Are medals outdated?
DALLAS, TX - Would you rather receive a medal at a pickleball tournament or something else? And if medals aren't your thing, what would that something else be?
That question was a hot topic on the Pickleball Facebook Forum where players and users ask thought-provoking questions that always generate interesting discussion.
Usually, things get opinionated pretty quickly.
The medal question took me back to my cross country running days in middle school when I was so excited to finish in the Top 15 because that meant I got a pretty blue, green, or red ribbon with my name on it. I never received one of those fancy pickleball medals that players are presented with when they earn a spot on the podium, though.
That’s okay. It's just the nature of competitive athletics.
Those who are good enough to finish first, second, or third, however, are eager to share their thoughts on what kind of physical reward they’d like to mark their success.
Facebook Forum user, Larry D Rushing, posed this question: “If you were on the medal stand, would you rather have a medal or some sort of alternative? You pick in the comments. A cool trucker hat, metal beer koozie, metal water bottle. All would have the tournament logo in gold, silver, or bronze to coincide with your placement.”
Creative ideas aplenty were shared in the comments section.
Brent Gingerich responded, “The coolest idea I have seen is bag tags. They just clip on your bag and you can flex 365.”
That's an excellent idea because bag tags are far more practical when it comes to displaying your achievements on a backpack or suitcase for all to see. They're also small, portable, and customizable for each tournament.
Enamel pins, buttons, or patches to decorate backpacks was another clever idea. It’s an even easier way to commemorate all the places pickleballers have played and medaled.
A host of people proposed cash prizes, but given the highly-publicized MLP/PPA Tour pay cuts of late, financial compensation seems a little far-fetched right now.
Another category of prizes came in the form of experiences.
“Coupon for pickleball lessons,” commented Flash Alexander.
Gift cards to local restaurants and tournament fee reimbursements were alternative ideas, both of which are perfect prizes for those who prefer experiences over tangible items.
Coolers, glasses, custom towels, T-shirts, bottle openers, and paddles were also suggested. User Nik Eastman even commented, “YETI cooler.”
If one of those is on the line, I’ll definitely need to step up my game asap.
“A flattering picture of my partner and I,” was one of my favorite suggestions, courtesy of Joseph Seivertson, because we all can relate to the occasional bad photo taken at the worst angle at the worst time.
There were others that defended medals, claiming that tournaments don’t need to reinvent the wheel. If it's good enough for Olympians, it should be good enough for everyone else. Medals are a part of sports history. And, there’s a sense of nostalgia with medals and wearing your accomplishment around your neck.
“Medal or trophy, no need to change sport traditions,” commented Bradley Gatewood.
There is something timeless about a medal, although a brand new YETI cooler would be nice.
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