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More pickleball coming to North Shore parks

It's increasingly popular but municipalities have a tough time keeping everyone happy when pickleballers come to town. 🎾
Pickleball player Diane Materie watches as novice paddler Mayor Mike Little returns a shot at Murdo Frazer, October, 2019.

The most controversial sport among septuagenarians on the North Shore is getting some new turf.

Pickleball is increasingly popular, particularly among seniors, but municipalities have been struggling to find places to accommodate it. Thanks to the racket the rackets (or paddles, as they're also known) make when they strike the ball, the sport quickly runs into conflict with residential neighbours. The fledgling sport also faces accusations of stepping on the toes of people’s tennis shoes as many pickleball courts have been converted from tennis.

The District of North Vancouver has been working on a new allocation strategy “to ensure a fair and balanced approach for sharing the district’s existing sport court inventory.”

“This work enables us to optimize existing public courts, while balancing current use with anticipated future demand,” a statement from the district reads.

In the meantime, though, the district will be adding four dedicated pickleball courts at existing courts 3 and 4 at Little Cates Park while repairing and repainting the tennis practice area for tennis (it had been an ad-hock pickleball court).

At Myrtle Park, the four existing tennis courts will be upgraded and the practice court will be converted to pickleball.

And at McCartney Park, the tennis court surface will be upgraded.

In the District of West Vancouver, meanwhile, the dedicated pickleball courts on 29th Street have been decommissioned and will be converted back to tennis. Pickleball players popped in for one last game the day they were shut down, April 30.

As a make-good, West Van council has converted the tennis courts at Normanby Park in the British Properties into four temporary pickleball courts.

Over the longer term, West Van is moving ahead with a feasibility study and cost estimates for building permanent pickleball courts at Hugo Ray Park.

District staff are expected to report to council with details on the project by the end of May.