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What a Pickle! La Jolla Recreation Center to add lines for two court sports

As the La Jolla Recreation Center has two basketball courts only, as seen in March 2020, one will feature pickleball lines, leaving the other court dedicated to basketball.
(Photo by Elisabeth Frausto)

In addition to reviewing its Visioning Committee’s proposed plans, the La Jolla Recreation Center Advisory Group (RAG) also discussed the addition of pickleball lines on the existing basketball courts to provide play space for both sports during its Feb. 26, 2020 meeting.

The courts, which underwent asphalt repair in November 2019 and have had blank floors since, will be lined for both games simultaneously the week of March 9, based on the RAG’s decision.

Pickleball is a fast-growing paddleball sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.

The decision of where to place the pickleball lines came after the City Parks & Recreation area manager Rosalia Castruita presented different proposals. One showed the yellow pickleball court lines running parallel on top of the white basketball court lines, which would lead to one pickleball court (inches under regulation size).

The only way to get a pickleball court of regulation size would be in another proposal, Castruita said, pointing to a drawing which showed the pickleball court running perpendicular to the basketball court. In this manner, two pickleball courts can fit on one basketball court.

The ensuing discussion had some board members questioning if too many lines on the court(overlapping basketball and pickleball lines) would be confusing to players. In response, RAG president Mary Coakley Munk held up a photo of the Doyle Rec Center basketball courts in the UTC-area, which showed basketball, volleyball and pickleball lines in various colors crisscrossing the court.

“Doyle has several overlapping lines, and no one gets confused when they’re playing,” Munk stated.

RAG board member Jan Harris said the pickleball courts should be made regulation size: “in case we ever want to host pickleball events,” which led to a debate about whether regulation size was important.

Board member Gail Forbes suggested the group “table the discussion until more pickleball players can provide feedback.”

However, Castruita insisted a decision be made, telling the board: “The subcontractor is ready now; the lines must be painted Monday (March 2) or you’ll have to wait three more months.”

Given the imminent deadline, board members then took audience comments. (Note: When the Light arrived Monday to photograph the progress, we learned the contractor had requested an extension. This was later confirmed by City of San Diego Parks & Rec District Manager Marilyn Stern, who added the work — including erecting a temporary fence, color sealing the surface, and striping the lines — will begin the week of March 9.)

“The court needs to be regulation size,” one pickleball player confirmed.

“Two pickleball courts inside the basketball court is best,” stated another, affirming she wanted the courts regulation size.

As for how pickleball and basketball players might share the court, Castruita stated there would be a “designated time and place for pickleball games like at the Pacific Beach Rec Center and others.”

As the La Jolla Rec Center currently has two basketball courts, only one will feature pickleball lines, leaving the other court dedicated to basketball.

The RAG quickly considered the proposals and comments, and voted 6-2 to have two regulation-size pickleball courts drawn, layered perpendicular on one basketball court.

Interested in offering input or becoming involved? The La Jolla Recreation Center Advisory Board meets 5 p.m. third Wednesdays at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St., La Jolla.

— For information about La Jolla Recreation Center’s activities, classes and schedule of events, call (858) 552-1658 and visit bit.ly/ljreccenter

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See related story:

Rec Center Reborn? Committee unveils $6 million plan to revamp La Jolla Recreation Center
lajollalight.com/news/story/2020-03-05/la-jolla-recreation-center

The proposed transformation of La Jolla Recreation Center (middle) is shown in an artist's rendering, with Prospect Street in the front. La Jolla Presbyterian Church is located across from the Rec Center on Draper Avenue, with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego located across the Rec Center on Prospect Street.
(Courtesy Concept Rendering)