IPOP is pleased and excited to announce a partnership with the BC Lung Foundation!
With the help of president and CEO Chris Lam,  IPOP and the BC Lung team is on a mission to let the world know about the benefits of pickleball.

From the inception of the Inclusive Place of Pickleball, one thing stands above all else: our passion is more than just a wiffle ball flying over a net and operating pickleball facilities. We want to be different and “be a part of ” the development and promotion of our beautiful game globally.
And to do that, we must change how pickleball is viewed in the mainstream media.

If you haven’t noticed, pickleball has been getting a bad rap in the news this past year from noise complaints, injuries costing insurance companies and even a hunger strike! As avid pickleball lovers and proponents of its health benefits (and positivity!), this trend in the press lately is a little concerning. And something we at IPOP want to change. Now, the news always reports on the negative rather than the positive. However, the more severe problem for pickleball is the misrepresentation of facts — especially when big money is involved from insurance companies and the legal communities (with injuries and lawsuits).

More Positive Scientific Data Is Needed

One main reason we don’t read about the positive is because more data is needed to prove the health impacts that pickleball has. As mentioned, news outlets sensationalize numbers and data — especially negative data. Journalists only have the “bad” numbers right now.
While pickleball has been around since 1965, it has only become wildly popular recently. Anyone who plays pickleball can feel the difference it has made in our lives, but there isn’t much research to corroborate this effect. We think that those of us in the pickleball community should do our part to try to balance the negative media stories with more positive press publications  backed by verified scientific research and that’s what IPOP is on a mission to do. In other words, we need to prove how pickleball makes us all feel with good ole fashion FACTS!

To change the narrative and perception of pickleball more positively in the news, there needs to be more research into pickleball benefits.
With this in mind, IPOP’s quest to verify the health benefits with scientific data begins.

A Passionate CEO
Business partners are necessary, especially when you want to make lasting change. However, for a company like IPOP, we wanted the proper organization to grow with and also to work with a group of individuals who believe in pickleball as much as we do.

Enter Chris Lam, president and CEO of BC Lung. When we first met at an IPOP tour, it seemed like our two companies, not to mention us personally, were a match made in heaven — certainly better than any dating site I’ve ever been on (just in case my ex reads this, I’m joking!)!
Chris and I immediately hit it off — and not just because of our names. He told me he recently started playing pickleball and loves it so much that he’s already entered several local tournaments! Perfect match, right? Yes, and here’s why…
We have one strict rule at IPOP regarding anyone we directly work with. Whether you’re an investor, a sponsor, a graphic designer, answering phones, sweeping the floor, etc., you must do one thing: Play pickleball!
Chris gets a big green happy checkmark in this box — making IPOP’s decision to partner with BC Lung much easier.
Just a small note here: We were approached and had interviews with several societies and foundations but most of the decision makers were barely familiar with pickleball and did not understand the benefits which is totally logical. Afterall, we believe One has to play the game, even only once to experience the healthy mental, physical and spiritual benefits.  So to meet a passionate, pickled CEO like Chris is remarkable.

Every Journey Starts With Understanding Where You’re Going…
After Chris and I chatted, we met with the rest of the BC Lung team to discuss alignment and our mutual goals. It was an open and honest conversation that ended up in our agreed partnership. BC Lung understood that IPOP wished to be more than just an organization that raises money for them and publicly proclaims good respiratory health through pickleball (we do this anyway!). They realize that IPOP’s more profound mission is to change the mainstream perception of pickleball through research.

At IPOP, we dream of a day when doctors prescribe pickleball to their patients before or instead of medications (did you know that in the US, doctors prescribe nature hikes already?) and be a part of an overall health plan — including mental health and all of the other preventable diseases — for people everywhere.
All we needed was a partner in the medical field to get started on that dream.
We found that partner in BC Lung!

Small steps begin journeys…
We have already started planning our first fundraiser ( June 2024) and have begun discussions with one of Canada’s top pulmonary researchers, UBC’s Dr. Pat Camp. The goal is to have a small study begin later this year. This statement is from our Memorandum of Understanding with BC Lung, and we at IPOP are very proud to participate in such a lofty and ambitious goal with our new partner.

1. Mutual Goal
This partnership will have many mutual benefits, but having a mutual goal is of the utmost importance. Our mutual goal is to prove that pickleball is the pathway to a new standard of treatment in recovering patients from respiratory illnesses. This has to be accomplished with a triple-phase clinical trial and published in an academic journal by 2027.

Big dreams begin with a single step. A rebirth of health and well-being can often inspire that first step. For our pickleball community to grow and grow up, we need to take these steps, not alone but with partners like BC Lung.

Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming fundraiser in June…

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!

ai pickleball

Welcome to the October edition of our newsletter, where we’ll bring you up to speed on the latest developments in the world of pickleball. From exciting AI innovations to community events and upcoming facilities, there’s a lot to explore. So, grab your paddle, and let’s dive in!

Keswick Park Skills and Drills

Our Keswick Park Skills and Drills program has seen incredible success, with all 24 spots filling up within 10 minutes of the announcement on What’s App. This reflects the high demand from passionate players eager to enhance their skills. Even though it’s held on Sunday mornings, the enthusiasm is infectious. If you’d like to join, simply email [email protected]. Explore the Keswick Park picture for a glimpse of the action.

Teaser for the New Facility in Vancouver

While we wait to announce the impending arrival of a dedicated pickleball court facility. We need your help in the interim. Please share the survey link with your friends and family. In 2022/23, we conducted a survey in the Lower Mainland, and the results were eye-opening:

  • 98% of players want a dedicated indoor pickleball facility.
  • 84% are willing to travel 15 to 60 minutes to play.
  • 85% play 2-5 times per week on average.
  • 45% would play in the evenings if given the option (based on current players’ responses).

If you haven’t filled out the survey yet, please do so here.

Abbotsford: Exploring the Pickleball Hotbed

We recently embarked on a journey to explore the thriving pickleball scene in Abbotsford, a city with a rich history of pickleball and home to the first club in BC with organized players. Our visit coincided with the opening tournament of the APA venue at the Agraplex, and it was a day filled with excitement and camaraderie.

We had the honor of meeting club president Frank, a passionate advocate for the sport, and his dedicated team of volunteers who work tirelessly to promote pickleball in the community. The event was a testament to the strong pickleball community in Abbotsford and showcased the enthusiasm and skill of its players.

If you happen to find yourself in the Abbotsford area, we invite you to drop by the center and experience the vibrant pickleball scene for yourself. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, you’ll find a warm and welcoming community eager to share their love for the game.

For more information about pickleball activities in Abbotsford, visit their website here. It’s a great resource to stay updated on events, programs, and opportunities to get involved in the Abbotsford area.

Surrey Pickleball Club Inter Club Cup

IPOP was honored to be invited as a sponsor for the Surrey Pickleball Club’s Inter Club Cup. Teams from various clubs an associations across the lower mainland came together for a thrilling round-robin team event. We took pride in being the first sponsor of this fantastic event and eagerly look forward to future collaborations with the Surrey Pickleball Club at the stunning Crescent Park location. You can catch a glimpse of the event through the pictures in our media deck.

PickleballBC and PADS Press Conference

We were delighted to support the PickleballBC and PADS press conference held at the Robert Burnaby courts. What stole the show? The impeccable behavior of the dogs that shared the limelight with the pickleball action. These well-trained K9s are destined to become companions to those in need, making for a heartwarming combination of pickleball and puppies. You can watch the news story on CTV here.

DUPR: Changing the Pickleball Ranking Game

DUPR is fast becoming a game-changer in the pickleball ranking landscape of the lower mainland. During a recent trip to the US, we witnessed firsthand the power of DUPR as a practical application. We were asked if we had DUPR accounts to quickly organize a “ranking” event and have a short competition within minutes. To get in on the action, sign up for a DUPR account here. Be sure to check out the DUPR picture for a visual taste of the excitement.

Farewell to Coach Catalin

On Friday, September 29, IPOP had the honor of joining the VPA for an appreciation send-off party for Coach Catalin Costea as he moved to Mexico. Catalin has been instrumental in the growth of pickleball in the city and is a founding member of the VPA. We are sure that he will be back next summer… at least that’s what we all hope!

New Products in Pickleball

The pickleball world is abuzz with the integration of AI technology. The notion of an AI program enhancing our gameplay is both intriguing and promising. While most of us haven’t had a chance to try it out personally, the potential for improvement is undoubtedly exciting. Learn more about this innovative development here.

Final Thoughts…

The world of pickleball is not just a sport; it’s a vibrant and inclusive community that welcomes players of all levels and backgrounds. Whether you’re looking for the latest innovations in the game, exciting tournaments, or the camaraderie of fellow enthusiasts, there’s always something happening in the world of pickleball.

As we continue to grow and evolve, pickleball remains a sport that brings people together, fostering connections, and creating lasting memories. The future of pickleball is brighter than ever, and we can’t wait to see where this incredible journey takes us in early 2024.

Yours in Pickleball,


Stay tuned for more updates, and let’s be part of something truly special in the world of pickleball!

We’ve been busy…..a recap of exciting updates

From gripping competitions to youth classes and charitable collaborations, the Surrey Pickleball Club (SPC) and CLASSESIPOP have been making waves in the world of pickleball. Here’s a roundup of recent events and upcoming initiatives that are taking our sport to new heights locally!

Skills and Drills at Keswick: Fostering Skill Development and Community Bonding

At IPOP, we understand the importance of continuous skill development. That’s why we introduced Skills and Drills sessions at Keswick on Sundays. Originally intended to enhance our own skills, these sessions have turned into a community affair. On early Sunday mornings, we’ve had the privilege of hosting over 40 players eager to learn focused and practical skills and drills. It’s a testament to the commitment of pickleball enthusiasts to grow and improve together.

Keswick Park End-of-Summer Tournament Fundraiser

And that’s not all! We’re gearing up for the Keswick Park end-of-summer tournament fundraiser, an event you won’t want to miss. Keep an eye out for announcements and updates as we prepare to bid farewell to summer in style, all while contributing to charitable causes through the power of pickleball.

Fundraiser’s Collaboration: Giving Back through Pickleball

We’re excited to announce our collaboration with PADS and PickleballBC for an inaugural fundraiser tournament at Robert Burnaby Park. Stay tuned for an upcoming press release, where we’ll reveal more details about this exciting event scheduled for April 2024. This tournament embodies the spirit of pickleball by using our passion for the sport to support worthy causes.

SPC’s Grip and Rip Tournament: A Resounding Success

First and foremost, we’d like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the competitors who participated in the SPCs GRIP and RIP tournament last weekend. It was a dazzling display of skill and sportsmanship, with over 360 players coming together to celebrate the sport we all love. The event was a resounding success, and we want to express our gratitude to everyone who visited our booth during the tournament.

While many players couldn’t resist the allure of the famous IPOP Pickleball Magic Power cookies (rumor has it, they might be the secret to winning gold), there was something even more remarkable that captured everyone’s attention. Two teenagers defied the odds and clinched the silver medal in the all-ages men’s doubles category. It was a heartwarming testament to the inclusive spirit of pickleball, proving that age is just a number on the courts. This is an embodiment of pickleball appeal to competitors of all generations

CLASSES @ IPOP: Nurturing the Next Generation of Pickleball Players

IPOP is honored to be at the forefront of pickleball development in the City of New Westminster. We’re thrilled to announce our upcoming beginners’ youth and teen classes, in addition to our adult Learn to Play program. Starting on Tuesday, September 19th, these classes will be held at the Queensborough Community Center. Participants can expect to dive into the foundational techniques of pickleball and gain an understanding of the rules, and basics of game strategy. It’s a fantastic opportunity for individuals of all ages to learn and grow in this dynamic sport.

Looking Forward to 2024: Finding the Perfect Location

As we continue to strengthen the pickleball community, we want to share our exciting plans for the future. IPOP is in the process of finding the perfect location in our local area to create a dedicated pickleball haven. We are sifting through the many options and are committed to providing a state-of-the-art facility that will cater to pickleball enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. Our goal is to open this remarkable space in early 2024, offering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all pickleball lovers to enjoy.

In conclusion, the inclusive place of pickleball is thriving thanks to the passionate players, organizers, and supporters who make it all possible. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, there’s a place for you in the pickleball community. So, pick up that paddle, join a class, and get ready to make a difference both on and off the courts. The future of pickleball is bright, and we can’t wait to see where this incredible journey takes us next. Stay tuned for more updates and get ready to be part of something truly special in early 2024!

Yours in Pickleball,



What a truly fantastic weekend it was, fully immersed in the world of Pickleball. I wholeheartedly advocate for extending the celebration beyond just a day; how about National Pickleball Month? The joy this sport brings is worth the extended festivities!

Golden Ears volunteers with Steve Deakin

By starting the day with a deep sense of gratitude for discovering this wonderful game, it’s challenging to put into words just how profound Pickleball is to me. It’s not just a sport; it’s a spiritual experience, enriching my life in countless ways, often leaving me speechless.

When describing Pickleball, I often say the game itself is the glue that binds like-minded individuals together, emphasizing the components of Friendship, Fitness, and, most importantly, Fun!

Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to share the beauty of Pickleball through an interview with our national broadcaster, CBC, on a local show, North by North-West. We gathered at Keswick Park during Beginner’s Night, where I, along with other passionate Pickleball enthusiasts, taught Jeremy how to play, during the middle of the interview.  My goal was to present Pickleball from a different perspective, one of diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism. It’s a shining example of Canadian multiculturalism, so much so that I’d suggest using pictures of Pickleball courts from across our great nation in Canadian government immigration brochures and textbooks. It fills me with pride to be Canadian.

Hanging with the President of the BPA, Karen Watson

How can I repay the gift of Pickleball in my life? The answer lies in paying it forward and giving back in as many ways as I can. This commitment led me to Squint Lake Pickleball Courts, where my local association, the Burnaby Pickleball Association hosts beginner’s morning pickleball. This event is an opportunity for new players who have already been through our Learn to Play program to connect and experience the game at their level. It’s a lot of fun and especially fulfilling because I was part of the teaching team for the L2P program, and now I get to watch these players grow into the game.

I even had the privilege of playing with them, squeezing in a few games before heading off to another local community hosting their annual Pickleball tournament, the Golden Ears Summer Classic. A highlight of the event was witnessing Canada’s highest-ranked pro player, Steve Deakin, accept the Lifetime Member award for his dedicated service to this club. It was a great day, full of Pickleball passion.

Steve is awarded a lifetime membership

Sunday followed a similar pattern for me—skills and drills in the morning with a small group of eager beavers. This time allows me to work on the technical aspects of the game and focus on improving specific aspects, like my drive or dink shots. I recall a Pickleball podcast featuring a pro who mentioned the importance of incorporating “practice” time, skills, and drills into his schedule to break through plateaus. I see this in my own game, especially as I spend a significant amount of time playing with beginners, which makes scheduling practice time a crucial part of my game.

Waiting to play on Burnaby’s newest courts on National Pickleball Day! amount of time playing with beginners, which makes scheduling practice time a crucial part of my game.

Sunday morning practice sets the right headspace before I head to the third municipality in my story, New Westminster, where I teach a beginner’s basics class. It’s the ideal way to spend my Sunday afternoon, sharing the foundations of the game with eager learners. This experience is something I wish I had when I started, and it’s why I pursued the Level One Coaching certificate with Pickleball Canada.

As you can see, my National Pickleball Day stretched into a weekend, and for this, I’m truly grateful. The joy and connections Pickleball brings into my life are immeasurable, making this extended celebration all the more meaningful.


Beginner’s group at Squint Lake

Here come the teenagers!


Introducing the new Pickleball Federation of the Americas


Pickleball is a fast-growing sport that is gaining popularity all over the world. It’s a sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, and it’s easy to see why. My local court, Keswick Park is a multitude mixing pot of people from all over the Americas, especially Central and South America. Most beginners are amazed at how much fun the sport is, but acknowledge that it is barely heard of outside of North America.

The Keswick Park, a local court bustling with players from diverse corners of the Americas, especially Central and South America, exemplifies how pickleball acts as a bridge that transcends borders. However, despite its rapid growth and fervent following in North America, pickleball remains a mystery to many beyond these shores.

To bridge this gap and amplify the sport’s reach, the United States, Canada, and Mexico have joined forces to establish the Pickleball Federation of the Americas (PFA). This groundbreaking organization assumes the mantle of being the premier governing body for pickleball in the region, with a mission to cultivate and champion the sport’s expansion across the Americas.

Central to the PFA’s vision is the propagation of pickleball in countries where its presence is yet to be felt. The PFA’s outreach extends to the vibrant landscapes of South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America. Collaborating with national pickleball organizations, the PFA is set to plant the seeds of programs, events, and training opportunities, nurturing a newfound enthusiasm for this thrilling sport.

Moreover, the PFA is dedicated to nurturing pickleball players of all calibers, from novices taking their first swing to seasoned professionals exhibiting prowess on the court. This commitment translates into coaching and training initiatives, curated tournaments and events, and the establishment of universal standards for equipment and facilities. The PFA’s ethos revolves around fostering sportsmanship and fair play, ensuring that pickleball is played with integrity and respect, traits that mirror the values of unity and camaraderie shared by the Americas.

The PFA’s Unifying Impact

The 3 amigos=pickleball style!

The Pickleball Federation of the Americas has far-reaching implications that extend beyond the court lines. Its establishment sets in motion a series of transformative outcomes:

1. International Sporting Recognition: The PFA’s inception acts as a pivotal stepping stone toward pickleball’s inclusion in prestigious sporting events such as the Olympics and Pan American Games, solidifying its status as a globally revered sport.

2. Exchange of Knowledge and Resources: A unified front allows for the exchange of valuable resources, best practices, and tournament opportunities among nations. This collaborative approach elevates the standard of the sport across the region.

3. Strengthened Alliances: The PFA serves to formalize and enhance the already strong relationship between Pickleball Canada and th

e USA Pickleball, laying a solid foundation for cross-border cooperation.

The Inaugural Americas Championship, slated to be held in Los Cabos, Mexico, from November 26 to December 2, 2023, stands as a testament to the PFA’s rapid growth. This tournament, the first sanctioned event under the PFA banner, is expected to draw around 350 players. The participation of countries like Peru, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Panama, and the Caribbean region underscores the PFA’s swift integration and influence.

A Catalyst for Unity

Beyond the exhilarating rallies and the thrill of competition, pickleball has emerged as an instrument of unity. As individuals from diverse cultures converge on the court, they share laughter, build connections, and form a close-knit community that transcends linguistic and geographical boundaries. The Pickleball Federation of the Americas embodies this spirit of unity, reflecting how a common passion can break down barriers and foster lasting bonds.

In a world often divided by differences, the PFA’s model of collaboration is a lesson that transcends the realms of sports. It prompts us to contemplate the potential of shared endeavors to create harmony and cooperation, not only on the court but also in the corridors of diplomacy.

So, as the PFA propels pickleball onto a grander stage, let us take inspiration from this dynamic initiative. Let us envision a world where the camaraderie forged over a pickleball net becomes a guiding principle for global interactions, reminding us that while we may hail from different corners of the world, we are all part of one human family.

health care professional is tending to a pickleball injury

So,  my family of pickleheads, it’s time to “pickle your peepers” and gear up with protective eyewear! Let’s face it, we all want to play pickleball fearlessly, and nothing should hold us back from getting in front of those court smashers, returning with a soft dink, and winning those games.

Pickleball is a popular sport that has been gaining traction among players of all ages. As the game’s popularity soars, so does the awareness of the risks associated with playing without proper eye protection. I wrote this blog to explore the compelling reasons why protective goggles or eyewear should be mandatory in pickleball, and why players should prioritize the safety and health of their eyes while enjoying the game they love.

Now, some might argue that wearing goggles or glasses on the court may impede their vision and cramp their style. But trust me, it’s a small price to pay for protecting those precious peepers, this from a guy who has already had two sports-related retina detachments, and who discovered pickleball when my last operation sidelined my soccer playing days forever. When I was first introduced to the game, I was shocked at how many pickleball players don’t wear protection.  Especially, when I experienced my lack of direction ( and the lack of many other newbies) on the courts. After all, pickleball is not just about winning a game; it’s about having fun, bonding with friends, and keeping those eyes healthy and happy for all the games yet to come.

The Perils of Playing Unprotected

Pickleball is a game that involves a hard plastic ball and swift paddle movements. The speed of the ball can be alarming, especially when it comes into contact with vulnerable soft tissue such as the eyes. Eye injuries can range from mild discomfort to severe retina detachment, which may require extensive surgery and prolonged recovery times. The risks are even more concerning for the average pickleball player, who tends to fall within the age range of 60-76, where eye injuries are less likely to heal quickly. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Proper eye protection should be strongly considered while playing pickleball, especially in the elderly population or in individuals who are at higher risk for retinal detachment.”

According to Pickleball Magazine, a pickleball can travel at one-third the velocity of a tennis ball or about 40 miles per hour. The magazine noted that when the players are positioned at the “no-volley line,” it can take 350 to 400 milliseconds – less than half a second – for the ball to travel from one paddle to the other. This does not leave players any time to avoid being hit in the eye with a ball. In addition to injuries from being hit by a ball, serious damage can occur from being hit in the eye with a paddle.

Numerous incidents of eye injuries have been reported in the pickleball community. One instance involved Allison Miller from Delta pickleball association in BC,  who had her retina detached and required surgery after being hit by a whiffle ball during a game. Such stories underscore the urgency of implementing strict safety rules and mandatory eyewear usage. Recreational players are not the only ones that have had major injuries. This holds true even in the professional realm, as demonstrated by Jessie Irvine, a pro player who suffered a blow to the eye area during a recent tournament. Despite attempting to recuperate for several minutes, Irvine ultimately had to withdraw from the tournament bracket on that day and was unable to participate forcing her to completely exit the competition. These stories remind us that accidents can happen to anyone, but we can take preventive measures.

Allision Miller retina detachment

Retinal surgery is 100% avoidable with specs. just ask Allison Miller!

Why Players Are Reluctant to Wear Protective Eyewear?

While the need for eye protection is undeniable, some players are still hesitant to don goggles or eyewear. The most common concern is how it might impact their performance on the court. Players fear that the added gear may obstruct their vision or feel uncomfortable during intense, sweat-induced matches. Addressing these concerns and dispelling myths can help players realize that the benefits of wearing protective eyewear far outweigh any perceived drawbacks.

The Advantages of Embracing Eye Protection

  1. Fearlessness on the Court: Knowing that their eyes are safe allows players to focus solely on their game, leading to improved performance and confidence.
  2. Eye Strain Reduction: Protective eyewear shields the eyes from harmful UV rays and prevents squinting, leading to reduced eye strain from sun exposure.
  3. Windborne Debris Protection: Eyewear shields the eyes from debris that might be carried by the wind during outdoor games, preserving clear vision.
  4. Enhanced Depth Perception and Contrast: Proper eyewear designed for pickleball enhances depth perception and contrast, enabling players to track the ball with precision.
  5. Prevention of Eye Injuries: Protective eyewear significantly reduces the risk of severe eye injuries, including retina detachment or cornea scraping from stray balls.
  6. Reduced Risk of Paddle-Related Injuries: Protective eyewear also guards against accidental hits to the face from paddles, preventing potential injuries ( I saw this happen recently when a paddle flew out of the beginner’s hand and hit her partner in the back).

Selecting the Right Eyewear for a Perfect Fit (or as close to perfect!)

When choosing protective eyewear for pickleball, several key factors should be considered. These include impact resistance, anti-fogging, anti-glare, and UV resistance. Additionally, players with prescription needs should look for options that allow for prescription lenses. A snug and comfortable fit is essential to ensure a hassle-free experience during play. Try to get as close to a perfect fit as possible. This is very important because you don’t want to buy something that will give you a hard time while playing the game. The glasses shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. They should be as close to the perfect fit as possible.  Now I buy inexpensive but really efficient eye protection to protect my eyes, although they don’t really offer me a better vision on the court, I feel safe getting in front of those balls from smashers. I use simple construction safety glasses that offer me clear UV lenses, fit well, are super durable, and best of all cheap enough that I always have extra pairs for my friends or newcomers that show up to play with me. However,  if buying Pickleball gear from Home Depot doesn’t float your boat then here are some brands to consider when buying eyewear. For players seeking quality eyewear that are more than adequate for pickleball, several renowned brands offer an array of options.

These include:

inexpensive eye wear for pickleball players

Effective and inexpensive!

  1. NoCry Safety Glasses: Clear Anti-Fog Scratch Resistant Wrap-Around
  2. ONIX Pickleball Owl Eyewear: Modern and Lightweight Design
  3. Unique Tourna Specs: Blue Tint Sports Glasses for Tennis and Pickleball
  4. Gearbox Vision Eyewear
  5. ONIX Pickleball Falcon Eyewear: Modern and Lightweight Design
  6. Python Full Framed Racquetball Eye Protection
  7. Bollé Safety 40305 Tryon Safety Glasses: Platinum®, Black/Blue Frame, CSP
  8. Gearbox Vision Racquetball, Pickleball, Squash Eyewear
  9. Python Full Framed Racquetball Eye Protection: Clear Lens/White Frame
  10. Pyramix Highlander wrap around

PS I haven’t tried all of these products but I did take the time to see what other players are wearing and get feedback. These were the brands I chose from my local groups, considering the price, availability, and quality of my selections. My goal is to inform and get eyewear onto as many players as possible!

In my humble opinion, eye protection is a paramount concern for pickleball players. The risks associated with playing unprotected are too great to be ignored. I strongly believe that mandating the use of protective goggles or eyewear is a necessary step to safeguard the eyes of pickleball enthusiasts, especially older players, who may be more vulnerable to eye injuries. Players must prioritize their eye health and well-being, understanding that wearing protective eyewear not only prevents injuries but also enhances their performance on the court. With the variety of eyewear options available, players can find a perfect fit that combines safety, comfort, and vision enhancement. So, let’s all come together as a community, embrace the importance of eye protection, and make it a firm rule in our games. Let’s pickle our peepers and savor the joy of pickleball without the fear of eye injuries looming over us. We owe it to ourselves, our friends, and the pickleball community to take this step toward safe and inclusive play.

My fellow pickleheads, I really believe it’s time to smash the notion that protective eyewear is just an optional accessory! It’s a game-changer, a sight-saver, and a must-have on the pickleball court. So next time you step on the court, remember to “serve, smash, and shield your eyes” – because in pickleball, protecting your vision is a NO brainer! Let’s keep the game fun, fierce, and injury-free. See you on the court, with goggles on and spirits high!

Yours in Pickleball, Chris

Pickleball eye protection

Vented to reduce the fog of pickleball fun!

The dream of IPOP

IPOP’s Canadian dream

Are you a pickleball fanatic like me? Do you feel the frustration of not being able to find a court to play on? Well, my fellow pickleball enthusiasts, it’s time to take action and join the Inclusive Place of Pickleball’s (IPOP) movement!

I have a deep love and passion for this game, and I believe that pickleball is more than just a sport. It’s a community that brings people together, encourages healthy living, and promotes a positive and active lifestyle. But, unfortunately, the pickleball community is facing a major problem in the lower mainland – a complete lack of pickleball space to play.

As the fastest-growing sport in North America, the number of players far exceeds the available court space. And suppose we don’t start taking action now. In that case, we will simply be priced out of the commercial real estate market, and pickleball facilities, land, and repurposed spaces will disappear or become so expensive that only the rich can play in country clubs or private club facilities.

That’s why I started IPOP. I began my quest to solve this problem by researching the iPOP business plan, and now we are on the search for space in this beautiful city. But finding space hasn’t been easy. The fear of my kids never being able to play at times that fit their schedule, or afford an expensive private club, is what fuels my desire to solve this problem.

We aim to get the first location up and running, raise capital again, repeat, and buy and build, in as many Canadian places as possible. Raw land, and commercial, recreational, and agricultural areas are not getting any cheaper, and our growing nation has many competing interests for a diminishing space. We need to secure pickleball spots now for our children and families for the future. Possibly, an opportunity to create the world’s first Pickleball REIT, or annuity fund. After all, we Canadians need to solve a Canadian problem with a Canadian solution.

I believe that my Higher Power loves Pickleball, and it is just a matter of time before we find a home for the first Canadian IPOP location. When we find it, our goal is to raise the capital to buy the building and secure the space for the future generations of pickleball players that are certain to come.

My dream is to play pickleball with my grandkids at an IPOP facility. At IPOP, we believe the world is a better place with pickleball, individuals are better (defined as healthy, happy, and productive) when they play pickleball, and communities are stronger with pickleball players.

So, are you ready to join the movement and help us grow? Stay tuned to hear more about IPOP and how you can help us secure pickleball spots for future generations. Let’s make sure that pickleball remains an inclusive and accessible sport for all Canadian Pickleheads, from coast to coast!

dynamic green bounce swoosh on yellow ball