There’s a sport taking the country and Treasure Valley by storm. You may have heard of it or even seen it played but what exactly is pickleball?
“They call it ping pong on steroids,” Nick Leach, a volunteer at the YMCA said.
“Tennis, ping pong combination, throw in a little bad mitten,” Dick Johnson, an avid pickleball player said.
If you’ve seen people playing pickleball before, your first thought was probably, what are they doing on that tennis court?
“I discovered pickle ball about three years ago and just fell in love with it,” Johnson said.
A quick rundown of the rules for those who don’t know how to play; the game uses a paddle, hard plastic ball, serves are underhand, and don’t let it bounce twice on your side.
“It’s not as hard as tennis is and then it’s so much fun,” Johnson said.
The sport is growing rapidly.
“When the game began it started with older people back in Washington but now it’s exploded, fastest growing sport in North America, as younger people are picking it up all around the world,” Johnson said.
Leach and his wife have seen that growth first hand.
“When we first got here there was probably twelve to twenty players in the area playing pickle ball,” Leach said.
That was only five years ago, now he says there are hundreds just in the valley. The indoor courts at the YMCA in Meridian are filled every day.
“We probably had a consistent of 15 to 20 people play a day then it went to 35, no we currently have 50 to 60 a day that will come and play on all eight courts,” Leach said.
Now there is a demand for more courts. Twelve are scheduled to be built behind the YMCA at Hobble Creek and Leach says that Boise has agreed to build dual use tennis and pickleball courts on all upcoming park projects.
But why the sudden surge popularity?
Players say they don’t really know why the sport is all of the sudden booming but they say it’s easy on the body and the play style is still quick and competitive.
“I can play regularly and not have to worry about the back,” Johnson said.
“It’s quick but yet it’s easier on your body than tennis is,” Leach said.
“If you just want to have a good time, you’re going to have to go a long ways to find a sport that’s any better than this,” Johnson said.
Category Archives: News
Come on out to watch and cheer fellow club members participate and compete in the Idaho Senior Games!
Where: Timberline High School, 701 E. Boise Ave, Boise
When: Friday August 7th, 8:00am and
Saturday August 8th, 8:00am
Friday’s matches will be men’s and women’s doubles.Saturday’s matches will be mixed doubles and singles.Singles will begin at noon on Saturday—or 30 minutes after the end of the last mixed doubles match.
The Idaho Senior Games is a social and recreational experience designed to encourage better health and fitness of men and women age 50 and over, regardless of residence. The level of competitiveness is up to you! There are more than 50 events, with competition in 11 different age categories.
Here’s a partial list of BPC members competing:
|Sonya Kincheloe||Dave Mattson|
|Jim Richmond||Kathy Kelley|
|Mike Mather||Dick Johnson|
|Paulette Blain||Marnie McCollow|
|Kathi Wilson||Kathy Getto|
|Jerry Singman||Joel Shaber|
Playing but not listed? Please send your name to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included!
At previous lessons, between 20-26 players have attended.
They are getting very good instructions on how to play PB at a higher level.
*Free for BPC members. You can join at the lesson. 🙂
A Friendly Reminder
From Who: Player Development Committee
For Who: All BPC Members*
What: FREE Pickleball Lesson
Where: Helen B. Lowder Park
When: Thursday July 9th, 8:30 AM
Why: To Help you play pickleball at a higher level.
*If you are not a paid member, you may come to the lesson and register for membership. It’s only $10.00 a year. That is .03 per day.
Our very own Dick Johnson and his wife Lawana will be traveling the USA over the next few weeks where Dick will compete in some elite events.
First off, they will travel to Minneapolis for the National Senior Olympic Games.
The NSG Association exists today as a non-profit organization dedicated to motivating active adults to lead a healthy lifestyle through the senior games movement.
The Games, a 19-sport, biennial competition for men and women 50 and over, is the largest multi-sport event in the world for seniors.
Dick qualified in three sports, but he will only be competing in pickleball at the NSGs.
From Minneapolis, they will be traveling to the State Games of America in Nebraska.
During the ten-day event, over 14,000 athletes of all ages will compete in over 67 sports!
The athletes at the SGoA are all ages and will participate in the Opening Ceremonies. Dick will march in the ceremony as Idaho’s flag bearer.
Good luck at the games, Dick!