Contributed by
Opelika Parks and Rec.

The Opelika SportsPlex and Aquatics Center and the Opelika-Auburn Pickleball Club will be hosting the summer edition of the Paddles at the Plex pickleball tournament, this weekend. The pickleball courts will begin to fill Thursday morning and play will continue through Sunday evening.

Paddles at the Plex is an invitational tournament that attracts players throughout the United States. Over 350 players representing 13 states will converge on the Opelika SportsPlex this weekend. More than 70% of those players are traveling more than 80 miles to get here.

The tournament is primarily made up of players 50 years old or older, but 35% of the players in this tournament are ages 19-49. This coincides with data from USA Pickleball that shows that the number of younger players has been growing quickly over the last five years.

For those who enjoy watching the sport or are interested in seeing what it is all about, Paddles at the Plex is free and open to the public. Spectators will have the opportunity to experience high-level play, shop for pickleball attire and equipment and dine with local mobile food vendors.

The summer Paddles at the Plex tournament schedule is as follows:

•  Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.   
    Men’s Singles and Women’s Doubles – 60 plus age groups
•  Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
     Men’s Doubles and Women’s Singles – all age/skill levels
•  Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
     Mixed Doubles – all age/skill levels
•  Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
     Women’s Doubles and Men’s Singles – <60 age groups.

Opening ceremonies will begin 30 minutes prior to start time each day.