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Types of Pickle Players at Open Play

Now this post is written in jest but we all know that there is a ribbon of truth woven into these descriptions!


  1. The Professor - Somehow, someway there are some people of like-kind ability who take it upon themselves to educate you about how to play pickleball. Without your consent, you are suddenly taken under their wing as they explain the ways of pickleball to you as if they are omniscient on the topic. Meanwhile, you are radio silent as you watch them dump balls into the net and miss shots they should have had - don't worry, if they miss a shot, they will likely reiterate that you were out of position to re-establish dominance.

  2. The Elitist - Now there are always a few players who show up to OPEN play who are really good - as if they have sold their souls to the pickle Gods and now they have a keen eye and precise shot selection. The thing is, they won't play with you - they're not here for it. What they are here for is the ego boost of being the stars of the show at open play - now if they do somehow have a lapse in judgment and allow you into their game, they will surely show you shades of being a Professor out there too because hey - they feel that they did their good deed for the day if they give the little guy a morsel or two.

  3. The Combative Line Caller - This person will take you by complete surprise. They will look as unassuming as possible and likely have a handful of grandchildren already - they probably smell like fresh baked cookies . They will lure you into a sense of comfort as they smile as you start your game and you have fond memories of your own grandparents... and then the wheels will come off. Their call is the final call and they saw it OUT! 3/4 of the court can kindly say it was definitely in - including their own partner and they will double the f8#k down and say "it's my call" - awkwardness ensues and we all stand down - stunned by this sudden show of fierceness as we decide if it means that much to them, we will let them have it - all while knowing they are dead wrong.

  4. The Misogynist - Some dudes don't want to play with women - and conversely some women don't want to play with the guys, I get that - but there is always a sprinkling of guys who avoid rotating in ladies at all costs - maybe their wives won't allow it? The world will never know - but there are some of us girls who hit the shit out of the ball and have been playing mixed doubles for years and can take it - no shrinking violet over here - some of us don't appreciate feeling like we are supposed to be laying around a chaise lounge like it's 1918 instead of participating.

  5. The Resting Bitch Face - Are you even having fun? You look perpetually miserable like someone dragged you here against your will - no doubt, you tend to be on the other side of the net from me for whatever reason and we aren't able to create any sort of rapport. You definitely don't like to play with the men... but you seem miserable on the women's courts as well so maybe we need to figure out where your happiness lies.

  6. The Newbie - You will guaranteed be stuck with a newbie if you dare show up 4 minutes late to open play. This person will be oozing insecurity and you can't help feel bad for them as they are trying their best and are putting themselves out there - they won't know how to score properly, positioning, and will apologize continuously and profusely. These people would be the perfect and natural partner for a professor, but for whatever reason, these two will never play on the same side of the court. It's quite the enigma.

  7. The Paddle Specialist - We all know this person - they thrive off of looking for someone with a perceived subpar paddle so that they can swoop in and let them know just what a total POS that person is using and shame them into purchasing a $200+ paddle before the next open play. "Dude, your arm is just going to spontaneously detach from your body if you keep using that outdated technology".

  8. The Tennis Player - You sort of hate this person - they just waltz in here like they own the joint and can play the game with ease even though you're $5K deep on drills and clinic. To preserve your ego, you instantly judge them for their slice, drives and hard shots...tsk, tsk...that's not how it's done...even though they can do the damn thing.

  9. The Drill Loyalist - Now please note, this person will only ever be your partner, you will never play against them - another anomaly of the game. This person is taking drills like crazy to improve their game - admirable - but they become so consumed with perfecting a new shot that they try it continuously even when it clearly isn't working...and since you're always their partner, you get to be a part of that sinking ship when all you want is a change in strategy.

  10. The Sideline Dweller - You don't seem to really want to play, you're just there for the camaraderie and kinship. You might play one game over the 3 hours of scheduled open play, you might not - who knows! You have coffee to drink, snacks to eat and a smile on your face!


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