The St. James Pickleball League
On Wednesday, June 6, we move to our newly created outdoor courts! (pictured above) Thanks to USAPA ambassador, Ron Farina, and the Keene Lion's Club, the tennis courts behind the Jonathan Daniels School have been transformed into what are probably the nicest designated pickle ball courts in New Hampshire. Beginners are always welcome, and you can find enthusiastic pickle ballers there ready to play with you.
Here's the hot weather schedule:
Mon-Wed-Fri 8AM to Noon and 5PM to Dusk
Sunday 5PM to Dusk
If it rains on Mon-Wed-Fri, just plan on playing at the same time on the following Tue-Thurs-Sat.
But you can play on these courts anytime if you bring your own partners. We will stay outside through next fall, when we will again return to the Recreation Department Gym.
In March of 2017, a group of people at St. James who are up for some fun and fitness started a regular pickleball league as a way to live into our call to wholeness and wellness. They began meeting in the gym of the Keene Recreation Center on Washington Street on most Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. The group has grown exponentially, and we've gone from having just one court, to four.
If you are wondering, "What on earth is pickleball?" it is a wonderful racquet sport that is kind of a hybrid of tennis, badminton and ping pong. It is played on a badminton sized court, has a tennis-like net, and players use a whiffle ball and solid, light weight racquets, sort of like oversized ping pong paddles. People of all ages enjoy pickleball, which has the excitement of tennis without as much stress on the joints. Or, it has all the strategy of ping pong, only bigger. Or the enjoyment of badminton, only faster. The sport is becoming very, very popular in certain parts of the country. Keene's time has come.
You do not have to have ever played pickleball before to take part in our league. Many of us are total beginners. Very happily, we have our own USAPA ambassadors, Rich Kalich and Ron Farina, to coach us! (USA Pickelball Association - yes, it's a thing) If you've ever played any court or table racquet sport you'll catch on very quickly. If you haven't, it'll only take you a bit longer. You also do not need to have any equipment to play. We have everything you'll need to get started available.
We currently have almost 200 people on our emailing list and who are really enjoying the game together. If you want to learn more about pickleball, you can visit the USAPA website HERE.
Excerpts from a book written 40 years ago entitled "The Other Racquet Sports" from a chapter on Pickleball.
"….players can abandon the worries of the world and laugh during rallies without being subjected to fines or technicals. It is, in a word, sheer and refreshing fun…"
"Somewhere along the way this original concept of racquet recreation (to recreate the body and spirits) has been forgotten. The dictionary definitions of recreation are: to refresh, entertain, divert, amuse, cheer, enliven, delight, gratify, please , relieve, reanimate, and renew".