Well, I didn’t exactly eat that popular Canadian food pairing, but I did get a good taste of what pickleball in Canada is all about.
My brother, Josh, my dad Rocket, and I all played in the 2013 Canada National Pickleball Championships this past week. We had an absolute blast. We flew in to Seattle a day ahead of time to get some practice in with “Yoda” (Mark Friedenberg) and Scott Lennan. What a treat! We got schooled quite a few times, and did a little teaching ourselves!
After an easy day of travel up to Abbotsford, British Columbia (just over the border), Josh and I took aim at the open men’s doubles division. We got out to a strong start, winning a couple of matches, and then we got steamrolled by the really good team of Denis Zhekhovskiy and Scott Lennan. We won another couple of matches in the losers bracket, then ran in to them again in the bronze medal match. We made this one a dogfight, but they came out on top to go to the gold medal match, before eventually falling to Billy Jacobson and Chris Miller. So we settled for bronze, but we were thrilled to be up on the medal stand, especially ahead of some other VERY good teams.
Day two of the tournament was men’s open singles for me. I played pretty well all day, and ended up finishing 4th out of the 19 registrants. Again, I was thrilled to be up that high at the finish, but we all think about those 1 or 2 points that could have gone the other way and changed a match. It would have been great to medal in both events I was in, but singles will just have to wait until next year!
I got to finish out the weekend by watching my brother and Christine Barksdale win gold in the mixed open doubles division! That was a lot of fun to watch! After watching several really high level points in the gold medal match, I leaned over to my dad and said, “Well, I’m glad I’m not out there for that. I woulda gave that point away 8 shots ago!”
All in all, we had a great time all weekend. The people were awesome, the play was very high level, and people loved our “Pickleball Rocks” shirts. Can’t ask for much more than that.
The only thing I would change, the next time I’m in Canada, is when the restaurant server asks if I want gravy with my fries, I will have to take them up on that.
Thanks Canada for a great tournament!