NEWBERRY — A sport that is created for all ages, pickleball is a game anybody can pick up no matter what their skill level.
Pickleball is now being welcomed at the Newberry County YMCA and is a game sure to get your heart pumping and push your competitive spirits through the roof.
The concept of pickleball is simple, for those unfamiliar with the game. Teams volley back and forth, playing in either singles or doubles, with four being the maximum number of players.
Teams can score up to 11 points, but have to win by two points. Teams continue to serve the ball back and forth until one of the teams faults, which happens when the ball touches the no-volley zone, goes out of bounds, doesn’t go over the net, is volleyed in the no-volley zone or is volleyed before a bounce.
The ball has to bounce one time before volleys are allowed.
“It is easy for a lot of first timers to learn how to play. It’s one of the fastest growing senior sports that is for all ages and doesn’t require a lot of space,” said Erskine Smith, who leads the pickleball teams. “You only need two people to play and it’s something easy for seniors to do to get started exercising.”
Smith, a recent Newberry College graduate, hopes the game of pickleball will also attract the interest of Newberry College students.
“Hopefully we can get more interest from Newberry College students and possibly look at setting up tournaments to help draw more interest,” said Smith.
Pickleball may sound complicated, but in many ways is a lot like playing tennis, with the exception of the no-volley zone or the “kitchen.” The no-volley zone is a seven foot zone on each side of the net to help prevent spiking from the opposing team.
Dave Mann, who takes part in pickleball at the YMCA, first heard about the sport from a friend who encouraged him to give the game a try.
For Mann, pickleball is the perfect opportunity to have fun with friends and also get a good amount of exercise.
“I see everyone playing and they all have a smile on their faces. I like to come and play because I get to have fun with my friends and it gives you a good workout and exercise,” said Mann. “There is no age limit so anybody can play. I encourage people to try it and see what it’s all about.”
Smith said that plans will be made in the future to set up scheduled times for games so that the whole gym can be utilized.