Skip to content

Bradford’s 1st pickleball tournament a ‘big dill’ (6 photos)

Winners received a jar of pickles as their prize.

A cross between tennis, badminton and ping pong, pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in North America.

Bradford West Gwillimbury introduced pickleball in the last couple of years, and the town’s first pickleball tournament for ages 55 and up was held Monday at the BWG Leisure Centre.

The competition was fierce — and the winners received a jar of pickles as their prize.

“It’s great fun,” said Joan Horlings, one of the competitors.

“It was a very good tournament,” added Dave Morton, an enthusiast who helped introduce the sport to Bradford. "We had participants from Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Innisfil and, of course, Bradford. It's a sign of the growing popularity of the sport." 

Morton said there was every level of play at the tournament, from beginner, to highly competitive and experienced players.

“There was a lot of really good volleys, going back and forth,” he said. 

Pickleball is a regularly scheduled drop-in activity at the leisure centre three days a week, with both morning and evening sessions.

Players use a shortened court, oversized paddle as a racquet, and a ball that resembles a wiffle ball in a game that is meant to be easy to learn for beginners, yet competitive.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 in Washington State using equipment that was homemade or borrowed from other sports, according to the USA Pickleball Association.

The all-ages sport now has more than 2.5 million participants in the U.S. alone, and more than 15,000 indoor and outdoor pickleball courts.

Pickleball was introduced to Canada in the 1970s. In 2010, the Pickleball Canada Organization was established and now has chapters across the country.

Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
Read more

Reader Feedback