Benefits of Pickleball posts




This protocol has been developed in response to other sports having become more aware of such injuries Their sports are much more prone to such types of injuries than Pickleball. However, in spite of that,  we should also have a protocol because head injuries are well known to occur on falling either forward or backward when the head hits the ground. Also, many of our indoor and outdoor courts have little space between them and collision can and does occur when one player infringes upon the space of another .

On the positive side for our sport, all injuries or incidents whether serious or not are recorded by our Recreation Centers so it is not difficult to see if this is a concern or not. South Surrey Rec has had many thousands of player /visits  over ten years with data to back up what we say. All other Rec centers in Canada are welcome to share their hard data with us in order to present a credible and valid head trauma Protocol. This discussion will remain on our website for three months and we welcome your input and feedback during that time. Your comments will be  analyzed and taken into consideration in our final proposal presentation. In general, racquet sports are regarded as low risk for people who wish to avoid head trauma, and also for those who are recovering from serious trauma.

1>  One area of discussion that has arisen is that of noise . Loud noises seem to impact those recovering from serious injury – so a quieter play space may be desirable ( softer paddles )

2>  They feel like they are in a fog – may affect reaction time – dizziness ,nausea can occur .

3>  Aversion to light – some Rec venues have older or quite strong lighting ….

4 >  Vision issues –  may affect ability to hit the ball or see it coming. Eyes aren’t helping you stabilize

5>  Arm /leg weakness or numbness

6> Lingering headaches

7> Personality changes

Dr Pierre Freemont, Chair of the Canadian concussion  Collaborative , which takes in the CMA and the CAN Paediatric society says he worries that fear will emanate from the 59 % of  sports that do not have a protocol for concussion. Properly managed , it should not be a problem. This means at least two weeks of rest, no active sport until the symptoms clear up  completely. Also two concussions in a short time period requires medical  monitoring and parental involvement. Dr Freemont says we need to do something about concussions before  fear destroys sport participation in kids ….. They want to play on sports teams, they want to compete against other kids . We want kids to be active instead of gaming or getting fat.  In 2012 ACE ( the American Council on Exercise ) that advises the President on Sports – recommended that the sport of choice during the American recession was Pickleball because it produced a good calorie burn in a short time so people could be back to work by 1:00 pm . If this has become a go – to sport for many people, at school, at lunchtime, after school, after work, on weekends, on holidays ( as we now have 244 locations in BC alone,) then we need to look at this question as well.

Policy recommendations :

1-   That any concussion occurring in any Rec center should be followed by a visit to a family physician and a report requested from the family physician to the Rec center.

2.    That any concussion occurring outdoor near a Rec center be reported to that Rec center and the above put into place.,

3.   That repeat concussion , especially in a short time period be treated as above and a follow up by a specialist be recommended.

4.    That attempts to produce quieter play areas for pickleball be pursued.

5.    That if symptoms mentioned above are observed in anyone who has had a recent concussion,  they be encouraged to stop and seek attention by medical staff.

6.    That going forward we look at designs for courts that allow for more room for sideways mobility so as to minimize collisions with other players on other courts as well from the sidelines.

Finally, this is a first draft only, and your comments are welcome as we move forward to a full protocol for concussions in our play areas.

Chuck Lefaive

Founding Director

Bc Pickleball assoc

Brothers Pickleball

Scan 2


Pickle ball, a sport in which players use paddles to hit a whiffle ball (perforated polymer ball) over a low net, is the latest craze to be adopted by fit seniors. The sport, which was named, not after the inventor’s dog Pickles, as is widely believed, but from the term “pickle boat”, referring to the last boat to return with it’s catch.After hearing about the sport from my brother, a retired criminal lawyer, who resides in B.C., I secretly formulated a plan to get him back for a deed he committed some 60 years ago. My father, a man’s man, figured if his 2 sons were going to fight, they should learn to do it properly. Thus one evening he came home with 2 sets of professional boxing gloves for his young gladiators. The big moment came, my brother 2 years older with massive arms, took one swing and down I went knocked out cold. As befits the moment my brother, acting as his own referee, counted me out 1—-10., then proceeded to help me.Now, it is my time to exact revenge. My brother, a young 71, a former athlete of some note, has developed a highly competitive attitude(killer instinct), to the game of Pickle ball. I plan to challenge him to a match(without him knowing of my plan to perfect my skill), emerge victoriously, thereby striking a blow of revenge for all younger brothers. Who says sibling rivalry fades with age.

Thus,early on a crisp October Saturday morning I found myself entering a west end high school to learn the fundamentals of pickle ball. After registration and signing a waiver not to sue the sponsoring organization, I found myself in the middle of a group of seniors all anxious to learn the intricacies of the game. The beginner group as opposed to the intermediate group, consisted of a coed  cohort,equal numbers of both sexes, ranging in age from early 60s to a petite senior-senior woman.

A gentleman, Patrick, who had played before, reluctantly took charge of explaining the rules of the game to us. Soon after we were divided into 2 groups of 4,assigned to a court and explained the boundaries of the court, For example, the net is 36 inches high, one of the rules I latter broke ,states there is no spiking(hitting the ball directly without letting it bounce, in the kitchen area(3 feet on either side of the net. The rule is there to protect the player from injury.
After a short warm up we were set to play. Dusting off my old athletic skills, I found despite the ravage of time, my eye-hand co-ordination was still operative, and the killer instinct alive and well.
In a totally inappropriate move, I entered the kitchen area, and blasted a spike that came within inches of decapitating my senior-senior opponent. Indeed David the athlete is back!
After realizing my indiscretion, in the interest of fair play, I scaled back my killer instinct, and a highly enjoyable time was had by all.

Afterwards, I apologized profusely to my senior-senior, and learned “Bunny” is 93 years young and a socially delightful woman.

The following day, I am beset with muscle aches I have not felt in 30 years. Nevertheless, I consider the days’ activities to be a roaring success and look forward to a long and fruitful career as a Pickle Baller.

Link to blog and other articles

BCpickleball visits outdoor facility at South Surrey Rec Center

” BCpickleball visits outdoor facility at South Surrey Rec Center freshly marked by parks and Recreation – Surrey.

There are two double marked courts and two tennis courts with Pickleball dotting. The potential for people with vision, is at least 16 courts outdoor to complement the 10 indoor courts . Also, two courts could be blended into the basketball court on the South side of the Recreation center. With 28 courts for Pickleball, this would be the largest facility In Canada, in keeping with the status of other sports like hockey, softball city for baseball and the multi-millions spent on Soccer over the past several years for artificial turf.

With the proliferation of outdoor Pickleball courts all over the province , Surrey needs to keep up with Powell River ( two dedicated courts ) Vernon ( three dedicated courts)  Trail ( four dedicated courts ) Fuller lake on Vancouver Island ( four dedicated courts ) North Vancouver ( three dedicated courts ) Langley ( four dedicated courts )Richmond ( one dedicated court )

Since; one tennis court will produce at least four generous Pickleball courts, 16 and up to 32 can play instead of 2. Simple math dictates that Pickleball is the more desirable sport for larger number of people to use these expensive facilities. I noticed today at south surrey several tennis courts with  2 people playing and others ( for the whole mid – day taken up with pros teaching the sport for pay ? ) This is not in keeping with recreational play in a public facility.

Finally, a few years ago when we started to grow Pickleball in the lower mainland and Okanagan as well as Vancouver Island, the greater need was indoor infrastructure. Now that is largely in place and what is needed as we are seeing much nicer weather on the West Coast is DEDICATED courts for the outdoor where people can play and not have to spend half their time chasing balls . Several examples of how to do it are on the website . In the meantime we shall have to be satisfied with dotting little used tennis courts to not offend the tennis fraternity while using these large courts. Even Tennis BC and Tennis USA is recognizing the need for smaller courts for All, esp. kids. We have had just that for 50 years in Vancouver and area.

As with all sports there is a need to think out of the box and recognize the need to accommodate the fastest growing sport in North America – chosen by ACE – the American Council on exercise – as sport of choice two years ago, because people could play a few games and be back to work by 1:00 pm and get calorie burn.

Some tips :

1- use a ball hopper if you are playing on a double marked court and perhaps a Chute with balls in it like baseball uses for the umpires. The hopper needs to have the two middle bottom links widened slightly and then the balls will pop right into the chute , so you need not bend down to pick up all the balls – just PRESS DOWN !
2-request from parks and Rec that they put in a practice board ( easy and Cheap ) so people can practice shots and timing.
3- Request from parks and Rec a lock box , like those used in baseball to hold the paddles and balls and portable sets, chutes, and hoppers. The keys can be held by the Rec centers, adjacent, local player head, and they just sign out the court and go and play.

This summer has been one of the nicest in history. Should this trend continue, I foresee more games, more tournaments, like Maple Green at Easter – time in Surrey and a bigger E mail list ( the key to outdoor play ) in the future. One person or more in each center should be designated to be the ” outdoor designated person ” and maintain and add to the list.

Best Wishes lots of outdoor fresh air Pickleball

Yours in Sport and Health,

Chuck Lefaive

Carpet Pickleball


Pickleball engagement on a carpet in a retirement home – can it be done ?

On Sept 25th B. C. Pickleball association was invited to teach a cohort of senior – seniors to play This active sport. As most retirement homes are sedentary to say the least, this was a novel Experiment. I was told I would be “ on the patio “

As it turned out, the patio was indoor in a hallway with a carpet on it. Thankfully I had brought with me a touch tennis ball which we have renamed “touch pickleball ball” made of foam which bounces on anything ( grass , concrete, and carpet ) . Our oldest player was Doug the 99 year old with sight in only one eye. He did however have skills from many years of table tennis, tennis, badminton etc.

As long as the ball was hit to his good side he returned it each time. We used a half size Quicknet from Sportime, ( not available from USAPA and many others ) which gives the option to use the smaller net in tight spaces like this one . ( SEE PIX Pix to come ).  It was interesting to see Doug spur on his female partners to come and try this new sport. He said “ we have nothing like this for exercise now.  The center,  Parkwood Manor has a leader, who is also a performance athlete, who will guide them to improvement using an exercise facility on site that is under used .

In a three hour period , we had about 20 people come and try this new sport. It is our third demonstration in these homes which have a cohort of active seniors .  No doubt your area has lots of them too.  On Sunday Sept 29th I played with a six year old at South Surrey Rec. ( grade 1 ) who played well.
So – this lifetime sport IS good for 93 years…Wow !…….

Yours in Sport and Health,
Chuck Lefaive
Ph – 604-536-9602

Your Questions and Input are always welcome