By Agnes Freas

I have recently joined a pickleball group playing every Thursday and Sunday for 2-3 hours. The game is like tennis but on a smaller badminton size court and with a wiffleball and paddle. I used to play doubles tennis when I was younger on competitive teams in the city. I loved the sport, but once I retired up here there was no one around who wanted to play on a regular basis. It was also rigorous because of the bigger court size. As you get older you do not move like you used to and it is harder on the joints. I knew where I needed to be to receive the ball but was not there fast enough, so I would miss the shot and consequently the point.

When I found out about the local pickleball group, I was anxious to join. We play at the Andes School gym. We use part of the lines from basketball and tape the rest of the lines each time we play. I heard about the game from my cousin, Louis, who lives on Long Island. He was also a tennis player before his retirement and now plays on a pickleball team there.

Pickleball is a very fast game but one that does not have to cover as large a court as tennis and is easier on the body. It is more of a reflex game and I can use strokes similar to those used in tennis. The group consists of 10-15 members but not everyone shows up every time so we usually have 9-10 people. We take turns playing doubles which is four people at a time on the court. The rules and scoring  are different from tennis and something to get used to but I seem to have caught on pretty fast and love the competition. The team consists of players at different levels which gives us a different play each time. It is most invigorating, exhilarating, challenging, and I love It! There is even a Pickleball Association which you can check out on-line. ~