Tag Archives: North Carolina Pickleball


North Carolina Pickleball

“On The High Seas”

SOUTH CHINA SEA – Pickleball, one of the fastest growing sports in America, is starting to make a splash on the high seas.

The sport, hugely popular in the Phoenix area, especially in active-retirement communities, recently was added to the sports offered on all 14 Holland America ships. And the line’s newest ship, the Nieuw Statendam, which debuts in December, will feature the game as well.

Other cruise lines, including Princess and Regent Seven Seas, also have added pickleball to some of their ships.

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Erik Elvejord, Holland America’s director of public relations, says adding pickleball to the company’s ships was a no-brainer “because of many requests we were getting from guests.”

As an avid pickleball player myself, I was pleasantly surprised to see “meet for a game of pickleball” in the daily program on a recent 14-day Asian cruise on the Holland America Volendam.

The nets may not quite be to exact specifications and the swirling winds can blow a well-executed shot off course. But despite some of the challenges, I was delighted – after years of cruising – to finally have the chance to play the game at sea while working off a few calories from the Volendam’s tempting desserts.

 Cruise passengers like pickleball

Jack Thomas, the national president of the pickleball association and a Scottsdale resident, says it’s about time cruise lines started hopping on the pickleball bandwagon.

“I think the cruise industry has figured out that pickleball is a very inexpensive way to attract and entertain their passengers and will soon become a must-have onboard activity,” he says. “It is super easy to learn to play, great fun for all ages and creates camaraderie among fellow shipmates.”

Tino Carrillo, the Volendam’s assistant cruise director who overseas the ship’s sports – table tennis, shuffleboard, basketball and pickleball – says the latter has been a hit with the ship’s mostly older clientele.

“You typically play doubles, so it’s less tiring than some other sports,” he says. “It’s more accessible for everybody. It’s something fresh and new that more and more people are enjoying playing.”



The Osmans got their first taste of the game at the Nano Center in Matthews, and soon began playing regularly at the Crews Center, also in Matthews. Desire’ started organizing email communications among Charlotte pickleball players and, in 2015, became a USAPA ambassador for the greater Charlotte area. Dick followed suit and is now the area team liaison, leading eight local ambassadors. “We have an enthusiasm and desire to promote the sport,” said Desire’. In the three years the Osmans have been playing pickleball, the sport’s popularity has increased greatly in the Charlotte area, growing from only a few places to play to 35 current locations in and around Charlotte. “We play three times each week,” said Dick. “There are enough locations now that you can find a place to play every day of the week.” The Osman’s pickleball experiences have expanded beyond Charlotte. They have played in local, state and regional tournaments, and spent a week last September at a USAPA ambassadors’ retreat in Florida, where they honed their playing and teaching skills. “We are intermediate players, not advanced. Pickleball is a fun game for people at all levels,” said Dick. “It’s an easy game for people to learn and become proficient.” The Osmans are doing their part to help folks learn to play. Since the beginning of this year, they have taught seven clinics. They, along with their team, brought pickleball to the Charlotte Health & Fitness Expo, Belle Johnston Community Center in Pineville, Dowd YMCA, Weddington Swim and Racquet Club, Firethorne Country Club in Waxhaw, Raintree Country Club, Palisades Country Club, and the neighborhoods of Dilworth, NoDa and Hunter Oaks, where tennis and pickleball are played on shared courts. They are also in talks with four other country clubs that are interested in bringing pickleball to their residents. “We live across the street from the tennis courts,” said Desire’. “I’m hopeful that BCC will add shadow lines on the hard courts for pickleball, so members can enjoy playing right here in our neighborhood.” Most recently, the Osmans partnered with the Parkinson Association of the Carolinas and Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation department to host Pickleball for Parkinson’s (P4P) at the Marion Diehl Recreation Center on Tyvola Road in Charlotte. According to the National Parkinson Foundation, Parkinson’s disease reduces the amount of dopamine in the brain. One correlating treatment is exercise or movement therapy, which works to increase dopamine levels. “The man who first told us about pickleball had Parkinson’s,” said Dick, as the Osmans’ pickleball journey seems to have come full-circle. “His tremors actually went away on the court and that carried over afterward off the court, as well.”




Wayne County North Carolina

Feature –Susan $¢ Moneypenny moneypennysk@gmail.com USAPA Ambassador, Wayne County, NC Cell: 316-393-2927      

Pickleball is growing in Wayne County (about 50 miles east of Raleigh, on your way to the beach)! Although we’ve been playing for just a year, the sport is catching on here. We have limited indoor courts on which to play (only 6 total in 4 venues), but we have more than 60 enthusiastic players (mostly seniors) on our roster and about 25-30 play weekly. On February 16 the Goldsboro Family YMCA allowed us to host an Intermediate Skills clinic/demonstration conducted under the guidance of Joe Borrelli, District Ambassador for NC Coastal Plain with his skilled assistants Luis Vazquez, Cary Ambassador, Bob Hendrickson, Fuquay Varina Ambassador, Kelly Gent of Wake Forest and Becky Hendrickson of Fayetteville. For three hours more than 30 players learned strategies for advanced play, practiced drills, played short games and had FUN!

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Wayne County NC 2016

On Friday, February 26 we’re having our monthly “All-Day Pickleball Play & Potluck” at the Herman Park Rec Center, starting at 11 a.m. for NINE hours of fun! Players in the late afternoon or early evening are asked to bring finger foods, snacks, soft drinks or desserts for the potluck, beginning around 6 p.m. It’s a great chance for those unfortunate folks who have yet to retire to play with those lucky ones who are! Although we only have one court on which to play, a good time is guaranteed for all who attend! See you on the court…

Susan $¢ Moneypenny moneypennysk@gmail.com USAPA Ambassador, Wayne County, NC Cell: 316-393-2927


Mecklenburg County NC Pickleball

North Carolina Pickleball

Mecklenburg County NC

Mecklenburg Count North Carolina continues to grow pickleball and 2016 should be no exception.  A recent video highlights the history and growth of pickleball in this area.   Jewish Community Feature

Follow North Carolina Pickleball by signing up for e mail alerts on page one of this site.    Happy 2016…



North Carolina Pickleball

Photos Complements of Pickleball In The Triangle

Carolina Arbors is a destination community located adjacent to popular Brier Creek in Durham, NC. Carolina Arbors is located 1 mile from the over 1 million square feet of retail and restaurants that Brier Creek offers and within 5 miles of  Umstead State Park and RDU International Airport.  Easy access to Hwy. 70, I-540 and I-40 offers a short drive to the cultural and sporting event attractions of Downtown Raleigh and Downtown Durham. The mountains to the West and Beach to the East are within a 3 hour drive.

New Pickleball Courts Del Webb Carolina Arbors

New Pickleball Courts Del Webb Carolina Arbors

Carolina Arbors

Carolina Arbors


North Carolina Pickleball – Special Report

Reprint – Portland Press Hearld

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GORHAM — It’s Friday night and the courts at the corner of Acorn Street and Gray Road buzz with activity.

Seven men and five women are split into three groups of four, each playing doubles pickleball inside a chainlink fence that once housed a single tennis court. It’s an upbeat group and an upbeat game, played amid a cacophony of perforated plastic balls being thwacked by composite paddles.

“Pickleball is a crazy game right now,” said Cindy Hazelton, Gorham’s recreation director. “It’s had a huge surge in popularity.”

But not everyone is thrilled about the game’s growing popularity. In some communities, tennis players are finding they have to compete with pickleball players for space on local courts.

Hazelton oversaw the installation last week of six permanent pickleball net posts at the town’s Little Falls Activity Center, resulting in Maine’s first courts devoted exclusively to pickleball. A short walk down the road, at the Little Falls Recreation Area, two tennis courts have freshly-painted red lines for pickleball.

Gorham will host the Maine Senior Games pickleball tournaments Saturday (men’s and women’s doubles) and Sunday (singles and mixed doubles) with more than 100 participants. Last year’s Senior Games pickleball event, which took place indoors at the South Portland Recreation Center, drew 119 players, up from 73 in 2013.

By contrast, the Senior Games tennis tournament fell from 53 players three years ago to 17 in 2013 and 16 last year. Only a handful have registered for this year’s event, scheduled for early September.

“We’re a month away, so it’s still early,” said Jo Dill, who directs the Games through the Southern Maine Agency on Aging. “People are playing tennis, but I think more people are playing pickleball. The court’s smaller and there’s a lot of net playing. A couple of people say my knees don’t take to tennis anymore but I can still play pickleball.

To some of those who remain devoted to tennis, pickleball is an invasive species taking over prime recreational real estate. Already this year, pickleball lines have gone down on tennis courts in Bath, York and Cape Elizabeth. Tennis courts in Scarborough and Portland got similar treatment last year.

“When they put the (pickleball) lines on, it was a little disconcerting,” said Paul Robinson of Cape Elizabeth, warming up for a tennis match Friday morning on one of two pond-side courts inside Fort Williams Park.

His wife and doubles partner, Karen Robinson, said noise from pickleball matches – both from the plastic ball and the usually vocal and enthusiastic players – can be distracting to those playing tennis.

“There’s a constant ping-ping-ping from the paddles,” she said. “The sound effects do not make for a conducive atmosphere.”

Indeed, said Dorothy Stack, another Cape Elizabeth resident who has played tennis regularly at Fort Williams for 20 years and last month found herself alongside two games of pickleball on the adjacent tennis court.

“It wasn’t enjoyable,” she said. “Pickleball is loud and fun and social. Tennis is a bit quieter game. Tennis has four people who might chat between points or say, ‘Nice shot.’ Pickleball has four people on each side and then there’s all these extra people on the side who have set up chairs and are waiting to play. There’s a lot of movement, in and out. It’s too much.”

At age 59, Stack said she understands she’s approaching the pickleball demographic. It looks like fun and she may join others, like Paul Robinson, who wield both a racquet and a paddle.

But not yet Roger Rioux, 67, of Cape Elizabeth went to the Fort Williams Advisory Commission in May for permission to paint pickleball lines on the two tennis courts (there’s also an upper tennis court in a different, narrower enclosure that includes a basketball court) inside the 90-acre park. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, Rioux puts up four portable nets for pickleball.

“We chose Tuesdays and Thursdays because typically there aren’t tennis players here,” Rioux said Thursday morning while waiting for players to arrive. “The problem is that everyone wants to play from 8 to 9:30 because it’s the cooler part of the day.”

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