Our Local ClubThe Pikes Peak Pickleball Association (PPPA) enthusiastically brings pickleball players together as the sport continues to explode in our community. It has been called the fastest growing sport in the country and it is definitely growing here in Colorado Springs. If you want to learn this fun sport, improve your game and/or meet people to play pickleball, PPPA is for you.
What does PPPA do? It promotes the presence of this great sport in our community in the following ways:
PPPA actively supports public pickleball playing spaces. Visit Where We Play to see where courts are located, indoor and outdoor. At summer’s end 2016, PPPA’s collaborations with the city resulted in 15 new world-class pickleball courts in the beautiful and historical Monument Valley Park. PPPA is a registered 501(c)3 public charity.
- Introduces the sport to new players.
- Provides opportunities to increase playing skills through free lessons for beginners, clinics, skill-based ladders, and a mentoring program called Guided Play. Look under the Play menu above for more information on PPPA programs.
- Fosters ways for members to meet one another and to build a supportive community. Our 600+ members range in skill level from beginner to advanced, are aged 8 to 89, males and females, and may or may not be pickleball addicts.
- Encourages play as a fun recreational sport or competitively.
The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) was organized to promote the growth and development of pickleball, not only on a national but an international level. This organization provides players with official rules, tournaments, rankings, and promotional materials. PPPA is grateful for the support USAPA provides and we encourage pickleball players to become USAPA members and explore their website and the many resources they offer. Their Member Rewards are great! For more information on becoming a USAPA member, visit www.usapa.org.
History in a Nutshell
In 1965, on Bainbridge Island located close to Seattle bored children were entertained by their dads inventing a new game call pickleball. Why the name? The story goes that Pickles was a family dog who loved to chase balls and hide them. Over the years it's been widely reported and it was named after the inventor's dog, Pickles, but the inventor's wife said the name actually came from the sport of rowing, where a pickle boat has a mixed crew just like pickleball is a mix of other sports. Whichever story you go with, it’s still a strange, but catchy, name.
Fast forward to 2011. Pickleball rooted itself in Colorado Springs. The Pikes Peak Pickleball Association (PPPA) was founded in 2012 with about 50 members. PPPA has now grown to about 600 members.
- Originally the outdoor courts at Monument Valley Park were for tennis only. In 2006, additional lines were painted on the five tennis courts so they could be used for tennis and pickleball.
- In 2012, PPPA hosted their first tournament with 80 players.
- In August 2014, through a combined effort between Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services’ Advisory Board as well as the input of local residents, the Pikes Peak Community Tennis Association, Friends of Monument Valley Park and PPPA, the courts were resurfaced and designated as a dedicated pickleball venue with 13 courts. Now there were enough courts to host a major tournament. And PPPA did just that.
- Because of the 13 new courts, Colorado Springs was selected to host the inaugural Great Plains Regional Tournament in 2015. Participants came from seven states and two Canadian provinces.
- Costs to maintain the almost 100-year old courts were high. About $33,000 a year. PPPA worked to raise well over $200,000 to help the city pay to completely rebuild the courts with post-tension concrete. In August of 2016, the dream project of 15 world-class pickleball courts was completed -just in time for PPPA to host the USAPA Great Plains Pickleball Tournament.
- The 2016 USAPA Great Plains Pickleball Tournament had over 340 players from 25 states, Canada and Mexico. Ages ranged from 18 to 87. Approximately $350,000 was brought into the area in overnight stays, restaurants, rental cars, local attractions and service jobs they support.
- PPPA continues in its mission of promoting pickleball to anyone that is interested and start them on their journey to loving this great sport, no matter their skill level, age or physical ability. PPPA also intends to continue its economic support of Colorado Springs by hosting well organized and competitive tournaments. In September of 2017, PPPA will once again host the USAPA Great Plains Pickleball Tournament and hopefully many more for years to come!
For an in-depth history of PPPA click on Full Historical Account.