Pickleball pioneers in Arizona Traditions laid groundwork for game’s growth

Ed Hamer and Earl Hill helped bring pickleball to Arizona in 1999.

Ed Hamer and Earl Hill helped bring pickleball to Arizona in 1999.

The Arizona Traditions active adult community is not the birthplace of pickleball. That would be Bainbridge Island near Seattle — all the way back in 1965.

It is not where the game began in Arizona, or even in Surprise. Neighboring Happy Trails had a small core group of players by the mid 1980s.

But the spark for the game’s explosive growth was lit by a small group of pickleball pioneers in this gated community in the northwest corner of the Northwest Valley. Read more at yourwestvalley.com…

Surprise Firefighters play pickleball as SPA donates to charity

Pictured from left to right are Surprise firefighters Kevin Johnston and Louis D’Angelo, Surprise Pickleball Association members Jeff Stone and Bob Barczak (holding the check), and firefighters Jeff Zamora and Randy Frassetto. The SPA led a tournament for the firefighters and presented a $2,000 check to the Surprise Firefighters Charity Fund.

Pictured from left to right are Surprise firefighters Kevin Johnston and Louis D’Angelo, Surprise Pickleball Association members Jeff Stone and Bob Barczak (holding the check), and firefighters Jeff Zamora and Randy Frassetto. The SPA led a tournament for the firefighters and presented a $2,000 check to the Surprise Firefighters Charity Fund.

On Nov. 19 the Surprise Pickleball Association and AZCA Printing sponsored a mini tournament for four firefighters from Fire Station 305 (Greenway Road and Parkview Place).
SPA Vice President Marlene Berwald conceptualized the idea and coordinated the event for the purpose of donating $2,000 to the Surprise Firefighters Charity Fund. Bob Barczak from Sun City Grand was the official referee of the four-man round robin, and the audience picked their favorite player and cheered them on during the tournament. Read more at yourwestvalley.com…

City, Grayhawk partner to build 3 pickleball courts at Thompson Peak Park

A view of one of the new pickleball court at Thompson Peak Parkway

A view of one of the new pickleball court at Thompson Peak Parkway

Pickleball is a sport that is gaining popularity across the country, and the city of Scottsdale has found creative ways to meet demand.

In December of 2014 the city converted two tennis courts at Cholla Park into eight lighted pickleball courts. The courts have been well received by the public, with high daily usage and more players learning the sport, according to a press release.

Earlier this year the Grayhawk Community Association approached the city of Scottsdale about possibly adding pickleball courts at Thompson Peak Park, located at Thompson Peak Parkway and Hayden Road. Read more at scottsdaleindependent.com…

CG resort hosts hundreds for national pickleball tourney

CAS110516casagrandeA GRANDE — Most senior communities attract residents seeking peace and quiet, to get away from the big crowds in order to relax and enjoy their retirement. They sure wouldn’t like to bring in over 1,000 people from around the country to take part in an intense, immense competition.

The residents at Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort in Casa Grande are different. In fact, they might be the opposite. They have united for months of preparation and thousands of volunteer hours to welcome in the biggest event in the U.S. for a little-known but fast-growing sport: pickleball.

“It’s actually a draw,” said Donna Christiansen, a park resident and president of the Palm Creek Pickleball Club. “This is crazy. We moved here in 2001, and there wasn’t pickleball at the time. Now we have 900 members. It’s very addictive, and once you get wrapped up in it you want to be near it. You want to live somewhere you can play it a lot.” Read more at http://www.pinalcentral.com/…

 

Matching fundraiser moves Pickleball club closer to game time

From dirt to pickleball. That is the vision of a group of players who want to build Prescott’s first public pickleball court from the ground up. A matching fundraiser this month is the focus of the Prescott Pickleball Association (PPA), and the community is invited to help meet the club’s goal by the end of October.

“Every dollar up to $10,000 will be matched dollar for dollar. Let’s make $20,000 in October!” said PPA President Peg Travers. Two anonymous pickleball players have offered to match funds up to $10,000 in the month of October, with the match ending on Oct. 31. The community is encouraged to donate to help build the public courts.

Travers said the club has $60,160 in the court building fund and an additional $30,000 pledged.

“Another $20K will put us up over $110,000,” Travers said. Read more at dcourier.com…

Fall Schedule for Phoenix Parks and Recreation

Update Oct. 7, 2016: Thursday evening indoor pickleball moved from Sunnyslope Community Center to Washington Community Center. One City of Phoenix Recreation Pass works for all Phoenix facilities.

Click this link for the updated schedule for August-December 2016.

“Various gym sites may be closed for floor refinishing (5-7 days) at some point during this season.”

It is recommended that you call the indoor facility first to verify that the gym is open at the scheduled time for pickleball.

Details will be posted on USAPA.org/places-to-play-pickleball as they become available, so feel free to check there for updates and to post any new information that you have. Anyone is allowed to post information on that database to help keep it current. See: usapa.org/places-to-play-help-guide link on the top of that page.

Submitted by Mary Travis

Prescott pickleballers aim to build more courts

From July 7 to July 9, pickleball players ages 50 and older competed in the Senior Northern Arizona Pickleball Slam at the Prescott Valley Event Center. The sport of pickleball has become so popular in the Prescott area that new outdoor public courts are being proposed to be built near Pioneer Park.

From July 7 to July 9, pickleball players ages 50 and older competed in the Senior Northern Arizona Pickleball Slam at the Prescott Valley Event Center. The sport of pickleball has become so popular in the Prescott area that new outdoor public courts are being proposed to be built near Pioneer Park.

“Pickle People” are vocal in the Prescott area and now have formed their own association to put their words into action. Who are they? They are people who are passionate about the game of pickleball and want to see more opportunities for the game here. And people are listening, specifically officials with the City of Prescott and the Town of Prescott Valley.

Peg Travers, president of the newly formed Prescott Pickleball Association (PPA), said about a thousand pickleball players live in the Prescott area, and eight ambassadors of the national organization started a local association to answer a call for more facilities here. Read more at dcourier.com…

It’s Time for Pickleball!

The PPA is working hard to raise money for 8 public Pickleball courts at Pioneer Park. The City of Prescott is providing the land, and the PPA is raising $150,000 to pay for the building of the courts. They also hope to get public courts in Prescott Valley.

This SNAPS tournament has over 160 participants for these three days, coming from Arizona, California and Colorado. Admission is free. The tournament continues on Friday and Saturday from 8 AM – 4 PM. Read more at prescottenews.com…