Pickleball picks up popularity in our area

March 9, 2012 2:43:23 PM PST
When lunchtime rolls around on Wednesday afternoons, players at the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club skip the meal and, instead, feed their hunger for pickleball.

The game is played on a court sized for badminton but with a lower net, a paddle-like racquet and a perforated plastic ball.

However, the first thing everyone wants to know before they start is - why is it called Pickleball?

"Pickles is the name of the dog of the family who created the game," said Stacey Coveilli of the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club.

The game was invented in 1965 in Seattle and became very popular in the south, which is where some of these players learned about it.

"I saw it in the Villages in Florida last winter, and I've been hunting for it ever since," said Sally McPhillips of Burlington, New Jersey.

It can be played indoors or out, as singles or doubles, and by all ages. Cheryle Scott worried it might hurt her tennis game, but instead, she's gotten better.

"Getting up at the net, volleying, and not being afraid to be up there - and reflexes," she said.

Covelli, the club's program director, says there's less chance of injury with Pickleball, because the court is smaller. Still, it is physically challenging.

"I think I'll be playing more pickleball than tennis this summer," said Scott. "But don't tell anyone!"

It's become so popular over there, they have added more sessions. Plus, there are other groups in Philadelphia.


Pickleball at Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club?
Other pickleball groups?