Pittsburgh, PA – The David L. Lawrence Convention Center was packed with sound of dinking for the GAMMA Pickleball Classic August 18th thru August 20th.  The GAMMA Pickleball Classic is the premier indoor tournament in the United States that takes place over three days. In 2022, the GAMMA Pickleball Classic brought in over 1,000 individuals from around the nation making it the largest event yet and the 2023 tournament broke that record!

Pickleball is a racket or paddle sport in which two or four players hit a perforated, hollow plastic ball with paddles over a 34-inch-high net until one side is unable to return the ball or commits an infraction. Pickleball is played indoors and outdoors. Currently, pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States.

For the first time ever, Special Olympics Unified Pickleball competed in the GAMMA Pickleball Classic.  Each team consisted of one Special Olympics athlete and one Unified Partner that have practicing the sport of pickleball at Moon Park in Moon Twp., PA for over eight weeks.  The athletes and partners are equal teammates on the court as they go for the gold!  Three teams competed in a Special Olympics division raising a lot of questions from bystanders, “what is this?”, “this looks like a lot of fun!”, and “how do I get involved?”.  It allowed the Three Rivers Region to showcase athletes’ abilities and continue to build awareness around the sport of pickleball. 

“GAMMA Pickleball [and USA Pickleball] has been instrumental in helping us get off the ground with pickleball in the Three Rivers Region. We were grateful to be a part of their event and showcase the joy that they have allowed us to create for our athletes and partners” said, Andrew Fee, SOPA’s Regional Executive Director.

Pickleball Results:

Logan & Lis:  2-0  GOLD

Zach & Andrew: 1-1. SILVER

Justin & Jessie: 0-2   BRONZE