Arnie Moreno: A Pioneer and Promoter of Pickleball in the Pacific Northwest

Arnie Moreno is a retired high school teacher, a varsity tennis coach, and a PTR tennis instructor. He has been passionate about tennis and other racket sports since he learned to play tennis at Washington State University. He is still active in USTA men's league and plays pickleball in between his tennis matches.

Arnie Moreno
Arnie Moreno

Arnie was one of the first people to witness the emergence of pickleball in the Pacific Northwest. He lived in Everett, Washington, and taught physical education in middle school when he saw his first pickleball match. He was intrigued by the fast-paced game that looked like a giant ping pong game. He noticed the groundstrokes and volleying attacks at the net, and the smiles on the faces of the players. He was eager to learn how to play this game and join the tournaments organized by Sid Williams, the founder of the United States Pickleball Association (USAPA).

Arnie quickly became hooked on pickleball and started to promote it to his students and friends. He introduced pickleball to his middle school and high school PE classes, and it soon became part of almost every PE curriculum in the region. He also used his tennis skills to excel in pickleball and looked for every chance to attack at the net. He had a signature phrase to tell players to drop the ball into the kitchen: "chili dip it!"

Arnie also learned about the history of pickleball from Sid Williams, who told him how the game was invented by Washington State Senator Joel Pritchard and his family in Bainbridge, Washington. They named the game after their dog Pickles, who would chase the plastic wiffle ball during their matches in their driveway. Sid invited Arnie to join the USAPA and help him organize competitive tournaments for players of all levels and age groups. The tournaments were held in gyms and fitness clubs in the Puget Sound area, from Tacoma to Everett.

Arnie also met Mark Friedenburg, a Seattle native and the author of "The Official Pickleball Handbook". Mark ran an instructional pickleball website named "Winning Pickleball". Sid and Mark asked Arnie to coordinate and run pickleball tournaments in Everett. Mark listed Arnie as the Everett tournament director in his first book on pickleball. Arnie became involved with directing tournaments in his area and playing in tournaments in the Puget Sound. Sid and Mark are in the USA Pickleball Hall of Fame.

Arnie Moreno is a pioneer of pickleball in the Pacific Northwest. He has contributed to the growth and popularity of the game in the region and beyond. He has also enjoyed playing and teaching pickleball for over three decades. He loves the game and the friends he has made along the way.

His article is really about his experience with the very beginnings of this wonderful racket game. Sid and Mark used to dream about and worked hard to spread the game all over the US. The game is challenging and social. It can be as competitive as he wants or not competitive. The benefits of exercise span all ages and it is an easy game to play because it requires less technique work than tennis. He is an avid tennis and pickleball player and feels so lucky to have it as a part of his life.

Arnie Moreno
Arnie Moreno

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