ORLANDO, Fla. (July 24, 2017) – The unique sport of Pickleball is coming to the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Detroit this year, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) announced today.
Youth athletes between ages 12 and 18 will have an opportunity to compete in clinics and an exhibition on July 28-30, 2017 during the largest multi-sport event in the country for the 51st annual AAU Junior Olympic Games.
“We cannot wait to start working with the USA Pickleball Association at the upcoming AAU Junior Olympic Games in Detroit,” said Dr. Roger J. Goudy, President and CEO of the AAU. “USAPA has built a strong membership base of adult athletes, so this strategic alliance allows us to now provide youth athletes with opportunities for first-class competition in this unique sport.”
Pickleball is a court sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. The game is played both indoor and outdoor on a surface one-third the size of a regulation tennis court and a net lowered to 34 inches. Players use a paddle and polymer ball, similar to a Wiffle ball. The game has grown exponentially across North America in recent years.
“We certainly appreciate the opportunity to showcase the sport of pickleball at the AAU Junior Olympic Games this summer,” said USAPA Executive Director, Justin Maloof. “We are currently discussing long-term initiatives with AAU that will include co-branded, nationwide leagues and pickleball programs for both youth and adults. This event will serve as our initial launch.”
Visit www.aausports.org for any future updates on pickleball programming at the AAU.
ABOUT THE AAU:
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest- non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the country. As a multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports programs. Founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in sports, the AAU philosophy of “Sports For All, Forever” is now shared by nearly 700,000 members and 150,000 volunteers across 35 sports programs and 55 U.S. districts. The second-largest sport in the AAU, volleyball had more than 120,000 members in 2015 with more than 300 licensed AAU indoor and beach volleyball events across the nation. For more information, visit www.aausports.org.
ABOUT THE USA PICKLEBALL ASSOCIATION:
The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) is the United State national governing body for the sport of pickleball. Since its inception in 2005, USAPA has established standardized rules for the sport, created a membership program and established a tournament sanctioning program. While still in its infancy, USAPA membership has increased 325% over the past three years and is projected to surpass 20,000 paid members this year.
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