By Bob Nibarger – USAPA District Ambassador, North Carolina
My wife and I are traveling throughout the Western states this summer and I have been able to play Pickleball in most every state, at least up until now. We are in Torrey, UT, and there is no pickleball for miles. Yes, there are pickleball dead zones in the U.S. But wait....there are parking lots, basketball courts and other compacted services. Yes, pickleball is alive (well in the abbreviated and creative sense, of course). All it takes is some creativity and the game can go on. In this case, if I don’t have the room for or want to set up a portable net, I simply set up two bicycles for a net (set seats to 34 inches), put a small rope or tape between the bike seats for a net, carve out a kitchen area with chalk and I have an instant “dink court." The dink game begins with a serve that must land over the net into the no volley zone (or kitchen) of your opponent. The opponent must return the ball into the kitchen and play goes back and forth in the kitchen until the point is won. We play regular games to 11. Games can be modified to be face-to-face dinking, cross-forehand dinks, cross-backhand dinks, and so forth. If you want to shorten the game, you can play “rally scoring," meaning a point is scored on each volley by either player who wins the point. So, in summary, all you need is a tape measure or pre-measured ropes to measure boundaries for a kitchen, kid’s playground chalk, a parking lot or basketball court, and two bicycles and something for a string net. Now you have an instant “dink court." You will be amazed how quickly you can be playing. When finished, you can then take a bicycle ride to keep your legs in shape. Hope this tip helps you keep in shape while traveling. I will see you on the court.