PICKLEBALL ASSOCIATION (SOPA)
Welcome to SOPA
SOPA is a lively, fun community that provides indoor and outdoor recreation in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in North America, bringing people together to share physical exercise, skills, and companionship.
Summer Medford Classic (June 2021)
On the 4th – 7th June 2021 Southern Oregon Pickleball Association held the very first major pickleball tournament in Southern Oregon. A total of 304 participants signed up for the tournament. Entries were received from as far away as Baja CA, Phoenix AZ, Reno NV, Helena MO, St George UT, and Sioux Falls SD. Approximately two thirds of the players came from throughout the entirety of Oregon,
The age of the participants ranged from 19 to 80+. There were slightly more men than women. The majority of the women were in the 60-69 age bracket with 50 participants, 50-59 age group with 26 players followed by 12 in the 40-49. Male participation had 40 players in the 60-69 age group, the 70-79 age group had 30 and the 50-59 had 32 participants.
I would also like to point out that we had 4 players in the men’s age group of 80+ (Fred Krasner of Ashland won Gold in Men’s and Silver in Mixed).
There were just under 100 participants from outside the Southern Oregon area. A follow up questionnaire was sent to these people asking several questions regarding the tournament. Just under 25% have replied and most are planning to return in 2022. The majority gave an overall rating of 8 out of 10 for the tournament.
The ultimate reason for the survey was to determine the economic impact the tournament had for the Medford business community. Four basic economic questions were asked, specifically hotel and food expenditures, gas expenses and sundry purchases.
The total amount spent for accommodation was just over $8,000. The amount spent on food came to about $2,600, gas about $2,200 and sundry spending about $1,000. This is a total of $13,900 for about ¼ of the folks who attended.
In order to try and approximate what the actual number of dollars generated over that weekend I have conservatively multiplied the $13,900 by 2.5 and get a total of $35,000.
To this we have to add $1,250 that was collected in a raffle for the victims of the Almeda fire.
Southern Oregon Pickleball Association plans on making the Rogue Valley a pickleball destination spot. We propose to hold three major tournaments in 2022, the 2022 Medford Summer Classic, the 2022 Medford Senior Tournament and 2022 Medford Super Senior tournament.
Once the 12 dedicated courts are built, SOPA will be in line to host the North West Reginal tournament, which was played in Boise Idaho recently and had over 800 entries.
Since the tournament I have received numerous emails and messages congratulating SOPA on putting on a great tournament.
I would like to share one email from a player who very clearly explains the benefits of dedicated courts.
General comments for the Medford club and new courts.
Only after they create or convert courts will the City realize the benefits for citizens (tax payers), and tourism.
Put lights on the courts - people will play before work, and after work.
Prior to the Medford tournament, I was in Las Vegas for the Mountain States Regional. 24 new courts at a county park. One of the better new court complexes I've seen.
Plenty of room within each court, and room around each court. They have lights - they will have evening hour tournaments.
Each year when I travel to St. George Utah for Fall Brawl, and Huntsman Senior Games (14 days at an RV Park), I'll arrive at the courts at 7:00 am - one hour prior to starting competition. Local residents are on the courts with the lights on - playing. Same at night when the tournament day has ended - local residents on the courts, with lights on.
A new court complex will gather existing pickleball players within 50 to 100 miles - they will drive to get good competition at good courts.
Permanent courts will attract new players - no need to set up nets, etc.
Age range of players is 5 to 85.
SOPA would like to take this opportunity to thank Rich Rosenthal, City of Medford Park & Rec Supervisor, Travel Medford, Bio Skin, Harry & David, Pacific Medical, Humming Estates Winery, Human Bean, KDP, Ward Insurance, Scott Lewis Insurance, Rogue Manor, Jimmy John’s for their support in making this tournament such a great success.