A new game that is sweeping across the US and Canada has made its way into some of our most active communities. This paddle sport is suitable for all ages and skill levels, is easy to learn and requires minimal equipment. Combining elements of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong Pickleball was created in 1965 near Seattle, Washington. This low impact sport is played on a court one-third the size of a standard tennis court allowing for longer rallies and more fun. Like tennis and badminton the goal is to rally the ball back and forth over a net until one side cannot return it. The net in pickleball however is only 34 inches tall as opposed to the 42 inch net used for tennis and the 60 inch net used for badminton. Additionally, the pickleball has holes through it, similar to a wiffleball, that allows it to travel at one-third the speed of a tennis ball and the solid pickleball paddle is lightweight. The competitive nature of the game has attracted over 100,000 players who compete in local and national tournaments throughout all 50 states. This year Casa Grande, Arizona will host the USAPA (United States of America Pickleball Association) National Tournament on November 8th.
Interestingly Central Florida is the world capital for pickleball with 108 courts in The Villages alone. For more information on Pickleball visit www.usapa.org.