On the 2017 labour day Weekend , Rita and I found ourselves celebrating our 52nd wedding anniversary on Vancouver Island with friends. What a nice opportunity to check out Pickleball
on the Island . One of my friends Pat Orpen was nice enough to invite me to play with the well established program for Parksville run by the Bohms , husband and wife who teach in the two of three
potential outdoor venues. On the Lacrosse box venue where I played twice, the players were very amenable , Mrs Bohm giving me her husband’s card and welcoming me to the courts . Players were
new to intermediate and new players were moved to another court for instruction. The surface was unpolished concrete thus a little hard on the feet . The potential for alternating groups was there
with signs indicating “ who’s next “ , winners and almost winners. Some do this with paddle “ sox” or just on the fence. This program is free .
A short distance from here there was visible 8 courts on a tennis facility, fenced, and marked as overlay to the tennis courts. It contained eight tennis courts where the players were over 55 and were ranked and rated in a private club structure as found in the USA . A fee is paid per year as well a fee is charged per visit if one is not a member . This venue seemed well attended. In the aggregate is appears that the potential is being reached of 70 to 80 players per day, on the outdoor venues provided by parks and Rec. They also have an indoor facility for wintertime. Surrounding communities also have indoor and outdoor facilities ( Nanaimo , Courtney, Comox and Cumberland and Ladysmith. Further afield programs in Campbell River and Port Alberni , Miller lake are also growing .
While in Parksville we thought , that for novelty and to appeal to youth potential pickleball players that they could try Smashball on the large sandlot provided adjacent to the tennis courts . This sport is played in various ways ( beach pickleball, shinny pickleball , one on one , etc ) it is played with a small hard ball – no net and no court required – just distance from each other predetermined. If the ball is wide, you can dive for it ! Ho Ho . The sand here is light coloured and soft, so it would make an interesting addition to the Parksville landscape and I think it would bring many young people to the Smashball venue. This is also touted by the largest USA internet site for Pickleball as a a related sport to us and to Table tennis as well as tennis. They also advertise all the related paddles on their website namely, tennis, table tennis, and pickleball and Smashball. ( see link above )
Finally, as summer recedes and rain has finally arrived , many see this as a relief from the summer fires in BC and elsewhere – only to be replaced by southern floods . I find it a laudable trait that the last
two communities that BC pickleball has taught , namely Williams Lake and Princeton have both continued to play and grow their programs throughout the record fires and smoke in the province of BC. We
Picklers are tough eh. In the larger picture, more and more of our programs are achieving maturity status with both indoor and outdoor programs flourishing to overflow capacity. This begs the question,
what next ? Tony Casey. our new board member responsible for national and international as well as provincial relations is prepared to host a group who would address this question. INTERESTED ?
Please contact him at .
www.bcpickleball.com official and registered for BC
ph – 604-536-9602
Camosun College – Center of Sports Excellence
Springtime in BC is always a time of renewal, beauty, planning for the summer and especially, excitement for the upcoming outdoor play season. Many new and older venues in the Province offer pickleball. This year will bring Vancouver into the limelight as courts are due to be brought on stream at Queen Elizabeth park in the heart of the city, Trout Lake , and Dunbar Rec with a view to expanding the number of neighbourhoods with new Pickleball Courts for the public to use. That participaction Canada is featuring pickleball, on its Birthday 150 , accross Canada will help our cause considerably. The articles in the Sun and the Province choosing Pickleball the #2 preferred activitiy for 2017 will also help a lot.
The header above shows the front of the Camosun College in Victoria – Center for Sports Excellence – which is a diploma, certificate and Degree offering in Physical Education offered by this center of higher education. Pickleball is played there on Sunday afternoon – 2-4 pm by a group of competitive, tournament players who register by clicking on a website. They are not registered in the leisure guide of the College or center . Alternatively, the same type of program can be accessed in South Surrey Rec on Saturday afternoons, at Guilford on Friday afternoons, at Fraser heights Rec on Wed evenings, in Richmond at Thompson rec center on Sundays, in Langley outdoor, , in Walnut grove indoor , and in Abbotsford. This allows these players to play with partners, try out new equipment ( balls ) etc that they will use in USA sponsored tournaments and prepare for play in the South where “ buy American” is now IN . No doubt, more of these types of programs will emerge. Overtures to Trinity College in Langley have been made. Laurentian in Sudbury have , for many years, offered Pickleball, alternating with badminton , on their intramural program and it is highly successful.
All high schools in Surrey, and many others in other jurisdictions teach pickleball as the P/E teachers know it is a good lifetime sport. 8000 schools in the USA teach pickleball. Hence we have a large cohort of young players looking for times, post high- school to play and recreate and compete. We need to give them the times in order to not lose them to work, family concerns, and many other sports. BC pickleball assoc this spring will / has taught forsyth elementary ( a core school in Whalley ) St Bernadettes ( Surrey ) , Star of the Sea ( South Surrey – 12 years in a row ) Whte Rock elementary, Marpole / Oakridge Rec center ( Vancouver ) , Timms community center ( Langley ) , Princeton Rec center , Williams Lake Rec center, and possibly Prince George. This with the help of many volunteers who help the kids “ do it right the first time “ Should any of you wish to help – just call 604-536-9602 and we will send you the schedule.
Finally, a short word on a current issue. Some years ago, the snowbirds, used to using the USA Dura ball outdoor , insisted that we use it indoor. When a man got hit in the eye , by a lady with a graphite paddle , and subsequently lost his left eye, we banned the Dura ball in our center and for all tournaments. Hence the lighter, softer jugs ball became the standard for all indoor play, the Dura was relegated to outdoor if it is windy. The result was that the US suppliers lost market share to jugs. Today we have another similar situation. Most rec centers in Canada use the jugs ball but the tournament players and snowbirds are bringing back the new Onix ball , which is smaller , harder , faster and noisier ( important if you have lots of people playing at once ) Yesterday I played at South Surrey – 4 courts and NO ONE could hear the score. Three of the courts were using the new Onix ball. So, now is the time to poll your players, asking them which ball is 1) faster 2) noisier 3) more intrusive ( hurts ) 4) smaller 5) more suitable for recreational play – indoor which is the majority usage in our rec centers. Your Rec center then, can make the appropriate decision rather than letting the performance players influence the recreational players. Do let me know what your poll says : Emailto:
Good playing, have fun , get a court going in your neighbourhood ! Use a Magnum Sharpie from Staples to dot the court in advance ( the tennis players will never notice the dots and will never complain about it) , then use the throw down lines available from www.okpickleball.ca . You can then use a little tape if you wish more delineation. It works and is quick.
Hello fellow picklers, and friends of BC pickleball,
As summer is upon us early this year, we have lots of news of new, impending new and existing courts for you to try on the Nice Days in the province. So , let’s get started !
In the beginning there were few players, and few venues indoor . At that time, I was asked “ how many courts would you like us to mark up for pickleball ? “ Not knowing how many would play outdoor , as the numbers grew indoor, I said to parks and Rec “ one court on one tennis court should do the trick ! “ Well , now we know and have seen in videos from our American counterparts that one little court on one big court is not ideal. So, now we have a movement and traction afoot to put more courts on these disused tennis court and make it easier for the picklers to play the game . Four courts on one tennis court with colour markings different for each sport is better and now being done. This allows for 16 playing on four tennis courts and 16 waiting ( 32) instead of 8. As a business person , this is a no – brainer for parks and rec as it makes the facililty usable by both sports when not used by one or the other. These then become dedicated but shared courts for tennis and pickleball – usable by tennis when not used by pickleball and Vice Versa.
There should be signage on the fence indicating rules of engagement and that these courts are dedicated to two sports. Any Elementary school in Canada has multiple sports on one badminton court. why not us ? When wind plays a factor, we can use the Dura outdoor ball, and when wind is negligible, use the jugs balls ( green or white – white gets dirty quickly ) . To mitigate the distance and running you have to do, get a lock box and put the four portable sets, a hopper for the balls, a Chute for more balls, and put them as well as free paddles and balls ( donated by members and BC
www.pickleball.com) in the box with a combination lock to be shared with your members. Further, if parks and Rec will go for it, request a wind block sheet on the two sides that are not affected by stands and people viewing the games being played. A Practice Board like the one at Centennial park in White Rock is a good idea. Successful programs have been put into place with parks and Rec by getting signatures on a petition and submit it with your proposal for whichever courts you wish to access,
Successful outdoor programs have ocurred this year , using this format , in Tsawassen, Creston, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Maple Ridge, Haney , Vancouver, White Rock, South Surrey and North Delta.
We thank all of these parks and Rec departments for their support of Pickleball, the fastest growing sport in Canada , with some 500 locations in Canada and 60 tournaments. This year Kelowna will join Oakridge Rec center ( Calgary ) in offering the second only outdoor national for the Pickleball Canada / IFP / Usapa group. The other national, because no one from the rest of Canada was attending the Abbotsford tournament will be held at the Rim Center in Kitchener / Waterloo . The original National was open only to Canadians and featured a “ Woody “ tournament at the end. It was lots of fun and all players and paddles were welcome to participate.
Flash : next week White Rock will install a program as described above at Centennial Park and in the next month Surrey will do the same at South Surrey, making it the 3rd largest program in North America.
See you on the court this summer !
Founding Director – www.pickleballcanada.org ( ret )
Founding Director – www.bcpickleball.com ( active)
ph – 604-536-9602
A Great Year for Pickleball in Canada and BC
Many records were broken this year by Canadians at the US Nationals as well as Nationals at home and in some 40 tournaments in BC – both recreational and competitive. With 220+ locations in BC ,the largest public program in the world,we now have the infrastructure, and instructor personnel ( 222 ) to lead Canada into the next phase of Pickleball” A la Canadian style”. Let’s put Canada First and pull our provinces together so that they are functional, independent and pointed at a National organization that looks after National affairs and does not hide behind the IFP label, which few know, stands for the USAPA in Canada. To do this we will need many young volunteers.
BC and Quebec are two provincial organizations that have dedicated much time and effort into producing a Canadian identity for this wonderful family sport. From the outset, we have provided bilingual translations, articles on many topics of interest, like noise in the play areas , court management with long lineups, rules that allow our badminton courts to be used for all tournaments ( since they are free in the first place ) and a fresh approach to ranking and ratings – using a more credible format.
Marcel Lemieux – President of Pickleball Quebec ( unmentioned by Pickleball Canada in any of its newsletters) has produced some 45 indoor programs in the Montreal / Quebec city areas and 45 outdoor programs to complement these. This is a remarkable achievement for a former Vice President of Pickleball Canada who was a founding member of their organization as I was. He is a staunch Canadian , who in spite of a serious illness that prevented him from doing a lot the first year, he rebounded ( as did his wife Louise ) and they have produced a tremendous volunteer effort for the sport of Pickleball in ” La Belle Provence “. I invite you all to check out www.PickleballQuebec.ca and click on the English version if appropriate – you will be surprised!
Further to the above comments, the CanadianPickleballFederation.ca which was first registered with Industry Canada and hence official for Canada , is now available to you volunteer for. I hope many of you will. Bill MacGregor from South Surrey is President ( ) and ready to include you in this national effort.
Finally, Rita and I wish you and yours a great holiday, health in the New Year and plenty of play-times over the Xmas and New Year breaks. I invite all to bring and play with your families as this is the future of our sport which is for All to enjoy .
Yours in Sport and Health,
” Five Ring wasteland ” Article on Greek Olympic facility decline.
See National Post August 14, 2014
TITLE : ” BC SHINES IN EFFICIENT USE OF THEIR POST OLYMPIC FACILITIES “
The Richmond Olympic oval, Hillcrest Rec centre next to Nat Bailey stadium, Creekside Rec centre in False Creek , Whistler Athletic centre at the Chekamus exit are all 2010 wonderfully converted efforts to put these expensive facilities to work for the populace of British Columbia. It is not by accident ( nor efforts by pickleball Canada ) that they are all in part funded by pickleball programs to a lesser or greater degree. BCpickleball invited players in the lower mainland to come to the oval on the first day it opened to our sport some four years ago and 72 players responded, for an amazing turnout on eight courts out of a possible 16 courts.
The oval staff were impressed and went forward to purchase paddles and balls for leagues and beginners to use. The Richmond and small Vancouver cohort of players were asked if they would keep it going . They declined – citing soft spots on some courts and cost.
The Oval quickly reduced their price to 5.00 to play and 1.00 per car parking – very reasonable, as well as defining the usable courts which ended up as eight in number. A call in advance,with a foursome or eight-some will get the courts set up for you. Rumours persist that the cost is higher and courts not usable – not true. See article on www.bcpickleball.com on “an instructors course taught at the Richmond oval. ”
Well , what of the other Olympic heritage sites ? Creekside has had an active , but small cohort for several years, first started by BC Pickleball Assoc. Coal Harbour is due to start in September in downtown Vancouver on a trial basis until December. New players are welcome.
Hillcrest has had a program for three years and has half the space it needs to make a viable, larger program . Nice facility , with restaurant, curling , pool etc.
Whistler has one outdoor court at the first ( Chekamus exit ) coming into Whistler. It has great potential with a young population , three elementaries , a high school, tennis club and courts at the former Olympic residence , now the BC Gymnastics practice centre at Chekamus. It is interesting to note that Bathurst New Brunswick Tennis club has started the first clay court pickleball in Canada – something we have written about many times in these pages as a functional idea.
Finally, I have been asked many times, will Pickleball enter the Olympics ? Good use by our sport of Olympic Legacies is a really good start to that end , rather than showing to the world how taxpayer money can be wasted on elite sports that do not meet the criteria of ” A Game for All ” nor provide a fitter population as a whole – one of the cornerstones of the BC Gov’t program for a 20% fitter population by 2020. It is left to see if we meet our target.
Surely, as with ACE , the American Association for Exercise who, two years ago, chose pickleball as the go- to- sport for Americans, BC will judge pickleball as the growth sport of the decade…… For all ages and skill levels.
Would that we could have a crack at marking the Greek Olympic facility and fill
it with picklers instead of what it is now – a simple PHOTO OP for travellers. I have been there.
Here is a bit of Canadiana! for the Canada day Holiday
Now that we are in the full bloom of spring and early summer, it is time to consider Pickleball outdoors. Our southern neighbours will play at least 95% of the time outdoors all year. Many in the South have never played indoors. The games are similar with exception of the wind, rain, hail, cold, harder ball, and less hospitable surface, often having to contend with higher tennis net height and larger ( by far ) surface area to cover.
In spite of these formidable obstacles, outdoor courts continue to proliferate in private courts being built as well as public courts being double marked and in a few cases, dedicated courts by Parks and Rec have been put in place. The latter will, no doubt, be the most used. Several articles have appeared showing how to paint, chalk, tape and dot these courts so that folks can play on them. A list of usable courts appears on these pages. To join the dots, use a broomstick handle with a chalk , attached by wrapping an elastic band around it, and join the dots.
Since the non – snowbirds hold up the attendance at our Rec Centers all winter, perhaps the snowbirds might consider leading the outdoor programs in the summer, inviting the “ home group “ to join them……..
The USA banned paddle list has been posted so that IFP ruled tournaments might take into account the USA non – vested player opinion of what is an acceptable paddle?
The number of tournaments has increased again this year and we hope planning will be done to continue this effort in the fall and winter. The number of provincial programs now exceeds 210.
Efforts to court manage our various venues and the desire for integrated play is continuing with some success. It is amply apparent from watching the FIFA world soccer matches that sport is a great way to bring people together in an atmosphere of camaraderie and fun.
Let’s make Pickleball the most welcoming of all the sports and like our experience on a smaller scale, when we are all absorbed on the bench watching the game in progress.
Founding Director – www.pickleballcanada.org (ret)
Founding Director – www.bcpickleball.com ( active)
Welcome to BC Pickleball 2013
Last year was our most successful year ever, catapulting our province into a leadership role in recreational programs in North America. Thanks to all who have given of their time and effort to make this happen.
For 2013, we anticipate more new programs, more tournaments starting with the sweetheart tournaments on valentines day, and many more of you becoming members of the BC Pickleball Association by clicking on the following www.bcpickleball.com either using the mail – in format or Pay pal provided for your convenience.
We will provide a new look to the website, a calendar of events as well as large print schedules of play times for those who request it.
Also, there is a new proposed change to rules regards paddles on the rules page with a 3-month commentary from you provided. We have our sanctioning tournament document on the tournament page.
More outdoor programs are anticipated; more programs that offer evening and weekend times are needed so that we may capture a younger cohort for our sport
My thanks to all who have come forward to take the instructors course – their numbers are now over 200. We would like to hear more from this group with their success stories.
May 2013 be your best year!
Yours in Sport and Health
BC Pickleball Assoc