Pickleball Devotees Have a Place to Play in Loveland
Written by PickleBall.net
June 16, 2013
Pickleball? Is that a game played with pickles or some ball that looks like a pickle? Actually, neither.
Pickleball -- "a fun sport with a funny name," as local aficionados call it -- is a combination of tennis, table tennis and badminton.
It also happens to be the fastest-growing adult sport, and yet, according to Larry McGee of the Loveland Pickleball Club, if you walk into a sporting goods store and ask for a pickleball paddle, they will have no idea what you seek. For avid pickleball players, the only way to buy a pickleball paddle is to go online.
McGee and Lloyd Greigner taught a free introduction to pickleball class Saturday at Osborn Park in Loveland. Participants learned about the basic rules of the game, the different kinds of paddles used and how the pickleball game came about.
"Pickleball started in 1965," Greigner said. "The game started out for young children -- a group of people up in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle had a badminton court and the younger ones couldn't play badminton.
"So they got the idea to drop the net down to ground level," he said. "They went and got their ping pong paddles and found a wiffle ball. As the pickleball game developed, it was adopted by adults -- many 55 and above.
"Old folks like it because they don't have to run around like playing tennis, and young people like it because they can get in the game and play all the different varieties of hitting the ball," said Greigner.
Currently, there are 55 members in the Loveland Pickleball Club. Members play games 6:30-7:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 7-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Osborn Park. People can drop in to play for $2 or pay $15 a year to be a club member. The Chilson Senior Center also offers indoor pickleball 7:30-9:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the summer. McGee and Greigner are planning to have another free intro to pickleball class in the next few months. For more information, call 970-669-0968 or go to usapa.org.