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Community Foundation, Fort Myers Beach to hold pickleball tourney March 16

By NATHAN MAYBERG - | Feb 26, 2024

The Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation was looking for an activity to bring the community together and found the growing popularity of pickleball a suitable choice inside the refurbished Bay Oaks Recreational Campus.

A tournament will be held Saturday, March 16, in two separate divisions — one for beginners and another for advanced players. The first tournament will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. while a second tourney in the afternoon will run from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The cost to enter is $40.

“The foundation was looking forward to some ideas to bring community back to the community,” said Joy Sullivan, of the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation. “We were looking for something to get the name out there for Bay Oaks and the Community Foundation.”

The games will be played “queen of the court” style, with teams switching teammates each game. There will be two players on each team with a maximum of 32 players and eight games played altogether, Sullivan said.

The games will last 15 minutes each or until the first team reaches 11 points (whichever comes first), according to the rules posted on the registration site. There will be a five-minute break between games.

Sullivan, who sits on the Bay Oaks Recreational Campus Advisory Board, said the tournament is being called the “Dinky Pickleball Tournament” after a pickleball move called a “dink.” A dink is a soft shot hit on a bounce over the bet intended to land just over the net in order to create an awkward return volley from the opponent.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers with trophies and gift cards to Rude Shrimp. Each entrant will receive a free sweat towel.

A food truck will be on site for the day, with sandwiches and coffee, Sullivan said.

Alex King’s Current Coastal Realty is sponsoring the tournament.

To enter the tournament, visit fmbcommunityfoundation.com/product/dinky-pickleball-tournament-fundraiser.