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The third annual Veterans Pickleball Tournament was held Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 at the former North Carroll High School in Hampstead.

The event raised $4,500 for Friends of Disabled Veterans in Carroll County, from fees, raffles and T-shirt sales. After three years of hosting the event, they raised a total of more than $12,600.

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The game of pickleball, introduced in 1965, now has a national association called the United States Pickleball Association, or USAPA, and as of 2016 there were 2.5 million people playing in the U.S., according to an email from one of the tournament’s organizers, Larry Wood.

The game is played with an oversized, highly engineered paddle and an approved ball, that resembles a Wiffle ball, on a hard-surface court like a tennis court. With the court slightly larger than a badminton court, the net is slightly lower than a tennis net, and the game can be played indoors or outdoors.

A player can only score when they are serving, and games go to 11 points for singles; and doubles scoring is slightly more complicated because both players on a team get a change to serve in a rotation. Players must keep track of server one and server two when announcing the score before each serve.

The tournament held at North Carroll featured more than 100 people participating, ranging in ages 45 to 86; and there were a couple of age groupings in each category. In addition to residents, Commissioner Dennis Frazier, R-District 3, participated in the tournament.

“In 2017, Roy Libdan, a representative of the now-defunct Westminster company UMHC, approached Carroll County Pickleball and asked if we would help put on a tournament for the veterans of Carroll County,” said Bob Eney, USAPA ambassador for Carroll County and Carroll County Pickleball president.

The results of the event are:

  • Mixed Doubles < 60: Hank Trone and Brandi Smith, Gold; Rob Schmidt and Veronica Busby, Silver; and Virginia McGovern and Dave Diggs, Bronze.
  • Mixed Doubles > 60: Mike Bucchi and Sherrie Bucchi, Gold; Nikki Irwin and Bill Mitchell, Silver; and Emilia Diaz-Baker and Russ Zappacosta, Bronze
  • Men’s Doubles < 60: Dave Diggs and Dean Douglas, Gold; Will Maleonado and Joseph “JW” Peebles, Silver; and Mark Dauses and Keith Furman, Bronze
  • Men’s Doubles 60-69: Mike Bucchi and Steve Alpern, Gold; Bill Mitchell and Dave Nycum, Silver; and Ryan Rash and Craig Shaffer, Bronze
  • Men’s Doubles > 70: Rich Fussell and Tom Henry, Gold; Joe Manley and Larry Wood, Silver; and Gerry Borowy and Bud Renninger, Bronze
  • Women’s < 60: Virginia McGovern and Veronica Busby, Gold; Pam Bradley and Inna Hedden, Silver; and Lorraine Dommel and Jackie Leverton, Bronze
  • Women’s Doubles > 60: Ann Henry and Jean Rogers, Gold; Susan Crawford and Boe Harris, Silver; and Marilyn Manger and Betsy Mills, Bronze
  • Men’s Singles: Hank Trone, Gold; Dean Douglas, Silver; and JW Peebles, Bronze
  • Women’s Singles: Veronica Busby, Gold; Virginia McGovern, Silver; and Lynn Bard, Bronze.

The raffle winners were Betsy Mills, large basket; Norman Meeks, small basket; and Boe Harris, Mission BBQ.

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