Pickleball is so popular now that more and more courts are opening up around town. There is even a new one on the roof of the Amway Grand Plaza! Okay, not 27-stories up, but above the main lobby.

What is Pickleball?

People are really getting into the game that is a combination of many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It's played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net. It's played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes. It's played as doubles or singles. And, the great thing about the game is all ages and all skill levels can play.

Pickleball - Mixed Doubles Play
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The Beer City Open Comes to Grand Rapids' Belknap Park

That's where The Beer City Open Pickleball Tournament come in.  This is an event on an elite level with more than 950 athletes from 38 states and six countries coming to Grand Rapids to compete. Pretty cool, huh? And, who knew there were professional Pickleball players? I've just watched amateur players bat that ball around on converted tennis courts.

Seniors Enjoy Group Activities At Florida Retirement Center After Being Fully Vaccinated
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The tournament actually began here in 2018 and it's returning in just 11-days, July 20-24 at Belknap Park in downtown Grand Rapids, larger than ever before.

Fox17 reports that the athletes will include Zane Navratil (top-ranked singles pickleball player in the world), JW Johnson (top mixed male player in the world), Simone Jardim (top-ranked mixed doubles female player), and Andrea Koop (Beer City tournament director). They will be competing for a total prize money purse of $90,000!

Beer City Open/Instagram
Beer City Open/Instagram
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So, why are the best of the best coming to Grand Rapids? Zane Navratil said:

 The Beer City Open provides an intimate tournament experience through the courts and fan excitement. The tournament directors do a great job of perfecting every detail for fans and athletes, which does not go unnoticed by either group.

The Beer City Open has become a premier stop for professional and amateur players alike, with perks including a player party, large cash winnings, and a super fan base.

Beer City Open/Instagram
Beer City Open/Instagram
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Registrations are closed for entries, but if you're into Pickleball, this will be a blast for you. Best of all for fans to watch, IT'S FREE! There will be plenty of food trucks around to handle hungry fans, too.

 

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Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.