Spring 2017 Newsletter

 

Camosun College – Center of Sports Excellence

“  A NEW LAYER OF COMPETITIVE PICKLEBALL FOR BC “

 


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)

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