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Kids division added to Spinner Law Invitational


Kids display their medals after winning a youth tournament.
Kids display their medals after winning a youth tournament.

Don’t tell boys and girls signing up for an upcoming tournament that pickleball is for old people — not anymore.


PickleballFanatics.biz in Land O’Lakes has hosted a half-dozen tournaments, but the Spinner Law Invitational, Oct. 13-14, will be its first with a kids division.


“We have got so much interest,” said Val Thomopalos, co-owner of PickleballFanatics.biz. “The kids are so excited. They’re training.”


Nearly 20 youngsters will come from Christian Church in the Wildwood in Weeki Wachee. Kiera Little, who has played pickleball for more than two years, oversees a youth pickleball

program there. Her four home-schooled children — Isabella, 12; Zoe, 10; Ezri, 9; and Avery, 7 — play pickleball there.


Only Isabella and Rankin, the 12-year-old son of Little’s sister Kailey Walkup, will play in the tourney since they must be at least 11 to play in the kids division.


“This is their first outside official tournament,” Little said, noting that the church has organized a few tourneys for boys and girls.


The Spinners Invitational will not be the first Tampa Bay area tourney to include a kids division. Alex Wadsworth, who owns PickleMan Inc., also has included a kids division for each of his three tourneys since building a pickleball court on his own property in Lutz in the spring.


Photo courtesy of Kiera Little

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