Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Camp Verde's inaugural pickleball games were played December 1, 2016 in the Community Center Gym.  The facility was once the high school gym and the basketball floor has been lovingly maintained for many decades.

Below the photos is a narrative of the December 1st event.

We first met with CV Recreation Director Shawna Figy (third from right in top photo) on November 22 to discuss pickleball possibilities.  Shawna indicated she and Division Director Mike Marshall had already discussed the topic.  Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, we ordered a net and some extra paddles.

We met again with Shawna on November 28 and agreed to stage Camp Verde's first pickleball games on December 1st if the net arrived on time.

As of Monday, the net was in transit near Seattle.

Luckily, the net arrived at the Rimrock Post Office Wednesday afternoon. And twice as luckily, two additional paddles also arrived separately Wednesday afternoon. So we spent a couple of hours late Wednesday laying out the court on the Camp Verde Community Center Gym basketball floor.

The remainder of Wednesday was spent hurriedly getting all the gear and some paperwork together. We were up and at 'em about 6:30 AM Thursday and left home at 7:45 AM. Susun and I worked as fast as we could laying string lines and marking court lines with pieces of blue painter's tape.

We didn't have enough tape to lay down solid lines so we used dashed lines. Shortly before 9:30, Dear Friend Babe Daley (second from right in top photo) strolled through the gym door to see what pickleball was all about.

Next in was CV Economic Development Staffer Sebyul Choe (far right in both photos). With her extensive experience in ping pong, tennis and racquetball, Sebyul might ultimately become CV's best pickleball player.

The CV Economic Development Director (and Dear Friend) Steve Ayers then arrived (far left in both photos).

And not long afterwards, Karen DuFresne and on Ryan (second & third from right in lower photo) walked in fully ready to play pickleball.

Babe threw out the first pickleball and Sebyul, Steve, Clair and myself played a first short game. Meanwhile, Camp Verde Mayor Charlie German dropped in to assess the pickleball hub-bub.

Sebyul and Steve had to return to their day jobs so Karen and Ryan stayed and eventually played the full two hours. Not long afterwards, Jane and Marshall Whitmire checked in to watch the action.

About 10:30 AM, former Camp Verde Major Tony Gioia came to take a peek at the action. He was not going to play but relented after being harassed and needled by all those on hand. It turned out that Tony has some awesome natural-born ability and he played great.

Karen's game steadily improved throughout the session and she ended the day by scoring a string of points with her serve. Son Ryan had played before and will soon be a formidable player. Karen later commented: "I was hesitant at first about playing but I ended up having a blast! I can't wait for the next game!!"

Toward the end of the session, two Camp Verde employees dropped in and had a delightful time volleying the ball back and forth. CV employee Maria said she hopes town employees will be able to play during their lunch hour.

All the tape was removed from the floor and the various stuff was packed up well before noon.
All-in-all, we consider the very first pickleball games played in Camp Verde to be a great success and we are pleased. It was well worth the time and expense. Now we will see what the future holds in terms of a possible regular weekly time slot.

Many HUGE Thanks for Susun for helping make the December 1st games happen!

(Additional comments follow each photo below.)

 Here's the location of the pickleball net in the gym. Technically, three courts could be set up in the facility but they would be cramped.  Two courts would be a much better idea.
 We are very appreciative of Camp Verde Parks & Recreation's willingness to "just say yes" to pickleball. 

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