RA Pickleball FAQs

It looks like tennis, sounds like ping pong and favours the same light-on-your-toes action of badminton. But pickleball is a sport in its own right, and an explosion of popularity has made it a fast-growing sport in Canada.

In teams of two, players use small paddles to volley a ball, similar to a wiffleball, back and forth over the net.

It is a game that is appropriate for players of all ages, abilities and skill levels and the rules are simple, making it a great introductory sport. Pickleball can also be quite the challenging, fast-paced, and competitive game when people become more experienced at playing.

Play Pickleball - You will be hooked!


What is included in a Full Membership?

  • Free access to 20+ hours of program time, 7 days a week, representing all levels of play
  • Free court booking privileges during reservation timeslots at no additional cost 

I noticed there is a requirement to pay an additional Capital Expenditure Assessment (CEA) fee of $50. What is this fee and will I need to pay it each year?

The $50 contribution will help support additional capital projects associated with the new RA Pickleball Centre. The cost of the project exceeds the funds derived from membership sales in our first year, so we need your help to finish the job and to do it right. This fee is a year-one fee, but it may be put in place in future years if there are additional capital projects that will add further value to the playing experience.

What is the level of play?

Our All Levels Drop In is designed to allow players with varying skill levels (novice, intermediate, advanced, junior, para) all play together. It is an opportunity for members to play with people who are more skilled and less skilled.  It is meant to be a social time, a chance for members to meet new players, and a chance to get mixed play opportunities.  Program Ambassadors will be onsite to facilitate play.  Members wanting to ensure they are playing with similarly skilled players may find Court Reservations meet that need best. 

What age groups play pickleball? Is it just for seniors?

Pickleball is a “lifetime sport”. There are players from the age of 9 to 90 who play this amazing sport and have fun at all levels of play. 

What equipment do I need to play, and do you have it to rent or buy?

Players are required to have their own paddles and balls. A small number of loaner paddles will be available to support beginner classes only. You can find paddles and balls at local retailers or online at Ontario Pickleball StorePremium Pickleball or Pickleball Depot - Canada's Premier Pickleball Shop.

Is the ceiling high enough?

Yes.  Rest assured it meets the minimum standards.  We have looked at raising the lights to provide an additional 2 feet and this may be a project for the future.

Will there be barriers to stop balls travelling onto other courts?

We identified the priority for a barrier of some kind to be Centre court (#7). We are trying a less obtrusive option to preserve the open feel in the Centre and will evaluate its effectiveness. Additional barriers between all other courts may be introduced if the need is identified.   

I am a beginner. Can I get involved?

Absolutely! This is an all levels club and we welcome you! Your membership will include access to everything available to our more seasoned members.  We will also be preserving two courts for novice players during our daytime All Levels Drop In (Tuesday and Thursday mornings).
We will be offering Intro to Pickleball Clinics throughout the year to help you gain skill. Private/semi private lessons are another great opportunity to learn. Come and play, watch others, ask questions and embrace this amazing sport!

I am an advanced player.  Will there be enough higher-level competition to keep challenged?

The goal is for everyone to enjoy a compatible level of play. We expect a large number of club members to populate the many programs tailored to suit all levels of play and we will strive to match up players whose level of play is comparable to others. Take advantage of court rentals as they are a great option to ensure you get the level of play you desire.


How will you ensure fair play during drop-in times and help create foursomes?

This is really important to us! All our programs will be managed by volunteer Program Ambassadors. Their roles will be to manage play, to ensure varied foursomes are created and to ensure equal playtime for all. They will also help monitor skill level and follow up with members who might require an additional assessment.


What if I want to do drills with my playing partner and not follow a program?

During programmed time there is not an opportunity to drill with a partner as most programs are designed to alternate foursomes and move members around the courts to maximize social and skilled play. There are times during the week that are open for “Court Bookings”. Court bookings allow members and non-members to come with a maximum of 4 individuals for doubles/singles play or even drills.


Who can book a court and how do I book a court?

Reservable pickleball courts will be available to members at set times throughout the week. Rentals are for one (1) hour and each court can have a maximum of four (4) individuals, no spares please. Pickleball Members can book a court during these reservable times at no additional cost. Members wishing to bring a guest are welcome to (7:00-9:00 am); guest fees of $15/person will apply.

Courts will be bookable online through PlayRA. Members and non-members will need to contact the Member Service desk to setup their online account in order to book their first court. Courts will be available for booking three (3) days in advance. Booking procedures can be viewed here.


Can I put my membership hold if I plan to travel this winter?

Sorry. Pickleball memberships will not be eligible to be placed on hold.  Neither can they be transferred to another player.

Does the Club offer social opportunities?

Yes! Pre-pandemic our Pickleball program had quite the social group! We are hopeful come October there will be fewer restrictions and we will be able to return to lots of social activities. The RA has various food and beverage outlets in-house and it is our intention to get back to business - we just need some time to figure things out.

How will I access the courts?

We will be using RA membership cards as a method of ensuring that ONLY club members are accessing the courts (guests are allowed if a member books a court).  We are very aware that your membership cost $500+ and want to do everything we can to protect that purchase.  We will ask you to carry/wear your card each time you come in to play.  If possible, please drop in to the RA Centre before the courts open so we can take your photo taken and create your RA membership card.

COVID-19 Procedures

The RA continues to follow all health guidelines published by Federal Government, Province of Ontario, and City of Ottawa to keep yourself and others safe.

In compliance with the new provincial mandate, effective September 22, 2021, we now require proof of double vaccination in order to enter the RA Centre (read more...).  Please plan for this when you come in – have both your proof of vaccine and ID ready when you arrive.  Also, plan a few additional minutes for check-in to take place at our West entrance. While masks are optional when you are on court, they are still required in the lounge and throughout the RA Centre.


What if pickleball is closed sue to COVID-19. Will I get my money back?

If civil authorities impose a shut-down once the pickleball season is underway, we will endeavor to reimburse for the time missed by providing a membership extension.


Can I be more than a member? How can I volunteer?

We are looking for volunteers to help with our Club. A Pickleball Advisory Council will be formed with a variety of positions including but not limited to, program ambassadors, social coordinator and so much more! If you love Pickleball, like having fun, want the RA Pickleball Centre to be the best in Ottawa or the Country for that matter let us know by reaching out to Jill Laidlaw at jlaidlaw@racentre.com. We would love to have you join our amazing group of volunteers!