Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Culver column: Learning to love pickleball

Published June 30, 2015 - www.tallahassee.com

Full disclosure: I did not want to write a pickleball story when the idea was first pitched to me.

At the time, I knew next to nothing about the sport. I knew it was sort of like tennis, and I remember seeing a notice about it at the senior center on Monroe Street.

I looked up a few videos on YouTube, did a Google search, saw there is a national organization dedicated to pickleball and – after repeated emails from my boss – figured, "Well, what's the worst that could happen? Might as well write the story."

I still didn't see what all the fuss was about.

  Pickleball player base growing in Tallahassee Jordan Culver/Democrat

I contacted LaRae Donnellan, set up a time to play a few rounds at Premier Health and Fitness and decided to schedule a story for Monday, when we run community features in the sports section.

Donnellan was all smiles when I arrived at Premier. I'm guessing it's because she knew she was about to run circles around an unsuspecting journalist. She led me to the courts where other players were already in the middle of games – it was 9 a.m., by the way – and gave me a basic rundown of the rules.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Pickleball taking Tallahassee by storm

Published June 28, 2015 - www.tallahassee.com

Ever heard of pickleball?

Don’t worry, by the time a group of dedicated enthusiasts at Premier Health & Fitness Center are through, most of Florida will be playing what can only be described as “a combination of tennis and badminton with a wiffle ball and ping pong paddles.”

It’s a game just about anyone can pick up, and given enough time, anyone can rise through the ranks and become a national champion.

Walt Cofer, 56, started off as a racquetball player and said he immediately became addicted to a sport that’s only about 5-years-old in Tallahassee. Pickleball was invented by Joel Pritchard in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, which is close to Seattle, Washington.

“I’ve just about stopped playing racquetball,”Cofer said.

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Pickleball Open House and Demonstration/Lessons

Published June 14, 2015 - www.mydelraybeach.com

It's been called the sweet sport with the sour name, but with an estimated half a million active players worldwide, Pickleball is growing locally thanks to the Delray Beach Parks and Recreation Department.

Now with the National Parks and Recreation month celebration coming in July, you’ll be able to see in action this exciting sport designed for all ages.

A Pickleball demonstration and class will be offered as part of the month-long celebration at the Delray Beach Community Center on Saturday, July 18, along with open court time for current players. Playing time is from 1 pm to 3:00 pm.
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Meet Pickleball, the next great American sport

Published June 4, 2015 - www.vox.com

If you go to the exclusive community called the Villages in North Central Florida, which is filled with many retirees, you'll find everything from golf cart tunnels to microbreweries. But one of the most distinctive features might be its 108 courts for a unique sport: Pickleball.

To understand Pickleball, I spoke with David Jordan, president of the United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA). He shared the secrets of the popular and unusual game — a sport that one retiree said was "like a drug."
What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is best described as a cross between table tennis and tennis. It looks a lot like tennis, but it features courts that are much smaller, a wiffle ball instead of a tennis ball, and a completely smooth paddle.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Adult Pickleball Clinic

Published June 3, 2015 - www.newsobserver.com

The Wake Forest (NC) Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department is sponsoring a pickleball clinic from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays from June 8 through July 6 at Flaherty Park, 1226 N. White St.

The clinic is free and open to anyone 18 and older who wants to learn or improve their pickleball skills. Space is limited to the first 32 people who register. To register, go to http://wakeforestnc.recdesk.com/ and set up a free account and select “Programs” then “Adult Athletics.”

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Serious game with a funny name: Pickleball continues to grow in popularity in Beaufort County

Published June 1, 2015 - www.islandpacket.com

Despite the quirky name, pickleball is a fast-growing competitive sport that has nothing to do with a brine-soaked cucumber.

The unique sport is a hybrid game of ping-pong, tennis and badminton, which has grown in popularity across Beaufort County in the past decade.

The name originated when one of the game's founders, former U.S. Rep. Joel Pritchard of Washington state, noticed his dog Pickles chasing a ball.

However, Pritchard's wife, Joan, said she called the game pickleball because the combination of different sports reminded her of pickle-boat crews in which oarsmen are chosen from the leftovers of other boats.

Whatever its name's origin, there's no debate over its growth.

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Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/2015/06/01/3774277_serious-game-with-a-funny-name.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Players sweet on playing pickleball

Published May 31, 2015 - www.fayobserver.com

HOPE MILLS (NC) - Dave Beishline came ready to play.

The game: Pickleball, a kind of hybrid tennis-ping-pong-badminton contest in which the players smack plastic whiffle balls with short-handled paddles.

Beishline, who retired in December after a 47-year career in the Army, was wearing a pair of protective goggles. Seems that little plastic ball can give quite a sting.

"My wife took a hit and got a big shiner," said Beishline, who is 66.

Twice a week, visitors to the Hope Mills Senior Center gather at the town Parks and Recreation Center for a couple hours of pickleball. Ryan Gordon, program supervisor at the center, said the games have proven popular.

CLICK HERE to read more.