OMG & Plummer Park Pickleball Courts
OMG: Our Story
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The One More Game Pickleball Club (OMG) was established in Edwardsville (2012) as a fun-loving group which enjoys the exercise, social interaction, camaraderie, and competition afforded by the game called pickleball.
In the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon area, over 150 people of all skill levels and ages presently participate in pickleball, and the game is growing.
Pickleball is known as the fastest growing sport in the United States. It is supported through the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA). Many of our OMG Club members are also USAPA members. The sport has a history of being played in Arizona and Florida, but it has migrated to the Midwest in both Illinois and Missouri. It began in Edwardsville when one of our members, after returning from a winter trip to Arizona, introduced the game to others. Many communities have developed permanent, dedicated pickleball courts. This is especially true in St. Louis and to a lesser extent in O’Fallon, Illinois. It has also taken hold in Springfield and other Illinois communities; not to mention additional Midwest cities.
The OMG Club currently plays pickleball outdoors in warm weather on the tennis courts at Edwardsville Township Park and Glen Carbon Miner Park. The tennis courts have been crudely marked off or chalked to reflect the size of the pickleball court. Portable nets are used. Currently, there is only one “dedicated/permanent” pickleball facility in the Southwestern Illinois area—3 courts at Hesse Park in O’Fallon. These courts are oriented toward the sun making it difficult to play during the day. There are currently no dedicated pickleball courts in the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon area. During the winter, the Club plays indoors at the Edwardsville Meyer YMCA.
The new Plummer Park has included the design of 12 pickleball courts—giving our area the first state-of-the-art pickleball complex.
What pickleball can do for the community?
Creates a healthy community of wellness, fun, competition, and socialization for citizens of all ages.
Generates revenue through hosting tournaments and events.
Generates revenue through groups of people visiting restaurants and bars after pickleball play.
What is pickleball and how is the sport growing?
Pickleball is deemed as one of the fastest growing sports. To learn more about the game and its growth statistics, see the information below.
What is our objective?
The One More Game (OMG) Pickleball Club is working with the City of Edwardsville and the Edwardsville Community Foundation to raise funds for the 12 Plummer Park pickleball courts. These courts, if approved, are estimated to be completed in late Fall 2019.
It is OMG’s goal to make a significant contribution toward the new pickleball courts. Contributions will be sought from OMG Club members, organizations, and businesses.
To date, OMG Club members have pledged over $10,000. Our objective is to raise $50,000 through personal Club and business contributions.
What can you do to help?
Please consider making a donation toward the Plummer Park Pickleball Courts. Contribution options include:
$200,000 naming rights to the pickleball complex
$20,000 naming rights to one court
Other contributions are welcome and will be acknowledged in a manner TBD
500 (8" x 8" granite paver with your company’s engraved name for the pickleball court entrance)
$100 (8" x 4" granite paver with your company’s engraved name for the pickleball court entrance)
Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by the law. Please contact your tax advisor for details. Checks will be made payable to the Edwardsville Community Foundation with Sports Complex (Pickleball) on the memo line. If you have questions, contact Bob Biarkis at 618-973-2814 or Tom Hewlett at 618-830-8430.
If you wish to submit an "intent to pledge" donation, click the below Pledge button.
USAPA 2018 Pickleball Fact Sheet
To view the video entitled What is Pickleball, visit this site:
Pickleball is a cross between tennis, badminton, and table tennis. The sport is played on a badminton-sized court with the net set to a height of 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic ball similar to a whiffle ball and composite or wooden paddles about twice the size of ping-pong paddles. It can be played indoors or outdoors and is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. In addition, the game has developed a passionate following due to its friendly, social nature, and its multi-generational appeal. Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles. The game is popular in school physical education programs and in adult living communities.
The sport is governed by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA.org), which maintains the rules, promotes the sport, sanctions tournaments, and provides player rankings. For more information on the USAPA, visit: .
2018 marked the 53rd Anniversary of pickleball, as it was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, by three enterprising dads—Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. Their children were bored with their usual summertime activities. It evolved from the original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout North America and is now taking off in other parts of the world. The origin of the game’s name is thought to be derived from Joel Pritchard’s family cocker spaniel, “Pickles,” who loved to chase stray balls and hide them in the bushes.
The Court and Equipment
A pickleball court is 20’ x 44’ for both singles and doubles. The net is hung at 36” at the ends, and hangs 34” in the middle. A non-volley zone extends 7’ back from the net on each side, commonly called “the kitchen.” Competitive paddles used in pickleball are constructed from a high-tech composite, ranging in cost from $50-$150 each. An official pickleball is made of plastic and is between .78 to .935 ounces and 2.874 to 2.972 inches in diameter. There are no color restrictions other than the ball must be a single, consistent color. The USAPA has tested and approved a number of outdoor and indoor balls for official tournament play.
Places to Play
Every US state and all Canadian provinces now have pickleball venues. Senior residence communities, YMCAs, local community recreation centers, schools and parks are just some of the places likely to have pickleball courts. The USAPA compiles the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of places to play on a new dedicated website: places2play.org. The known places to play total of 5,869 at the end of 2017 and is growing each year.
The USAPA supports and sanctions tournaments throughout the United States. In 2009, the USAPA held the first Nationals Pickleball Tournament in Buckeye, Arizona. Over 400 players participated in divisions for all ages. In 2017, the USAPA National Championships were the largest tournament to date, with more than 1300 registered players competing. CBS Sports Network carried a two hour nationally televised broadcast of the event.
Estimated Pickleball Players Within the United States
The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) 2017 Pickleball Participant Report, reported pickleball currently has 2.815 million players in the US—an increase of 12.3% over last year. SFIA is the premier trade association for top brands, manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the American sporting goods and fitness industry 1906. Additional details from the 2016 SFIA Report are:
1.57 million were “Casual” participants who play 1-7 times a year (13% of Casual participants are age 55 and older).
930 thousand were “Core” participants who play 8 or more times a year (75% of Core participants are age 55 and older).
The rate of growth in participation from 2014 to 2015 was 1.8%, from 2.462 million to 2.506 million. (Note: This growth rate is likely underestimated since 2014 was the first year for including pickleball in the SFIA report and the base number is open to question.)
Comparing Casual and Core participants:
ü Casual were 63% male and 37% female.
ü Core were 73% male and 27% female.
ü The age breakdown for Casual and Core are very different—with Core players being, on average, significantly older.
Ø Ages 6-17: Casual 18.5%; Core 0.8%
Ø Ages 18-34: Casual 11.7%; Core 5.5%
Ø Ages 35-54: Casual 29.4%; Core 19.2%
Ø Ages 55-64: Casual 7.7%; Core 31.8%
Ø Age 65+: Casual 5.4%; Core 42.7%
Ø The 2.5 million total participants represent 0.9% of the US population.
Visit the OMG website at