New pickleball courts open in Squaw Valley Park

Published on September 02, 2016

Pickle! Don’t be surprised to hear that game-starting shout a little more often now in Olympic Valley. Pickleball is one of America’s fastest growing sports, and now aficionados have beautiful new courts to play it at Placer County’s Squaw Valley Park

Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and pingpong. It’s played like tennis, only with pingpong-like paddles and a wiffle-style ball.

As interest in the sport has grown, a group of local enthusiasts assembled a temporary court in the corner of the park’s parking lot. It quickly became a popular amenity, demonstrating a need for permanent courts at the park.

“Our parks are such an important part of healthy communities and should reflect the interests of the residents they serve,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “I am so impressed with the passion of our local pickleballers, and grateful to them for working with us to provide the park experience they deserve."

Placer County hosted a grand opening ceremony for the new courts Sept. 1.

John Sproehnle led the community’s support for building permanent courts at the park. “These are fabulous courts,” Sproehnle said. “They’re the only truly dedicated pickelball courts between Sacramento and Reno, and they’re a wonderful free amenity anyone can enjoy."

Pickelball was born in 1965 with three dads in a Bainbridge, Wash., cul-de-sac, entertaining their kids with a tennis-like game using materials at hand, while trying to avoid the interruption of the family dog, Pickles.

Major funding for the $325,000 project was provided by local park dedication fees.