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What the heck is Pickleball? (Posted On: Thursday, June 04, 2009)

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We asked resident expert Bill Furse to explain, plus he’s also inviting everyone to Free Introductory Pickleball at Monterra Bubble Blue Mountain Resort on Wednesday June 10th from 4pm – 7pm.

This is what Bill has to say:

I know everyone that tries it will love the game as much as I do. We all know that regardless of our age, we must keep physically active and fit.

I am sure many of you, like me, have tried the jogging, the bike riding, the walking, the gym and everything else to get fit and yes lose weight. Invariably, we get bored with the same daily or weekly routine and our greatest intentions go for not. I maintain that if exercise is fun you will continue. You will make the time. But it has to be fun. Pickleball is fun!

"What the heck is Pickleball?" This is the first question that everyone asks me when I mention the name. Even though the game is the fastest growing sport in Ontario, it is still very new. There are now over 20 recreation centres in Ontario offering Pickleball programs. There are between 300 and 400 players in Ontario. Milliken and Malvern Recreational Centres in Scarborough that have 50 members each. The game is gaining great popularity with individuals that play other racquet sports such as tennis, badminton, ping pong and table tennis. However, individuals who have never played a racquet sport in their life find Pickleball easy to learn and fun to play.

The game has many similarities to tennis. The major differences are the smaller court and the serve. The court is the size of a badminton court, 44' by 20'. This means that there is not as much area to cover so players do not need to run as much. The serve is under hand as a ping pong or badminton serve so it is easier to learn and allows tennis players with shoulder and arm problems to continue playing. The rules are similar to other racquet and paddle sports and can be learned easily with a little instruction. I teach players and have them playing in the first half hour of the initital lesson. Players who have not played a racquet sport may need a little more time but once players learn, I stay out of the way.

The game is played with a paddle larger than a ping pong paddle and a plastic ball with holes in it, similar to a whiffle ball used to practice baseball.

The equipment is designed to slow the game down, thus the name, "slowed down tennis". The paddle is solid so there is wind resistance that slows down the swing of the paddle compared a tennis racquet and the ball has holes in it to slow it down as well. A Pickleball travels at less than half the speed of a tennis ball. This is what makes the game easier to play.

Since a Pickleball is made of Plastic, it has tendencies to take funny bounces, so after the ball bounces on both sides of the court, players move to the net to play the ball on the fly or volley. This makes for long back and forth rallies that can last several minutes.

Since the court is the size of a badminton court, it is easy to built a court in Ontario. You lower a badminton net to 36" at the net post and 34" at the centre and "viola" you have a Pickleball court. Using practice wooden paddles and balls, all players need is a pair of running shoes and they can try the game.
These students in an Ajax elementary school were able to learn the game quickly and loved "Pickleball".  "It is truly a game for all ages."

Pickleball has arrived inCollingwood.  It is an exciting new game that is enjoyed by all ages. It is the fastest growing game in Ontario and Canada. Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong. Sometimes called Ping Pong-Tennis or Mini-Tennis. It is the ideal game for older adults to keep active. It provides an opportunity for families to enjoy the game together as well. It is truly "a sport for all ages". It is a game that is easy to learn and easy to play. It does not require the athletic ability of many other sports. Regardless of your age, if you want to get or stay active, Pickleball is for you.
This game provides loads of laughs and is very addictive. Try it, you will like it. Come and join us for the fun on Wednesday, June the 10th from 4-7pm.

Pickleball, "a game for all"
For the very young, it is inspiring
For the athletes, it is very competitive
For the older adults, it is like being young again, "Fountain of Youth."

Check Out the Offical Website of Pickleball Canada 
Inquiries about this article should be sent to or phone 705-445-1667.


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