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Pickleball, Have You Heard?

 

Rumors abound about a new racquet sport that’s played with a paddle and a plastic ball.  This new racquet sport is giving tennis a run for its money.  People, especially the over- sixty crowd are gravitating to the sport in groves.  The sport is pickleball.

Pickleball Match in Progress
Pickleball Match in Progress

When boredom sets in and necessity becomes the mother of invention strange things happen such as the creation of a new sport.

As with many things that take off and become the “it” thing, pickleball wasn’t just created; it has been building momentum since 1965 when it was first played.  Now it’s played in all fifty of the united states and in some countries abroad.

Pickleball, created by a group of men wanting something to do in 1965 on Bainbridge Island , in Washington state, has become so popular that many facilities, such as tennis clubs, parks and recreation facilities, and schools, don’t dare miss out on the action and revenues derived from this new activity that is all the rage.

What’s the hook?

The hook is the game is played on courts similar but smaller than a tennis court, the ball is slower, and the serve is underhanded.

The steep learning curve associated with the game of tennis compared with the relatively flat curve associated with pickleball makes the game attractive for many wanting to stay active and have fun.

It’s reminiscent of “quickstart” in tennis.  When the USTA decided to go all out in growing the game of tennis, they came up with slower balls, lower nets, smaller age- appropriate  tennis racquets, and they cut the court into smaller sections.   These changes allowed kids to began the game at a younger age, thereby growing the sport from youth to adulthood.

Many pickleball enthusiast are ex tennis players.  Having played tennis they pick up the game quickly and are oftentimes proficient right away.  Even if one hasn’t played tennis, the game is relatively easy to learn.

It is said that from the first time a child picks up a tennis racquet… if they are consistently on the court they will be deemed a good tennis player in about nine or ten years.

Pickleball takes nowhere near that long to play well.

 

And the future?

The USAPA (United States of America Pickleball Association) is well organized and progressive. The demand for courts is so great most recreational facilities have created a place for the players, even if it’s on their basketball court.  The pickleball movement is  revolutionary and nobody wants to be left out.

The game is huge and still growing.  Like tennis there are so many positives associated with pickleball.  It’s fun, it’s healthy, and oftentimes a built-in social life comes with it.

Hurray to the sport and its participants.

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