The Winthrop Town Council has approved a request by the Methow Valley Pickleball Association to establish specific hours for pickleball play at the town-owned tennis/pickleball courts behind the former library building off Highway 20.
At last week’s council meeting, Rod Dickson, president of the association, asked the council to designate certain hours for pickleball players and allow the installation of signage at the courts, which are lined for both tennis and pickleball competition.
Dickson, who noted that pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country, said the association has about 140 members on its roster. About 20% of the membership play at least three times a week, he said.
The association also uses indoor courts at the Methow Valley Community Center and the Cub Gym at Methow Valley Elementary School during the winter, Dickson said.
The Winthrop Rink also offers pickleball rinks (for a fee) during the summer, and there is one pickleball court adjacent to the Mazama Community Club that is available at no charge.
Dickson encouraged the council to increase the number of pickleball courts designed exclusively for that sport. Now, the shared tennis and pickleball courts overlap, but four pickleball courts can be accommodated in the same area required for one tennis court, Dickson said, allowing more people to participate.
Dickson asked that pickleball play be designated from 8 a.m.-noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 5-9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Those times don’t conflict with pickleball play at the Winthrop Rink, he said.
Dickson said he has talked with members of local tennis-playing community to avoid conflicts over court usage times.