Published on September 4th, 2015 | by The Sacramento Bee
Pickleball gains following in Sacramento; McKinley Village to feature courts
The aging of Sacramento’s population has been accompanied by the rise of a novel sport – pickleball.
A cross between tennis, racquetball and ping pong, pickleball is played by doubles teams within a smaller space painted on a tennis court. It doesn’t require as much running, which helps explain its popularity with seniors.
About 2.5 million people around the country played last year, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. In a feature story, former NBC news anchor Brian Williams called it “the fastest-growing sport in America” – a label that is often tossed around by local pickleball enthusiasts.
“Pickleball is becoming more and more popular in the area,” said Gary Hyden, landscape architect with the city of Sacramento. “A majority of the requests (for courts) have come from active older adults, but really any age can play.”
Locally, there are over a dozen indoor and outdoor pickleball arenas and players clubs in communities like Lincoln and Folsom, according to the USA Pickleball Association, or USAPA.
In early August, the City of Sacramento completed renovations on Curtis Park’s tennis courts, which now double as pickleball courts. Previously, the city created outdoor playing spaces at Valley Oak Park and Magnolia Park.
“People in 55 and older communities are starting to move away from tennis toward pickleball as they become less agile,” said Sacramento resident Vince Angell, 69, who led the effort to get the city to create courts in Curtis Park.
In response to the sport’s growing local popularity, parks and recreation agencies plan to designate more space for courts throughout the region, including in McKinley Village, a new housing development under construction in East Sacramento.
Continue reading at The Sacramento Bee →