Owatonna Pickleball Association along with Park and Recreation of Owatonna sponsored their 4th annual Spring Pickleball Tournament on May 12th and 13th. This year the weather was so pleasant that we were able to hold a portion of the tournament on our beautiful outdoor courts at Morehouse Park. We had 65 teams competing so we also used the Owatonna High School and the Christian Family Church. The tournament offers competition in the mixed division, youth division, men’s division, women’s division, and a 70+ division. In each division a team of two chose what level they would like to compete at. Levels range from a beginner level of 2.5 up to 4.5+. The higher the level the more skills the team has perfected.
Cities represented at our tournament were Sioux Falls SD, Mason City IA, Clear Lake IA, Nora Springs IA, Rochester, Mankato, Chaska, Edina, Eagan, Apple Valley, Prior Lake, Albert Lea, Kasson, Northfield, Faribault, Lonsdale, Zumbrota, LaCrosse WI, Winona, Duluth, Savage, Chanhassen, St. Paul, St. Charles, Windom, Rosemount, and Owatonna.
Owatonna Pickleball Association along with Park and Rec sponsors two tournaments a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. OPA is a nonprofit organization and the two tournaments represent our two biggest fundraisers of the year. We are fortunate to have a great support system in Owatonna and surrounding communities. A huge “Thank You” to all of our sponsors. Some of our biggest contributors were Gopher Sport, Senior Place, and 20x144 Kelly Kirk. We were also thankful to have sponsorships from, Mayo Clinic Health System Owatonna, Federated Insurance, Allina Health-Owatonna Hospital, Ameriprise Financial, Bosch, Viracon, Famous Dave’s, Community Bank, Home Town Credit Union, Scheels Sporting Goods, US Bank, Dresser Family Dentistry, Holiday Inn and Suites, Lowe’s, and Straight River Sports and Fitness. We are blessed to live in such a giving community.
Taking on the responsibility of holding a tournament requires many hours of volunteers working together for a common goal. OPA has a dedicated group of volunteers that donated their time, friendship, and ideas to make our tournament a success.
Owatonna Pickleball Association is very proud and honored to have had Del and Linda Kauss, of St. Paul, as our skill clinic instructors. Del and Linda had just returned that week from the largest pickleball tournament, the US Open held in Florida. While there Del earned a Gold medal in the 55 age group, a Silver medal in the Men's Senior Pro and both Del and Linda earned the Bronze medal in the Mixed Doubles. Below is a picture of Del and Linda along with a list of the many other honors they have received.
The skill clinic was offered to all our members and was held May 4th at the Owatonna Christian Family Church. Two sessions were offered with a limit of 20 people for each session. Both sessions filled quite rapidly, in fact we had a waiting list. Those attending were from Rochester, Mankato, Faribault, Lonsdale and Owatonna. All level of players were welcomed and represented. The clinic consisted of various strokes, strategies, along with the most important shots in pickleball. Discussions and demonstrations on strategies and shots were presented to the group. After each demonstration the group would have an opportunity to practice the skills being discussed. Del and Linda would oversee the practice and make appropriate suggestions and compliments. Del commented that both he and Linda enjoyed the enthusiasm of the group and it was really fun to see the improvement happening very quickly. They also enjoyed being able to share strategies/skills that fellow pickleball players have shared with them. They look forward to having another opportunity to work with the Owatonna Pickleball Association and we look forward to that as well.