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Oh, Say Can You See? Nude Pickleball on the 4th of July

News Frank Cerabino 06-26-2023

If you’re looking to hang out and play pickleball on the Fourth of July, there’s a nude tournament just for you in Central Florida.

The 4th annual Clothing Independence Day Tournament is open to all at the Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Kissimmee. And it’s free – in more than one way.

“We don’t need to wear any clingy, sweaty, constricting textiles,” the community newsletter proclaims, “and Cypress Cove has conveniently provided over 200 tons of refreshing swimming pool water for us to cool down in, once we’re done with pickleball.”

The sport has been growing like crazy with the resort’s clientele, according to USA Pickleball ambassador Mike Sullivan.

What started with a British couple in 2008 painting chalk lines on a tennis court there has blossomed into six dedicated outdoor pickleball courts and more than 200 players, making it the most popular sport in the resort.

“You can’t believe it,” Sullivan said. “It’s exploding. Our club has tripled in size over the past few years.”

Sullivan runs tournaments year-round there. A recent one in March drew 146 competitors.

Oh, Say Can You See? Nude Pickleball on the 4th of July | Pickler Pickleball

Being naked in July under the full brunt of the Florida sun calls for a tournament that starts early and ends before the sun rays start to bake the skin. So, the tournament has an unusual format that’s meant to move things along quickly.

The games in the random-draw tournament start with the score 5-5-2. Every unforced error ( service faults, balls hit into the net or out of bounds) costs your team a one-point deduction, while every winning shot (well-placed shots that win a rally) gives your team a point.

The first team to get to 11 wins, or the first team to get to zero loses. The games are on a seven-minute time limit, so if the games last that long, whichever team is ahead at that point wins.

Sullivan said he adopted this format because it encourages players to try a more careful and gentle game.

“It makes players play a softer game, where they’re not trying to slam the ball all the time,” he said.

The goal is to wrap the tournament up by 10 a.m., and move on to the swimming pool for the skinny-dip portion of the day’s events.

Sullivan said it’s not required that tournament players compete in the nude. All skill levels and all levels of nudity are accepted.

There’s no charge and no sign ups. Just show up and play.

“We’d love to have everybody play pickleball in the most comfortable way they can,” Sullivan said. “Once you try playing without clothes, you’ll never want to wear clothing again.

“You’ll see what it’s about.”

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