Pickleball courts are set to reopen Friday, May 15, 2020, at the Okanagan Wealth Advisors Pickleball Complex at Marshall Field in Vernon with extra safety measures in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Doug Hoover - Contributed)

COVID-19: Game on for Vernon pickleball players

Pickleball courts at Marshall Field to reopen Friday with new pandemic measures

Pickleball is back.

After two long months without it, the Okanagan Wealth Advisors (OWA) Pickleball Complex at Marshall Field in Vernon is set to reopen Friday, May 15.

But there will be some noticeable changes.

The Vernon Pickleball Association (VPA), along with the City of Vernon Recreation and Pickleball BC, have worked to ensure the guidelines established by the Ministry of Health and top doctor Bonnie Henry can be adhered to to ensure the safety and well-being of players amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a large association, we have a civic responsibility to do our part within the framework of the provincial plans to keep us all healthy and as safe as possible,” the association said in a statement Thursday, May 14.

No more than 50 people will be allowed at the outdoor courts at one time to ensure appropriate physical distancing.

For this to occur, reservations are required. There will be no opportunities for drop-ins.

All two-hour court reservations can be made online at vernonpickleball.com.

Reservations are mandatory for all VPA members and the general public. Public players are welcome to reserve time during all afternoons and weekend evenings.

Players will enter the courts from the north side gates and exit from the south side to avoid congregations and maintain physical distancing and the centre walkway traffic is to be kept clear.

No sports bags are to be left in the walkway and there is to be no congregating before or after play.

Players are not to arrive any more than 10 minutes prior to their time booked and are to wait at the north-side practice court to await the assigned court to clear.

Each player is encouraged to use their own ball and keep it with them throughout the game, while limiting the touching of other player’s equipment.

VPA encourages players to limit collective ‘playing circles of contact’ to no more than four players per court and to try to play with the same partner — preferably someone from the same household.

Most importantly, VPA encourages players to have fun.

READ MORE: Long weekend launches mussel fight in Okanagan

READ MORE: Most of B.C.’s provincial parks to reopen today, visitors asked to physically distance


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