Pickleball involves Gatesville | Outside actions

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The Gatesville Parks and Recreation Department recently installed two compliant pickleball courts at Raby Park. The courts are located next to the City Pool and Skate Park and opened to the public on November 30th.

Parks and Recreation Director, Seth Phillips, said pickleball is “the fastest growing sport in the United States.” Phillips said future Pickleball leagues and tournaments will be announced at a later date.

For those wondering what pickleball is, Gatesville Parks and Recreation Department explained that pickleball is a fast-growing and fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played both indoors and outdoors on a badminton-sized court using a slightly modified tennis net. Players use a paddle and a plastic ball with holes. The game is played as doubles or singles.

Pickleball was “born” on Bainridge Island, Washington. The founders were Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum. Pritchard’s wife Joan, a rower, named the game after the underperforming rowers who populated what crew lovers called the Gherkin Boat. Many reports that the sport was named after the family dog, Pickles, turned out to be false, as the dog was born in Pritchard’s vacation backyard five years after the first Pickleball game.

Thousands of pickleball players make up a broad cross-section of the population. Seniors, juniors, adults, men and women enjoy the physicality and camaraderie that the sport inspires.

With the recent addition of two pickleball courts, Gatesville has now joined the rest of the country in this fun recreational sport.