Pickleball is catching on in Red Deer

It might not be a sport sweeping the nation but it seems to be making an impact right here in Red Deer.

The game of pickleball combines the sports of tennis, badminton and ping pong.

Equipment consists of a paddle which is larger than a table tennis paddle, a whiffle ball and a net.

“You can play it single, so one on each side of the net but generally we play it as doubles,” said Val Vollnin, president of the local pickleball club in Red Deer.

The group gets together most days when the weather cooperates over at the West Park community shelter where pickle ball courts are marked out for games.

They have a pickle ball net which sits about 36 inches high and stretches 22 feet across the court.

The basic rules call for serving the ball underhand over the net and the player receiving the serve must play it on the first bounce. On the return over the net the server has to play it off the bounce as well but from there on each player can play the ball on the volley, she said.

“There is also an area called the no-volley zone which is about seven feet from the net so if you hit it into that area it must bounce first. You can’t just stand at the net and just whack it back at the person.”

According to the U.S. Pickleball Association it’s one of the fastest growing sports in North America with more that 150,000 players involved in the game worldwide.

“We formed the club (in Red Deer) last fall with about 25 members and now we’re up to about 53,” she said. “I fully expect by next summer we’ll be at 100.”

A similar group was formed in Kelowna about four years ago and their membership runs at around 400 players so there is some interest in other communities, she said.

Some Red Deer players have made the trek to Kelowna and Edmonton to participate in various pickleball tournaments as well.

Vollnin said most of the people playing pickle ball are an older demographic but any age would easily get something out of the game.

She says according to a representative within the recreation department in Red Deer, the game is being taught as part of the physical education curriculum in some schools.

“It’s just a matter of time before Red Deer gets this going. It’s easy to play and it’s something you can do to stay active and to keep you mobile.”


Just Posted

RCMP lay 34 charges in stolen vehicle operation

Red Deer RCMP arrest 13 people in four-day covert stolen vehicle operation last week

Last Christmas for Ten Thousand Villages in Red Deer

The fair trade organization will be closing its doors in the New Year

Olympic sportscaster Brian Williams says IOC too lenient on Russians

Williams was in Red Deer for a speech for Farm Credit Canada

A 37-year-old Red Deer man arrested for impaired driving

Man sustained serious injuries in two-vehicle collision

Red Deer RCMP investigate Oriole Park home invasion

RCMP believe it was a targeted home invasion, targeting wrong residence

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Most Read