The question should really be, why not pickleball? Ever since the rain has returned in the Pacific Northwest, RECS has been flooded with familiar faces alongside tons of new members looking to find a place to play pickleball indoors. But as the clouds get darker and Oregonians get out their raincoats, why are they choosing pickleball over the numerous other indoor or weather-tolerating sports?
We asked RECS members this question, “What would you say to someone thinking about taking up pickleball who has never played or hasn’t played in a long time?” The main answer that draws crowds to pickleball on the recreational level is the community. Steve Berliner, recent Nationals silver medalist for the 4.0, 70+ division said that, “Pickleball is the perfect sport for fun and meeting new friends.”
As Steve mentioned, he came over to Pickleball from Tennis and only has 3 years experience in pickleball. What sets the game apart from Tennis and other sports is the people you play with. By just playing the game you will run into other, like-minded, players through rotating open plays and pickup games.
When we launched our Winter Special membership we had many players worried about not having anyone to play with once their membership starts. While this was counteracted by us creating a pick-up games function and social events, the best answer was always that you will meet other players by joining events and being around the RECS facility. The pickleball community is one that is welcoming, inclusive, and has a strong balance of fun and competition. The easiest way to meet people will always be to join the open plays and tournaments and we promise you will meet some great people like our friend Steve.
Steve also highlighted that anyone can participate and enjoy. At RECS we have members coming through the door of all different skill levels and backgrounds. Anyone can play and have fun, anyone can play and compete at a high level with practice. Carole Mann, a founding member at RECS, shared a similar response saying that, “It feels like an even playing field no matter what level you are playing.” We have different open plays and tournaments consistently week to week that are directly linked to skill rating that make it easy to match up with other players.