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Today is Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pickleball enthusiasts have a place to play

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Photo by Wayne Crick Last Friday morning there was a flurry of activity on the tennis courts at Bill Heddles Recreation Center. Over 20 pickleball enthusiasts were enjoying competition in what has become a group of players who meet on Monday, Wednesday an

The morning began with nearly 20 players and soon grew to more than 20 enthusiastic pickleball players who were waiting to play this fast-paced game at Bill Heddles Recreation Center.

A local group of players, spearheaded by the efforts of Maxine Behrman, play three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) beginning at 7 a.m. and lasting until 10 a.m. or longer.

Anyone (all ages) who is interested in trying pickleball is welcome.

Dennis Bollig, a local player, began playing three years ago and noted the game is, "Flat fun." Bollig likes racketball more but uses pickleball to stay in shape for his racketball play.

Nathan Clay, a newcomer to the sport, also noted once the weather becomes an issue there are several courts available for play inside BHRC.

Also of note for local competitors, there is a regional tournament set for October according to Aaron Clay. "Pickleball is graded like tennis where there are divisions for the various age categories."

The game is played on a badminton-sized court 20 feet by 44 feet.

The ball is served diagonally, as in tennis (starting with the right-hand service square), and points can only be scored by the serving side. Each service is alternated from right to left service squares as the game progresses.

Serves must clear a seven-foot non-volley zone in front of the opponent's side of the net and then land within the appropriate diagonal area of the opponent.

Serving players must use an underhand service and strike the ball below the waist while both feet are behind the endline of the service court. The ball is not bounced on the service. Each serving side continues its service as long as there are not faults during a serve. Faults result in loss of serve.

When a side scores 11 points, and is leading by at least two points, they are declared winners. The game may be played with singles or doubles.

For more information on pickleball go to pickleball.com.

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