The Alaska Crimson Bear Pickle Ball team prepares for upcoming tournament against the San Francisco Eagles July 8 and 9. (Courtesy photo / Mele Maake)

Pickleball tourney to hold court in Juneau

Having fun is their racket.

The Alaska Crimson Bear Pickle Ball Club recently announced it will host its first pickleball tournament against the San Francisco Eagles in Juneau on Friday, July 8 starting at 9 a.m. Floyd Dryden Middle School.

The public is invited to attend this free event and show support for all the local players, said Crimson Bear team member and co-founder Mele Maake A buffet lunch and dinner will be served at 3 p.m. Friday at the middle school with festivities continuing on starting at 7 p.m. at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall.

For the uninitiated, pickleball is a racket sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis played with a ball similar to a Wiffle ball.

“It’s a game that you try it out yourself and you get hooked, it hooks you because you have so much fun, it’s a very fun game. You’re laughing, it’s very enjoyable, it’s not like tennis which is very serious,” Maake said.“The public is definitely invited to come watch because one of the positive things I see about pickleball is that it bonds communities because the game is so much fun and everyone feels so welcome. I see it as something very positive for our little community here in Juneau.”

In the likely event of rain, the tournament will move to inside the middle school.

Saturday, the second day of the tournament, is also set for 9 a.m.-3 p.m., according to an invite shared with the Empire, and the second portion of the tournament program will take place starting at 7 p.m. at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. It will feature live band Liufa. Attire for Friday night is Aloha themed, so everyone is asked to come in your Island attire or Sunday best, and Saturday night’s attire is Sunday best, as well.

Traffic is expected to be heavy around the Floyd Dryden Middle School and Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall at the respective times and parking will be scarce, so all attendees are asked to make considerations as best they can beforehand.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at