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May 2020 Update - emailed June 6

President’s Message
Welcome to the May installment of the Pickleball Alberta News.  The outdoor courts are now open across the province with continued guidance for play.  We move into the summer enjoying our game and with guarded optimism to the future for play without double’s restrictions.

The BIG NEWS of the day for our province is the Red Deer Pickleball Club has been awarded the 2021 Pickleball Canada National Championship!  This will be a tournament for all Canadians to enter and will crown our national champions.  Thank you to Gene Vollmin, Brenda Feser, and the bid committee for their hard work and diligence in securing the successful bid.  Alberta get ready to welcome Canada to the dynamic city of Red Deer and our province!  The PCO press release can be found at the link below:

Membership Contest 
This past month we had a Membership Contest through our Pickleball Alberta Facebook page.  The contest was to 
guess the percentage of women players that are members of Pickleball Alberta.  The winner receiving an official StormTec Pickleball Alberta jacket.

We had two big winners, Janet Foisy of Edson, and Connie Trynchy of the Parkland Pickleheads!  Congratulations to both these ladies, coming within hundreds of a percentage point, with the correct answer being 53.60%. 

To join our group on Facebook, search for “Pickleball Alberta” and click “Join Group” below the cover photo.  

Pickleball Canada
Pickleball Canada’s AGM is Tuesday, June 16th, at 3pm PDT.  They will be using  UberConference to connect the membership and will be posting details on the PCO website:

The PCO Western Regionals for next year will be in Regina, SK.  The dates are July 23 to 25, 2021 at the International Trade Centre.  Continue to refer to the PCO website for updates on the championship. 

I am proud to announce that I have been appointed Prairie Director for the Board of Directors of Pickleball Canada by Pickleball Alberta, Pickleball Saskatchewan and Pickleball Manitoba. I would like thank Janet Bradshaw president of PB SK, Doug Cable President of PB MB, the PB AB board and all my friends of the game for their support.

I look forward to bringing my national and international sport experience, skill set, and business acumen to our national body and our great sport.

With Nationals Coming to Red Deer in 2021 Become a Certified Official More than Ever!
Pickleball Alberta has set a goal of getting 100 referees certified for the Nationals in 2021!  Trevor Burndred and his committee has set up official trainers in the north, central and southern regions of the province.  They will be contacting each club to set up a day where they can come to your area for a group training session.

To get started now, Pickleball Canada has formalized a Canadian standard for officiating that comprises of three levels.  The officiating process and requirements for each level can be found at the link:

There are review sessions along with tests that you take for each level.  For review sessions and the tests you will be required to login.  When asked for an access code enter AB2020.

Volunteering to be an official is a great way give back and help guarantee the success of our local tournaments, provincials and next year’s nationals!

2020IFP Official Rulebook
The rule book for 2020 has been updated with some minor rule changes.  For the changes for 2020 see:

For the complete 2020IFP Official Rulebook see:

Faces around the Court
Talking to individuals of interest and who have made an impact on our game. This month we visit with Val and Gene Vollmin from Red Deer.  Both are long-time players, volunteers, and contributors to our game. Gene has taken on the key position of Tournament Chair for the 2021 Canadian National Championship.

In 2010, Val and Gene were in Florence, Arizona at the Sun City Anthem courts.  They walked over to some courts and wandered what that game was that was being played with paddles and a wiffle ball.  Gene had played provincial badminton in high school back in the 60’s and Val had played most every sport available growing up.  They both fell in love with pickleball, and as a result the game in our province has been all the better for it.

When they returned from Arizona, they googled “pickleball” to see where they could play in Alberta.  The only city that came up was Kelowna, BC.  Val saw an ad in the Red Deer newspaper saying, “anyone interested in forming a pickleball group come to a meeting”.  Val went to the meeting and the group later approached the city of Red Deer and at the first meeting things didn’t start moving right away.  While Red Deer was trying to get courts, they would travel for 2 hours up to Central Lions in Edmonton, play a game, and then maybe sit for 45 minutes before they could play their next!

In 2013, they were part of starting the Red Deer Pickleball Club which had 30 members the first year.  Val was vice-president in their inaugural year, and in 2014 became president. 

in 2016-2017 Val was elected president for Pickleball Canada.  In her term there were two competing national organizations.  One of Val’s goals as president was to become recognized as a National Sport Organization (NSO) which did not allow for more than one governing body.  She consolidated the two organizations, with a membership totalling 2,000. 

Gene is very well known through the pickleball world as one of the top tournament organizers in the game.  He has been a club director for the Red Deer for four years, and the tournament chair for the Red Deer tournaments.  Under his guidance it has grown from 127 players in 2016, to 386 players in 2019.  Anyone who has played in the Red Deer event knows how smooth it is run.  With these experiences and qualifications,

Gene, Val and a number of other individuals have worked closely with the city of Red Deer to get the necessary 20 courts required for hosting a Nationals.  They are quick to point out how incredible and forward thinking the city has been to have their beautiful facility come to fruition.

Fast Facts at the Net:

  • Current Level 4.5
  • Favorite shot:  Third shot drop.
  • Favorite players:  Any top player who is encouraging to lower level players
  • Most Memorable Moment:  Opening of the new Red Deer courts
  • Favorite place to play: Sun City Festival
  • One thing would like to see in PB: To see a clubhouse for the new Red Deer Courts that could also be used as a Community Center.


  • Current Level: 3.5
  • Favorite shot:  Cross court dink.
  • Favorite players:  All top Canadian players – Rylie Newman
  • Most Memorable Moment:  Refereeing a match with McGuffin and Taraschenko.
  • Favorite place to play: Red Deer
  • One thing would like to see in PB: A more structured refereeing program.

All tournaments in Alberta through June have been cancelled or postponed.  Continue to watch for updates on the website and Facebook as the situation with government regulations continues to be fluid.

Provincial Power Rankings
With tournament play being suspended across the province, the rankings will remain frozen until tournaments start back up.  For the last rankings refer to the February 2020 update.

Into the future if your club is putting on a clinic or tournament, please let us know so we can include it in our monthly updates. Email providing the location, date, time, levels, and whether it’s sanctioned. 

Match Point
We are moving into the summer with very encouraging numbers coming with each update from Alberta Health Services.  Let’s keep knocking the virus back by staying with the guidance as directed by our clubs.

With Pickleball Canada selecting Red Deer to host the 2021 Nationals, it gives Alberta our first opportunity to hold the prestigious National championship.  We will be welcoming top players from across Canada.  Let’s make sure we as an association, club, player, and volunteer, are doing everything we can to ensure it’s resounding success.  Next August we want the country to leave talking about how our host and province once again knocked it out of the park!

Exciting times ahead and it is so good to feel the sun on your face, the breeze on your skin, and the sound of Zero Zero Two echoing throughout the province!

Together We Go, with Enthusiasm We Play, and for Nationals Together We Prepare!

Kirk Jensen

Edmonton Pickleball Club is a registered non-profit organization in Alberta.
Postal address: c/o 304 Caldwell Close NW, Edmonton AB, Canada T6M 2W9

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Edmonton Pickleball Club is a registered non-profit organization in Alberta.
Postal address: c/o 304 Caldwell Close NW, Edmonton AB, Canada T6M 2W9

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