Category Archives: Message From FSPC

FSPC Member Meeting | 10/7 – 2pm

2017 Annual Membership Meeting

Where:  The Indoor @Sports at the Beach in Georgetown 22518 Lewes Georgetown Hwy, Georgetown, DE 19947

When: October 7th at 2:00 PM.

Please plan on attending. Our Board would like to meet as many people as possible.  We will be announcing and discussing upcoming events to develop and plan for a pickleball complex in the Rehoboth/Lewes area. Also, we will share information about the Sussex Sports Complex coming to Georgetown. We will also take nominations for Board Openings and vote on the by-laws.

We are a volunteer organization that promotes pickleball play and good sportsmanship.  We need you to be part of the pickleball movement in Sussex County. Pickleball play available at conclusion of the meeting.

Snacks will be provided, and you are welcome to BYOB! Bring chairs!

Only members can vote – if you aren’t currently a member, you can sign up at the meeting.

Please RSVP HERE > 

Fall FSPC Newsletter & Events



Beginner’s Clinic by Dudley Sluder – USAPA Ambassador for Delmarva

What: Introduction to Pickleball

Where: The Brush Factory 830 Kings Hwy Lewes, DE 19958

When: Tuesday September 26, 1-3pm and 3:30-5:30 (limit 16 players each session)

Wednesday September 27, 5-7pm  (limit 16 players)


Purpose: To teach the very basics of the game.

What you need: athletic shoes and comfortable clothing

PB. 4pngWhen: Saturday September 30,2017

Sign in and practice 8:30 AM games start at 9:00AM.

Where: Clayton Courts 252 Clayton Ave., Frankford, DE.

Cost: $10.00.  Paid at entry table day of tournament. Cash or Check payable to FSPC.

Benefits: FSPC General fund.

Format: Round Robin or Double Elimination or combo of both.

Entrees: Limited to 40 teams total.

Categories: Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, and Mixed doubles. You may only enter One Category.

Skill Level:  3.0 and under (must know how to keep score and play the game)

Purpose of Tournament:  To allow newer and social level players to enjoy the tournament experience without the high cost.  Tournament Director: Dudley Sluder

Click Here For ENTRY FORM & More Details >

Annual FSPC Membership Meeting

Sports at the Beach in Georgetown

October 7th at 2:00 PM.

Please plan on attending.  Our Board would like to meet as many people as possible.  We will be announcing and discussing upcoming events to develop and plan for a pickleball complex in the Rehoboth Lewes area.  Nominations for Board Openings.  We are a volunteer organization that promotes pickleball play and good sportsmanship.  We need you to be part of the pickleball movement in Sussex County.

Pickleball play available at conclusion of the meeting.

Upcoming FSPC Clinics at Sports at the Beach  (dates to be determined)

You are going to like these….

  1. Playing the soft game. (Oh, what a different and more fun game.)  This will take your game to a new level!
  2. Doubles strategy for teams. Learn how to have a plan, plan it and execute it.
  3. Skills with a coach. Work on specific skills and get feedback on how you are doing.



Lewes Canal Courts

Monday evenings from 5 PM to 7 PM practice with the ball machine and Georgia Billger’s direction on skills development. Starts on Monday September 25th.



Petitions were signed by over 400 people in support of permanent pickleball courts in Sussex County.  The Sussex Sports Complex hopes to have an agreement with the Sussex County Council in the near future.  This project is outside of the Comprehensive Plan being sent to the County Council for review. Stay tuned for more information or check in with your Council member to affirm your desire for permanent pickleball facilities in Sussex County.

Thanks to all of the volunteers who gathered up the signatures. Pickleballers rock and they don’t quit as noted by the Delaware Senior Olympics.

More information to follow in the next couple weeks for events planned for the last quarter of the year.  If you have any suggestions for this newsletter, please let me know.  My email is or call me on 301-518-3434.

Make sure to Visit Our PB Events for Upcoming  PB Fun ! > 

That’s it for now.  Stay tuned for more in the next couple of weeks.

Please be sure to look on the website for everything pickleball.

Please also thank Michelle DePalma out at Sports at the Beach for the wonderful and amazing website that we continue to have because of her talents and volunteer work for FSPC.

Hope to see you on the courts!

Kathy Casey


First State Pickleball Club Inc.

July News from the FSPC Board

News from the FSPC Board 
From Your President – Kathy Casey 
July 2017

Prem Carnot visited the J.M. Clayton Elementary courts for a very well attended two-day clinic with attendees from Frederick, MD, Pennsylvania and the local area.  Wow!  I met so many new people who were there with Prem who was assisted by Kim Gruber, Lynn Casey, Bob Guadeau, Artie Holgerson and Cheryl Martin.  Thanks to all who attended and helped out.


Great group of people who hung in there during the heat of the day to learn from The Pickleball Guru on how to play “smart pickleball”. Thank you, Prem, for stopping in our neck of the woods to help improve our play!

Here is an email I received from one participant, Cheryl Markiewicz and a Note from Prem! 

Hello Kathy,

I wanted you to know just how much I really enjoyed Prem’s 2 day clinic at Frankford. It was well worth it. Prem really makes you THINK about the game and how it is played. He had many suggestions that made sense for anyone no matter what level you play. Once I understand the “why” of doing something, it makes it easier for me to remember. I am looking forward to lots of practice as I incorporate what I’ve learned from a very kind, patient and funny, Prem.

Thank you for all of your efforts to get Prem Carnot to Frankford, so that I could take advantage of this experience. I can’t wait to become a smart pickleball player!

Best regards,

Cheryl S. Markiewicz

Hey there you pickleball lover, How’s your July going? I am part way through my east-coast summer teaching tour. We just wrapped up a fantastic 3-day Bootcamp in Richmond, Virginia and I taught a full clinic in Frankford, Delaware (photo with participants below). I’ve got a full summer lined up and I really hope to see you on the courts (again?) one of these days!

To get on his mailing list go to Prem’s Click Here and sign up >

Dink Challenge on July 29th our at Clayton Elementary School



8:00 A.M. – 12:00 A.M | MEN’S AND WOMEN’S DOUBLES

 12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.| MIXED DOUBLES


Let’s agree that the heat is very challenging so dinking is the smart way to still play, practice this very important skill without playing the entire court.  This will be challenging and fun!  Here is what the experts say about the importance of dinking:

 Why is the dink game important in pickleball? 

“It is part of the soft game of pickleball.  It neutralizes your opponent and you control the player that wants to hit hard.  If you’re a hard hitter and you face a team that knows the soft game, you’re at an extreme disadvantage immediately.”

Tom Earley, USAPA Ambassasor and Pickleball Coach.

“It is used more than anything today.”  Sarah Ansboury

Okay, I am listening……  If you have ever seen me play, you know that I am one of the hard hitters who needs this dinking stuff to be a bigger part of my game.  I get inpatient… I don’t really understand the point of the dinking.   I like hitting the hard ball across the net at my opponents. Isn’t that why we all got into this game?  Okay, so maybe not the skilled players who have a much larger set of skills that me.  And, that is why I keep losing to the players who can do the dinking stuff….

Okay, so why do the Challenge?

Well, it will let you try out a new skill or one that you want to improve.  You can only play it in the kitchen so you will improve your skills set and your muscle memory.  And, you can have some laughs, meet new people and get out of the house on a Saturday morning to play in the Challenge thing because it is for a good cause.

 Here is the other reason to sign up for the Dink Challenge….

J.M.  Clayton Elementary School’s Administration and the Indian River School Board allowed this Club to renovate the three old tennis courts and turn them into permanent pickleball courts.  This was done through private donations and a labor of love by a dozen or so volunteers.  So, this Challengeis intended to give some money backto the school as a thank you for our courts and to recognize that we have a very special place to call our home in Dagsboro.  They are facing major cutbacks and we know that they could use some help for funding some of their programs.  Please sign up, come out and play because it is for a very good cause.  It is for the kids!!!  It is for the Staff who work there!!!

So, here is the link for the registration:  Sign Up Here >

Grab someone and get your registration in so that I can see you there!

 This is important!!! Let’s do it for the kids so that they get programs that they need. Not convinced?  Nice participant bling, Chinese auction and a chance at winning the whole thing!! Special award for those who place.

Let’s make this event rock to support the school district that gave us the chance to make history in having the first permanent pickleball Courts in the county and state!!

More news about Clayton Elementary School indoor play when the weather pushes us indoors…

  •  Cheryl Martin is back in town (co-founder of FSPC) and she has been working tirelessly to talk with the Indian River School Board and the school staff to get our Sunday mornings in the gym back.  We will be getting more information out and a sign up our as we get closer.    We are awaiting the school and Board approval on this and the costing structure so stay tuned.  We will send out a sign up in late September or October for Sign Up.
  • On another note, Sussex County Planning and Zoning is still reporting that they do not think that the County government should be responsible for providing recreation facilities as reported in the July 7th Cape Gazette.

I am a little disappointed by this because the senior population has doubled in the last couple of years in Sussex County and that we seniors are 70,000 of the 197,000-people living in Sussex County.  Pickleball motivates people to get out and play, have fun, meet new people and most importantly get healthy through this exercise.  Let’s face it, not a lot of people go to a gym, but pickleball is so much fun you have to get out and play. People play on average three (3) TIMES A WEEK!!!!!!   Right?  That is exactly what our recently completed FSPC member survey told us.  Here is just some of your input on why you play pickleball:

Life Changing!
It is addictive in the best sense.
It’s keeping me healthy!!
I am in better physical condition that I’ve ever been because of Pickleball.
Dramatic improvement in my overall health.
I have lost 42 far playing pickleball.
Helped me deal with serious depression.
Got me out after losing my spouse.
It has improved my physical and mental well-being.
Happy that I am a part of this wonderful game.
It has improved my reflexes.  I am able to respond and move quicker.  Also, it has improved my reasoning skills as it forces me to think ahead and strategize.
I have met many wonderful people and makes me very happy that I moved to Delaware.
Meeting terrific people and forming friendships as someone new to Delaware.  Pickleball players are great people!
Pickleball has greatly improved my life in retirement.
It is exercise masquerading as fun!
I live to play and play to live!
Just plain old fun!

Your voice matters. We need each one of you to let your council member know that we know that all of this development has created quite a treasure chest of money that could be used to provide and maintain public recreation facilities for all of the seniors who have bought the homes that generated those funds. Yes, I get the need for more paramedics and troopers but also know that exercise via pickleball will keep us from diseases that come with aging.

Here is the link to the Sussex County Council: Click Here >

Get on the phone and let them know that we need and want publicly funded pickleball courts both indoors and outdoors to encourage exercise, fun and better health outcomes for all Sussex County residents.  Don’t be shy.  They have benefitted from the explosive growth in this county and have benefitted from you retiring to this county.

Private facilities are in business to make a profit and expenses to run an indoor pickleball facility can be expensive.  We want everyone, regardless of income, to be able to play this great sport.  If we had permanent facilities everyone could play both young and old.

Why wouldn’t the County Council want to get their citizens healthy and stave off the diseases that comes with this aging population?  It only makes sense as a county government that you would want to invest in getting its citizens motivated and out getting healthy to keep health costs down for everyone.

Why would the County Council not want to form a public private partnership and make the public recreation facilities, including pickleball, a reality?

Please let your Council member know that every other county in this state has public recreation and that it is time that Sussex County join in to provide the year-round citizens with the recreation facilities at little to no cost for all of the county residents.  We all know the overall health benefits of playing this game and want to see everyone regardless of age or ability to be able to play as much as they want. Most counties and municipalities in the United States understand that public recreation facilities are a total benefit to the community because they improve over health and well-being of their communities.   We are not looking for freebies but it sure would be nice to play at more reasonable prices so that no one is left out due to limited income.

How can we encourage younger people to play when we have so few places to play?  Would love to help solve the obesity problem in kids by getting them out and engaged in this game that is taking off with the younger set across the country.  Pickleball can be more engaging than any video game.  Besides we have all made lots of friends through this sport.

Not every family can afford to put their kids on travel teams but they should have access to healthy fun where all can play at no cost or very low cost.  Pickleball could be that inexpensive sport that all can play, especially families.

Okay, on to other topics …Sports Complex in Georgetown by the Schell Foundation appeared in the Cape Gazette on July 7th.

 FSPC applauds the Schell Foundations for supporting the need for recreation in our County that also included pickleball courts as a later part in their master plan. Here are some key comments from that July 7th article:

“McCormick Taylor consultant Alexis Williams said expansion of parks and recreation is a request that has surfaced as a priority among people commenting on the new plan. “We are hearing this from the public with numerous requests,” said Commission Chairman Bob Wheatley. “It should be something for county government to consider,” he said.”

“However, during the workshop as the commission explored possible strategies to be implemented in the plan, the idea of expanding parks and recreation options did not meet with much support. Commissioners said they would rather provide grants and support to other groups involved with parks and recreation.”

“Commissioners pointed to the James Farm Ecological Preserve as an example. The 150-acre parcel along Indian River Bay near Ocean View was donated to the county and has been managed since 1998 by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays. The county provides $20,000 annually in its budget and also supports infrastructure projects.”

“Commissioner Kim Hoey Stevenson said she would support partnerships but not the county getting into the parks and recreation business. “We have to look at keeping costs down in a county that is pretty well recreated,” she said.”

“I think we can encourage and not take the lead role,” added Commissioner Marty Ross, who has been an outspoken opponent of the county establishing a parks and recreation department.

“Ross said public safety should take precedence in the county’s budget. “My concern is that if we start spending millions of dollars on recreation, can we meet our critical needs of additional state troopers, paramedics and sewer and water? Funds are limited,” he said.”

“Hoey Stevenson said she was also concerned with the use of public funds to compete with private enterprise and not cut out free-market enterprise.”

“The question is should the county get in the parks and recreation business?” Wheatley asked, adding the plan should include language to identify what needs to be considered and explored.”

I know that many of you have given input into this plan and that we are very interested in seeing recreation facilities become a reality in Sussex County especially for pickleball.  That is why the consulting firm keeps making the point that that is what the citizens who have provided input to the Comprehensive Plan are asking for and should have addressed.

Maybe the answer is in public private partnerships going forward but I would encourage each of you to ask your County Council representative to make a pickleball facility a top priority for this county.

Volunteer Spotlight

On a note of gratitude…. Local residents are now learning to play Pickleball at the Cheer Center (Senior Center) in Ocean View.  Nan Colella, a resident of Ocean View and volunteer in the First State Pickleball Club, has worked closely with Cheer center staff and members to graduate multiple classes of Pickleball players. Nan’s class is big on knowing the rules, how to score and, above all, how to play safely.  Through Nan’s efforts, many lives have been changed to one of active fun in the Ocean View community.  Nan is a rock star!  On a hot summer day last year, Nan talked local resident Dudley Sluder into laying out and painting lines at the Cheer Center.   Dudley recruited Vaughn Baker to help him.  Once they have learned how to play, Yolanda Gallegos, manager of the Ocean View Cheer, explained that folks can play at Cheer from 10 AM to Noon every Tuesday and Thursday. You only need to be a member of Cheers to play there.

BTW, Nan’s program was so successful that each Cheer center is moving toward setting up pickleball as a program for Cheer center members.  Call your local Cheers center to find out more.

If that is not enough, Nan has her “Nights with Nan” every Monday, Wednesday and Friday out at JM Clayton.  Check out the website for more information on this night.  If it is raining or too windy, it will be cancelled.

Thank you, Nan, for all that you do to help out the pickleball community through your tireless efforts!!!!

Submitted by Vaughn Baker and so appreciated by all who have had the opportunity to learn from Nan Colella who has a very generous heart.

Finally, I wanted to let you know that Vaughn Baker sometimes writes articles for the Coast Press about Pickleball.  Here is one that I thought you would enjoy this as a gentle reminder for all.

June 23, 2017 
By Vaughn Baker
Special to the Coastal Point

Although pickleball players are some of the nicest people I have met, it never hurts to review some rules of engagement for the good of the order. In case you were wondering:

  • Do not forget to introduce yourself before every match or to shake hands at the conclusion.
  • Do not forget to call the score out loudly before you serve; otherwise, you forfeit your serve. And don’t get the score wrong, and if you do, certainly not always in your favor.
  • Do not criticize your partner. This one really makes no sense. All you do is to make them more nervous. You and your partner are a team, a right arm and a left arm. Now, what would you think if you saw some player on the pickleball court and their right arm was fighting with their left arm. Silly, right?
  • Do not make bad line calls. The ball is in or it’s out. There are no gray areas. The rule of thumb: If you or your partner do not clearly see it out, it’s in! No discussion.
  • In recreational play, do not continue to lob someone having troubles responding to your lobs, or hit volleys or overheads at a player you clearly outclass. It is a different story in a practice situation or competition, because that permanently-hindered player needs to learn how to work around their handicap.
  • Do not take even one more step when you hear the word “Ball!” on the pickleball courts. And be sure to yell, “Ball!” at the top of your lungs when you mis-hit one onto the neighboring court. And when you throw or roll the ball to the proper court, do it properly and not like you are auditioning for a zombie role in “The Walking Dead.”
  • Do not lambast yourself when you miss a point. As Hollywood would say, “Forget about it.” Afterwards, you might want to reflect on your errors, but during the match, there is nothing you can do about opportunity lost other than better prepare yourself for the next point.
  • Do not catch the ball with your hand or paddle anywhere on the court, even when you might be 15 feet outside the court. The ball must be given the opportunity to prove it will be out, regardless of how obvious it is. At net returning serve, do not catch the ball because you think it is going to be out. Get out of the way. It isn’t out until proven out, and it isn’t proven out until it hits the surface.
  • Do not linger on a court before or after you play. Others want to play now!
  • Do not wander across the back of the adjacent courts. After and before, to and from, it is common courtesy to remain off the other courts.
  • Do not move any other paddle in a paddle line or erase a name in a sign-up box. Call out anyone abusing this, and tell them the Baron made you do it.
  • Do not exclude players below your level. I try to play with novices at least a third of my games to help and encourage players newer to the game. Someone put up with me when I was learning, and the least I can do is repay the favor.
  • Do not complain about better players excluding you. They need some games among each other to improve as well. Remember — there is nothing stopping you from finding an old tennis court to practice your serve or a wall to practice your dink.

When I was in the military in the panhandle of Texas, there was a dislike of soldiers in the town where I was temporarily stationed. I went to a tennis club where I was given the cold shoulder. Every weekend, I started to play challenge matches, starting with the last-ranked kid on their ladder. Once I worked my way through all names and beat everyone at the club, I called out the professional and beat him, which turned out to be the beginning of a long friendship.

  • Do not make excuses. As Rhett Butler said in “Gone with the Wind,” “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a pickle.”
  • Do not use crude language. Robert E Lee said to a group of his officers who were using crude language in the adjoining room, “Gentlemen, please.” The scolded officers went on to explain there were no ladies present, and Lee said, “Correct, but there is at least one gentleman present.”

But do laugh and enjoy yourself – Thank you, Vaughn, for this great reminder!

Please remember to check in on the website for all of the news about pickleball events, tips and club happenings.


Please like us on our First State Pickleball Club’s Facebook page to stay current on new events and see posted stories and pictures from our members.

See you the courts!

Kathy C – Proud President Of FSPC



FSPC Spring News

From our Social Committee: We all had a great time at Lefty’s!  Who knew that one could have so much fun bowling!!  Well, I should know given that this was with pickleball players who know how to laugh and have so much great fun.


Thank you to John Crawford for getting us such a sweet deal at Lefty’s and inviting us to have such a fun evening.  There were a lot of laughs.  Thank you to the entire Social Committee for all the hard work you put into getting us out and about in the community for some crazy wonderful good times.

Please be sure to thank your social committee for such a great year of events!
The Social Committee is looking for some additional volunteers so if you are interested please reach out to De Raynes at

Words cannot express how grateful we all are for the time and energy that it takes to put on one of these events.  This has been such a wonderful year of fun in every one of these events. Thank you to all on the Social Committee for making this such a special year

Now, on to the Beach Blast 2017

We are sold out!!!  Wow!  What great support we are getting from the pickleball community.  We will be having open practice on May 19th from 3 PM on at the Dave Marshall and Fitness Center at the Plantations.

Sarah Ansboury will there on May 19th from 3 PM to 5PM to “play with the locals”. Weather permitting, we will be outside on the main court to watch play and at 5PM we are offering a cookout menu for a social to kick off the Beach Blast tournament.  We will be sending out a Sign-Genius to sign up and pay via PayPal.

The pool will be open, courts open for play and just some fun for FSPC members and all of the visiting pickleball players in town for the weekend.  Hope that many of you can make it out for fun time.

Thanks to Mike Jump and Nick Papson for handling all of the registration and tournament play set up on  They are both amazing men who happen to love pickleball and will be playing in the tournament.  Yay to their passion for the game and handling this tournament.

Local Clinics Led by the Pros: 

Sarah Ansboury is one of the top female pros in the country in both Women’s and Mixed Doubles.

Clinic will be held May 22-26 out at Sports at the Beach Sarah Ansboury will be offering clinics, semi-private.  Here is more information and link to register:

To Register : Click Here > 

For More Info :  Click Here

Prem Carnot “Pickleball Guru” of   “Smart Pickleball”

July 11 – 13 out at the Clayton Courts.

Sign Up through our website:

Here is what people say about Prem’s clinics so let’s sign up before this sells out.

FSPC Clinics  Local weekly clinics are being planned for the next couple of months out at Clayton, Sports at the Beach and Plantations/Dave Marshall’s. We will be sending out a Sign-up Genius for each one so that everyone knows that they have a place in the clinic.  Based on your feedback, we will be focusing on improving your level of skills and use of them in your game.  So many of us get stuck at just hitting like we are playing tennis when we all know that the game can be much more!!

Like….dinking!  It really does work and gives you a tremendous advantage over your opponents.

One of our goals is to help players improve their level of play by incorporating the specific skills and strategies of pickleball.  For me, getting to the kitchen line is the hardest part for me and utilizing dinking requires patience.  Not always a strength for me but I am working on it.  In the past two years, I have been so excited to watch the level of play in so many players rise to another level.  I am not just talking about our top players but many of the new to the game players who are growing leaps and bounds in their play.  Makes me want to puddle up when I think about it….

  • Nights with Nan is back out at Clayton Courts from 4 PM every M-W-F!!!
  • Skills & Drills every Monday ( Intermediate.advanced) and Tuesday Nights ( beginners) at Sports at the Beach
  • Georgia is offering intermediate and advanced clinic for FSPC members on Monday evenings out at the Lewes Canal courts at 5 PM. 

Player Safety: 

  • Protect your eyes!!!  If you see someone wearing protective eyewear, they most likely have had a close encounter with an errant ball of a paddle.  You can simply pick up a pair of glassless frames that would interfere with a pickleball getting through the frame to your eye.

Here is a video: “Protect your Eyes” from the Elliotts (Engage) website: frames to prevent the ball from reaching your eye for those not wanting to deal with any risk of a lens fogging up.

  • DO NOT go backwards for an overhead because if you fall down you may land on the back of your head and that is BAD!!  Here is a video by Deb Harrison on how to take a side step to run back for the overhead:
  • Do some stretches and warm ups before you get onto the court.  Most people hurt have not stretched.  It does not take much effort and it will keep you on the court much longer than those who do not.
  • Wear court shoes to avoid an injury.  Court shoes are all flat on the bottom and will help you keep your entire foot attached to the court surface.

Pickleball Advocacy

One of the functions of our club is to advocate for more indoor and outdoor pickleball facilities in Sussex County.  As the senior population continues to grow with all of the retirees moving here, we need and want more facilities for play.  Our focus is always to keep costs affordable as best we can.

Please remember to make your wishes known to your county council member and to the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commissioners who are working on the Comprehensive Plan.  Simply go to the website and put in your comments about the need for permanent pickleball facilities.  The link is available on our website  or you can go there now:

Sussex County does not have a recreation budget.  That was fine when this was only a summer tourist destination but now is a year-round community. Your input matters.   Builders have been very happy to build homes for seniors to buy.  We make up a very large percentage of the home buyers.  While it is wonderful that developers are putting in pickleball courts, it does not address the larger community need where we like to hold clinics, Challenges and tournaments for all to play.  We need to let the Council know that we really want an active, healthy lifestyle that includes permanent pickleball courts both indoors and out.  Please, do make sure that you get your input into the survey because it does matter.

Volunteers Needed

We really need your help in small tasks that are completed over time.  We are sending out a Sign-Up Genius so that you can easily sign up for areas that you would be interested in helping out.  Please consider one of the areas needed.

If you have special skills that you think would be a help, please reach out to us and let us know. You can contact Kathy Casey at if you would like to talk it over.   We need you!

US Open Pickleball Championships 2017

This is  great video summary of the event that we attended to support friends playing and just have the experience of being there.  I cannot tell you what a wonderful experience it was to just be there among the 1300 players playing.  Yes, that is correct – 1300 players!!!! Watching the Pros play was an amazing experience.  Their patience and finesse was so beautiful to watch.  Hanging out with Kim Gruber, Pink, Anne Pikolas, Lynn Casey, Jean Burgess, Marisa Chaves, Chiqui Gavilin, Marsha McLauren and Hildy Forman, Mary Conte and Deena, and Karen Gustafson was just so much fun.  We have already discussed our plans to head out next year! Joe Steel and his wife were there to watch the Gold medal matches on Sunday.  Mike Jump took Silver in the Men’s Singles – 50+ group!!!  Marsha and Mary took Bronze in Women’s doubles!  Irma Hernadez and Jane Jump also played in WD and were great in their play.  Tony Hernandez and Cheryl Tubbs, Rhonda and Keith Johnson played in MD as did Karen Gustafson and her partner from FL.  Can you believe how many FSPC players and attendees there were at the US Open Pickleball Championships?!?!

Well that is it for now.  Please Like Our First State Pickleball Club Facebook page for more updates and news!

See you on the court!! 
Kathy Casey
FSPC President


The Future of Pickleball In Sussex County

Do you play Pickleball in Sussex County?

If so, one of the most important things that we can do right now is to get involved in the Sussex County Comprehensive Plan to make sure that our wishes and needs for permanent indoor and outdoor pickleball facilities are included in the Plan’s development. Take a minute and share your comments! 

Have a Voice In Sussex County!

It's Easy: Click In The Sussex Website Below, scroll down to where you can comment: Click on "Capital Improvement Plan" and then select the "recreational and open space" section to submit your input.

Click Here To Submit Your Comments:
< Sussex County Plan >

Please be as detailed as you can be on why we need dedicated outdoor and indoor permanent courts that have heating, air conditioning, appropriate lighting and rest room facilities and why these courts are critical to the population playing this sport. It is also imperative that we ask for a surface that is body friendly to support our bodies... think Ocean City and Kent county's Recreation centers. We are so envious!

Other reasons you may want to include are the many health benefits from playing this game such as  improved agility, balance, stamina, focus, and laughter.  Also include losing weight… because pickleball is so fun it becomes a  good reason for losing weight that makes sense; others automatically begin losing weight just from the increased activity alone.  In addition, we have heard of people getting off of their diabetes medication, reduced blood pressure and cholesterol.  Our aging brains need a good diet, exercise , and a social community.  Pickleball offers great exercise, instant community, social inclusion and contributes to overall emotional well-being.

If you have not seen the story on Delaware First’s Check Out The Video: 

I think that we can attest to the fact that this community is a year round destination that requires indoor recreational facilities for the many who have retired here and live here year round.  We want an active adult recreation center that features a large number of permanent pickleball courts  In addition, permanent outdoor pickleball courts with lighting would offer  extended play and great summer fun!

It is the responsibility of the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission to listen to what the citizens of the county want and need, and to include these wants and needs in the Comprehensive Plan.  Recreation Centers are a real public service that provide its citizens a safe inviting places to gather and play in their community, at a reasonable cost.

If we do not make our needs and wants known, they will not be heard. Your input will truly matter so please do it now.  Here is the link again:  < Sussex County Plan >

Please contact me if you have questions, concerns or comments!
Kathy Casey     
President First State Pickleball Club, Inc.
301-518-3434 (cell)



The March Madness Showdown!

March Madness 2017 was a huge success with 64 players showing up for the “show down” finals in each category!   Many spectators, or future pickleball players, were in attendance to cheer on friends and family.  It was so cool to see so many people who can just to cheer on friends and family in this round robin event!  We really did have a blast!

  “There is something about the energy of people playing that brings out the very best in people. So many smiles, good wishes and great sportsmanship throughout the event.  So many people were thanking Dudley Sluder and his assistants for the job well done and fun had by all.  Dudley really knows how to put on an event.  A very big shout out goes to all of the volunteers who assisted Dudley in taping the courts, measuring the lines and setting up courts” – Kathy Casey FSPC President

In addition all of the work needed to keep the play going in each category and tracking the results through the medals ceremony.  We must be sure to thank Dave Marshall and Jackson Bailey for all of the help they provided in getting us the time and space for this wonderful event.  Please check out the FSPC Facebook page to breeze through the many pictures of that day.

Congratulations to all who played and especially the medal winners who took it all.

Image (5) (1)





TIME: 4 PM – 7 PM

WHERE: IRISH EYES PUB & RESTAURANT 213 Anglers Rd, Lewes, DE 19958





FSPC Looking Back & Ahead

                                                                                                                                                    January 2, 2017

Hello FSPC members!

It has been quite a year for our club with a new Board following the departure of our founders who continue to travel across the US playing pickleball.  Oh, what a life! Oh, what a Year!!

Here are some of the highlights from this past year:

The opening of Sports at the Beach in Georgetown was a new addition to our venues and we are very grateful for the opportunity. Michelle and Pete Townsend have been so welcoming and wonderful to us in meeting the interests of the community.  We cannot thank them enough for all that they have done for the pickleball community.  Michelle has been instrumental in getting our website organized and making it more informational and user friendly.  Michelle, we cannot thank you enough for all of the hours you have given to our club to make this happen.

FSPC was featured on the WHYY’s  “First” program featuring good things happening in Delaware.  It was a great promotional piece for pickleball throughout Delaware.  Thanks to all who participated! Vaughn Baker also served as our press man and had many articles published for our Club and to promote the sport of pickleball and celebrate FSPC events.  Thank you Vaughn!!

We also had Vaughn Baker organize a very successful demo event at Sea Colony that has allowed many who attended to take up the sport.  That was an amazing event with radio talk hosts, writers and tennis pros playing to our delight.  Many people attended and were treated to their first chance at playing the game and they had a blast.

Nan Colella managed to get a demo clinic into Cheers for the very first time and was even featured in an article locally.  Nan also organized play at JM Clayton for “Nights with Nan” and it was a huge success.

Kathy Aldridge has served as the court manager for all sessions at Dave Marshall’s for the summer and throughout the winter.  She has worked tirelessly to make it work there and to make sure that that venue remains open for Pickleball throughout the year.  So, please remember to check on for days and time.  It is very important that you sign up so that we know how many to expect.

Charlie Biddle is  overseeing the Adult Education class at JM Clayton on Tuesday evenings (sold out) for the entire school year. Thank you Charlie!  On a sad note, we were not successful in getting into JM Clayton on Sunday mornings this year.

Joe Wright has been instrumental in raising money to purchase more nets for Kent County Recreation Center. Joe also donated The FSPC stickers that we sell at various events.

Our number one Club goal this year was to develop a communication strategy that would make getting information into your hands more easily. We want to minimize the number of emails sent out but still communicate effectively to our membership. Our club has grown to 430 members in just two years!! It was critical that we find a way to communicate club news and resources in a simplified manner and hope that the website is your go to for everything Pickleball.  Please bookmark the website so that you can easily access the site whenever you need to find out where and when to play.  All of our Sign Ups will be on the website linked with named event. We will continue to send out a news blast once or twice a month as news in generated but all Sign Up activity will be through the FSPC webpage.

We have added PayPal to our membership system to make processing fees much easier with fewer steps.  Because our numbers continue to grow, it is imperative that we find technology based systems to simplify the processes for our club. Please remember that everything we do is done by volunteers.  We have decided to move some of the Treasurer’s workload to a professional due to the legal and IRS implications of making sure that we are doing what is required by law.  We will continue to look for cost effective strategies to keep club expenses low and use efficient and effective technologies where we can do so.  Our goal is to utilize volunteers everywhere that we can to keep the level of play moving upward and hosting tournaments, challenges and clinics ongoing.

Our 2016 tournaments, challenges and clinics were very successful and feedback has been fantastic on every event held by FSPC.  They are as follows for a trip down memory lane:

Beach Blast – a competitive tournament for all levels of play

Rookie Challenge – a friendly random draw event to welcome players to fun organized play

Ambassador’s Party and Sunday Social Play weekend

Coats, Hats, Mittens and Pickles where we gave back to the community and had fun at the same time.

Toys for Tots Holiday Round Robin at Dave Marshall’s Tennis and Fitness Facility at the Plantations

Toys for Tots at Sports at the Beach where Random Partners met to take overall medals.

A special call out out to Dudley Sluder! He is always the first one at the arrive before an event to make sure that the nets are at the right height, tape is down and the balls are marked and ready to go. His efforts to help organize and recruit are appreciated by all and we are grateful for him and his wife  In addition, after DMs courts were redone, Dudley went over to remark all of the courts with black dots so that others can put down the tape without needing to premeasure each time.  Dudley also recruits others to make this all happen without a hitch.  Marisa, you were part of that for the big Holiday tournament.

Dudley has marked and painted countless courts with precision and care in multiple communities.  Dudley is a  USAPA Ambassador for Pickleball and has helped many by introducing the game, coaching people and cheering on others good deeds.  Think, Nights with Nan and her membership drive this summer.

Dudley is a foot soldier who never wants the credit but we must take a moment to let him know how invaluable he has been to our great fun, laughter, challenges and tournaments.  His generous heart is most appreciated in the Toys for Tots at DM and SATB this year.  In addition, the Coat Challenge was a smashing success with his design.

We are enormously indebted to both Dudley and his wife, Janet for all of her support to making this Pickleball community such a wonderful success.

Sports at the Beach, Dave Marshall’s and The Factory provided a generous donation of 16 free sessions of play from each venue in support of a charity for the holidays to those in need.    That raffle generated $795.00 in total for the Immanuel Shelter and they were very grateful to get the money as they were opening on December 1st.  They serve the homeless in our area when temperatures plummet.

On November 5th we held a clinic to help members develop new skills by setting up skill stations on 5 courts where each group met with a different instructor to get help with pickleball skills.

Vaughn Baker was the master mind on this one and we are so grateful to all of our instructors for their contributions. We had a huge turnout and feedback was very positive for this event for everyone involved.

Georgia Billger has held multiple clinics in Lewes, Sports at the Beach and Dave Marshall’s.  Too many to name but Georgia has been instrumental in teaching so many of us and we are soooooo grateful for her insights and wisdom!!  Georgia’s clinics generated enough money to help purchase a ball machine that was used recently in one of her clinics and that kicked up the intensity of learning another level.

We have had many other successes this year from our Social Committee planning monthly events around the area so that we could take time to know each other a little better and have some fun.   Paradise Grill, a picnic at Gordon’s Pond and a night out to hear Bryan Clark sing his tunes. The most recent holiday party was a great deal of fun with great food, location and the “Over Time” band kept us dancing throughout the evening.  Robbin Murray put together a great slide show from across the year that allowed us to all take a minute to share those memories with each other.

Thanks to all who contributed to a wonderful year of pickleball and socializing.

Looking ahead, your Board will be meeting to put together a calendar of events for all of 2017.  Our goal is to give as much advanced notice as possible so that you can be sure to attend the events that you want in on so be sure to keep checking the FSPC webpage.

Both Sports at the Beach and Dave Marshall want to hold more challenges and tournaments this year so stay tuned for more details.

A very exciting event will be three days of clinics with Prem Carnot, the “Pickleball Guru” and author of “Smart Pickleball” who will be at the JM Clayton outdoor courts on July 11,12 and 13, 2017.  The link for more information about the clinics and to register is on our webpage 2017 Prem Event >

Al Gratz and Jean Burgess have agreed to hold a couple of sessions for players interested in understanding the rules and those who would consider being a referee.  We had our first run at refereeing for the DE Senior Olympics and feedback was good for those who took it on as a new experience.

We will be holding events very similar to what we had in 2016 for tournaments, challenges and clinics.  In a couple of days you will receive a survey asking for your input on suggestions for 2017 on any topic you wish to contribute.  We love getting your input and feedback so please take a couple of minutes to complete the survey.

Dana Aultman’s tenure as Treasurer is coming to a close at the end of January. Dana has served this club since the beginning and for 3 years of service to this organization.  He is our “data dog” and has kept our books, membership database, Quick books for income and expense tracking, taxes and financial data on track.  Some of his position will be given to an outside party for completion so that we are in compliance and so that the amount of work is taken off of the Treasurer and that only the following tasks are:

  • Pay all club bills and manage club checkbook
  • File tax documents and pay taxes
  • Keep accounting up-to-date with QuickBooks
  • Provide Financial statements to the club and accountant
  • Make bank deposits
  • Manage Club credit card account
  • Manage Club insurance needs
  • **Process Club memberships
  • **Maintain Master Member List Spreadsheet

We are in need of any one or group of people who would be willing to take on this position. **We are recommending that a Membership Committee be formed to take this from the Treasurer.  Dana has agreed to train whomever takes his position and to serve as a consultant to the new team.

In addition, if you have an interest in taking on the Vice President’s position, or President’s position, or be a Member-at-Large, please send me your name so that we can include you in the ballot.  A separate letter will be coming out to describe the duties for each position. Also, the FSPC Bylaws will be distributed right after the first of the year for your review and comment.

It is essential that we find people interested in taking on leadership positions to keep this club running.  Please think about your skills and background to take on the open positions. As Acting President and Vice President, it has been my honor to serve the club membership in developing the vision and following the mission of the First State Pickleball Club.  However, it is time for more people to step up and take on some of these tasks. With a base of 400 plus people I know that some of you have the skills to fill these positions.

So, think about joining in on the fun and satisfaction that comes from seeing so many pickleball players have great fun, advance their skills and face challenges on the court whether for fun or competition.

Hope to see you on the courts!

Kathy Casey
Acting President
First State Pickleball Club, Inc.
301-518-3434 (cell)

Club Update

Hello First State Pickleballers!

We have been very busy planning some great pickleball activities for the remainder of the year – please read all the way through.

 On November 5th out at Clayton outdoor courts we are having a really cool clinic for all players who want to learn some skills that will take your level and knowledge of play to another level.  As we mentioned in the last newsletter, our mission is to improve play and that means increasing the fun that you can have playing this great game.  The design of this clinic is to show the various shots that are used in higher levels of play and you will get an understanding of how and why they are used.  We will then break up the attendees into the various skill stations to help tune up your skill level and make sure that you get access to many of the most fundamental shots that make our advanced players so good at this game.

We all want our FSPC players to continue to elevate our level of play,  Our Delaware players have continued to win multiple medals in many tournaments this year and that happened in DE, MD, NJ and VA at the Senior Olympics.  You might not be interested in winning medals but I bet that this clinic will double your fun when playing.  Banging the ball is fun but can get boring.  Why not come out and let our instructors challenge you to expand you skills and knowledge of the game.

Here is our promo for this clinic:
“You Asked, We Listened”.  We are now organizing a heavy duty pickleball clinic at Clayton outdoor courts on November 5, Saturday, from 9-1.  You need to sign-up on Sign-Up Genius and tell us your rating. (3.5+, 3.0- Beginner Intermediate, and/or Just Started.). These ratings will help us plan instructors.  The cost will be $10 for anyone who signs up by October 22, and $15 afterwards.  We have capped participation to the first 60 sign-ups.

Not sure if this one is for you?  Well it is.  We all think that we know how to play this game.  Our friends could tell us our areas of weakness but who are they to tell us what we are doing wrong?  You can get this from our instructors who have worked very hard on their own games and want to share their knowledge with you!

Anyone who can keep the score and knows the fundamental rules is welcome to come out.  We will do our best to group you  with similarly skilled players so that you get the most out of this opportunity to learn some skills that will improve you game.

Second, on November 19th AT 6:45 pm our social committee has set our Club up to listen to Bryan Clarke at Hooked Seafood & Martini Bar(302-827-4944) located in the Midway Shopping Center in Lewes, DE.  Call the restaurant directly for reservations. We did this event last year and it was a blast!  Bryan is a local who can really sing and entertain while we get to dance, sip, and eat some great food.  Everyone who attended last year had a great time.  Who knew that many pickleball players liked to dance.  Maybe dancing helps improve balance and agility on the court.  Who knows?

Third, we are also putting together plans for our Holiday Party on 12/16 at Kings Creek Country Club in Rehoboth Beach.  We are limited to 130 attendees and will have the  “Over Time”  band providing the music again this year.  Everyone that we talked to wanted us to keep everything the same as last year so we did.  Anyway,  this event will sell out quickly so do not hesitate to get your check in to ensure that you have a chance to experience this fantastic event.  This wonderful event will only be $35.00 a ticket (cash bar).  We could not offer the same deal as last year but hope that many of you will agree that it is still a bargain for dinner and dancing with a live band in a beautiful setting. Stay tuned for the specific email announcement coming out soon.

Our social committee wants to put something special together for that evening and is asking for any pictures you have from your group of players or events that you have attended over the past year.  We would like to include pictures from the many existing and new venues that have popped up this year.  If you would, please send them to with the location and names of people in the picture. We want to collect people and places where we are playing in Sussex County.  Should be a very cool project.  Thank you Robbin for agreeing to take on this project!!

Finally, we have put together a Nominating Committee with our Members at Large.  Our club is run by volunteers so we need your help.  Please step up to nominate yourself or someone you know who would be interested.  We need a Treasurer, Vice President, and President to begin office on February 1, 2017.  All that it takes is passion for the game, a willingness to get to know the wonderful members of this club, ability to listen and explore ideas presented.  Our Board continues to bring venues, tournaments, clinics and league play.  Volunteers have a great time helping out at our various events so please let me know if you would be interested.  Please reach me at  And remember, many hands make light work!
We are in need of volunteers at this time.  If anyone has experience in web design and management who would be willing to serve on a team to work out our strategies for our Club’s communication, we would be most grateful.  Just contact me and we will put together a group to sort our what needs to get done and how.  We have found that Club communication is the most critical need for our membership.
Our club needs a membership committee to stimulate growth in the area for pickleball play and help people know about the benefits of membership. FSPC needs someone(s) to receive applications and someone(s) to update the spreadsheet.
We also continue to focus on advocating for a dedicated indoor pickleball facility in Sussex County so that we can play year round out of the sun, in air conditioning or heat, so that we can play without fear of freezing to death, getting skin cancer, or having a heat stroke. I hope to have an opportunity to speak to the Sussex County Council in the very near future on the need for such a facility in Sussex County.  I will be reaching out to you to show up for the event and would like as many members who live in Sussex County to show up that night so that the Council can see just how many of us there are playing pickleball.  Stay tuned!
But wait! There’s more!!

Speaking of benefits, Vaughn Baker has scored another deal:

Fork and Flask at Nage19730 Coastal Hwy, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 (302)

Fork and Flask is offering a one-time 10% off your tab from October 17 through November 20, 2016. 

Last, but not least…

Please don’t forget to use the Code CRFirst when you order products from Pickleball Central ( to get the 5% discount and the club also gets a 5% credit to use for club purchases.  Engage Paddles is still offering a 25% discount when  you use the code FSPC at time of check out. Engage  ( ) also gives us 8% back to use on club socials.  Many of our players have tried the paddle and have ordered one.  Also, remember that you get a 10% discount at New Balance when you purchase a new pair of court shoes.  It is a wonderful deal and the sales people there really know their shoes.

Well, that is it for now.  Hope to see you on the courts!

Kathy Casey
Acting President
First State Pickleball Club, Inc.
301-518-3434  (cell)