When Pickleball Returns

When Pickleball Returns

Hi everyone, I hope you are all healthy and staying safe as we continue through this uncharted and challenging time. I’ve been seeing many social media posts about public courts reopening in other parts of Canada and throughout the states. Here in Ontario provincial parks and trails have reopened but for hiking or biking only. Sport courts and fields remain closed. And yes, it’s making me froth at the bit to get out and play, as I’m sure it is for any of you who aren’t able to at this time!

So what are going to be the recommended and/or required safe measures we’re going to have to practice in order to play? USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) has created a guide for a safe return of pickleball. Here’s a summary:

  • Bringing your own water and sanitizer.
  • Sanitize your paddle before playing and before placing it into the equipment bag.
  • Sanitize the ball before playing, between games and before placing into the equipment bag.
  • Use new grip tape and new pickleball balls
  • Try for singles games only, with the exception of doubles with housemates/family members you live with. Doubles is out for me but I'll be able to play some singles!
  • I'm throwing this one out there: Ensure games are played on every other court to maintain a safe distance. 
  • Bring tissues and consider wearing a mask during play.
  • Wear a glove on your non-playing hand to pick up the ball and serve. 
  • Return the ball with the gloved hand. Do not kick the ball (it’s also pickleball pet peeve of mine when folks kick the ball anyways, it always feels a bit rude to me).
  • No touching the net with a non-gloved hand.
  • Another guideline from me: For outdoor play, bring your own chair and ensure it’s at least 6ft apart from others. Personally, I will have no issues with my chair being 10+ ft away from others.

Of course, please do not play if you are exhibiting symptoms such as coughing and a fever, or if you are within the vulnerable age category. I'm sure when it finally comes time where we can play a person or people who you don’t live with, be sure they’ve considered their living situation as well, and whom they come into contact with. For the full USAPA guidance booklet, click here.

I can't express how excited I am to see the return of pickleball in Ontario. Looking forward to slowly reintroducing socializing back into my life - at a distance - and seeing friends and familiar faces. 

What do you think will re-open after outdoor public courts? Will it be city operated centres (indoor courts) or private clubs (indoor courts)? Do you think facilities will require players to wear masks?

Leave your comments below!

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