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Pickleball Goleta Valley Community Center

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By Jacob Jackson

Pickleball, one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, has an enthusiastic following at the Goleta Valley Community Center (GVCC). With eight dedicated pickleball courts, the GVCC has become a hub for pickleball players of all ages and abilities in the Goleta area.

A Hot New Sport Lands in Goleta

Pickleball first arrived at the GVCC in 2015 when four outdoor pickleball courts were installed. The sport quickly gained popularity, with regular players showing up almost every afternoon to play. Within a couple of years, four more pickleball courts were added to meet demand.

Goleta Valley Community Center

Today, the eight dedicated outdoor pickleball courts at GVCC are almost always buzzing with players. On Saturday mornings, you’ll find players of all ages filling up the courts. The courts have a beautiful backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains, making for an idyllic pickleball setting.

All About GVCC’s Pickleball Courts

GVCC (Pickleball Goleta Valley Community Center) has eight outdoor pickleball courts lined specifically for the sport. Four of the courts have a soft Rebound Ace surface. This cushioned and flexible surface offers great traction and is easier on the knees and joints compared to hard surfaces.

The other four courts have Sport Court tile surfacing. This surface is very durable and weather-resistant. It also drains well after rains. Both types of court surfaces allow for smooth pickleball play and consistent bounces.

The courts utilize the smaller dimensions of a pickleball court, including the smaller service area called “the kitchen.” Permanent pickleball nets are in place at 34 inches high at the midpoint, as required by regulation rules. This well-designed layout at GVCC allows for competitive and recreational play.

Affordable Cost to Play Pickleball at GVCC

Playing pickleball at GVCC is very affordable compared to private sports clubs. Thanks to the city of Goleta’s support, there are no court fees. You just pay the entrance fee to access the facility.

As of 2024, the current drop-in rates are:

  • Adult (ages 19-61) – $7
  • Youth (ages 0-18) – $3
  • Seniors (ages 62+) – $3
GVCC Pickleball

GVCC also offers value passes if you play often:

  • 20 Visit Adult Pass – $120
  • 20 Visit Senior Pass – $36
  • Annual Senior Pass – $90
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That makes playing pickleball at GVCC very reasonably priced for such high-quality courts. All you need is a paddle and a ball!

Paddles, Balls & Gear

GVCC does not rent pickleball equipment currently, so you’ll need to supply your basic gear:

  • Paddle – Pickleball paddles range widely in price. Expect to pay $50 to over $100+ for higher-end paddles made of composite materials like fiberglass and graphite.
  • Balls – Indoor/Outdoor pickleballs usually cost $12 – $20 for a 3-pack.

Proper footwear is also key for safe play. Choose athletic shoes with good lateral support that won’t slide on the courts. You can wear court shoes designed for pickleball or tennis. Many players opt for cross-trainers.

While not required, wearing comfortable athletic clothing and even gloves for extra grip allows you to play your best game.

Skill Levels Welcome

No matter your current pickleball skill level, you can enjoy playing at GVCC. Beginners are welcome and will find others learning the game too. Because pickleball has easy-to-learn basics yet can develop into an athletically demanding game, it appeals to people across generations.

You’ll often find parents playing with their kids as well as empty nesters getting their exercise in. Competitive players also sharpen their skills on these regulation-sized courts.

Since the courts stay pretty full, you can usually just ask to play a friendly game with others waiting to play too. Most players are happy to volley back and forth as you pick up the game.

Goleta Pickleball Community
Los Angeles Times

Some days, organized round-robin play is available allowing you to quickly rotate through different competing teams. On other afternoons you may need to call “next” to claim your turn. Regulars are usually happy to provide pointers too if you let them know you’re new.

With a mix of abilities from novice to expert-level players, GVCC offers pickleball for all.

Thriving Goleta Pickleball Community

Beyond the courts, there is an active social community growing around pickleball at Pickleball Goleta Valley Community Center (GVCC). Many new friendships have developed among the regular players. You’ll find everyone generally welcoming as the group shares their common joy of playing this sport.

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In 2021, a Goleta Pickleball Group formed on Facebook bringing even more connectivity among members. Now over 175 strong, the group allows players to post play time notifications, share strategies, sell gear, and more. It’s become a lively forum generating new connections in the community.

The group also coordinates with GVCC on clinics and tournaments held periodically at the center throughout the year. Free beginner lessons taught by experienced pickleball instructor Joe Medler are sometimes offered allowing newbies to rapidly pick up the game.

Tournaments & Events

To support the area’s passion for pickleball, GVCC hosts various tournaments and events. Some popular annual tourneys include:

  • Goleta Fall Classic.
  • Holiday Hunger Tournament benefiting the Foodbank of Santa Barbara.
  • Valentine’s Mixed Doubles.

These organized events allow friends and families to team up for a day of friendly competition. Players sign up in categories like Women’s Doubles, Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, or Singles bracket play, providing a chance for players to test a variety of game strategies.

Medals are often awarded to winning teams. Beyond trophies though, these gatherings promote camaraderie and good times for all involved.

The surge in interest and a strong sense of community means pickleball’s future looks bright at the GVCC. More facility improvements may arrive allowing night play one day too!

The Many Benefits of Pickleball for All Ages

It’s easy to see why pickleball has fast become one of America’s most popular recreational sports. Here’s a quick look at some of the many benefits:

GVCC Pickleball Club
The Laurel of Asheville
  • Health & Fitness – Pickleball delivers a superb full-body workout combining aerobic activity with bursts of sprinting. You’ll exercise your lower and upper body all while improving agility, balance, and hand-eye coordination. Because it is such a social game usually played in doubles, you can easily sustain longer play while burning major calories!
  • Stress Relief – Zooming that pickleball back and forth across the next undoubtedly chases worries out of your mind! The total concentration required helps transport you into “the zone” giving your brain a rejuvenating time-out. Combined with laughter among newly made friends, pickleball is the perfect stress reliever.
  • Builds Community – Pickleball’s outgoing social nature helps adults, seniors and kids alike expand their connections in the community. The sport lends itself easily to conversation between shots, allowing relationships with other players to gradually strengthen.
  • Supports Longevity – For baby boomers and seniors, pickleball provides quality exercise that improves daily functioning. The flexible game rules also mean players can adapt strategies as they age allowing all levels of physical mobility to enjoy friendly competition. The mental stimulation, stress reduction, and new friendships all enable longevity too!
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How to Get Involved with GVCC Pickleball

Ready to dive into the fun of pickleball after learning all GVCC has to offer? Just follow these steps:

  • Check the GVCC facility hours and drop-in fees on their website at www.thegvcc.org.
  • Grab a paddle, balls, and athletic shoes. Search for pickleball gear deals on Amazon to avoid spending too much starting.
  • Drop by during mid-morning or early afternoon hours and look for players out on the courts. Sign in at the front desk then head on out!
  • Introduce yourself to players waiting on the sidelines and ask if you can join the next game rotation.
  • Relax and have fun! Be sure to thank your fellow players for the games and invite them to play again next time.
  • Stay connected by joining the Goleta Pickleball Group on Facebook. After a few visits, others will start to recognize you as one of the regulars!

Before you know it, you’ll be making great new friends and improving your health as you relish the thrill of victory with every big volley!

Cost to Play

$2.00 drop in fee/ or membership is $60 per year!

Schedule

Open Play Tuesday and Thursday 4PM to 8PM. Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8am to 12PM. All other times are by reservation.

The eight dedicated pickleball courts at Goleta Valley Community Center offer exceptional facilities for rookies to advanced players. With a vibrant pickleball community embracing the sport throughout the area, GVCC serves as pickleball central where newcomers can readily take up the fastest-growing game around.

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