Printed in the Spectrum:
CASA GRANDE — An equipment manufacturer has contributed funds that will allow for a national professional pickleball tournament in Casa Grande next week to have a $50,000 incentive prize pool for the first time.
Idaho-based Selkirk Sport, the manufacturer of high-performance paddles for pickleball, has announced the formation of the sport’s first-ever player incentive pool program. That means $50,000 in prize money will be up for grabs for players using the company’s paddles at the USAPA National Championships Nov. 4-12 at the Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande.
Selkirk Sport has pledged more than $150,000 in prize money for nationwide tournament play on the 2018 professional pickleball circuit.
According to a company press release, the pool program was created to incentivize athletes to compete with their paddles. In the Casa Grande tourney, there will be a $3,500 top prize if a player wins the National Men’s, National Women’s or Mixed Open Division with a Selkirk paddle. The runner-up in those respective divisions can win $2,000, with $500 going to the third place finisher. Players must enroll in the Selkirk incentive pool program to be eligible for prize money.
Ranked pickleball players Ty McGuffin, Morgan Evans, Tonja Major and Glen Peterson will lead a team of Selkirk staff players equipped with Selkirk’s new AMPED Series paddle as they compete at Nationals.“We are committed to investing in the growth of the sport at the professional level, which we believe will drive growth at the grassroots level,” said Mike Barnes, operations manager for Selkirk Sport. “While our ultimate goal is to develop a more traditional endorsement model customary in mainstream sports such as tennis or golf, we see this incentive program as a launching pad to validate the performance attributes of our products while driving excitement among the elite players