- Published on Friday, 13 July 2012 08:20
- Written by © DrumhellerMail.com
Upon first hearing the name pickleball, a tasty appetizer might come to mind. However, down at the new Badlands Community Facility, pickleball includes paddles, a ball and a whole lot of fun.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the game of pickleball is being played in the field house, and no it’s not something involving a kitchen.
“It’s really a sport for both body and mind,” said Janice Rosgen, who comes out regularly to take in the action.
Pickleball is a racquet sport, combining elements from tennis, badminton and table tennis rolled into one.
This is why Rosgen said it is both a physical and mental sport; you’ve got to be both quick on your feet and sharp of mind to remember all the rules.
However, that does not mean the game is difficult once a player catches on. The rules are seemingly very similar to table tennis, but what really makes the sport popular is its accessibility to a wide range of players.
“We are aiming to get more players out here on the court. Right now it’s mainly older people playing but we would like to see some younger people here too,” said Bob Friesen, who also is an avid pickleball player.
The game is played with hard, small square paddles, which the BCF supplies, and a plastic wiffle ball, (hollow with holes surrounding its outside) which allows the speed of the ball to be approximately 1/3 of the speed of a tennis ball. The court is similiar to the layout and size of a doubles badminton court.
Games are only played up to 11 points, and at the end of each match opposing players tap their paddles and say “good game,” as a sign of sportmanship.
Pickleball was originally developed in the summer of 1965, by US Congressman Joel Pritchard and some friends. The families were bored, so they set out to play a game of badminton but the shuttlecock was missing. Improvising, they lowered the badminton nets, found a wiffle ball to play with, and made small paddles out of some plywood they had kicking around. The name Pickleball originated from Joan Pritchard, who said the game reminded her of a “pickle boat,” where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats. Today, the game is played by many throughout the world.
If anyone has questions, regular player Bob Friesen said he’d be happy to answer them and to give him a call at (403) 823-4407.