International Pickleball Leadership

Ford Roberson

Here at the Ranch, several of the Robson Ranch Denton Pickleball Club are involved directly with the leadership and management of Super Seniors International Pickleball Association. Fred Thompson is the treasurer for SSIPA and Mark Kellam is the membership/public relations director. Additionally, Ford Roberson is the founder, president and executive director. These men are part of the leadership team that currently works to provide tournaments in the states and around the world. SSIPA currently offers tournaments in four countries and 22 states. The SSIPA Tournament Circuit is the largest pickleball tournament circuit in the world.

During the past two months, SSIPA has had circuit events in both Canada and Italy. The Canadian Eastern Championships were held in Kingston, Ontario, the former capitol of Canada located on the northeast coast of Lake Ontario. The Bainbridge Cup and Italian Open were held in the Pescara suburb of Montesilvano on the Adriatic Sea. Both tournaments were in picturesque settings, which allowed the players to enjoy more than just pickleball. Both tournaments provided competition with some of the best players in the world from various countries. The Bainbridge Cup, held in Madrid last year and in Italy this year features team North America against Team Europe. The North Americans defended their title successfully this year. The competition moves to Dusseldorf, Germany for 2019 and will also host the German Open.

Ford Roberson, representing SSIPA, was a participant and part of the tournament operations team for both tournaments. Roberson assisted the tournament director in Canada for all tournament operations. In Italy, as a teaching professional, Ford conducted the opening day clinic. Also, served as the Italian Open Event Manager, providing registration support, bracket development and computer operations. As a player, Mr. Roberson was a double gold medalist in men’s and mixed doubles at the Canadian Eastern Championships. In the Bainbridge Cup, he had a match record of six wins, one loss. Playing only men’s doubles in the Italian Open, Roberson again won the gold with partner John Heinbaugh from Mississippi. SSIPA will have a circuit event at La Palapa Pickleball, Eldorado Ranch, San Felipe, Mexico in November before Thanksgiving.

Robson Ranch Denton Pickleball Club will be hosting Super Senior World Pickleball Championships on October 23-25 here at the Ranch. Look for more information to follow. If you would be interested in being a host home contact [email protected]