Pickleball group asks city for land to build courts

by Marianne Gasaway

Participants in one of the country’s fastest growing sports are asking the City to get in the game.

The Clear Lake Pickleball Club was formed in April 2021 and in a  few short months has already attracted over 315 participants on its Facebook page and a growing paid membership.  

“On average we’re seeing 22 to 26 players showing up for our daily open session,” club organizer Jeff Bertz told the City Council at its Sept. 7 meeting. 

Working with the Parks Department and the School District, two of the tennis courts located near the high school have been converted into four temporary pickle ball courts.  The four courts can accommodate 16 players at a time.  Still, Bertz said as many as 10 players are often waiting in the wings for a chance to play.

“We are asking for the City’s help in securing an appropriate space to build permanent courts,” Bertz said during the open forum portion of the meeting.  Rules dictate that the Council may hear from the public about items not on the agenda, but cannot comment or act upon them.

Bertz suggested land on the north end of the city’s Outlet Recreation Complex would be a perfect location for six permanent courts to be constructed.

“The land is flat, parking is plentiful, access is easy and residential properties are far enough away so as not to be bothered,” he said.  

For those not familiar, Pickleball is a paddleball sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis and tennis. Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, much like a wiffle ball, over a net. 

Bertz told the Council the club has already identified a number of grant programs that could help fund 

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