COAST CITIES — Active seniors are becoming devotees of a new sport called pickleball, a hybrid of badminton and tennis that is now part of the statewide Senior Games. The sport is named for a co-inventor’s dog.
The city of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation hosted the California Senior Games Pickleball Tournament June 1 through June 4 at Poinsettia Community Park. The tournament was organized by North County Picklers, and sanctioned by the USA Pickleball Association.
The Senior Games play included more than 200 players from across the region competing in singles, doubles and mixed doubles in men’s and women’s divisions for adults ages 50 and older. The tournament will also include play in open men’s and women’s doubles for adults. The pickleball net is lowered to 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic ball similar to a whiffle ball and wood or composite paddles about twice the size of ping-pong paddles.
“Pickleball is great exercise for the whole family, without being physically demanding,” said Pat Carroll, USA Pickleball Association ambassador. “Although it has a silly name, it is a brilliantly designed game which offers lots of fun, but can also be very quick and competitive.”
City of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation offers pickleball open play on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Tuesdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Calavera Hills Community Center, 2997 Glasgow Drive. The cost is $1 for Carlsbad residents, and $3 for non-residents. Visit www.carlsbadca.gov/parksandrec for more information.
“It’s good exercise, easy to learn and fun,” said David Johnson, media relations chair for the USA Pickleball Association. “It can be played indoors or outdoors, singles or doubles, is easy for beginners to learn but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.”