Category Archives: News

Sour-sounding Sport Sweeping the Treasure Valley

From’s Idaho Life:

MERIDIAN – There’s a sport that is spreading across the Treasure Valley and it can be best described as a little like a lot of other sports.

The court it’s played on is a little like tennis, the paddle it’s played with is a little like ping pong, the ball they use is a little like a wiffle ball and it’s name comes from the sport of crew, which is fitting since it was created in a suburb of Seattle.

At Settler’s Park in Meridian, Candace Despain spends a lot of time with her three children.

“At least three times a week,” said Despain.

While keeping tabs on the little ones Candace and her kids sometimes notice what is happening within wandering distance of the playground.

“I think it’s tennis but it might be another paddle ball,” Despain tried to explain. “‘Cause it didn’t look like a tennis raquet.”

It’s called pickleball.

“No, that’s not what I would have thought it was called,” said Despain.

She may not know its name but it is making itself known across the Treasure Valley.

“We started in 2011,” said Nick Leach, founding member of the Boise Area Pickleball Association. “There was probably 15 to 20 of us that started the original club.”

Since then he has enjoyed watching the sport’s explosive growth.

“It’s everywhere right now,” said Leach.

The club began with just four outdoor courts and now there are 20 different places to play across the Treasure Valley. Southern Idaho is now home to three pickleball clubs with nearly 300 members.

And three days a week you can find a good-sized group of them at Settler’s Park.

“I play five days a week, two-and-a-half, three hours a day,” said Wayne Larsen. He used to play tennis on these courts but picked up his first pickleball paddle about a year ago.

“And I was just hooked like a big salmon,” admitted Larsen.

In fact, most of these ageless athletes are former tennis players.

“I used to be a fair tennis player,” said Ed Crawford. “I don’t even want to play tennis anymore.”

“It’s just a fun game, it’s not hard on the body,” said Larsen.

That’s why Diana Bunger, just two months shy of her 73rd birthday, is out here almost everyday. She has been dealing with Parkinson’s disease for the last four years, and is waiting to have her knee and hip replaced. But even that can’t keep her off the court.

And she’s not even the oldest one out here. That title belongs to Yonne Hart, 77 years old and attached to her first addiction.

“Wholeheartedly,” Hart said proudly. “My husband calls me a pickle-holic.”

The sometimes fast-paced game began more than 50 years ago and, whether you’ve heard of it or not, it can also be called one of America’s fastest growing sports.

“That’s what they say,” said Crawford, who’s been traveling the country in his RV since 2000. Originally from West Branch, Michigan he has seen the sport’s growth firsthand having played pickleball all over the U.S.

“Well, Texas, Washington, Oregon, California, South Carolina,” said Crawford.

No matter where he goes, he packs his paddle and he can usually find a game.

“And you’re always very welcome,” said Crawford. “That’s the neat thing about pickleball, you’re just one of the players.”

The USA Pickleball Association claims more than 2 million Americans play the game, most of which are over the age of 60. Last month the first-ever U.S. Open Pickleball Championship was held in Florida.

Copyright 2016 KTVB

Treasure Valley Players Show Their Mettle to Medal


Jim McMillan and Gail Walker compete against Sonya Kincheloe and Hubert Townsend.

A group of Treasure Valley pickleball players competed in last weekend’s International Indoor Pickleball Championship in Centralia, Washington.

Nearly 400 athletes competed in the largest indoor pickleball tournament ever held.

The competition was held on 26 courts for skill levels from 3.0 to Pro. The competition was tough at all levels, and Treasure Valley pickleball players showed their skill and determination as they won a dozen medals.

Here are the Treasure Valley medal winners (with TV players’ names bolded) as shown on

IIPMen’s Doubles Age Groups 70+:  

Dick Johnson and Lance Thiede, Gold Medals

Men’s Doubles Skill Level 3.5:

Jim McMillan and Brian Bury, Silver Medals

Men’s Singles Skill Level 3.0:

Dan Jacobs, Gold Medal

Men’s Singles Skill Level 4.5:

Glenn Spivey, Silver Medal

Mixed Doubles Age Groups 60+:

Hubert Townsend and Sonya Kincheloe, Bronze Medals

Mixed Doubles Age Groups 75+:

Dick Johnson and Betty Silver, Gold Medals

Mixed Doubles Skill Level 4.0:

Joanne Whittaker and Dan Jacobs, Silver Medals

Women’s Doubles Age Groups: 55+:

Sonya Kincheloe and Donna Quaife, Silver Medals

Women’s Doubles Age Groups 55+:

Kathy Getto and Carol Amos, Gold Medals

Women’s Doubles Skill Level 4.0:

Joanne Whittaker and Kim Coleman, Bronze Medals

Women’s Doubles Skill Level 4.0:

Kathy Getto and Carol Amos,  Silver Medals

Women’s Singles Skill Level 3.5 + 4.0:

Gail Walker, Gold Medal

Pickleball — Statesman Style

Pickleball-ISArea pickleball is in the news!

Chadd Cripe, of the Idaho Statesman, recently met with a few local players to see what pickleball is all about.

You can tell he’s hooked because he said, “I’ll definitely play again.”

Read all of the entire article on the Idaho Statesman Outdoor section



Featured Activity: Pickleball takes ‘5 minutes’ to learn






New Tournament Format

Most pickleball tournaments use a standard double-elimination bracket where teams play until they lose one game, then they play in a losers’ bracket until they lose another game. This means that even teams who lose a match can still work towards winning a gold medal.

At the first US Open Pickleball Championships, a new tournament structure will be used.

Once a team loses a match, they drop into the consolation bracket and the highest medal they can win is a bronze medal.

The two teams in the gold medal match will not have lost a single match.

Also a first at the US Open Pickleball Championships is a Pro Division that will be handled differently.

Watch the latest episode from the Pickleball Channel to learn more.

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