“What is pickleball?” you might ask.
Well, visit the gym at the Key Biscayne Community Center any weekday morning between 10 and noon, and players like an enthusiastic Jeanne Regan will give you all the details and try to get you hooked on this sport that is growing in popularity across the United States and here in Key Biscayne.
As Jeanne explained it, it is an ideal game for tennis players who no longer want, or are able to, play tennis. They find a reprieve to satisfy the competitive juices by talking up pickleball, a lively racquet game that can be enjoyed by players of by all ages and skill levels. In observation, pickleball appears to be a cross between tennis, badminton and table tennis.
Pickleball is believed to have been invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, outside Seattle, Washington, by Congressman Joel Pritchard and two friends. As the story goes, it was named after Pritchard’s dog, Pickles.
According to Jeanne and some of her friends, there are so many players in the winter that they take up to four courts in the Community Center gym during the daily sessions. Jeanne said not to be afraid to join them – just show up, she states, and they will pair you up. They mix and match partners to keep things interesting.
Players gather at the Community Center Mondays through Fridays, as well as Sunday, between 10 a.m. and noon.