History of Pickleball in Boise
Carson Spencer, Cathy Miller and Tony Shaw Sinclair asked for and received an appointment with Mr. James Hall the Director of Boise Parks and Recreation Department. In attendance was Superintendent Mr. Doug Holloway (the now Director) and Superintendent Mr. Tom Governale. Several meetings later permission was given to the pickleball players to set up, paint lines on two (2) courts, no fencing, no permanent nets but a place to play. After months of playing on a private pickleball court in Boise a small group of players made their way to Hobble Creek Park in Boise to play on the first public pickleball courts in Boise. Later on the Boise Parks and Recreation gave permission the paint pickleball lines on two (2) tennis courts in Hobble Creek Park. Four courts in one location and we were off and running with our fun new game. Clinics, lessons, drills soon followed and our group of players have increased in numbers up to today.
Pickleball was accepted into the Idaho Senior Games. Tournaments are held on the local tennis courts around the area.
Carson Spencer and Cathy Miller asked for and received an appointment to meet with Mr. Ben Reed, Director of the YMCA Homecourt located in Meridian. Mr Reed and his assistant, Rhonda Bergersen was introduced to Pickleball. Mr Reed gave permission to set up one court, tape the lines and use the Volleyball nets. Indoor play at Homecourt took off so fast that Mr Reed gave permission for two more courts to accommodate the ever growing numbers of players. Today eight (8) courts are in use for indoor pickleball at YMCA Homecourt.
Boise Pickleball Club was registered with the Idaho Secretary of State, the first Pickleball Club in Idaho.
Carson Spencer asked Boise State University, Student Union Building Director for permission to set up Pickleball courts for indoor play. Three courts and portable net systems are used on the three indoor courts. University students, faculty and alumnus enjoy pickleball as do the general public.
Carson Spencer met with the Director of the Downtown YMCA and proposed a three court layout in the second floor gymnasium. After applying for a USAPA grant for the startup nets and pickleball balls the three courts were approved and Pickleball was started at this the largest number of Y members in the state of Idaho.
Carson Spencer met with Paula Ekins, Recreation Coordinator, Boise Parks & Recreation Department, to ask permission to start up Pickleball at the Fort Boise Community Center. Three courts and portable nets are used indoor. Lessons, Drills clinics have been successful and the number of players increase each week. The Boise Parks & Recreation Department made the commitment to add Pickleball painted lines on all new and refurbished Tennis courts within their district. Five Parks, 10 dual use courts are in use by the general public to enjoy Pickleball in Boise.
Carson Spencer and John Sweeting asked for and received an appointment with Mr Tom Governale, Supervisor Boise Parks and a presentation of 12 post tension concrete cement dedicated Pickleball courts was in order. Mr. Governale along with his team of engineers, designers and coordinators approved the 12 court Pickleball blueprint plus 2 dual use courts, Pickleball/Tennis. Mr Doug Holloway, Director of Boise Parks and Recreation, approved what would be know as the Hobble Creek Pickleball Complex. Next was the presentation to the Boise City Commissioners for their approval. Seven(7) commissioners were in attendance at the meeting and after 1.5 hours of facts and figures being presented the complex was voted on with a resounding 7 votes YES and 0 votes NO.
A committee of Pickleball players was organized with the goal of fundraising the required funds from the Pickleball advocates, Corporations and small businesses in Treasury Valley. This summer was very active soliciting the funds needed to start construction on the project in early 2017. By September 1st, 2016
85% of the needed funds were accounted for and the committee known as Hobble Creek Park Pickleball Fundraising Committee was actively working towards the last 15%. This committee was Co-Chaired by Carson Spencer and John Sweeting working towards the final goal.
July the new Professional Pickleball Federation (PPF) released their intentions of taking Pickleball to the professional level. Top players across the country were invited to join the PPF. Boise with our 12-14 Pickleball courts located in Hobble Creek Park was mentioned as a possible venue for the pro circuit. John Gullo, Director has close ties to Boise through Carson Spencer.
November the Boise Parks & Recreation Engineers approved an amended blueprint to add five (5) accessible courts for para athletes. With encouragement from Carson Spencer and John Sweeting the accessible courts will allow para athletes regular play, Regional and National tournaments in Boise.
December a new Association was formed for senior Pickleball players 65+. SUPER SENIOR INTERNATIONAL PICKLEBALL ASSOCIATION (SSIPA). The mission of the (SSIPA) is to support the growth of Pickleball around the world, through a social competitive environment for players of all skill levels ages 65 plus. Membership and tournament calendar was found on www.SSIPA-PB.org.
First several months the number of players increased by 40%. The Boise Parks & Recreation added 11 new dual use outdoor courts and in June the first dedicated Pickleball courts four (4) in Treasure Valley were completed in Manitou Park. With the encouragement of many Boise Pickleball Club members the number of courts in Treasure Valley has soared to 40.
The Hobble Creek Park Pickleball Complex Committee announced the needed funds had been raised and in October expected to hand over a check to our partners, the Boise Parks and Recreation. The Boise P&R moves forward with their application for the two grants they use to help pay for the 14 court pickleball complex in Hobble Creek Park. The start of construction is expected in early spring of 2019.
In June the Willow Lane Park six (6) pickleball courts were opened for play making the total number of courts soar to over 65 courts in the Treasury Valley. Pickleball has entered into mainstream sports in Treasury Valley.
October 30th, the Hobble Creek Park Pickleball Complex Committee handed over a $50,000.00 check to the Boise Parks and Recreation Department fulfilling the Pickleball advocates agreed upon amount. Boise P & R moves forward to secure the grants that are available for this project.
In May the City of Boise, Parks and Recreation was approved to receive a $250,000 grant towards the estimated $510,000 cost of the Hobble Creek Parks Pickleball 12 court complex. Two additional dual use courts is part of the complex. This project was made possible with a $35,000 donation from the JK Albertsons Foundation plus $50,000 donated from fundraising by the Hobble Creek Park Pickleball Committee co-directed by Carson Spencer and John Sweeting included in the committee was Nanci & Cris Bent, Terry Donohue, Rudy Whittaker, Rhonda Reed and Margo Hunter. When the funding is received in October 2019, Boise Parks and Recreation will prepare a “Request for Bid” on the project. The completion is anticipated Spring of 2020.