.” (Daniel J Howard--pickleball professional, Michigan Athletic Club)
“Great idea! Jodi and Lori can be found having fun almost every day on local pickleball courts. They have brought that same sense of style and fun to their new line of apparel and accessories.” (Rebecca Dantonio)
With Her Brain and Body in Sync Through a Neuro-Fit Systems Program,
Lea Jansen Is Pickleball’s Unflappable Ascending Star
As seen in
Lea Jansen was a former college tennis player working as an accountant—hating her job—when Pickleball and a Neuro-Fit Systems program gave her clarity and, ultimately, success.
Lea Jansen played tennis growing up in Valleyford, Wash., near Spokane and competed in the sport for two years at Division I Washington State. But she dominated after transferring to Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich., where she was conference player of the year and a first-team NAIA All-American. She earned a degree in accounting before returning to school for her MBA in healthcare management at Davenport University, also in Grand Rapids.
While earning her advanced degree and helping coach the school’s tennis team, Jansen kept seeing social media posts about pickleball from childhood friend Tyson McGuffin, who previously ascended to a world No. 1 ranking. Jansen followed suit and, within just two years, is now the world No. 3 women’s singles player, according to the Pro Pickleball Association. McGuffin and Jansen now train together as part of the Team Discovery Warriors.
Jansen, 29, recently signed a sponsorship with Franklin Sports and credits much of her quick rise in the sport to her work with Jim Costello and the Neuro-Fit Systems program he developed, which recently rebranded as Kinext. The high-level concept of its signature product—Functional Neuromotor Activation Technique—is to isolate movement sequences, which in turn strengthens neuropathways.
Four Health Benefits of Pickleball
Picking up a new sport is an excellent way to improve your physical (and mental) health.
Some sports, like weightlifting, are great for your muscles. Other sports, like yoga, are great for your mind. Pickleball is the best of both worlds!
Here are 4 reasons to include pickleball in your weekly fitness routine…
1. Cardiovascular Health
Anyone who has played a tough pickleball opponent knows that it can be downright exhausting. When you play pickleball, your heart beats rapidly and increases the rates of oxygenation to your heart.
Studies have shown that racket sports like pickleball offer unmatched protection against heart attacks. Doctors recommend engaging in at least 30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise to keep your heart healthy. Pickleball is an excellent, fun way to meet this target.
Reaching for well-placed shots requires limberness and flexibility. While many people think “I’m not flexible,” the fact is that flexibility is a skill that can be worked on and improved. Over time, most pickleball players are able to stretch farther and bend their knees lower to reach the ball.
One of the best ways you can work on flexibility is by designing a pre-game stretching routine. I recommend using our Coach’s Clipboard and pairing a different stretch for each section of the court.
3. Muscular Strength
A strong pickleball serve and return works out your arm muscles including your triceps and biceps. Chasing a ball around the court is a killer leg workout. There is no doubt that pickleball is a great way to work on your muscular strength, just check out the physique of the top players like Ben Johns.
Many players like to “jump-start” their strength routine by using our Plyometric Boxes. Practicing box jumps is a great way to prepare your body for the rigorous start-and-stop motion in a pickleball game.
Depression is a mental disorder that is shockingly common in the United States. Being depressed makes it difficult to get outside and take pleasure in daily activities.
If you feel like you’re affected by depression, contact a medical professional immediately. That said, a recent study showed that pickleball uniquely correlates to a reduced risk of depression among older adults. Simply pick up your pickleball gear, head to the courts, and enjoy the endorphins released by an exciting game.
Pickleball’s health benefits are both physical and mental. It’s an excellent way to exercise, make friends, and release some stress. Pickleball truly is the perfect sport for all ages!
Kalindi Dinoffer is trained in multiple aspects of mindfulness in life and in sports, sharing on her blog MindfulKalindi.com. She is also certified to teach yoga, fitness, reiki, and MFR. Kalindi also serves as VP marketing at OnCourtOffCourt.com, a leading supplier of tennis, pickleball, fitness and yoga training aids and equipment and has been published in Tennis industry Magazine and Pickleball Magazine, and has conducted workshops at conferences around the world. In her spare time, Kalindi plays tennis, pickleball and table tennis and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and biking and cross country skiing in the winter.