As an organization we are excited to share our passion for the great game of Pickleball. We are encouraging Howard County leaders to develop a wider variety of facilities and venues in support of the fastest growing sport around the county. Our vision is to establish several Pickleball courts located throughout the county, allowing for: greater drop in games, planned events and organized tournaments. We will promote Pickleball to private and public organizations with the objective to expand the opportunities and venues to play both indoors and out. We will establish instructional opportunities for people of all ages. Finally, we will share our enjoyment of the game through organized social events.
- Increase the number of places to play Pickleball in Howard County
- Organize Pickleball Leagues and Tournaments
- Offer various levels of Pickleball instruction
- Offer Pickleball ranking
- Develop social events for members and friends
After playing at the Villages in Florida during the winter of 2016 Duane St.Clair felt the need to organize the pickleball players in Howard County to expand playing opportunities within the County. He started collecting email addresses of players within the Columbia Association, the County Recreation and Parks pickleball programs and the Central MD YMCA. He invited them to an initial meeting on April 3, 2016 at the East Columbia Library to discuss interest in organizing a club or an association. All attendee's agreed there was a need to organize and promote the development of more pickleball venues and opportunities to play.
As a result of this first meeting a small group of the attendees agreed to develop ideas on how such an organization should be formed. This initial committee met twice and created a draft of potential by-laws, roles to manage the organization and possible committees to support the members. Reaching out to a multitude of interested county pickleball players, these ideas were presented at a larger meeting held on May 12th 2016 at the Ellicott City YMCA. The group decided that an association rather than a club would better serve our purposes. The bylaws were accepted and officers of the association were elected. Duane St.Clair was elected President, Charlie Brown and Ken Greco were elected Vice Presidents, Rocky Brown was elected Treasurer and Joanne Griesser was elected Secretary. Earl Sneeringer was asked to be a member at large of the Board because of his work on the membership committee and the association website.
The Howard County Pickleball Association (HCPA) was incorporated with the State of Maryland in June 2016, opened a bank account and received its non profit status from the IRS in July 2016. Membership registration started in August 2016. Association pickleball play started in the Summer of 2016 initially at the tennis courts at the Atholton Park, then at the Oakland Mills High School tennis courts and the basketball court at Centennial East Park. Finally the tennis courts behind the Ice Rink in Oakland Mills was selected as the optimum outdoor venue due to the convenient location, limited use by tennis players and the support by the owners, Columbia Association. The HCPA reached out to nearby pickleball organizations seeking advice and in the process arranged a visit to newly created pickleball courts developed in lower Delaware. Working with the Ellicott City YMCA, the HCPA assisted in the running of a successful men's and women's team tournament in late August. Later, at the invitation of the First State Pickleball Club, our association participated in a large tournament in Frankford Delaware in October 2016. HCPA is co-sponsoring a its first mixed doubles tournament with the YMCA in December 2016.