2018 PHOF Inductee

Robert (Bob) Lanius

Contributor

Robert (Bob) Lanius

CITIZENSHIP: USA

BORN: March 28, 1952 in Dallas, Texas

EDUCATION:

  • Woodrow Wilson High School, Dallas, TX
  • BA, Math and Computer Science, University of Texas, Austin, TX

BACKGROUND:

Bob’s early athletic interests centered around swimming. He lettered in swimming during high school, then competed in United States Master Swimming from 1983 to 1995 and internationally in 1988.

At the beginning of Bob’s career, he was a computer programmer for Wadley Institutes of Molecular Medicine, a system analyst for Sperry Corporation, and Assistant Director of Computer Services at Wadley Institute, all in Dallas, Texas. Later, he moved on to be a Developer for Spectrum Scientific in Dallas, Texas. He then worked for Microsoft Consulting Services as a Senior Consultant, supporting Microsoft clients in the southern region: Virginia through Texas and Mexico. This was followed by working as a Program Manager at Microsoft Consulting Services in Redmond, Washington, to support foreign offices and customers across the globe. From 1996 to 1999, Bob was self-employed as a consultant for Fortune 100 companies in the United States and worldwide. He did software and web development onsite.

A year after his marriage to Jettye in 1998, Bob retired, and the two became full-time RVers. In 2000, they were introduced to pickleball by Keith Bisel at an RV campground in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, marking the beginning of their transformative involvement in the sport.

Major Contributions

Bob Lanius is the creator/developer of PickleballTournaments.com software, which enabled the growth of tournaments worldwide with online registration and administration. Beginning in 2006, the system was used primarily at the Happy Trails Classic tournament in Surprise, AZ, and the Arizona Senior Olympics. For the next few years, the program was used by tournament directors to manage registrations, charts, and results.

After the 2008 games, Bob implemented live tournament operations. In February 2009, during the Arizona Senior Olympics, the system was used for the first time live at a tournament to enter results and generate score sheets. Also in 2009, other tournaments started using the system, including the Huntsman World Senior Games, USAPA Nationals, West Valley Senior Games in Arizona, Sun City Grand Skill Tournament (AZ), Sun River Spring Tournament (UT), San Diego Senior Olympics and California Senior Olympics. In 2010, the Volunteer Management feature was added. In 2011, the system was re-branded as PickleballTournaments.com. In 2012 the Court Management feature was implemented, allowing matches to be assigned to specific courts. During these developmental years, Bob volunteered his time and allowed tournament directors to use his program without charge. He often paid for equipment used to run the tournaments and for his own travel expenses to help train users and help run tournaments. In 2014, with about 100 tournaments a year, the system ownership and rights were transferred to PaddleUp to be operated as a true business and to continue its growth. By 2018, the system was handling over 600 tournaments per year.

In 2003, Bob started the club website for AZ Happy Trails Resort, which supported pickleball across the country with places to play, tournament listings, tournament results, and news until 2015.

In 2005, Bob got involved with Earl Hill and the Arizona Senior Olympics, managing a second venue, teaching referees, handling registrations, and eventually succeeding as commissioner. In 2010, the Arizona clubs voted to move pickleball to the Grand Canyon State Games with Bob as commissioner.

Bob and wife Jettye playing pickleball in La Conner, Washington

Bob receiving the Tournament of Champions award

Melissa McCurley with Bob after she became the new head of PickleballTournaments.com

COMPETITION AND AWARDS RECOGNITION:

  • Commissioner of the Year by Grand Canyon State Games
  • Recognition award by the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission
  • 2013-present – Tournament of Champions ‘Lanius Cup’ awarded annually
  • 2018 Pickleball Impact Award by US Open Pickleball Championships, Florida