Get ready, it’s coming soon.
The Picklepalooza Pickleball Tournament, sponsored by Aitkin Community Education as part of the Northland Foundation’s Rural Aging Initiative, will be held July 31 at the Don Hagestuen Tennis Center in Aitkin.
Community Education Director Lara Lindbo-Parkin is heading things up. Teams can register at Aitkin Community Education by calling 218-927-2115.
“This is my baby so I hope it goes over well – or it will be my fault,” Lindbo-Parkin said. “But seriously, we have multiple brackets based on skill level and we hope for a lot of teams.”
Cost is $20 per bracket, with players able to participate in more than one bracket. The brackets are broken down into recreational and competitive play, along with a separate youth division.
The recreational bracket is described as those who consider themselves beginners who want a fun casual game and the competitive bracket is for those who are more experienced, at a more advanced skill level and look for the challenge of good competition.
Estimated start times are 8 a.m. for seniors, 9:40 a.m. for adult brackets and 11:20 a.m. for intergenerational brackets.
The youth division will start at about 1 p.m. In the case of inclement weather, the event will take place in the Aitkin High School gyms.
Lindbo-Parkin explained some of the other facets of the tourney.
“Teams can be of any gender, all male, all female or mixed,” she said. “You can register in multiple brackets and there are only eight teams per bracket so register early. There will be a round robin “pool play” style tournament. If we fill a bracket with eight teams, you will be guaranteed four games.”
There are seven options for brackets:
• Senior Recreational, where both players must be age 65 or older.
• Senior Competitive.
•Adult Recreational, where both players are 13 or older.
• Adult Competitive.
• Intergenerational Recreational has one player under 16 and one 65-plus.
• Intergenerational Competitive.
• Youth has players 12 and under.
Lindbo-Parkin hopes for a good turnout and good weather.
“We think this will be the start of something we can run year after year and hopefully we can get good crowds to come out and watch as well,” she said.