Haynes Community Center and Park offers pickleball Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings
- A fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.
- Played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and over a slightly modified tennis net.
- Played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes.
- Played as doubles or singles.
- Can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels
Source: USA Pickleball
Pickleball Rio Rancho style is gaining in popularity.
At Haynes Community Center and Park on Thursday, March 3, the tennis courts had been transformed into pickleball courts and pickleball players’ shouts and laughter filled the air. The game is played Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings at the park.
Most of the players were older, some seniors. The games were spirited, with the sound of a tock! when the balls were struck. The balls are mindful of wiffle balls. The rackets are like ping pong paddles or racquetball paddles.
Jerri Hudson has been playing for about three years. She figures she has become a pretty decent player.
“For recreational pickle ball, I’m pretty good,” she said.
Pickleball, she said, is “exercise. It’s fun and it’s a really nice social group.”
The game was invented in 1965, according to USA Pickleball, on Bainbridge Island, which is a short ferry ride from Seattle. There, three dads — former Washington state Rep. Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum — were dealing with their bored kids.
And pickle ball, with homemade rackets and a plastic ball with holes in it, was created.
In 1972, a corporation was formed to protect the creation of the new sport. And in the spring of 1976, the first known pickleball tournament in the world was held at South Center Athletic Club in Tukwila, Wash. By 1990, pickleball was played in all 50 states.
Today, USA Pickleball estimates there are 4.2 million pickleball players. The average age is 38.1.