Pickleball hits it off

Published 4:11 pm Friday, July 6, 2018

The widespread sport of pickleball has finally made its way to the tennis center.

The sport, which originally started as an elementary education game, is for all ages and abilities, but has become especially popular and had an explosion of growth in the retirement community.

The court is larger than one used for Ping-Pong, but smaller than a tennis court, making it easier to hustle back and forth.

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The game can be played either as doubles or singles, although doubles is more common and the playing area remains the same.

Serving in the game of pickleball is different from that of tennis; the serve must be made underhand and when the paddle makes contact with the ball it must be below the servers’ waist.

If playing doubles, both players on the serving team have the opportunity to serve and score points until the commit a fault. As subsequent points are scored, the server continues switching back and forth until a fault is committed. The partner will then serve until they commit a fault or lose the right to serve to the other team.

Points can only be scored by the serving team and games are normally played to 11 points, with one team winning by 2.

Tennis director, Tim Thompson said the game has really grown throughout the nation and he has seen it creep through the Northern states. The game has become widely played in Tallahassee and has gained popularity in Thomasville.

Thompson has been getting calls about playing it in Bainbridge, so the center recently held a clinic. Thompson now has all of the gear necessary to play, but due to the weather has been unable to set it up.

However, the courts should be ready on July 14 at 8:30. People can begin playing pick-up games at that time and continue to play throughout the summer.