Team Pickleball at its Finest
The long-awaited challenge match between the 4.0 Men’s APPL State Champions, Fast and Furious, and a group of Ageless (or is it Aging?) All-Stars was played on May 14th. There were many interesting contrasts present in this match, the most obvious being the average team age comparison… an estimated 20 years age difference. The second was the average waist size between the two teams. But how does this translate to the pickleball skills of hand-speed, foot-speed and reaction time?
Here is a breakdown of this exciting match:
- In Round 1 the Ageless All-Stars were one point shy of a perfect APPL score and after this round they led in APPL points…11 – 4. The only game that the All-Stars lost was a 13-11 game score. The players on both teams were astonished and the common question was…could the All-Stars hold on or was Fast and Furious simply “toying” with their elders?
- These questions were answered In Round 2 as Fast and Furious responded by scoring 10 APPL points to their opponent’s 4 in this round. So going into Round 3 the All-Stars had a slim 1-point APPL lead.
- F&F’s team of Matt and Anil split wins with the All-Star’s dream team of Sheldon and Doug. The game scores were 11-13 and 11-5, F&F vs All-Stars. NOTE that F&F scored that all important single APPL point in their loss and now the overall match score was tied.
- Meanwhile on the second court, the F&F team of Brian and Marc beat their opponents of Tony and Steve S. 11-4 and 11-7. Now the F&F team had an overall lead of 3 APPL points.
- On the third court, F&F’s Marcus and Duke played against the All-Star’s team of Steve M. and Bob. The score of their first game was 8 – 11, with the All-Star team winning. The F&F overall lead in the match was down to 2 APPL points. With all the other games being finished the crowd to watch the final game was growing. Steve and Bob started to gain momentum and the game score was 10-2 in the All-Stars’ favor. However, with the encouragement of their teammates, Marcus/Duke seemed to find another gear and held off at least four game point opportunities but to no avail as Steve and Bob finally won 11-3.
The Challenge Match ended in a 22 -22 tie!!
This match truly highlighted the importance of the single APPL point a team receives when achieving at least 6 game points in a losing effort. While the All-Stars won 10 games to F&F’s 8, the All-Stars only scored the single APPL point twice, whereas 6 of F&F’s points came from this unique APPL rule.
The two players on the Challenger team who hit the ball the hardest were awarded wooden paddles for their efforts. Marc chose the paddle labeled “Ultimate Smash” and Brian deservedly got the “Wham-o” paddle. If you look at the picture closely you can see them holding their new paddles.
However, the prized trophy of an Easter basket (it was on sale) full of used pickleballs was what everyone was playing for. You can see the captains of the two teams, Anil and Bob, holding this prestigious trophy in the picture as well.