2016 Tournament of Champions Preview

This year marks the fourth year for the Tournament of Champions (TOC). The pickleball community has been very supportive of this event from the beginning. This event had it’s start when John Gullo and Dennis Forbes were planning something different than the “normal” tournament.

My introduction to the sport began in January 2011 when then president and vice president of the Ogden Pickleball Association (OPA), Tim & Judi Morris, invited my wife and I to play at the indoor court for the club. The untimely passing of Dennis Forbes in 2013, accelerated the plans for the first TOC.

It was called the Dennis Forbes Memorial Tournament. The Dennis Forbes Memorial Tournament consisted of 35 USAPA 5.0 players that were invited to participate and was part of the annual OPA tournament. It was the first tournament to charge $100.00 per event entry. We started with men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. The TOC paid $18,000.00 in prize money the first year. It generated great response from the spectators and the players.

Over the course of the last two years, the TOC has grown from the initial 35 USAPA 5.0 players to 90 in 2014, 105 in 2015, and 125 so far in 2016. Total prize for the TOC, including this year, is over $150,000.00. Registration will close for 2016 on August 20 th . You can go to pickleballtournaments.com for more information.

The new home of the TOC is Reese Park in Brigham City, Utah. The Brigham City Council has been fabulous to pickleball in general and extremely responsive to the TOC.

In 2015, Ogden City gave the TOC two weeks notice that there was a conflict for the TOC. The TOC immediately contacted Brigham City about hosting the tournament. They immediately began efforts to make it happen. In early 2016, the Brigham City Council approved the addition of 8 new courts, a permanent restroom facility, and a Championship Court. By the time of this year’s TOC, we will have 16 courts, the restroom facility, and Championship Court available for use. Construction cost of the Championship Court was paid by American Dream Foundation.

The new championship court layout is the same as all other courts with an additional five feet for grass and then bleacher seating all around. The championship court will be fenced in separately. The fencing around the court will be low enough to view court play from the bleachers.

If you have a desire to watch the caliber of play similar to USAPA National, in a smaller setting, come participant or just watch over Labor Day weekend 2016.

Most Recent Posts