Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Welcome to Community Ed Pickleball!

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the U.S., allowing players to have fun socializing while improving their fitness. It is a great game for many ages and abilities. It combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong and is played from the novice to professional level.

Meet Your Instructor: Shannon Diffenderffer (dif-IN-der-fer)

“I just completed the month-long pickleball class with Shannon Diffenderffer. I want to give a shout out to her for teaching an exceptional class. I have more knowledge and confidence to go out and join a group pickleball open-play session. From the first few minutes, I really appreciate the happy, fun environment to learning the game and connecting a group of strangers through the process. She knows how to teach and bring people together.”
– Anne, PCC Community Ed Pickleball Student


Shannon Diffenderffer, M.Ed., Certified IPTPA Instructor

Shannon Diffenderffer, M.Ed., Certified IPTPA Instructor (she/her)

  • Certified IPTPA Level 1 Pickleball Instructor
  • Over 20 years of teaching experience, including both indoor/classroom and outdoor/experiential education programs for Pre-K to Adult
  • Has offered group pickleball instruction in Portland, Oregon since 2022 after establishing her private pickleball company with help from PCC SBDC
  • Master’s of Education, Student Affairs Administration, Michigan State University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, University of California, San Diego
Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):


What are the different levels of pickleball taught by PCC Community Ed?

  • “Pickleball” – This beginning level pickleball class is for brand new players, or those who have not played in a while and need a refresher. Students learn safety, game rules, position etiquette, and stroke basics. This is NOT a “drop-in” game time for beginners. Rather, along with pickleball game play, each class builds on the prior week’s curriculum and skills taught, so that students may build a solid foundation in the sport. Students are welcome to repeat this level.
  • “Intermediate/Advanced Pickleball” – This is the next step in your pickleball journey following the beginning “Pickleball” class. Gameplay continues each week along with drills that explore different strategies that can improve your game. You should be playing at a 2.5 skill level or above as defined by USA Pickleball rating guidelines when you join this class. Students are welcome to repeat this level.


Is there a “waitlist” for your PCC Community Ed class?

  • Unfortunately, there is no waitlist. I am sorry, but I am not involved with the registration process and cannot make any changes.
  • If you did not get into the Community Ed Pickleball section you wanted my recommendations are:
    1. Check the schedule often to see if a spot has opened up…people will drop at the very last minute (see Community Ed pickleball class list below)
    2. Pursue alternative PCC pickleball instruction through their “For Credit” Classes


What do I need to bring to class?

  1. PCC requests each student bring a 3-ball “sleeve” of INDOOR pickleballs which
    INDOOR pickleballs have 26 large holes and are meant to be played on gym floors. They can be bought in many different colors.

    INDOOR pickleballs have 26 large holes and are meant to be played on gym floors. They can be bought in many different colors.

    have 26 holes/ball. These can be purchased at many sporting goods stores (e.g. Dick’s Sporting Goods), or online. Please be sure the packaging says “USA Pickleball Approved.” Ball color does not matter. Do NOT bring “outdoor” pickleballs (40 holes/ball) as they are not appropriate for the wooden gym floor.

  2. Water or electrolyte drink
  3. Your cell phone (yes, this will help you take notes)
  4. A pickleball paddle. Do NOT bring an all “aluminum” paddle  or “wooden” paddle as they are heavier and may cause injury. If you do a web search for “How to Buy A Pickleball Paddle” you will find loads of articles and videos online and some websites offer a 30-day trial period or “gently used” paddles.
  5. Hand towel
  6. Again, please hydrate before class to avoid injury (reminder: coffee, tea, soda are dehydrating) and bring something to drink to class…your muscles will thank you!


What should I wear to class?

  1. Athletic attire, layers are best (it can be helpful to have a pocket for a ball)

    PCC Sylvania Campus Gym pickleball courts have and nets

    PCC Sylvania Campus Gym pickleball courts and nets

  2. Flat, court-style shoes that support “multi-directional” movement so your ankle won’t roll. Note: hard-soled court shoes, e.g. basketball/tennis/volleyball are better than soft/foam, running shoes that are designed for forward motion only. Knobby-bottomed shoes (hiking/running) may “stick” to the indoor wooden floor. Feel free to bring more than one pair of shoes to try. Good court shoes are MUCH more important than an expensive paddle.
  3. A ball cap or visor (some find the gym lights bright)
  4. Eye protection is recommended but not required. Additionally, if you wear different types of eyeglasses (e.g. progressives) you may want to bring more than one pair to see how they work as you play.


What if I have to miss the first class?

  • Each semester I have students ask if it is okay to miss the first class due to a conflict. Not knowing your experience with recreational sports it is hard for me to answer this question.
  • Like all PCC classes, the first class gives you a chance to get to know your instructor’s style and sets the expectations and guidelines for the following classes. I encourage a “joy advocacy” and “I’m learning” philosophy in my classes, and want you to have the best experience that works for your needs.
  • For those who have already taken a class from me and/or already know how to play pickleball, the game rules, position etiquette, etc, missing the first PCC class may not be a big deal. However, if you have limited pickleball experience, or you are restarting after some time away, you may feel a bit lost when you come to the second class.


What are the fitness requirements to play pickleball?

  • Pickleball combines badminton, tennis, and ping pong. Prior experience in racquet sports or athletic activities is helpful, but not required.
  • PCC’s Community Ed attracts players of all ages and abilities. No assumptions are made. My goal is to promote a judgement-free, supportive environment and to welcome all types of learners and athletes to the joys of pickleball.
  • If you are recovering from an injury, struggle with balance, or have a chronic condition that may impact your play, please confirm with your health practitioner that you are cleared to play.


What about parking?

  • Sylvania Campus: A parking pass is required to park on campus.
    The Friendly House in NW Portland has an indoor gym with pickleball courts.

    The Friendly House Community Center, in NW Portland, has an indoor gym with pickleball courts.

    It can be purchased at the kiosks near the campus entrance or at some of the parking lots. The first week of each PCC semester parking is free, otherwise parking is $1/hour.

  • Friendly House Community Center: Free on-street neighborhood parking is available, however you may need to “circle” to find a spot so please arrive early.