Picklebrawl in Virginia’s Blue Ridge: Salem to host the first USA Pickleball sanctioned tournament

SALEM, Va. – The pickleball craze continues and is headed to Salem as officials just made an exciting announcement.

In a game-changing move for Salem, the city eagerly prepares to welcome the sounds of pickleball rallies echoing across fresh courts.

Picture this, hundreds of people gathering at the new courts at Moyer Sports Complex to watch the first USA pickleball-sanctioned tournament, the Picklebrawl in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

“And not to over-promise in terms of events but with that said I will make a promise. This will be the biggest and baddest tournament you’ve ever seen, particularly in the state of Virginia it is going to pull people from regions close by and far as well and we are going to blow the roof off of it,” Jon Laaser, Performance Pickleball COO and tournament organizer said.

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America, and Salem wanted a piece of the action. This fall with just a paddle and a wiffle ball you can head down to the courts to watch or play in the first large-scale pickleball tournament in the Roanoke Valley.

Not only is the pickleball community on cloud nine, but the economic impact will be an ace, especially the weekend of Sept. 13, when the tournament will take place.

“That’s the weekend that Virginia Tech is on the road, so it’s a great weekend to be hosting a big-time pickleball tournament to be able to put people in our hotels, and restaurant, going to our grocery stores and our gas stations,” John Shaner, director of parks and recreations for the City of Salem said.

One pickleball player is ready to take on the new courts and experience a huge tournament in his backyard.

“Yeah, it’s outstanding, it’s been my dream for a long time to bring a tournament this size to this area, it’s really incredible,” Timothy Cass, a pickleball player said.

They don’t call Salem, Virginia a championship city for nothing. The courts at Moyer Sports Complex are in the process of being built, but they will be up and ready for the Picklebrawl in Virginia’s Blue Ridge this fall.

About the Author

Kelly Marsh joined the team in July 2023.