Mixing It Up on Sundays with Scrambles

We’re talking TENNIS here, not eggs. If you missed out on playing in Eastman’s 4th Annual Open on June 1, don’t fret. You have another chance—in fact, many chances to mix it up in doubles scrambles on the lower courts on Draper Road every Sunday morning from 9 to 11 from now until September. 

Pete and Alice

Shortly after Alice and Pete Podesta moved to Eastman, the avid tennis players saw an opportunity to bring couples together on the tennis courts and organized mixed doubles round robins. With a little experimentation with times, they found Sunday mornings to be a good time for these get-togethers and a “scramble” format workable for Eastman’s players. Pete’s extensive experience organizing tennis events and the couple’s integration into “all things tennis” in Eastman quickly infused energy into these informal get-togethers. So much so, that most Sundays last summer three or four courts were consistently filled with players.

So, just what is a scramble? It’s an informal type of doubles play in which partners are matched up randomly. Alice and Pete provide numbers—one set for women, another for men—that players pick from a hat, or, to be exact, a Baggie from the Podesta’s kitchen. Since there is no advance sign-up required, some weeks there may be more men than women on the courts, or vice versa. In that event, some improvisation occurs on the spot, but everyone gets a partner picked at random. The idea is to get people of all skill levels together to play without a lot of stifling rules or rigmarole.

If you want to play, show up with a can of new balls at 9 a.m. on any Sunday and mix it up with old and new “scramblers.” And, don’t forget your water bottle and sunblock. While the scrambles are designed for fun, you will get a workout and some good play. On the days when umbrellas (or tarps) are needed rather than sunblock, you can stay inside and serve up some scrambled eggs, or delve into some tennis trivia.

Did you know that “love” for a zero (0) score in tennis is derived from “l’oeuf,” the French word for “egg”?

So, however you like your “oeuf”s, get ready to scramble on Sundays. If you have any questions about the scrambles, contact Pete or Alice at troonhouse@comcast.net or at (603)-843-8045. For information about other round robin opportunities in Eastman, or to see your coordinators’ smiling faces, go to the 2019 Round Robins page on the Eastman Tennis web site.

Be a Sport and Reserve a Court

Don’t be left outside the gates looking in at the action. Reserve a court using the Eastman Tennisbookings.com system. Yes, we know that in years past, players just walked onto the courts at any time without reservations. However, use of the system is critical to effective tennis court management and happy players.

It takes just minutes to set up an account, and literally seconds to reserve a court once you save your ID and password on your electronic devices. And, for those needing a little help keeping their busy schedules straight, Tennisbookings.com will even email you a reminder that you can add to your digital calendar with just two quick clicks. For help with either, call Recreation at (603)-863-6772 or stop by the reception desk at the South Cove Activity Center. For more details about playing on our superb membership-only courts, go to Play at Eastman.  A few seconds of your time will help ECA staff and volunteers plan for future enhancements to the tennis program–and maybe save you a wasted trip to fully occupied courts.

Eastman’s Open–Cause to Celebrate

Left to right: Eugene Demidenko, Valentina Demidenko. Richard King, Emmalie Snyder

Once again, the “Open” was a success, drawing players from both the Eastman community and the Upper Valley. Held only one week after the Memorial Day weekend event that drew 40 players, the tournament competed for players with USTA matches held that weekend and a myriad of end-of-school-year activities, including graduations. Nonetheless, ten teams competed in the Mixed Doubles and four in the Men’s category. Emmalie Snyder of Elkins, NH and Richard King, of Bradford, NH were victorious over Valentina and Eugene Demidenko of Norwich, VT in the Mixed Doubles.  (Richard is a repeat winner, having won the event two years ago with Laura Joslin-King.) In the Men’s competition,

Pete Podesta and Gary Atchinson

Eastmanite and tournament director Pete Podesta teamed up with Gary Atchinson of Croydon to claim first place in the Men’s category. Gary competed with flare in his characteristically colorful tennis attire.

Will there be a 5th Annual? We sure hope so. But, in the meantime, players can hone their skills and find potential partners in the Mixed Doubles Sunday Scrambles described above.