Sport of pickleball gaining popularity

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 4:47pm

It is a sport with a funny name, pickleball.
The game combines three different sports of tennis, badmiton, and ping pong.
You play on a shortened tennis court, with a wooden or graphite square paddle, and a pickleball which is a bit heavier than a wiffle ball.
Nicole Hobson of Nashville played college tennis, but spent much of her time on the sidelines with injuries to her shoulder, ankle, and knee.

She gave up tennis and discovered pickleball.
Nicole Hobson: "It sounds like a big joke"
Now, she can not stop playing it.
Nicole Hobson cont: "There is a smaller court especially when you're playing doubles and there's just not as much movement."
Nicole has organized this small but growing group of Nashville "pickleballers" who play twice a week at Centennial Sportsplex.
Stephanie Lane also played college tennis and says the low impact of pickleball is so much easier on her body.
"My joints don't hurt, it's not as much running and it's just amazing to me how much my body loves pickleball more than tennis."

 Stephanie travels around the country now to play in pickleball tournaments.
"I can't stop, it's too much fun"
Despite a torn knee ligament, Ken Alpren of Franklin says he is addicted to the game.
"It's just so much fun and people are so great to play with and it's a great workout."
(stand-up) "ou don't have to have an injury to play pickleball and you don't have to be a certain age. in fact, players in this group range anywhere from 12 yrs old to 85!"
Ken Alpren: "I'm 55 going on 85. "
Joe Tiratto is a pickleball medal winner from the senior olympics and says playing pickleball keeps all the parts moving and keeps him young.
Joe Tiratto: "You don't play pickleball because you're too old, you get too old because you don't play pickleball."
So how did pickleball get its unusual name?
Evidently, the game was first played in Washington back in the 60s, when a family was playing a modified version of badminton using a wiffle ball.
The family's dog would chase after the ball, and hide it in the bushes and the dog's name was pickles.


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