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Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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Pickleball mania at the King George

The first rule of pickleball is that it has nothing to do with pickles. But its funny name hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the fastest growing sports in America and now at the King George Family YMCA.

Pickleball is a combination of tennis, Ping-Pong and badminton. Players use oversize Ping-Pong paddles to hit the wiffle-like ball over the net on a surface about the third of the size of a tennis court. Rules to the game are similar to tennis, but with a slightly shorter net.

“It’s fun, it’s competitive, where you’re challenging yourself, but the skill level is much less,” said Gary Roach, Wellness Director at the King George Family YMCA. The sport was created in 1965 off the coast of Seattle. The name Pickleball came from the founder’s cocker spaniel named “Pickles,” who used to chase balls around and then hide them in bushes.

The game has especially gained popularity among people over the age of 50 because the low-impact sport is less strenuous on the joints since it’s played on a smaller court. “You don’t run as much. You get some same hand action, the same foot work, the same thought process, but you just don’t run as much so it’s easier on your body,” said Elizabeth Clark, who picked up the game two months ago.

The King George Family YMCA has become a pickleball hotspot. Pickleball is on Tuesday and Thursday from 10:45 – 12:00 pm. It has become so popular that there will be Pickleball on Saturday at 10:00 am starting in March. “I think it’s pretty easy to learn and once you do learn it you find that it’s not quite as strenuous as other sports and you can play for a couple of hours and not get as tired as other sports,” said Lynda Davisson.

The class is free for members. If you are not a member of the Y – you can pay the drop in rate of $7. No need to worry about equipment, all the equipment is provided by the Y. Come on out and become part of the Pickleball Mania at the King George Family YMCA. Need more information – check out our website at www.family-ymca.org. Mention this article and you will get your first Pickleball session for FREE!! Its about Healthy Living.

Elizabeth Clark is the Direcotr of the King George Family YMCA.

Elizabeth Clark

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