COVID-19: Vancouver park board reopening tennis and pickleball courts across city

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      More civic sports spaces that were closed earlier in the pandemic are being slowly reopened. 

      The Vancouver park board closed public outdoor recreation spaces, including tennis courts, volleyball nets, basketball courts, skate parks, and exercise equipment, on March 22. 

      However, as the province prepares to implement its reopening plan after the Victoria Day long weekend, the park board announced today (May 8) that it will progressively reopen 53 tennis and pickleball courts across the city, starting on Saturday (May 9).

      The first set of courts to reopen will include those at Kitsilano Beach and in Stanley, Queen Elizabeth, Strathcona, Trout Lake, Memorial South, and Champlain parks.

      The other 135 courts will reopen at various times throughout the remainder of the week until May 15.

      Only casual play is permitted; no lessons or league play is allowed.

      New guidelines have been issued including:

      • maintaining two-metres distance from others at all times
      • limiting play to singles, or doubles play with partners from the same household 
      • limiting play to 30 minutes if others are waiting
      • lining up outside the courts
      • not sharing equipment (pickleball players need to bring their own net)
      • marking your ball and not picking up anyone else’s
      BHPix/Getty Images

      For those unfamiliar with pickleball, it does not involve fermented cucumbers being lobbed across a net as players try to catch them in their sandwiches (unfortunately).

      Nonetheless, the city describes it as a “fun game”, and it combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong.

      Meanwhile, the park board also reopened two golf courses (McCleary and Fraserview) on May 1 and will reopen Langara Golf Course on May 15.

      VanDusen Botanical Garden also reopened on May 1.

      All of these locations are reopening with new health measures in place.

      Information about city and park facilities and services is available at the City of Vancouver website.

      Meanwhile, B.C. Premier John Horgan, during a news conference on May 6 about the province’s reopening plan, stated that the provincial government is looking at ways NHL and CFL games can resume, but its main focus right now is determining how baseball and summer sports can resume.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook