Pickleball: St. Louis and Beyond
The sun is shining. Cardinals baseball is back. The Blues won a playoff game. Certainly lots to be excited about with St. Louis sports right now. St. Louis Pickleball and pickleball everywhere is certainly something to be excited about right now too. We estimate that there are over 700 players in the St. Louis Metro area based upon our email listserv on Wiggio.com. (If you haven't signed up for stlpickleball group on Wiggio, please send us an email so we can send you an invite to join). Thanks to our St. Charles County USAPA Ambassador Cindy Butler, we now have a nice file of all the St. Louis Indoor Places to Play by geographic region which is linked on the "Places to Play" tab. We have over 30 indoor locations offering daily and weekly play! The outdoor season is starting and new pickleball court lines are being added to several tennis courts all over the region. Dual mix tennis and pickleball courts offers folks the option of playing whenever they want if they don't have their own portable net. Often times, when you are playing you'll find folks ask about the game and how to play. Be sure to carry an extra paddle or three and offer them the chance to try it out.. As a St. Louis Pickleball community we are the best developers and marketers of our sport. Giving people a chance to learn and play creates so much excitement and engagement. I'm sure you can all remember the first time you were given a paddle to play with and invited to join in. Let's make that a priority in 2016 and beyond.
Here are some PICKLEBALL FUN FACTS
The sport of pickleball has been around since 1965
It remained a well kept secret until 2008 when the game hit the senior market. In St. Louis, the growth started in 2013-2014.
Today it is estimated that over 2 million people play the game
It is estimated by 2018 there will be over 8 million players
68% of all players are over 60 years old
Younger people are being introduced to the game in record numbers
53% are male and 47% female
Places to play are up 62% since 2010
USAPA membership is up 64% since 2010 - Please consider joining if you haven't done so already!
Played in Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, India, England, Australia, China, Spain, France, Singapore, Aruba, Czech Republic and United Kingdom
We will miss you Gloria & Pete!
We are sad to learn, but happy for our dear friends Gloria and Pete O'Reilly who will be moving from St. Louis to "Pickleball Heaven" in Punta Gorda, FL in the next few months. Gloria and Pete have been wonderful friends and strong ambassadors of Pickleball locally in St. Louis. They have helped most of us connect with each other and assisted in organizing some terrific programs like the the 50th Anniversary of Pickleball group play last summer at the CBC tennis courts. Best of luck with your move Gloria and Pete. We will miss you and hope that you know you will have a "revolving door" for all of us that want to come visit and play pickleball down in sunny FL.
NEW St. Louis Pickleball Shirts Now Available
We are excited to announce the next edition of our St. Louis Pickleball T-Shirts are available for sale. We have our cool St. Louis Pickleball logo screen printed on the front of our super soft and comfortable Gilden Soft Style shirts in both Ladies and Men's sizes (med - 3XL). Shirt colors in Ladies "fitted cut" are Heather Royal Blue and Heather Purple. Shirt colors in Men's "crew cut" are Heather Royal Blue and Heather Irish Green. We added a neat "St. Louis Pickleball" wording to the back of each shirt too! Prices are $20 each ($22 for 2XL and $23 for 3XL). Email or catch us soon for your shirts.
Pickleball on TV!
CBS Sports will be televising the finals of the US Open of Pickleball down in Naples, FL at the end of the month. This will be a recorded event to be shown at a later date in time (hopefully in May), but will certainly help broaden the popularity of the sport and help make "stars" out of the some of the top players competing in the event. We are certainly excited to hear that we have several St. Louis folks traveling down to compete and volunteer for this big tournament. Best of luck St. Louis and make us all proud at the US Open!
Pickleball Instruction from National Players
Lake Forest Country Club in Lake St. Louis, MO is hosting a few very unique pickleball instructional clinics and play opportunities: First, Brian & Matt Staub of PoachPickleball.com will be giving an instructional clinic and exhibition play on Tuesday, May 17th at 1pm - $10/person (no registration required / pay at gate). These guys travel all over the country and play in a wide-range of tournaments. Their knowledge, experience and skill level will be something to enjoy. Second, Prem Carnot, (The "Pickleball Guru") will be hosting special instructional clinics and on-court instructional play from May 21st - May 24th. See the News & Events Tab for more information and how to register.
I want to make a personal comment to all our St. Louis Pickleball friends. Thank you for your kind wishes and words during my past 5 months of recovery from my shoulder surgery. Last week I was able to receive my doctor's release to start playing again and I have to say it was a blessing after the long winter of being patient and humbled while working through my rehab and exercises. Playing in the JCC tournament last weekend was a ton of fun and I'm certainly happy to be back. I'd like to especially thank Dr. Michael Milne with Motion Orthopedics and Dr. Renee Ivens with Washington University Physical Therapy (along with both of their staffs) for their professional expertise and skill in surgery and my recovery. My wife Ann and I value all your friendship and support. Thank you very much!