Pickleball at Richmond Country Club

Entrance to Richmond Country Club




  On Mar 2 and 4th 2017 , BC Pickleball was invited to do a two – part introduction to Pickleball for the members of the Richmond Country club on Steveston Rd in Richmond. Recently , this venue has been rated as the #1 golf and tennis facililty in Canada. We hope that with the introduction of the fastest growing sport in North America, it will serve as a model for other golf course to introduce Pickleball as a new income stream as many tennis clubs in the USA have done.

   The big reason for clubs to do so is that they have found their players, who are mostly athletic to begin with, find the variety of playing another sport, even in the same day to be fun, additive to their exercise routines and social over and above what they have experienced before. If nothing else, Pickleball is addictive, fun and social – so many will engage in both sports even in the same day. With a four – on – one format , 32 people can play on one tennis court or facsimile of same. Portable sets can be used with delineated courts with paint or throw-down lines as done at this center. Also, this private club used a new mat surface that rolls out on a tennis court and forms two pickleball courts , seen below. It is made up of three sheets per court and has a small lip . This can be taped as well as the “ joiners” between the lines to form an acceptable and visually pleasant surface without affecting the tennis surface ,which relatively quickly ,can be restored. The surface is quite expensive but not bad for a private club.

    Our level 1 course, abbreviated due to time , with this group started with 18 on the first day and 32 on the first night . All achieved the level of rules, short game, soft game and serve as well as counting in the first session. The group was a mixed skill level – the most difficult to teach esp with a large number. We have had some 8 volunteer instructors help with this project which is still ongoing as we have been asked to do 5 more sessions with another 50 players throughout April. Our instructors have come from Vancouver , South Surrey and White Rock . Richmond now joins the Arbutus club, Holleyburn and possibly the Richmond Oval as well as Pise in Victoria as Private venues that could now entertain tournaments here ( potentially 32 courts) or outdoor at Queen Elizabeth park ( potentially 88 courts ) .

   I believe that other clubs will join us in this effort to bring Pickleball to the Private sector – perhaps joining with the Academic institutions yet to be explored, with our huge cohort of young players who have learned this sport in Elementary and high schools, throughout the province . These would include UBC, Simon Fraser, BCIT, Trinity College, Kwantlen, etc. Some already have – The College of the North, Fraser Valley college , Laurentien University Sudbury etc. Over 8000 schools teach it ! Wow eh.

   Finally , I would like to thank Mark Jones – manager of the Richmond Country club for inviting us to his lovely golf and tennis club. No doubt this will result in many tennis players trying pickleball as the Pro tennis players have done in the South and found it to be creative to their tennis games – they all play better and so do we.
Yours in sport and health,
Chuck Lefaive
Founding director
ph- 604-536-9602

The POLICE on the Pickleball courts

                                                                             “ The POLICE  on the Pickleball courts”

This spring BC pickleball had the pleasure to teach the children of Forsyth elementary school – principal Amber Flanagan – a core inner city school in the heart of    Whalley – 200 children in five days. Represented were 48 native children , 18 languages , and some refugee family children trying to adapt to Canadian culture  recreation and values. We started the day with Grade 2”s and they were very keen indeed. The picture above of myself, Georgia Thorburn ( volunteer helper ) and   an officer of the Surrey constabulary shows the three courts we were using.

The officer brought his grandaughter to school and noticed the activity in the gym and had heard of  pickleball , but had never seen it. He came in to check it out – in full uniform – so we gave him a  paddle. We hope he is now playing at Guilford , or Chuck Bailey,  or Fraser Heights or North Delta Rec or Newton or Sungod Rec , all adjacent community centers with his grandaughter.  He could also be   playing at  Maple Green park , outdoor which  has a lock  box, net , free balls and seven possible courts, There are two sets of outdoor courts in North Delta. In addition, all the teachers who pariticpated,  all the students and all the parents were invited to the final Tournament on Friday At 11:30 am finishing at 12:00 noon, crowning a gold, silver , and bronze medal winner for the school for  each of the lower grades 4 vs 5 and 6 vs 7 . The gym featured  center court , where Approx 250 attendees saw the Championship heralded by the new Tailgate flash box playing Rocky 11. It  was an event.

A similar effort was completed at St Bernadete’s school in Mid – surrey , Micheal De Paaw principal and presently occuring now at Star of the Sea School in South surrey – our 12th year in     succession at this school – rated #1 in athletics in the Private Seperate School System. Finally, Our seniors have helped this spring to teach Marpole / Oakridge Rec in Vancouver, Princeton   community center, Timms community center in Langley and soon, the Richmond Community Club as well as Williams Lake. We thank alYol the Volunteers who have helped in this very
successful effort in bringing youth, seniors, adults and competitive players to the courts . That BC’ers rated Pickleball #2 in activities they would do this year on our 150th birthday is  not surprising , as this effort has allowed some 150-200 seniors to give back to others and welcome to our 304 indoor and many outdoor courts.

Yours in sport and health,

Chuck Lefaive

Founding director

BC Pickleball assoc

ph – 604-536-9602

Comox Valley Pickleball 2nd Annual Indoor Tournament. May 6-7 2017



Registration http://cvpickleball.ca/2nd-annual-register




Merritt Pickleball Club



Phone:  President, Brian Dafoe  (250) 378-7452

May to October (outdoors)  –  Sports Box, Central Park, 2975 Voght Street, Merritt, BC
MWF 8:00-11:30am;  T TH  5:00pm – dusk

October to May (indoors)    –   CMS  Gym  (Coquihalla Middle School), 2975 Clapperton Ave., Merritt, BC
MWF 8:30-11:00am;  M W  6:30-8:30pm

 Spring 2017 Newsletter


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.

Chuck Lefaive
Founding director – www.pickleballcanada.org ( ret)
Founding director – www.bcpickleball.com ( active)