While some kids in 1965 were inventing a new game now known as Pickleball, a dog named “Pickles” kept running off with the ball, and the dog’s name became the name of the game. From a game invented by kids with handmade equipment (and a dog named Pickles) this game has grown into a very popular sport in the US, Canada and around the world! As one of the fastest growing sports in America, Pickleball is very popular here at RiverBend as well.

The RiverBend Classic Pickleball Tournament is scheduled for January each year.  This event draws hundreds of highly skilled and ranked participants from all over North America.

The Pickleball Club members are always eager to help beginners learn the sport.  Lessons and paddles are available to get you started.

There are 8 lighted courts that are open from 8am – 8pm daily.  A hot dog and beer cookout will be hosted during night play. Residents can play, watch from the stands, play corn hole, dance to live music or just enjoy this fun get together of friends and neighbors.

While our players certainly have fun playing pickleball, the Picklelball Club members take a lot of pride in being able to donate to many worthwhile causes both inside and outside of the Resort.  Funds raised from the annual tournament and various cookouts provide the funding needed for these causes and projects.

Pickleball at RiverBend

Everyone at RiverBend is encouraged to try Pickleball. Just show up, and one of our members will be happy to get you started. There are a few paddles available for checkout at the Welcome Center. Try Pickleball and learn a new sport just for a fun way to exercise, perhaps sign up for one of our skill clinics to perfect your game and/or get a bit more serious and play competitively.

It’s always a great social event at RiverBend when Pickleball games are played at night under the lights. Anyone can play and everyone is invited to watch and enjoy hot dogs and a drink or beer together; it makes for a very fun evening. Pickleball has become a very popular sport here at RiverBend Resort and it is great exercise. 

Pickleball History at RiverBend

In January of 2011 Jerry Rea, a kid at heart, had the desire to play Pickleball when he moved to RiverBend. There were no Pickleball courts, so he taped some lines on an asphalt parking lot and strung up a net between two golf carts. 


Jerry’s eager ambition sparked interest and many RiverBend residents came to see what he was up to; his spark of interest in the game exploded with enthusiasm from his fellow residents. 


The game was on, so Jerry then brought in two Pickleball Association (USAPA) Ambassadors to give free lessons and the RiverBend Pickleball Club was formed.  A generous and thoughtful someone donated an anonymous loan to construct four hard-surface pickleball courts during the summer and by the next winter the beginnings of a first-class pickleball venue was formed. The loan was paid off within one year through annual dues, lifetime memberships, donations, tournaments and fund raisers. Later, other improvements such as landscaping and a wooden pergola with benches underneath were added for comfort.

RiverBend Classic Pickleball

Join the RiverBend Pickleball Club and you can participate in the Annual RiverBend Classic Pickleball Tournament in January. RiverBend is the host for the Annual RiverBend Classic Pickleball Tournament which highlights players from RiverBend, Florida and elsewhere. Some of our players are a part of the South Central Florida Pickleball League which is also hosted at RiverBend and other resorts providing travel opportunities to other resorts for a game. 

Contact us today and discover why you should make RiverBend Class A Motorcoach Resort your next destination.