National pickelball tourney winds up after busy weekend in Bend

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The Pacific Northwest Classic pickleball tournament finished up on Sunday after a five-day run in Bend.

The event sponsored by Beaver Coach Sales saw 770 players from all over the United States compete for a $25,000 purse.

Rainy weather forced players to split time between the outdoor courts at Pine Nursery Park and the indoor facilities at Pickleball Zone and Widgi Creek. 

“As a club and community we’re really proud of this event because we’re really respected in the pickleball world and people like to come here and play,” said Pacific Northwest Classic Assistant Co-Director Kirk Foster.

“People have a good time playing it. It’s challenging, mentally and physically challenging, but it doesn’t put the same demands on your body as say the game of tennis where you have to cover a lot more ground.”

The Bend Pickleball Club has hosted the event since 2011, when only 90 players participated. 

This year, it’s one of 18 pro tournaments in the world drawing players from ages 11 to 87. 

“The average age when I started about ten years ago was 60 to 65 and now the data is showing the average age is about 45,” said Pacific Northwest Classic Co-Director Christie Gestvang.

Twelve more professional tournaments have been added to the docket for next year and the Pacific Northwest Classic will return July 27th-31st, 2021.  

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