Learn to play pickleball at demonstration in Arroyo Grande

Arroyo Grande’s Recreation Services Department will host a pickleball demonstration on Saturday for anyone interested in learning more about the fast-growing sport.

The demonstration will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Theis/Keisler Tennis Courts at 1221 Ash St. in Arroyo Grande.

According to a news release from the department, the game is similar to tennis but played on a smaller court. It is played with a composite-graphite paddle and a wiffle ball about the size of a baseball.

The game can be played on a regular tennis court with a lowered net, but four pickleball courts can fit on a regulation-size tennis court, said John Rogers, director of recreation services.

The demonstration is free to the public, and there will be an opportunity for attendees to try out the sport, he said.

“If there’s a lot of interest, we may try to start a league,” Rogers said, or create some dedicated pickleball courts.

The sport was invented about 40 years ago, but is becoming more popular across the country, Rogers said. There are about 125,000 active players in the U.S., according to the USA Pickleball Association, and numerous state and senior tournaments.

“It really is phenomenal how quickly this sport is exploding across the country,” Rogers said. “One of the driving forces is the baby-boomer generation; many of them can’t continue to play on a full-size tennis court because of physical demands.

“It allows them to stay active by playing a game in a social setting and using the skills they already have,” he added.

For more information, call recreation services at 473-5474.