Sanctioned vs. Non -Sanctioned Tournaments
In BC. , and indeed in Canada, we have had many sanctioned and non – sanctioned tournaments. South Surrey will be hosting its Eighth non – sanctioned tournament this September and all have had around 100 players, some more.
What is the difference between the two types of tourney? In the USA, in the past, to hold a sanctioned tournament, we needed at least 100 players (now likely more). The USAPA rules of tournament play applied to these sanctioned tourneys only and venues were free to use their own variations of the game in non – sanctioned play. There was, and is, one proviso – a short phrase – that stated ” we expect that you will use these sanctioned rules in all play “. This inserted phrase empowered the ranked and rated players to enforce the above rules in recreational play.
The result has been a shunning of paddles and therefore players who, in good faith, purchased paddles that ended up not meeting the deflection test -or reflection test – which has been discredited many times in many publications as irrelevant to our sport but relevant to the manufacturers and retailers sitting on the board of the USAPA. Another outcome of the sanctioning document is that players shunned players who preferred the newer 3g paddles to the point that partner would not play with partner, husband with wife, friend with friend.
Further, the acceleration of the introduction of a quieter paddle was delayed several years, which suited the graphite manufacturers just fine. The noise lawsuits continued…. See articles on NBC, ABC, etc. In addition, tournaments in our country, Canada, in USAPA/ IFP sponsored tourneys boldly state that IFP – non- conforming paddles will not be allowed. We have had 80-year olds who have had their paddles taken away and substituted on site. How sad is that! All the while BC. rules welcome all and their chosen equipment.
In Canada, this sport is fueled and hosted by public recreational centers who welcome all players and give them the right to play and not be shunned because of their skill levels, or paddle (as they are all safe) or by the ranked and rated players. Many locals are non- competitive by nature and just want to have fun and exercise. When put into a competitive environment, some will run a greater risk of injury as they will not be used to competition at a level seen and practiced in the USA – who have had this sport for 45 years. In spite of that, most tournaments in the USA are non-sanctioned and recreational in nature. The most recent major tournament reversal is the Huntsman games that will now be non- sanctioned. Also Surrey, Canada’s largest municipality is on record that they will not do any sanctioned tournaments, only fun ones, for their recreational centers.
Of interest, is that in the South, many have never played in an indoor facility. In the north, we spend little time playing outdoors due to weather, availability of courts, and the willingness of the snowbirds to play outdoors upon their return. Also the quality of the courts here are inferior to those in the USA and most are double marked on tennis courts – not desirable for several reasons. In the end, this discussion will not be ended here and you are welcome to weigh in with your opinion on the direction of BC Pickleball. What direction should we be following? Recreational or competitive- and in what mix? This In order to accommodate both groups in our recreational settings?
Your opinions will be recorded and considered in the direction of this publication.
Yours in sports and health,
Ph – 604-536-9602