2019 Canadian Pickleball Champion Cam Taylor (at left in the orange Tshirt) came to Tobermory for coaching sessions on Aug 18 and 19. Organizer Larry Stevens says Taylor does a great job of simplifying the game and making it easier to play well. Further coaching sessions are tentatively scheduled for Sept 20 and 21. Contact Larry Stevens ([email protected]) or Bret Shepley ([email protected]) if you’re interested in attending.
By John Francis,
Bruce Peninsua Press

Cam Taylor won the Canadian and Ontario Pickleball Championships in 2019. He got to keep his crown an extra year when the championships were cancelled for 2020.

Taylor offers coaching to individuals and groups to help them improve their game. Bret Shepley and Larry Stevens arranged for Taylor to come to Tobermory on Aug 18 and 19, offering two adult sessions and one youth session at the tennis/pickleball court at Tobermory. 18 adults and six kids came out for coaching. Pickleball organizer Larry Stevens says that Taylor does a great job of simplifying the game, making it easier to play well. He will be coming back on Sept 20 and 21 to offer more coaching sessions. If you’re interested in attending on either date, contact Larry Stevens ([email protected]) or Bret Shepley ([email protected]).

Pickleball in Tobermory has been growing steadily for several years. Current play times are Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings, beginning at 8:30. Nets and balls are provided; some “loaner” paddles are also available if you haven’t got your own yet. No need to call ahead, just come on out!

If you want to play at other times, contact Larry Stevens ([email protected]) or Rob Davis ([email protected]) to arrange for the nets.

Pickleball is also catching on in Lion’s Head, with pickleball lines recently painted on the tennis courts at Bruce Peninsula District School.

A Brief History of Pickleball

If you’re wondering where the game comes from, here are a few excerpts from the Wikipedia entry:

The game started during the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, at the home of Joel Pritchard, who later served in Congress and as lieutenant governor. He and two of his friends, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum, returned from golf and found their families bored one Saturday afternoon. They attempted to set up badminton, but no one could find the shuttlecock. They improvised with a wiffle ball, lowered the badminton net, and fabricated paddles of plywood from a nearby shed.

Some sources claim that the name “Pickleball” was derived from that of the Pritchard’s family dog, Pickles, or from the term “pickle boat”. According to Joan Pritchard, Joel Pritchard’s wife, “The name of the game became Pickle Ball after I said it reminded me of the Pickle Boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats. Somehow the idea the name came from our dog Pickles was attached to the naming of the game, but Pickles wasn’t on the scene for two more years. The dog was named for the game, but stories about the name’s origin were funnier thinking the game was named for the dog.”

The American Pickleball Association was founded in 1984 and “reincorporated with an updated rule book in 2005”.

According to a BBC News article, pickleball participation increased 21.3% in one year in the USA and “there are 37 countries that are part of the International Federation of Pickleball. That’s more than double where it was 18 months ago.”