According to Bob Fry, one of over 2,000 “ambassadors” working with the USA Pickleball organization to promote and expand the sport, the popularity of pickleball is on the rise in and around Green Bay.
“Do You See Them Playing Tennis? No.”
Fry, who has played for 13 years, noted that the sport has experienced significant growth in this area of Wisconsin over the past 5 to 7 years. As he says: “Drive around to tennis courts in the area – do you see people playing tennis? No, but you do see them playing pickleball.”
In fact, Green Bay City Council member Bill Galvin has already asked his public body if they will convert a tennis court into a pickleball court in his district of Astor Park.
Fry believes pickleball appeals to more people due to it being faster than tennis but with less running due to the smaller court.
Several public parks in Brown County offer pickleball courts, and plans are in place to expand court availability in certain areas.
Experience the “fastest growing sport in America”!— Green Bay Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department (@gb_parks_rec) March 28, 2022
Learn from experienced players from Packerland Pickleball Players: shots, posture, court positioning, and scoring.
Registration can be made online https://t.co/G2nfg8WFps or by calling (920) 448-3365. pic.twitter.com/3XkAw47duJ
This village has eight public courts available. Six are at Kiwanis Park, East River Drive, south of Hoffman Road.
Village President Jim Rafter, an avid pickleballer, says the village converted two tennis courts several years ago into some of the area’s busiest pickleball ones.
“It’s not unusual to see the courts crowded before 10 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 5 to 7 p.m. those days.”
This village features the area’s first pickleball-only courts. Rex Mehlberg, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, says the location at Fort Howard Park, 2172 S. Broadway has six courts.
Fry reports that the village of Josten Park intends to add four new courts at DeBroux Park, at 2900 Brighton Place, in addition to the two already at Josten Park on Town Hall Road.
According to Marty Kosobucki, Director of Park, Recreation, and Forestry, De Pere has two courts at Legion Park on the east side and two more at VFW Park on the west side.
Fry uses the courts at Edison Middle School on the east side. He says they are popular with top local players, especially on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday mornings.
Council Member Galvin, District 4 representative, often plays at Edison Middle, as does Mayor Eric Genrich.
Edison has 10 courts, according to the very useful places2play.org, which has information about specific parks and other public facilities.
Village Administrator Paul Evert says Meadowbrook Park at 670 Hillcrest Heights has six courts and intends to hold a pickleball tournament on July 15.
Recreation Director Nick Lemke said neighboring Suamico has four courts at Idlewild Park on Harbor Lights Road and Lakeview Drive.
Lemke also reports that Suamico will resurface two tennis courts to be fit for pickleball at Calavera Springs Park on Flintville Road.
Two Dollar Park, at Dollar Lane and Dollar Road, has pickleball court lines painted on them. However, players will need to bring their own nets, said Stephanie Schlag, Director of Park, Recreation, and Forestry.
County Recreation Director Matt Kriese reports Brown County and the town of Morrison will build two pickleball courts at Way-Morr Park on Park Road. Kriese says although the county usually focuses on nature and the outdoors, courts at Way-Morr would be a resource to residents of southern Brown County.
Stephanie Von Busch, Pulaski Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, says the park at 651 S. St. Augustine St has a lined court “right as you pull into Veterans Memorial Park.”
Contact Doug Schneider at [email protected] or (920) 265 2070. You can also follow him on Twitter (@pgdougschneider).
We featured Wisconsin in another of our articles back in December.
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