19 January 2017
A couple of times a week, a group of dedicated sports enthusiasts meet at Carysbrook gym, using hard paddles to bat a polymer whiffle ball back and forth. It looks like tennis but the lines on the court are different. The net is similar to a tennis net but is mounted two inches lower. It’s not badminton and the equipment is nothing like most have encountered. Not many are familiar with this sport and when it’s mentioned, they’ll cock their heads and ask, “What’s pickleball?”
It is the latest sports craze you never heard of but is all the rage with the 50-plus crowd. Any age and skill level can play. According to the USA Pickleball Association, pickleball is still the fastest growing sport in popularity. The Sports and Fitness Association estimates that it grew to 2.46 million players in 2015.
This is a racquet sport that combines all the elements of tennis, paddle tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. The sport is played on a court with the same dimensions as a doubles badminton court and the rules are simple.