PickleballSpringfield is becoming the epicenter of pickleball with 50 top officials in the city this weekend for a dynamic retreat.

Representatives from the North Sector region of USA Pickleball will be here Aug. 25-27 for the gathering that encompasses training sessions, seminars, meetings, and on-court demonstrations. 

The North Sector Ambassador Retreat follows the successful USA Pickleball Middle States Regional at the Cooper Tennis Complex June 1-4. The event attracted 425 competitors, showcasing the city's adeptness at hosting high-caliber athletic gatherings. The 2024 USA Pickleball Middle States Regional is May 30-June 20, 2024, at the Cooper Tennis Complex.

Lance Kettering, Executive Director of the Springfield Sports Commission, expressed excitement about hosting the event and the caliber of pickleball officials attending. 

"We are looking forward to hosting USA Pickleball for the North Sector Ambassador Retreat,” Kettering said. “It places Springfield center stage with USA Pickleball, and we look forward to hosting more pickleball events in our community in the future."

Mark Hecquet, President/CEO of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the city's pride in hosting the distinguished event and the opportunities it presents.

“Hosting a retreat that includes officials with USA Pickleball allows us to showcase Springfield’s exceptional sports facilities,” Hecquet said. “The Cooper Tennis Complex is among the nation’s finest, and we’re excited so many people who organize pickleball events will see it first hand.”

Steve Stone, representing USA Pickleball, conveyed eagerness about the upcoming gathering and extended gratitude to Springfield and the Sports Commission for their hospitality during the USA Pickleball Middle States Diamond Regional Championships.

"USA Pickleball is excited about pickleball, to say the least, and extremely excited that Springfield, Missouri, is hosting and welcoming our 2023 North Sector Ambassador Symposium/Retreat," Stone said. 

Pickleball has surged in popularity in recent years. The 2022 Sports & Fitness Industry Association reports the pickleball player base in the United States soared to 4.8 million in 2021, 14.8% growth from 2020 to 2021, building upon the substantial 21.3% growth observed the previous year. These figures underscore an average annual growth rate of 11.5% over the past five years.

About the Springfield Sports Commission

The Springfield Sports Commission is a mission-driven organization working to contribute to the economic development of Springfield by bringing quality sporting events to the Springfield area.

About the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Greene, Christian, and Polk counties in southwest Missouri. Based in Springfield, the largest metro area in the region, the CVB focuses on boosting the local economy by creating marketing initiatives that grow tourism and entice planners to choose Springfield for group business, including conventions, meetings, and sporting events.

About USA Pickleball

USA Pickleball is the national governing body for the sport of pickleball in the U.S. and provides players with official rules, tournaments, rankings and promotional materials. The association is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation governed by a board of directors and professional staff who provide the guidance and infrastructure for the continued growth and development of the sport.


  • Lance Kettering, Springfield Sports Commission, 417-881-5300
  • Susan Wade, Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, 417-881-5300
  • Steve Stone, USA Pickleball, 515-577-3190 (call or text)