Dennis Dahlen       d-sdahlen@comcast.net    (541) 619-0916    President Albany Pickleball Club      
Bob VanderLinden     Bob@BoatEscape.com    (541) 791-3784    Albany, OR Ambassador, USAPA

1.      What is pickleball?   I've never heard of it.

ü  Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the US.  WE like to say that pickleball is a combination of badminton ,tennis and ping pong.  It is played on a badminton sized court with a tennis height net (lowered to 34" at the center), a hard paddle (wood or composite) slightly larger than a ping pong paddle and a perforated plastic ball (similar to a whiffle ball).  It is easy for beginners to learn but can develop into a quick, fast paced, competitive  game for experienced players. 

2.      "Pickleball" is such a funny name?  How was it named?

ü  Pickleball (at least one version) was named after the family cocker spaniel of one of the co-founders.  Pickles would chase stray balls and hide in the bushes.  So you see that it was "Pickle's ball".   The name stuck.  Here is a link to the  History of Pickleball.

3.      What age groups play pickleball?

ü  Pickleball is a "lifetime sport". There are players from 9-90 playing and having fun at all levels of play.

4.      Where can I find information about pickleball in Albany?

ü  For information in Albany go to www.AlbanyPickleball.com, the home of the Albany Pickleball Club and the Rally In the Valley Pickleball Tournament.  There is general information and a blog.  For general information you can go the Albany Parks and Rec sports site at www.albanyparksandrecreation.org/sports and click on pickleball.

5.      I see there is a pickleball club? How do I find information about joining?

ü  The Albany Pickleball Club is an Oregon incorporated, non-profit club. Go to www.AlbanyPickleball.com.   You will find information on the club, their projects, meeting dates and how to join and support pickleball in Albany.   

6.      Where can I find out more information about pickleball in general?

ü  Go to our USA Pickleball Association website at www.usapa.org for a vast amount of information from videos, to articles to rules and how to join the USAPA.

7.      Where can I play pickleball?

ü  In the summer we play outdoors at the newly renovated Eleanor Hackleman Park Pickleball Courts Mon/Wed/Fri 9-12, Tues/Thurs 6-8PM and Sat 1-4.  In the winter we play indoors at the Boys and Girls Club Mon/Wed/Fri 9-12 and Sun 4:30-7 PM.  See: http://www.albanypickleball.com/places-to-play/.

8.      How do know for sure when and where people are playing?

ü  We are using the Google Doodle Calendar to show play times and for people to sign up to play.  You can bookmark and see the calendar at: http://doodle.com/xikmab2uxpbdxqq7#table.   The calendar gives player a way to check to see who and how many people are playing for a given day.  You do not need a Doodle profile, just enter your name and indicate the days you plan on playing.

9.      I have never played - where can I learn to play pickleball?

ü  Drop-in's are welcome at any of our play times.  We are always glad to see new players and take time to teach you the basics of the game and get you started.  You will find our players eager to help and lots of fun.  We also have several demo's throughout the year which are advertised in the paper and on our club site.  Watch out - the game gets addictive and you will get hooked!

10.      I don't have any equipment - do I have to provide my own paddles and balls?

ü  We have a variety of paddles and balls available for beginners, so all you need is some comfortable clothes and tennis shoes and a fun attitude. 

11.      Ok, I still want to know more.  Is there a video that shows the game and how to play?

ü  You can find several promotional videos at:  http://usapa.org/whatis_pball/video_promo.html.   Here is a short instructional video showing basic pickleball rules and how to play: Pickleball Rules Video . The USAPA website has many videos showing pickleball in the news and there are additional instructional videos posted on YouTube.

12.      Can I only play at the indicated times above?

ü  Hackleman Pickleball courts have 4 permanent courts and nets so you can drop in and play anytime the courts are not otherwise in use. The Boys and Girls Club is only available for pickleball play at the specified times.

13.      Do I have to sign up for a league?

ü  At this time we mostly have social play, meaning that whoever shows up plays, usually in a rotation of some kind if there are more players than courts.  We are considering starting league play in the future. When we have enough players we will sometimes split into higher and lower levels of players.

14.      Where do I find Pickleball rules?

ü  You can find the official rules on the USAPA website at:  http://usapa.org/officialrules/.  Click for a rules summary: http://usapa.org/officialrules/index.php?u=rules_summary.php.

15.  What is the Rally In The Valley Pickleball Tournament?

ü  In 2015 the City of Albany and The Albany Pickleball Club will host the 4th Annual Rally in the Valley Pickleball Tournament on August 16-18.  More information can be found at: http://www.albanypickleball.com/rally-in-the-valley/.  Tournaments are very popular in pickleball and provide an opportunity for players to compete at various skill levels from 2.5 (beginners) to 5.0 (experts).  It is fun to watch and fun to play.  Many lasting friendships have been made at tournaments across the country.

16.  Is there a cost to play?

ü  There is no cost to play outdoors in the summer at the Hackleman Pickleball Courts.  There will be a minimal cost to play the Boys and Girls Club in the winter and cost is yet to be determined.