The Lighted Official Pickleball Courts at RiverBend

Pickleball Rocks at RiverBend

In January 2011, Jerry Rea, a RiverBend resident from Indiana, wanted to play pickleball in Florida. When he taped some lines in an asphalt parking lot and strung a net between two golf carts, plenty of RiverBend residents came out to see what was going on. Interest exploded, and Jerry brought in two USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) Ambassadors to give free lessons.

The RiverBend Pickleball Club was quickly formed. With an anonymous loan, the Club and its supporters were able to pay for construction of four hard-surface pickleball courts over the summer. By the beginning of the next winter season, we had the beginnings of a first-class pickleball venue. With annual dues, lifetime memberships, donations, tournaments and fund-raisers, the Club paid back that initial loan within one year. Since then, the Club has provided the Resort with a landscaped and pavestone spectator area. Club members also designed and constructed a wooden pergola and benches for added comfort.


From its humble introduction, pickleball has become one of the most popular activities in the Resort! We host the Annual RiverBend Classic Pickleball Tournament in December, which showcases RiverBend to players from all over Florida and beyond. Our players also participate in the South Central Florida Pickleball League, where they travel to other resorts for team play as well as host those clubs at RiverBend.

We invite you to play the fastest growing sport in America. All RiverBend residents, whether short-term or seasonal, are encouraged to try it out. A few paddles are available for checkout at the Welcome Center. Just show up and one of our members will be glad to get you started. If you are serious about the sport, you can sign up for one of our skill clinics.

The sport is governed by the USAPA, which maintains the rules, promotes the sport, sanctions tournaments, and provides player rankings. Their website (USAPA.org) is a great resource for leaning about pickleball. USAPA Ambassadors visit RiverBend regularly during the season to hold clinics and usually have equipment for sale.

Periodically, we host Night Play under the lights, where all residents are invited to come watch, play, and/or join us for hot dogs and beer. It is a great social activity and one we know you will enjoy. Welcome to Pickleball at RiverBend!

Written by Diane Neff

FMCA President, Charlie Adcock, and Alan Neff, RiverBend Pickleball Club member, watch the action at the RiverBend Pickleball courts in 2014.

RiverBenders Real Blais, Colete Gagnon, Marc Brodeur, Mike Parsons
The design and construction crew working on the new benches.