Updated: May 29
Picklebilly Jan (Janice Mundee)and her husband Ted started playing pickleball four years ago and never looked back. After retiring, but not really wanting to be "retired" they started www.picklebilly.com, a business centered on their favorite sport, so they could travel and play pickleball, and help grow the sport to all corners of the globe.
1. What is Picklebilly
Think of a “picklebilly” as a travelling pickleball player. Picklebilly.com is a pickleball community website. The purpose of PIcklebilly is to connect players to play pickleball, to affordably travel to new places, and to meet new people. The idea is that members host other pickleball players for free so that pickleball players can travel to new areas and save money on lodging. Currently, we're updating our website so that events can also be added, as well as a map which clearly shows where events/members are located.
2. How did Picklebilly get started?
Like everyone who plays pickleball, we've met so many new people playing our favorite sport. One of the keys to Picklebilly is that pickleball is inherently social.
Last fall, we traveled to Fountain Valley, California for the West Regional Tournament. After paying entry fees, gas, food, and lodging, we spent over $1000 for 3 days of pickleball fun. While there, we thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could travel, and instead of paying for an expensive hotel, we could stay with someone for free. In return, we could offer to host people who want to come and play in beautiful Paso Robles.
We talked to lots of people who thought this would be a great idea.
When we got home we did research and found out this kind of website is a “hospitality” exchange. It’s where people agree to host other people in each others’ homes.
Seven months later, Picklebilly is now a website, up and running, and ready to set up housing exchanges.
3. How does Picklebilly work?
People go to Picklebilly.com to sign up. They create a profile and add a property description if they’d like to also be a host. People can then look through the members and find people/places they’d like to visit. The idea is that I will come to your city, stay with you and play pickleball, and at some point, you will come to my city, stay with me, and play pickleball.
People can be creative for exchanges. If I want to stay with you and it’s not reciprocal that you want to visit me, I can offer to take you to dinner, train your dog, give pickleball lessons, etc. People can creatively work out their own details.
4. What’s happening with the USAPA and the West Regional Tournament?
We have an exciting connection with Picklebilly and the USAPA. For tournaments, referees are needed and it’s a huge cost to pay and house referees. At Picklebilly, we add a special “referee” designation on member profiles of our referees. We ask that if a referee makes a request to stay, people give those referees special consideration. The West REgional Tournament (when it now happens in 2021 due to coronavirus) will have Picklebilly listed on the tournament website as a housing option.
Picklebilly is available for all tournament directors to post on their websites. Having Picklebilly as a free housing option will allow more people to travel to attend tournaments as people can better afford the tournaments by avoiding expensive lodging.
5. Any surprises along the way?
I posted information about Picklebilly on Facebook, and a woman said there’s a man in Florida who’s known as Picklebilly. She said Billy Hartig is known as a great human being for all of his help and kindness on and off the pickleball court, and that he would love to know there’s a website named after him. Next thing you know, Billy (Picklebilly) Hartig joined Picklebilly as a member. I thanked him, and let him know that we align with his spirit of showing kindness and hospitality to others.
Thanks for reading this article on Picklebilly.com, a pickleball community dedicated to affordable pickleball travel. Go to www.picklebilly.com if you'd like to join. Please share share share to get the word out! Happy Pickling!