Mathew Perry watching PPA finals.

Hello Ipoppers!

Time flies as much as a whiffle ball on a Pickleball court! Here comes the holiday season…while most of you migrated into community centers, gymnasiums or jetted down south, I took to month to treat my painful pickleball elbow, it’s feeling better, and with a managed “slow” return to play, it should be good for the new year. If you want to avoid this issue, check out my blog on the subject here. We’ve got some exciting news to share with all our fellow pickleball enthusiasts out there. Brace yourselves for the grand opening of the Inclusive Place of Pickleball (IPOP) Pop-Up in downtown Vancouver, BC! This temporary haven will feature 8-10 30X60 tournament-ready courts, a lounge area to chill, and a rinky-dink practice space. And that’s not all – there are plans to have a mini-pro shop to cater to all your pickleball needs.  Stay tuned for the exciting announcement coming soon…

Pickleball Elbow

Treatment time for my pickleball elbow

In a fantastic collaboration with Pickleball BC, IPOP has submitted an application to the City of Burnaby to host the BC PROVINCIALS in Spring 2023. The tournament will be co-hosted with Pickleball BC and managed in collaboration with volunteers from pickleball groups in Burnaby and New Westminster.

Further solidifying Mayor Mike Hurley’s vision for Burnaby to be the Pickleball capital of BC. You might remember the Mayor cutting the tape at the Squint Lake Pickleball courts’ official opening – an event that drew pickleball peeps from all around, as documented here.

But that’s not all – we’re gearing up for a presence at The Wellness Show on February 4 & 5 at the Vancouver Convention Center. Make sure to mark your calendars and visit our booth (143A) to soak in the pickleball vibes. Pickleball BC will have a display court set up right beside us – an exciting opportunity to showcase our sport’s charm!

We recently had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of Top Spin Pickleball in Abbotsford, rubbing shoulders with legends like Brock, Doug, and even Steve Deakin!

Our Learn to Play classes in New Westminster are a hit – once again, sold out! It’s heartening to witness the growing appetite for this awesome sport, and at IPOP, we’re thrilled to nurture this new wave of enthusiasts as they form their own vibrant community within our larger pickleball tribe. Check out our January schedule [link to the schedule] and join the fun! Click here to get more information

On a recent trip to LA, I heard that Matthew Perry loved Pickleball. Of course, I had thought that maybe, just maybe, I’d be running into him on the courts or perhaps at a meeting. We have much in common, especially our love of pickleball and recovery. Somehow, I think he is running around up on that big pickleball court in the sky! RIP kindred spirit. May you find the sun on the pickleball court in the sky.

The Keswick Park Sunday morning crew is braving the cold to hone their pickleball skills and drills. From lobs to volleys, serves to game positioning, they’re committed to becoming pickleball pros.

And last but certainly not least, our survey has garnered responses from over 500 pickleheads, providing invaluable insights into the local pickleball community’s hopes, dreams, and desires. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to fill out our survey here and share it with any fellow players who can help us on our quest.

Let’s continue to build a vibrant and inclusive pickleball community together! See you on the courts!

Simple, practical, & instant!

The Power of Groups

Are you a pickleball enthusiast looking to connect with fellow players, share your passion, and organize matches? If so, you’re in luck! Pickleball groups are the heart and soul of this vibrant sports community. In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of pickleball groups, their significance, and how you can create an inclusive and thriving community right within your smartphone.

The Glue that Binds Us: Pickleball Groups

Pickleball is more than just a sport; it’s a social phenomenon that brings players together. Almost every pickleball player I know is part of a group, whether it’s through social media platforms like WhatsApp or Meta (formerly known as Facebook), email chains, or emerging pickleball-specific apps. These groups are like tribes, uniting individuals with a shared goal: to play as much pickleball as possible!

Diverse Bonds and Common Goals

Groups form for a variety of reasons.

While most groups are geographically focused, catering to specific courts or skill levels, they also cater to a wide spectrum of players. From skill-level-based groups to LGBTQ+ or other affinity groups, there’s a place for everyone. For instance, “Rainbow Pickleball” is a local group that showcases how pickleball can foster a passionate and fun community among diverse individuals. These groups offer a safe haven for players to connect, learn, and grow.

Strong Foundations for a Flourishing Community

Every great pickleball group begins with a solid foundation. This means having at least two administrators who can manage the group’s activities. Having a team of administrators ensures better decision-making and availability to oversee the group’s functionality. Conflict management is crucial, and administrators play a key role in resolving disagreements diplomatically.

Fostering Connections: Creating Your Own Pickleball Group

Empowering players to come together and form their own pickleball groups is a wonderful initiative. I’ve seen this firsthand in my classes, where students form groups to match their skill levels and embark on their pickleball journeys together. But forming a group is just the beginning; sustaining it requires careful consideration.

Diversity in Pickleball across the nation.

Setting the Stage with Group Introductions

The introduction to your group sets the tone for its culture and purpose. Welcome messages are a great way to communicate the essence of your group. Are you aiming for a light-hearted and chatty atmosphere or a more focused and information-driven space? Covering the who, what, where, and when can be immensely helpful in giving group members the essential information they need. A brief introduction can cover both of these goals: something like this is at the beginning of the group page: ” Welcome to the IPOP pickleball group! We are a group of passionate players, that gather at the _______location to participate in an open play suitable for all skill levels. We play every night from 5 pm to 10 pm”.  Then the next paragraph could suggest the rules for the group. Remember this is just a suggested guideline for all of your peeps!

Laying Down the Ground Rules

Just like any community, pickleball groups need rules to thrive. Depending on the group’s nature, a variety of rules can be established. However, some rules are universally crucial, such as a strict “No Politics” policy. The goal is to maintain a welcoming environment where discussions revolve around pickleball and not divisive topics. Ensuring that only administrators have the power to add or remove members is also essential to avoid overwhelming the group.

Navigating Growth and Challenges

As pickleball groups grow, challenges can arise. New members might inadvertently break rules or clog up the chat with unrelated content. This is a sign of a healthy, expanding community. Having a team of administrators comes in handy during such times. Addressing conflicts and rule violations collectively ensures fair resolutions.

A growing group at a new court

Uniting through Pickleball

Forming and nurturing a pickleball group is an exciting venture within the rich tapestry of the pickleball culture. These groups represent a bridge between skill levels, backgrounds, and experiences, fostering connections that extend beyond the court. By focusing on strong foundations, clear communication, and inclusive guidelines, you can create a pickleball group that thrives as a welcoming, vibrant, and diverse community. So, whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting, remember that the joy of pickleball isn’t just in the game—it’s in the bonds we form along the way.

If you need additional help and suggestions in forming your own group, please feel free to reach out to me anytime here.