Top-ranked pickleball player Kyle Yates, from Fort Myers, holds his gear as he speaks to local players at the Russo Athletic Complex in Palm Beach Gardens on April 6, 2018. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Photo: Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Photo: Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

What the heck is pickleball?

Yes, pickleball is a thing, as ridiculous as it might sound.

New recreation options are coming to the McCook Field neighborhood and this time, fans of a funny-sounding and fast-growing sport will get places to play their games.

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The Salvation Army wants to construct an outdoor recreation facility across from the $40 million Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center, which is located at 1000 N Keowee St. 

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The project will create a soccer and lacrosse field, an amphitheater, pickleball and tennis courts and other new spaces.

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So what exactly is pickleball?

Top-ranked pickleball player Kyle Yates, from Ft. Myers, left, plays with local pro Eric Ah-Yuen, right, at the Russo Athletic Complex in Palm Beach Gardens on April 6, 2018. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Photo: Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

According to the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), it's "a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players."  

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Two, three, or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net.

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Here are the basics, as spelled out on USAPA's website:

 

  • 1. A fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.
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  • 2. Played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net.
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  • 3. Played with a paddle and a plastic ball.
  • Players gather as a new pickleball court is opened at Valencia Isles in Boynton Beach in 2014. The sports continues to grow, with Wellington the latest local municipality to add a program for residents. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
    Photo: Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
       

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