Pickleball is a growing sport – Pickleball Club offers free novice training to all residents

Left to right: Peggy Steffin, Instructor Bill Arnsenault (PCPB Club), Chuck Kelley, Teri DeMars, and Kay Skripka. Photo by Kathy Alto.

Left to right: Peggy Steffin, Instructor Bill Arnsenault (PCPB Club), Chuck Kelley, Teri DeMars, and Kay Skripka. Photo by Kathy Alto.

Cynthia Schwartz

In 2019, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary added 530 new words, and pickleball is one of this year’s entries! This entry confirms that pickleball is a growing and popular sport!

According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s 2018 Participant Report, there are more than 3.1 million pickleball players in the United States. In addition, the USAPA.org website states, “…as more retirement locations have adopted pickleball as an integrated sports activity for their population of residents, we have seen an explosion of new court construction throughout the United States.” It is estimated that three-fourths of all pickleball players are over the age of 55.

In PebbleCreek, there are 20 courts and 1,492 PebbleCreek Pickleball Club (PCPB) members, one of the largest clubs in the United States. The PCPB Club offers the opportunity for recreational and competitive play, training, and holds social events that support local charities in Arizona.

Recognizing the growing interest in pickleball in PebbleCreek, the PCPB Club offers a new player development program that includes free novice training to all residents. You don’t need to be a member of the PCPB Club to sign up for novice training.

In novice training, you will learn the basic rules of pickleball, where to stand, how to keep score, and techniques on how to hold a paddle and hit the ball. There is a clipboard for sign-ups in the green box hanging on the fence outside of court 5. You will be contacted and given information about dates, times, and court location. You don’t need to invest in a paddle for novice training. Loaner paddles are available and pickleballs are provided. You simply need to wear appropriate footwear, sunscreen, and a hat or visor.

In 2018, more than 125 residents signed up for novice training. Most attendees went on to become PCPB Club members and participated in club-sponsored events, including additional player development, round robins, and drop-in.

The PCPB Club New Player Development Committee is committed to meeting the interest that PebbleCreek residents have in pickleball. The PCPB Club has more than ten instructors who love the sport and teach in the novice training program. If you have any questions or want to receive more information, contact Bill Arsenault, player development chairperson, at bill.arsenault55@gmail.com. Sign up and learn how not to get “pickled” on the court!