Pickle Ball in Portland Plus Celebrity

I hit a cross court volley and the young gentleman across for me, realizing he could not reach my volley decided to dive for it. I looked at him as he lay on the PB Court and said, “what the hell were you thinking”. He said he used to play soccer and was a goalie so diving is a habit. I said find a new habit, there is no diving for balls in PB. He agreed.

In another game, I was playing with a guy who is very good and asked him his age. He said 60. Politely, he asked me mine and I said 72. He said “wow, I hope I can play like that at your age”. I get its a kinda of a compliment, but at the same time, when you tell someone your age and their eyes get big and they “wow”, is that really a compliment?

I was playing pickle ball in a new indoor/outdoor pickle ball facility, The People’s Courts in Portland, OR . It opened last fall and is doing well according to the owner. The facility is excellent and besides PB, they have other actives for kids and adults. They also have a restaurant, ice cream bar, and beverages for both kids and adults. I suspect as word gets out, there will be more and more families coming at night or on weekends to enjoy PB and have a pizza or another food items. You can reserve a court and lessors and clinics are available.
Note: The owner is a great guy and as I got a chance to play with and against him, an excellent PB player. The staff I met were also excellent.

The Portland PB crowd has found the facility as the courts are busy. When in Portland, I play every morning, M-F, in two different open plays. One is intermediate and the other, for lack of a better description, advanced intermediate.

One day in the advanced group did not start well for me. A little background. I was talking to the manager of the facility about Portland and how much I enjoy the city and the Portland lifestyle. I told him that I tell people that the show “Portlandia”, didn’t make anything up, they just walked down the street and took notes. For example, if you go into a restaurant, the server may say something like, “we are serving organic chicken named Bernice. The parents are Bruce and Hilda and they are all raised outside in an organic farm on the south side of the Columbia River”.

The manager looked at me and said, “did you know that you are playing with the co-star and co-writer of the series“. Yo what. Yeah he said, she’s playing in the advanced intermediate this morning. I actually had already played with and against her once before, did well, but did not know who she was. I warmed up with her and she said she remembered me and said I was pretty good. I thought about being my normal funny self, but then I remembered she is a very talented comedian. So I compromised and told stories that were not funny. Anyway, she and her partner kicked me and my partner’s ass. This started a string of bad play on my part which took a couple of games to turn around. I probably went from pretty good in her mind, to he really tries hard.

But the real point of story is an addition to being a really good PB player, she was fun to play with and against. And that has been my total experience at the People’s Courts. I have played with around 40 different people and all of them without exception, have been fun to play with and against and also hang out with off the court.

This is consistent with my PB experiences which I started playing a little over a year ago. I have played with a couple hundred of people in a number of different venues and the vast majority of been fun to play with and against. But I will say, the Portland group were both very competitive and exuded the charm and friendliness of the city. That’s probably why they choose to live in Portland.

Pickle Ball is the fastest growing sport in America. Some of the reasons are it is fun, easy to learn, and a great workout. All ages can play. There are very few if sports grandparents, parents and grandkids can all play together. In a addition, on the PB courts there are just players having fun. Does not matter what you do or not do. In addition to playing with a celebrity and other retirees like my self, I played with a psychologist, realtor, construction engineer, exclusive travel agent, web designer, a guy who walked across the US and service workers, to name few. All with the same objective, get some exercise, have some fun. The Peoples Court taps into this has amenities to boot.

If you’re a beginner, advanced or in the middle, The Peoples Court has options for you and clinics to learn the sport and get better.

One of the things I enjoyed most about playing at the two different groups was the age difference. Since I was generally one of if not the oldest, I suggested before one game with some young studs I should get a handicap for being older. One of the opponents looked at my team mate and said “you got him. [me], that’s the handicap”. We won the game. Every game is fun, but some are more fun.