Homegrown pickleball.


October 06, 2012 8:00 am  • 

Spreading the pickleball craze

Local pickleball players leading push to expand places for game

Local players celebrate opening of new free court space in Corvallis for this fast-paced game

If you never have heard of pickleball, stop by the eight new courts at the Corvallis Pickleball Courts off 35th between the Western View Center and the Corvallis School District office. There, on what not long ago were abandoned tennis courts, you could find pickleball enthusiasts playing Wednesday morning.

Pickleball is played on badminton-sized courts using nets that are slightly lower than tennis nets. Solid paddles and whiffle-like balls are used to play; the first side to reach 11 points wins.

“It’s great seeing everyone out there,” said Connie Anderson. She and her husband Bob are USA Pickleball Association ambassadors for Corvallis. “We have people from as far as Salem.”

Wednesday marked the grand opening of the eight new regulation-size pickleball courts. Mayor Julie Manning and Corvallis Parks and Recreation Director Karen Emery participated in a ribbon-cutting for what will now be called the Corvallis Pickleball Courts. After players worked up an appetite playing for several hours, they enjoyed a potluck meal.

The pickleball courts project was inspired by enthusiasts who in March partnered with the Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department to fix up the old courts so that more people could play the fast-paced game.

The courts are open and free to the public during most daylight hours.

The project was built by local pickleball players who raised more than $3,000 to pay for the net posts and nets. Corvallis Parks and Recreation paid $2,500 for concrete work to make space for the pickleball net posts. The courts will be maintained by Parks and Recreation with money from tournaments and clinics to help cover costs.

Other players on Wednesday appreciated having another place to play pickleball in addition to the indoor facility at the private Timberhill Athletic Club.

“I prefer playing outdoors,” said Albany resident Dennis Dahlen. “especially when the sun is out like today. I don’t mind the wind. It makes things interesting.”