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Kelowna seniors’ society clamps down on unruly pickleballers | News

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Pickleball play at the Parkinson Senior Society building is now by pre-registration only due to unruly behavior by participants.

New rules took effect Monday that require people to register for a session a week in advance. Bookings can only be made at the centre, with no phone calls accepted. People can only sign up themselves and one partner, with a maximum of one session per week, with a cap of 20 players per session.

“It is truly a shame that this has to be so regimented yet all previous attempts to maintain order within the pickleball sessions have failed due to participants’ inability to create a workable structure within the group,” says an email sent out by the Parkinson Seniors Society.

“It is important to remember that first and foremost our center is meant to facilitate recreation and socialization, not competition and animosity, so please be respectful and have fun,” the email says.

Games on the two available pickleball courts will be timed to a maximum of 10 minutes each.

The new rules are the result of the “general dissatisfaction” that’s been surrounding pickle ball games at the center, the email says: “This new system, effective Monday, Nov. 21, is an attempt to utilize this time most efficiently to accommodate all pickleball players equally.”

The Parkinson Seniors Society building is located next to the Parkinson rec center. A range of activities, such as billiards, table tennis, Scrabble, and fitness classes are offered throughout the week.

Pickleball times are Monday and Thursday afternoons, as well as Saturdays from 9:30 am-1:30 pm, with lessons on Fridays.

A hybrid of tennis and badminton with a slower pace of play that appeals particularly to older people looking to keep active, pickleball was introduced to Kelowna in the early 2000s.

Pickleball Kelowna, which organizes play on 12 outdoor courts at the Parkinson recreation center, from May through September, hopes to eventually partner with the city to build a major pickleball facility with both indoor and outdoor courts.

Pickleball Canada estimates 900,000 Canadian households play the sport, almost triple the number of a few years ago.

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