Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pickleball growing sport at YMCAs out west

Published July 29, 2015 -

Pickleball is an ever-growing sport that has become popular for people of all ages, and it is gaining momentum at the YMCAs in Mocksville and Clemmons (NC).

Scott Spillman, who is the Associate Executive Director at Jerry Long, said it has 25-40 people play on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“We’ve been doing for a little over a year,” he said by phone. “We had a couple members approach us about interest in it and wanted to get it started out at Jerry Long. It started out with just a couple days a week. It started out with two courts. Now we have three courts with people waiting to play.”
Kim McClure, who is the Executive Director of Davie YMCA, said there are 15-20 people who play on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10-noon. There is also a group 4-8 of Livestrong cancer survivors who play on Tuesday and Thursday from 7-9 p.m.
According to her, people range in age from 12 to 80. Jordan McCallister, who is 12, and her brother Alec, who is 14, regularly play on the two courts that are set up on the basketball court at the Davie Y.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Zero, Zero, Start: Pick up a paddle and play pickleball

Published July 27, 2015 -

One cannot start the game of pickleball without saying zero, zero, start, and if you’re around Jim Ludwig, you better utter those words with the accent of a born Bostonian, just like him.

Pickleball For All was organized and founded by Executive Director Ludwig, 61, with the goal of bringing the sport to Collier County schools.

The necessary funds were unavailable to schools wanting to purchase equipment for students to use and participate in the booming sport.

“As a nonprofit in Collier County we aim to equip all schools with the equipment and facilities/courts to play this sport,” Ludwig said in an email.

Ludwig wants this sport to last, and he feels it is necessary to make it relevant to the youth of today.

“Pickleball is something that brings them together as a team, gets them playing with each other, interacting with one another, encouraging each other, giving each other supportive comments and laughing when everybody makes the same mistake,” said Paige Mitschele, 47, Leadership Gifts Officer of PFA.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Pickleball becoming more popular along the Gulf Coast

Published July 23, 2015 -

MOBILE, AL (WALA) - It’s a sport that has become more and more popular…pickleball.

It might have a funny name, but it is very much a serious sport.

“I would describe it as a mix between ping pong and tennis. It's like full court ping pong and the scoring is a lot like volleyball,” said Lindsey Stiegler, a pickleball player.

It really is that simple.

“The way I started playing was my next-door neighbor who is 76 years old had been asking me for about three years to come and play pickleball,” said Bubba Bullington.

Bubba has been playing pickleball for just over a year now.

“I kept saying ‘No, I'm busy. I can't do that.’ Then I’d walk away and say ‘I'm not gonna play a sport called pickleball’,” he said.

But one Wednesday he came to the Via Center on Dauphin Street in Mobile. Then back on that Friday. Little did he think is that he would be back every chance he could since.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pickleball craze spreads to new court

Published July 20, 2015 -

HIGH POINT — High Point resident Billy Warren may be 79 years old, but that doesn’t stop him from being the fastest player on the new outdoor pickleball court at Armstrong Park.
“I’m the oldest one here and the fastest one here, and I play with two hands!” Warren said.
Warren was one of the first people in the Triad to begin playing pickleball when a small group took up the sport at the Roy B. Culler Jr. Senior Center five and-a-half years ago.
Now, residents in High Point and the surrounding area can play pickleball under the sun to their hearts’ content.

 Earlier this month, the High Point Parks and Recreation Department opened a refurbished tennis court dedicated solely to pickleball, only the second of its kind in the whole state. The first opened in Raleigh just a short time before the High Point court.

“There are hundreds of people playing pickleball in the Triad area,” said Calvin Vaughn, senior center director. “They play at Oakview, at the YMCA, at the sports complex at the Palladium, at the Archdale Recreation Center.”

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Pickleball invasion is on its way to Union County

Published July 15, 2015 -

There is a sport with a funny name that’s gaining popularity in North Georgia and Western North Carolina, and it’s called pickleball.

You can’t really call it a ‘new’ sport anymore since it dates back to 1965 with 4 million players worldwide, but since its taken 50 years to reach this area, you could definitely call it ‘new’ to Union County.

After acquiring quite a following in Fannin and Towns Counties, Clay County, NC, and Murphy, NC, pick-leball, which is a combination of tennis, badminton, ping-pong, and played with a ball similar to a wiffle ball, is set to invade Union County in the near future, and long-time pickleball player and coach, David Block will be offering classes for beginners at Meeks Park on Tuesdays for those who want a leg-up on the competition before it takes over, and everybody is doing it.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pickle-ball – The Most Popular Sport You Never Heard Of

Published July 15, 2015 -

Pickle-ball, you say…Although, not an Olympic sport yet – it may just be a matter of time.

Born in 1965 on a rainy day on Bainbridge Island, Washington, the inventors, a trio of friends, just wanted to quiet a house full of bored kids by giving them something entertaining to do, preferably outside! Thanks to some adult ingenuity, a badminton net in the yard, some old ping pong paddles and a wiffle ball, Pickle-ball today is enjoyed by a million people of all ages around the world. As of this writing, there are 25 Pickle-ball organizations in the southeast (FL, GA, NC, SC, TN and VA) with 15 located in Florida, and six in South Carolina.

In fact, today, there is The World Pickle-ball Federation which promotes this easy to play, but incredibly fun game across the world by encouraging physical education teachers to teach the game to their students. The vision would be to, then, encourage leagues, make Pickle-ball a team sport in schools, and, eventually have inter-school competition at the collegiate level. After that, a world championship and on to Olympic status! The promoters in Pakistan and India, for example, have initiated these types of programs hoping to get their respective countries ahead of the curve by starting players at a young age and continually training and improving their techniques as they grow.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pickleball coming to Coal Mountain (GA) courts

Published July 12, 2015 -

NORTH FORSYTH — A sport growing in popularity with senior citizens is getting some recognition from local parks officials.

The Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday voted 3-0, with members Todd Holbrook and Gary Cooper absent, to move forward with painting two tennis courts at Coal Mountain Park to accommodate Pickleball.

Pickleball is similar to tennis or badminton but the ball and rackets are different. The ball is more like a Wiffle ball, while the paddle has no strings and is entirely wooden.

The court is also smaller than the one required for tennis, thus the need to repaint the courts.

Though all ages can play, the sport is particularly popular with seniors, especially those who had previously played tennis. It is less strenuous than tennis and easy to pick up.

“I have played with people from ages 18 to 87,” said Jerry Killinger, who had requested the change to the board. “It’s an easy game to learn … within an hour [newcomers] can be playing.”

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Local Pickleball Guide – Raleigh, North Carolina

Published July 9, 2015 - http:\\

Pickleball is unarguably one of the most popular sports in the South Atlantic region. We send orders to North Carolina more often than nearly any other state (topped by only Florida, California, Arizona, Washington and Michigan). If you happen to live near the Raleigh area, here’s a quick glimpse into pickleball in your area.

Local USAPA Ambassadors:
  • Cary   Michael Walsh   919-460-1650   Cary, North Carolina
  • Cary   Luis Vazquuz   919-561-8732   Cary, North Carolina
  • Durham   Mark Siewers   617-515-0166   Durham, North Carolina
  • Raleigh   Joe Borrelli   919-426-1110   Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Raleigh   Daphne Key   919-706-5639   Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Wake Forest   Sandy Brasseale   501-772-7439   Wake Forest, North Carolina
  • Wake Forest   Joe Vartanesian   919-624-6795   Wake Forest, North Carolina
These kind-hearted folk are itching to promote the sport. Don’t hesitate to contact one (or more!) of them for any pickleball-related inquiries.
If you’re itching to play, check out these North Carolina-located pickleball clubs. If you want even more information, the North Carolina State Pickleball website and the Atlantic South Region website are both awesome resources for those in the area.
CLICK HERE to read more.

Having a (pickle) ball

Published July 8, 2015 -
BELLEAIR – After just five months on the pickleball court, Mary Stiegler lost 10 pounds and found her new favorite sport.

In the past, Stiegler tried to play golf, but just wasn’t very good at it. When a friend suggested pickleball at the beginning of the year, Stiegler decided to give it a shot. She swapped her golf clubs for a pickleball paddle and hasn’t looked back since.

Now, she bounces between games at the Long Center and drop-in matches at the Dimmitt Community Center, playing pickleball for hours at a time.

“The people are such fun and it’s such good exercise,” Stiegler said.
CLICK HERE to read more.