Introducing Pickleball, Cambria’s new craze

ktanner@thetribunenews.comSeptember 2, 2013 

Cambria pickleball players pose for a picture in April 2013.

COURTESY PHOTO

People curious about the new pickleball craze can find out more at the Cambria Pickleball Club’s free “Intro to Pickleball Demo Day” event from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, Sept. 8, on Coast Union High School tennis courts 5 and 6, 2850 Santa Rosa Creek Road.

At the event, the club will lend to participants all necessary equipment for free; instruction and play are open to participants ages 10 to 100.

Participants should dress as if they were going to play tennis, being sure to include court shoes and snug-fitting hats.

So what is pickleball, besides the newest sports craze in Cambria and many other places across the nation? Pinedorado parade watchers may get hints Saturday morning from Entry No. 31, with players hitting the pickleball across a quasi-net made out of a Pickleball Club sign.

Enthusiasts call the low-impact pickleball game America’s fastest growing sport, rather like a slower game of tennis crossed with badminton, wiffleball and ping pong. It’s played on a much smaller, badminton-like court on which the net is lowered to 34 inches at the center. The ball is perforated plastic, and paddles are similar to oversized ping-pong paddles.

Pickleball requires more finesse than power, and is reportedly easier on the body, including knees, hips and shoulders. For instance, serving is done underhand.

Why is it called pickleball when there are no pickles involved? It apparently was named after a co-inventor’s cocker spaniel (named Pickles), who loved to chase stray balls and hide them in the bushes.

Organizers ask that people interested in the September event call in advance to 909-9000, and Jos Hilden will assist them with court times and other information.

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