Happy New Year!

2016 brought us many great things, and when it comes to one wall sports, one of those things is the resurgence of big ball paddleball. At one time only the courts at Bay 8th Street in Brooklyn had big ball games (I remember having to travel 2 hours on the train to get there). These days players can find games in nearly every borough. Marathon Park in Queens, Orchard Beach and Colucci Park in the Bronx, and the indoor courts as well such as Zerega in the Bronx, One Wall Sports, and A-1 in Long Island to name a few.

This has also re-energized the participation in female tournaments. There was a time when, sadly, you could only get 8 teams in women’s doubles events. Now we see events with over 20 female teams. A 150% increase in the past three years. Big blue paddleball is such a great equalizer, allowing strategy and skill to take precedence over power and strength. Personally, I am not a big fan of out of the hat events, but they are very necessary to the continued growth of the game. It has allowed less experienced players to feel that they have an equal chance against more experienced ladies. In my opinion this is one of the factors that has propelled the tremendous growth in the ladies game.

Although I do not care much for popularity contests and being accepted by others, I, along with a few others, have become the unofficial leaders of the female game. I have tried to do my best to speak about my travels and my experience playing one wall to inspire others to play especially females. It’s important that our events and games be equally respected as the men’s events. It also important that we stop the cattiness among each other and concentrate on the wonderful athleticism, heart, and talent of so many wonderful ladies. We need to support the women’s game so that the future generations have the chance to experience the thrill of playing this great game.

Next Sunday is  Kim Avena’s 2nd Annual WEPA Ladies Out of the Hat Big Ball Paddleball Doubles Tournament, and this time it is here in the Mecca of One Wall Sports, New York City. I look forward to seeing all the talented ladies giving their heart and soul on the courts. Remember, 2017 is all about the ladies supporting one another and this great and wonderful game. Hope to see everyone soon on the court!

Jazz