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Gabby Barrett

Pickleball, fastest-growing sport in the country, picking up in Sylacauga

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SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Pickleball, the country’s fastest-growing sport over the last two years, is becoming a sweet deal to many Sylacaugans.

Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. It can be played in singles (1v1) or doubles (2v2) format.

The game originated circa 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Its inventor, Joel Pritchard, wanted to play badminton with a few friends but did not have the proper equipment. He found some ping pong paddles and a wiffleball instead, and he and his friends made it work.

Just like that, Pickleball was born, and over the years it has evolved into a very popular sport in its own right.

Half a century later, the game has picked up steam amongst the Sylacauga community.

“It’s a wonderful sport for all ages and skill levels,” said Sylacauga Pickleball enthusiast Jesse Woods. “My personal goal with this effort is to get our younger people and our seniors on the court together. It’s the only place that I have found that such a large age group can be competitive with each other.

The Sylacauga Pickleball group meets regularly on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. at the Memorial Park Tennis Center.

To keep up with Sylacauga’s expanding Pickleball scene, follow its Facebook page here.


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