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Sarasota Pickleball Player Kristi Dorman Competes Nationally

Sarasota Pickleball Player Kristi Dorman Competes Nationally: Pickleball transcends age barriers, its timeless beauty and inclusive spirit. This dynamic sport welcomes players of all ages, from youth to seniors, fostering a community where experience and skill converge on the court. Its blend of strategy, agility, and camaraderie makes it accessible and engaging for everyone, whether you’re picking up a paddle for the first time or honing your competitive edge in national leagues. This versatility not only promotes physical fitness but also enriches social connections, highlighting pickleball as a game where passion and play unite without limits or boundary.

Playing professional sports isn’t out of the realm of possibility for athletes 50 years and older, especially with the rising popularity of pickleball. Part-time Sarasota resident Kristi Dorman, 55, a former collegiate tennis player at Ball State University, has found a new athletic career in the sport. Dorman was drafted by the Indy Drivers in the National Pickleball League (NPL), a 12-team league for players aged 49 and up that competes monthly for seeding and prize money, culminating in a championship in October.

The Indy Drivers, the reigning champions, recently competed in Columbus, Ohio, in the second tournament of the season. “It runs the full gamut,” said Dorman, an Indianapolis native. “I want to improve and be part of a team. I love being part of a team. Making some money on the back end would be great, but that isn’t my goal. It’s about being a part of a league where you can play with top players, grow and make new friendships. It’s unbelievable the amount of people you meet through pickleball.”

“Competing at a high level at age 55 isn’t something I thought I would do again. That was definitely an incentive for me.”

-(Kristi Dorman)

Initially hesitant about the commitment, Dorman opted out of competing in the NPL Combine but was still drafted among over 400 athletes. Despite nerves before her first NPL tournament, she’s grown more confident. “It was interesting to see the talent when I played in Chicago, just to see if I can compete,” Dorman mentioned “There were definitely some doubts going into that because I know it’s really high-level pickleball. Now that I’ve seen it and I understand the atmosphere, I feel like I can compete at that level for sure.”

Dorman isn’t the only local making waves in the NPL. Kelly Stroble of Bradenton (OKC Punishers), Tony Vassos of North Venice (Princeton Bruisers), and Scott Tingley of Venice (Naples JBB United) are also participating this season. While the league’s teams represent cities from Boca Raton to Seattle, players train locally and meet for monthly tournaments, held Friday through Sunday. Teams compete in five-team pools across three categories—women’s, men’s, and mixed teams. Points are awarded based on match wins, with a $10,000 reward at each tournament and a season champion team prize of $150,000.

Next up for Dorman and the NPL is the third tournament of the season from July 19-21 in Cincinnati. Fans can watch the action live on the NPL YouTube page.

Sarasota Pickleball Player Kristi Dorman Competes Nationally1

News In Brief: Sarasota Pickleball Player Kristi Dorman Competes Nationally

Kristi Dorman, a 55-year-old part-time Sarasota resident and former collegiate tennis player, has been drafted by the Indy Drivers in the National Pickleball League (NPL). This 12-team league for athletes aged 49 and up meets monthly, culminating in an October championship. Despite initial hesitation, Dorman embraced the opportunity, overcoming early nerves to gain confidence in her competitive abilities. She is among several locals participating in the NPL, which features teams from across the U.S. Training locally and competing monthly, players vie for points and prize money, with the next tournament in Cincinnati from July 19-21.

Also Read: Singles Pickleball Tactics to Master Your Game Like Ben Johns



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