More than 50 teams from around the state participate in the Orthman Community YMCA Pickleball Tournament | Latest titles

Brian Neben Lexington Clipper-Herald

LEXINGTON — The Orthman Community YMCA held its second annual pickleball tournament on Saturday, April 2, and more than 50 teams from across Nebraska participated.

Orthman Community YMCA athletic director Daniel Holbrook, who helped organize the event, said last year that in their first tournament, 26 teams participated. In just their second year, they increased that number to 54.

The action started at 8am and throughout the day 170 matches were played between the men’s, women’s and mixed divisions. Eight different courts were used, most in the YMCA, but Lexington Middle School also made space available in their gymnasium for some courts.

Holbrook declared the last game of the day, the Mixed Division Championship ended at 7 p.m.

“It was a one-day event,” Holbrook said.

The winning teams from the various divisions include:

  • Men 4.0 and up: Alex Lantz and Dawson Adams
  • Men 3.5 and under: Dennis Lewis and Gary Goodwin
  • Women 4.0 and more: Shawn Anderson and Jill Swenson
  • Women 3.5 and under: Sondie Smith and Natasha Manahan
  • Mixed 4.0 and more: Lean Pobanz and Joel Poland
  • Mixed 3.5 and lower: Carol Roberts and Dale Hall

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Teams from all over Nebraska, including Grand Island, Omaha, North Platte, Kearney, McCook, Alliance and Elkhorn, had the chance to try local flavors as the Las Palmas food truck was available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Holbrook said so. was a great way to bring the Lexington community into the tournament.

Looking at the event with a larger lens, Holbrook said many teams spent their entire weekend in Lexington and paid for accommodations, food, gas, etc. He said it was another way for the tournament to benefit the community.

Holbrook said he, YMCA staff and volunteers heard a lot of positive feedback about the event. Many of the compliments were for the YMCA facilities themselves and Lexington Middle School opening their doors to allow more playing fields.

He added that the YMCA is always looking to improve its events and plans to collect constructive feedback from players and implement it in future tournaments. Holbrook said the YMCA’s next scheduled tournament will be in the fall in October.

Pickleball is a racquet/paddle sport that was created by combining elements of several other racquet sports.

Two or four players use strong paddles to hit a perforated polymer ball over a net. The ball looks a lot like a wiffle ball. The court, similar to badminton, has a net similar to tennis and the rackets are similar to those of table tennis.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 as a backyard game for children, on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

The spread of the sport is attributed to its popularity in community centers, physical education classes, public parks, private health clubs, YMCA facilities, and retirement communities.

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