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Vancouver Park Board opens first outdoor pickleball court

September 29 2016

“We selected Queen Elizabeth Park with Memorial Park West and John Hendry Park to follow, in order to service pickleball players across the city,” said Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

Pickleball courts in Queen Elizabeth Park

The game is called pickleball, but there’s no pickle involved, only wooden paddles and a plastic whiffle ball.

It’s growing in popularity with almost a thousand Vancouverites looking for a place to practice their passion for a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and ping pong.

Pickleball courts in QE Park

To meet the demand, the Vancouver Park Board has transformed one tennis court at Queen Elizabeth Park into a combined tennis/pickleball court. The court remains available for tennis, but now has additional lines outlining four pickleball courts. Portable nets are put up by the players before each game and will be stored on-site.

“The Park Board is delighted to open Vancouver’s first outdoor pickleball court. We selected Queen Elizabeth Park with Memorial Park West and John Hendry Park to follow, in order to service pickleball players across the city. The courts will be flexible spaces where multiple sports can be played on one surface,” said Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

Sport growing in popularity

The decision to convert these tennis courts comes after a request from the pickleball community.

“The sport is becoming increasingly popular, especially with seniors. Today, there are almost 700 pickleball players in Vancouver so these new outdoor courts will be well used,” said Chuck Lefaive, Founding Director of Pickleball Canada and BC Pickleball.

The Park Board has indoor pickleball courts at 13 community centres, including Britannia, Hillcrest, Kitsilano and, new this season, Hastings.

The sport was invented in 1965 and, according to one legend, named after a dog called Pickles!