SJPA Winter Classic

Event date: January 22, 2023

Beginner to 2.5 and 3.0 Rated Players will play from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

3.5 and 4.0 Rated Players will play from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

Find out more and register now!

** Beginner to 2.5 Rated Player – Mixed (men and women)

**if you are new to Pickleball and haven’t been rated, this will be your grouping.

3.0 Rated Player – Mixed (men and women)

3.5 Rated Player – Mixed (men and women)

4.0 Rated Player – Mixed (men and women)

First Annual Greg Rymer Tournament – Huge Success !

The first annual Greg Rymer Memorial Pickleball Tournament was a huge success. Despite the rain and wind that tropical storm Nicole brought to North Carolina, the strong-willed committee did not throw in the towel. 

The tournament was held at the Greg Rymer Memorial Pickleball courts in St. James and had over 100 registered players. The competition was fierce, but in the end, only four teams were crowned champions of this inaugural event. Nancy Souza and Kim Cravinho won the women’s 2.5/3.0 division.  In the women’s 7.5 division, Leslie Gourley and Sun Maher took the prize. The men’s 2.5/3.0 winners were Gary Purcell and Ron Walters. In the men’s 7.5 division, Dan Heatherly and Tom Alderdice came out on top.

The pickleball tournament was a fundraiser for the Greg Rymer Endowment Fund. Greg Rymer was an Assistant Teaching Tennis Professional and founding Pickleball Professional at St. James Plantation. Greg spent his life coaching, mentoring, and developing skills for racquet sport athletes at all levels. He had a particular interest in helping youth development through sports. Sadly, Greg passed away in October 2020. His wife, Katie, set up the endowment fund to honor his commitment and passion for working with junior players. The endowment fund provides grants to the National Junior Tennis and Learning Chapters, making it possible for the underserved children in Brunswick County to enjoy the life-affirming benefits of racquet sports. According to the United States Tennis Association, “The National Junior Tennis & Learning was created as a way to gain and hold the attention of young people, with the hope of teaching them the importance of character, getting an education, and becoming productive citizens.”

Many local businesses and service providers sponsored the tournament. With their generous support, the kindness of many anonymous donors, and the participation of the registered players in the tournament, we raised $15,700! This is more than twice our initial goal!  

On December 12, 2022, we presented a check to Karen Holbrook, the director of N.J.T. & L, Southport Chapter. The funds will provide educational classes, after-school tutoring, life skills curriculum, anti-bullying programs, and tennis lessons for under-resourced children in Southport. With the donation being more significant than anticipated, there is hope to expand the program to other areas of Brunswick County and maybe even add some pickleball instruction!

We want to give special thanks to our very generous sponsors.

  • CRM Science
  • Head Racquet Sports
  • College H.U.N.K.S. Hauling Junk and Moving
  • Schiano Development
  • Island Healing Chiropractic
  • Friends of St. James
  • Gamma Sports
  • Stifel
  • Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry
  • Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral Home & Cremation Services
  • About Me Embroidery
  • St. James Pickleball Association
  • Troon

If you’d like to participate in this wonderful event next year, please reach out to Karen Fania at The many people who made this fundraiser a huge success show that it truly takes a village.

St James Service Club Holiday Festival

Please stop at the St. James Community Center to see the wonderful display of Christmas trees. The SJPA is building a beautiful, must see tree. You can see the set-up activity in these early photos taken today. Stop at the Community Center to see the finished products and support the Service Club Charity Event.

WHEN: Friday (today – December 9th) and Saturday (December 10th)

TIME: 2:00 – 5:00 pm each day



SJPA Christmas Tree: “Who Pickled the Grinch”

Pictures of the event being set-up.

Pictures of the event being set-up.

Is There Such a Thing as Pickleball Etiquette?

A question was sent asking about court etiquette. Whether you are new to racquet sports or a seasoned player, we all know there are a few actions we should all follow to respect the other players on the court.

Pickleball is a “social” sport. This generally means that pickleball is as much about interacting and socializing with people as it is about physical activity and competition. This “social” culture around pickleball is one defining characteristic of the sport itself. In connection with this unique culture, it is important to understand some “pickleball etiquette” tips before hitting the pickleball court. These include:

  • Introduce Yourself to New Players – Before starting a pickleball game with new people, be sure to introduce yourself to others.
  • Do Not Cross a Pickleball Court During a Point – Avoid crossing over a pickleball court when a point is ongoing. This includes avoiding entering the baseline area or the sideline area.
  • Do Not Make Excessive Noise or Commotion on the Courts – This includes screaming or yelling at people outside of the courts or to other players more than one court away. Nobody wants to wait for you to finish yelling at other court members (especially if they are outside of the pickleball courts). When you start yelling/screaming everything on the courts usually stops due to your disruption.
  • Know the Rules – Do your best to know and understand the rules of pickleball. This will help avoid disputes on the pickleball court and ensure that everyone is playing by the same set of rules.
  • Bring Your Own Ball – Do not rely on other players to always bring the pickleball. Have your own stash! Also, when a pickleball rolls onto your court, avoid switching the pickleball with your own. Keep the pickleball that you or your court is playing with—most players are particular about their ball. 
  • Call the Score Loudly – When you are serving, be sure to call the score loudly so that all players on the pickleball court can hear you.
  • Call “Ball on Court” If the Ball Is Actually on the Court – For safety reasons, if you see a stray pickleball roll on your court, stop play and call “Ball on Court.” This is a hindrance and you should replay the point. However, do not abuse this calling to help you avoid losing points (for more on this, check out Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket: Ball on Court).
  • Allow the Players to Make the Calls – If you are a spectator, avoid the urge to make the call, including line calls. Allow the players on the pickleball court to make the call.
  • Keep the Coaching to Yourself – Only provide coaching advice when asked. Be wary of coaching other players on the pickleball court, as they may not want to hear any unsolicited advice.
  • Welcome New Players and Play with Weaker Players Every So Often – The culture of pickleball is welcoming, so, in recreational play, do not be afraid to welcome new player onto your court. Also, if you are a stronger player, consider playing with weaker players from time to time, as they will greatly appreciate your game and you may have an opportunity to work on a specific skill or shot. By welcoming new players and helping weaker players, the sport of pickleball will grow in number and in talent.
  • Don’t Play Keep Away in Recreational Play – If you are a weaker player that is able to play with a stronger player, avoid the urge to play keep away from the stronger player. Hit more shots to the stronger player for the opportunity to improve your pickleball game and to keep the stronger player willing to play with you more! Also, do not outwear your welcome with the stronger player. Play a few games and say thank you.
  • Sorry for Let Cords and Praise for Good Shots – This one is probably “common practice,” but not universal. If a pickleball hits the net, then, oftentimes, the striking team will win the point because the net will throw off the expected trajectory of the pickleball. In this instance, the striking team will usually say “Sorry” or give a casual wave to non-verbally signal an apology (this “tradition” seemingly comes from tennis). With that said, the striking team really is never “Sorry,” but rather excited to win the point. Similarly, you may also see hand claps or “thumbs up” for good shots by opponents in recognition of good play. These are common on-court gestures, but not universal.
  • Practice Good Sportsmanship – Fair play and good sportsmanship are cornerstones of pickleball. Be sure to respect and practice both. (For instance, if you know that you were in the Kitchen when you hit a volley, call a Kitchen violation on yourself. Or, if you hit someone with the pickleball—particularly, in the face, like Matt Wright did to Jessie Irvine—ask if they are okay or apologize, rather than screaming “Come on!” or “Yeah!” in excitement at your body/face attack.)
  • Practice the Golden Rule – As in life, treat others the way that you want to be treated. Be nice to others and have fun on the pickleball court! 
  • “Paddle Tap” After Every Game – After every game, players meet at the pickleball net to tap pickleball paddles – either with the head or butt of the pickleball paddle. When paddle tapping, also consider giving your opponents a compliment – for instance, “great game.”

SJPA 2023 Board of Directors – Votes Are In

2023 Pickleball Board of Directors

President:Deb Chiarello
Vice President:George Johnson
Treasurer:Kathy McArthur
Secretary:Mary Heatherly
Communications:Al Hausmann
Tournaments & Events:Jeff Franken
Social:Liz Wilson

Committee Chairs

Instruction:Christine Cournoyer
Sunshine Committee:Kathy Goliszek

Changes made to the By-Laws for 2023 were Approved: 98.6%

By-Laws were updated in July and must be approved. You can access and read a copy of the By-Laws on the SJPA website under the category Pickleball Docs. This is a Brief explanation of changes made to By-Laws: 

Three new board positions:
o Communications
o Social
o Tournament and Events

• Maximum term for the following is two years:
o Treasurer
o Secretary
o Communications
o Social
o Tournament and Events

• Maximum term for the president is one year since they already served 1 year as VP
• Committee Chairs and those participating, supporting, or assisting must be paid sport or golf members, members of SJPA, and residents of St James Plantation
• All media of any type and use of the logo must be approved

HoliDink Event – December Festivities

The Holidink event will be held on Sunday December 11th from 1:00-4:00pm.

We are suggesting that the participants bring some light snacks/food to share with the group but please bring your own drinks.

Participants should feel free to wear their favorite holiday apparel.

The number of participants will be limited to 48. We will randomly
assign participants to courts for fun social play.

There is no rain date for this event

–Sport or Golf Member
–SJPA paid member at the time you sign up

Greg Rymer Memorial Tournament: Winners

Well, the weather can never keep a great tournament down.

The tropical storm, Nicole, was supposed to bring two days of rain and wind. Like much of our weather, it was unpredictable. We thought we could play on Thursday, but then it started to rain, and it rained most of the day. The second day of the tournament, Friday, had the greatest chances of rain, so the tournament was cancelled, but the day turned out pretty nice. Who knew! But the tournament organizer, Karen Fania, did not want to give up! She rescheduled all of the matches to Saturday and Monday, and the event, the games, the people, and the support were fantastic!

The winners are:
Women’s 2.5-3.0. Nancy Souza & Kathy Cravinho
Women’s 7.5  Leslie Gourley & Sun Maher
Men’s 2.5-3.0  Gary Purcell & Ron Walter
Men’s 7.5   Dan Heatherly & Tom Alderdice

More photos from the event:

See many more pictures from the tournament (This link may require that you log in to your account. Please report any issues to Al Hausmann.):

Monday Tournament Pictures

Saturday Tournament Pictures

Nominees for 2023 SJPA Board Offices and Updates to By-Laws

NOTE: An email with a link to vote was sent to all eligible members.

We solicitated for 2023 SJPA Board Officers in October. Filling these positions is critical to the growth and success of pickleball in St. James in 2023. These three positions have received the following submissions and are running un-opposed.

For Vice President positionGeorge Johnson

My wife, Marion, and I moved to St. James in August 2019 and were introduced
to pickleball that fall. After COVID hit, pickleball became our primary activity. As we played, we formed many friendships and developed a love for the sport as
well as for the St. James pickleball community.

We joined the SJPA as soon as we heard about it, and we have enjoyed
participating in its social and on-court activities. I ran a pickleball ladder league
with sixteen 3.0-level men in spring 2021, was captain of one of the teams in the 2021 Summer Fun League, continue to run two weekly round-robin groups, and play with other groups whenever I can. I am currently on the SJPA “Saints” 3.5 intercommunity league team, where I enjoy competing in both the men’s and the mixed matches.

In my previous life I taught mechanical engineering at a university on the west
coast known for its philosophy and practice of “shared governance” between the faculty and the administration. This meant a lot of committee work throughout my 40-year career, with increasing levels of responsibility. My last committee work involved undergraduate admissions, a critical activity where, at this university, the faculty establish the parameters under which students are
admitted. I was chair of the campus admissions committee and later chair of the systemwide committee. This involved regular meetings with senior university administrators as well as navigating the differing needs of the nine
undergraduate campuses. I believe that both the faculty and the administration
viewed me as a creative problem solver, a good listener, and a consensus

I look forward bringing these qualities to the SJPA Board to help grow and
support the wonderful pickleball community at St. James

For Treasurer position: Kathy McArthur

I have been the treasurer of the SJPA since January of 2022. Previously I was a member of the St. James POA Finance Committee. My responsibilities included compiling the POA budget each year. In 2020 I was the Finance Committee liaison to the Safety & Security Committee. In 2021 I worked on the 30-year plan.

I have lived in St James for 5 years. Prior to moving to St. James I worked in Higher Education as a budget manager and eventually a finance director. I have a B.S. in Accounting from Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT.

For Secretary position: Mary Heatherly

I have been a Business professional with over 30 years of experience, including 20 years in management and a track record of high performance in human resources, project planning, operations, compliance, integrity, and leadership. During that time, I served on several Non-profit Boards, including the role of Board Secretary for a number of years. I have a BS in Accounting from Villanova University.

From 2016 until I retired in 2018, I served as the HR and Office Manager for a large mega church (50 employees and 90 acres of property.) I was able to bring much of my corporate experience to help develop processes and procedures that had not been previously documented.  As part of that body of work, I also participated in the weekly leadership meetings and was responsible for the detailed meeting minutes. 

I currently serve on the SJPA Social Committee as Secretary, documenting the detailed notes regarding the committee’s activities.

New Volunteers for our committees

Events & Tournaments: Jeff Franken
Social: Liz Wilson
Instruction: Christine Cournoyer

Changes made to the By-Laws for 2023

By-Laws were updated in July and must be approved. You can access and read a copy of the By-Laws on the SJPA website under the category Pickleball Docs. This is a Brief explanation of changes made to By-Laws: 

Three new board positions:
o Communications
o Social
o Tournament and Events
• Maximum term for the following is two years:
o Treasurer
o Secretary
o Communications
o Social
o Tournament and Events
• Maximum term for the president is one year since they already served 1 year as VP
• Committee Chairs and those participating, supporting, or assisting must be paid sport or golf members, members of SJPA, and residents of St James Plantation
• All media of any type and use of the logo must be approved

Copy of updated 2023 By-Laws waiting for approval from the association:

7 Tips to Help You Keep the Ball Low

Throughout your journey as a pickleball player, you may find yourself sending your shot over to your opponents’ side higher than you would like, more frequently than you would like. That’s not ideal because the higher you send the ball over to the other side, the more likely you are to be attacked. Especially if your opponents are further up in the court.

What separates a great pickleball player from the rest is their ability to keep the ball low at key moments and on demand. Keeping the ball low makes it more challenging for your opponent to make successful aggressive plays against you.

 Here is a link to a YouTube video done by PrimeTime Pickleball.

Member Appreciation EVENTS

November 16 @ 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Kim & Adam invite you to challenge us.

There will be 2 opportunities for you to teach us a thing or two. We look forward to your challenge and having fun with you on the court. You have an advantage
because Adam and I have never played together! We encourage all levels of play to take advantage of this opportunity. We, as the pros, promise to play in a way that challenges your level of play, whatever that may be.

Both events: Challenge the Pros, Drop Shot Challenge will be held at the Greg Rymer Courts. The Franklin Ball will be used. Prizes will be on hand.

EVENT #1: Challenge the Pros – Wednesday 16th from 3:30 – 5:30 pm

There are many ways of winning, the first is by participating! I want this to be fun for every challenging team/player.

Kim & Adam invite you to challenge them to a 10 minute game. Challengers can be:
— Mixed team
— Women’s team
— Men’s team
It’s up to you!!

*Our schedule will have 1-2 minutes between games
*Our time will allow for up to 10 teams to challenge
*You may play on 1 team only
*As each team arrives, we ask you to use your paddles to determine order of play
*Arrive early to be one of the first challengers
*You can place your paddle in queue once both of you are present

For this to run smoothly we’d like to see at least 3 teams in queue
by 3:30, and 3-4 after that.

Play will begin promptly at 3:30pm.

I have my partner’s information I want to sign up now to Challenge the Pro!

EVENT #2: DROP SHOT CHALLENGE – Thursday 17th from 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Kim & Adam will feed balls & provide targets which are tomato cages, for you to hit &/or sink your drop shot from various areas of the court.

How we will play the game:
–If you, the player, successfully hits or sinks a ball at or into the
cage from a particular area, then the pro is given 3 chances to do the same.
–If the pro can match the shot, then the score is even (think Corn Hole).
–Pros feed all balls and pros alternate turns to even out the score.

There are four time slots and eight people per time slot.
First start time:
–1:30pm (sign up)
–1:45pm (sign up)
–2:00pm (sign up)
–Last: 2:15pm (sign up)

Open to ONLY 8 different players every 15 minutes. Please sign up for a time

–Sport or Golf Membership
–SJPA paid member

SJPA Annual Meeting

December 2 @ 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Please join us for the SJPA annual meeting at the Community Center to celebrate the successes of 2022. Registration to attend ENDS on November 29th.
–Social will start at 5:30 pm to give everyone some time to visit and settle in (reminder BYOB).
–There will also be a boxed dinner provided by the SJPA. Your food selection will be part of your registration below.
–Meeting will start about 6:15 pm

There will be a summary of the events, both social and competitive, and a synopsis of the finances for the past year.

This event is part of our 2023 Membership Drive

You will have the opportunity to join or renew your SJPA Membership for 2023 and meet the new Board of Directors (checks only, no cash).

–There will be three baskets of fabulous goodies to be raffled at the meeting.
–Each member attending the meeting will receive one free raffle ticket.
–If you join or renew your SJPA membership at the Annual meeting you will receive an extra ticket! 
–Each attendee must register separately.

Water will be available: BYOB

New Feature Added to SJPA Website

This new feature we added will make it easier for you to keep up to date.

We added a form to the upper section of the home page and at the bottom of most pages. The form is a sign up to receive notifications every time we publish a new article to the Latest Posts. Note: when you sign up you will receive an email and you must click on the link in the email to validate that it is your email address that subscribed to the service.

This way you will never miss one of the newest articles posted to the website.

Try it out. If you are getting too many emails from us you can always unsubscribe.

UPDATE: Sneakers Fundraiser Gives 2nd Check to WAVES 4 K.I.D.S. TOTAL: $976.35

Picture of  John Waters, President, WAVES 4 K.I.D.S., accepting a check for $763.75 from Sharen Hausmann, President, SJPA, from all the sneakers that were collected and turned into cash as a donation to WAVES 4 K.I.D.S. This was the first of two checks that we will be receiving from GotSneakers, as they are still processing the sneakers mailed to them. 

2nd check given to John Waters, President, WAVES 4 K.I.D.S., for $212.50 from Sharen Hausmann, President, SJPA, along with team members Kathy Goliszek and Cynthia Mendoza. We shipped nearly 100 bags containing over 1,100 pairs of sneakers. Not only did we raise money for the SJPA donation to WAVES for K.I.D.S., but we helped our environment by keeping sneakers out of landfills through recycling and reuse. Special thanks to Diana Kelly for heading up this partnership with WAVES 4 K.I.D.S.

UPDATE: Registration for the Fall Brunswick Compass Draw Pickleball Tournament Now Open (Tournament NOW STARTS ON NOVEMBER 2)

To allow more time to for some of the Summer Pickleball matches to wind down, I am pushing back the start date of the Fall Tournament League to November 2nd.  That gives you this week to go ahead and register via the website ( 

Here is what we have available:

Women’s 3.0 Doubles:  2 spots filled, 6 spots available

Women’s 3.5+ Doubles:  1 spot filled, 7 spots available

Men’s 3.0 Doubles:  1 spot filled, 7 spots available

Men’s 3.5 Doubles:  3 spots filled, 5 spots available

Men’s 4.0+ Doubles:  8 spots available

3.0 Mixed Doubles:  2 spots filled, 6 spots available

3.5+ Mixed Doubles:  2 spots filled, 6 spots available

We will post the initial draws on November 2nd.  If we have fewer than 8 teams in a division, we can either put in a ghost team (if we have 7 real teams) or we will use a round-robin format if we have 4 – 6 teams.  You only need to play one match every two weeks.  To help accommodate travel schedules, we have an easy substitution policy where you can always use a sub for ONE of the team members.  We also typically add a few days here or there as needed around holidays if multiple teams are impacted.

This is a great way to practice your game with your favorite partner and meet other teams from around Brunswick county.  The cost is only $20 per player and we have prizes for the winners of the main bracket and consolation bracket.  Everyone will get at least five matches, where each match is best 3 out of 5 games to 11.

If you are interested in playing but don’t have a partner, you can always check out the Partner Finder lists on the website (accessed via buttons located below the division listings) and either find a partner there or add your name to the list.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions or need any help registering.  Thanks and see you out on the court soon!

Membership is Free!

It only takes a minute to register on the website ( and it is completely free!  You only pay for any specific tournaments you choose to enter.

Even if you don’t plan on playing in the upcoming tournament, you should still become a member.  This will ensure you are kept informed about any new tournaments and will also let you follow the tournament to see how your friends (or rivals) are doing.