New Plan in the Works for Area Pickle Ballers to Play Indoors in Poulsbo, Possibly as Soon as the End of 2024

At its local gathering last January, the Bainbridge Pickleball Community voted overwhelmingly to pursue a regional, pay to play, indoor pickleball facility at the site of the former Office Max store in Poulsbo.

A team of Bainbridge Island pickle ballers “came up with a great plan and working with a dozen regional pickleball clubs and the owners of the facility, we secured the support of the Poulsbo Parks and Recreation Department and the support of Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson,” said Clay Roberts, a spokesperson for the local group. “In fact, the plan was so good that a private national company, Pickleball Kingdom has stepped in to develop and operate a new 12-court indoor facility at the site.

The new franchise owners are a brother and sister team, John Hylton and Mara Hylton. The pair has Pacific Northwest roots and even spent some time in the area growing up. “I’ve had a few opportunities to meet and talk with the Hyltons,” Roberts noted, “and each time I’ve come away impressed and excited about their plans for the new complex.”

“Now,” added Roberts, “we just have to hope and wait. Hope, that all the stars align, and a best-case scenario is realized. That would be an opening before the end of this calendar year. Even if that doesn’t happen, we need to wait patiently as we have been asking for something like this on the peninsula for years.”

If you are interested in learning more about this recent development, you can contact the Hyltons direct at

Meantime, local Pickle Ballers are prepping for the 5th Annual Bainbridge Island Founders Tournament, slated for August 7-11 at scenic Battle Point Park.

The multi-day tourney is a fundraiser for the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum in partnership with the BI Metro Parks & Recreation District, and the island’s growing Pickleball community (

Among many other activities, the tourney will include clinics, a Wooden Paddle contest, doubles matches with the over 65 crowd, as well as a whole slew of contests involving men’s and women’s doubles play and mixed doubles games.

Bainbridge, of course, is the home of Pickleball, which was “invented” on the island in 1965 by three friends and their families in Pleasant Beach and has grown to become an international sport, with nearly five million participants.  So far, nearly 500 players are registered to play in this year’s Founders tourney.

New in 2024 is a free Beginners Clinic to be held on August 4, from 11 a.m. – Noon at the Founders Courts complex. As in years past, the tourney is offering tours of the famed First Court, or Court 1, as some call it. Tickets are $25 and participants will be shuttled to the site. Tournament backers are also seeking out Founders Courts courtesy of Bainbridge Island Pickleball, BIPRD – Battle Point Parkadditional corporate sponsors for the event. For more info visit, 5th Annual Bainbridge Island Founders Tournament — Bainbridge History Museum

A Quick Overview of the Founders Tournament

Play pickleball like it was originally played. Participants get a limited-edition wooden paddle. The wood paddle will be in the afternoon after the Senior Mixed Doubles events.

AUGUST 9, 2024 – WOMEN’S DOUBLES 8-49 & 50+
AUGUST 10, 2024 – MIXED DOUBLES 8-49 & 50+
AUGUST 11, 2024 – MEN’S DOUBLES 8-49 & 50+

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