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Tickled about Pickleball in Chambersburg - abc27 WHTM

Tickled about Pickleball in Chambersburg

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Although the game has been around for decades, the popularity of Pickleball is booming, especially among "boomers." It's a paddle sport recently brought to the Chambersburg Country Club at the suggestion of the club's vice president, Jim Baird, after discovering the game while visiting Florida.

"I said, well, we played the game in Florida. We loved it. And I think everyone would enjoy it," Baird told club members.

Even the game's silly name draws attention.

"They laugh at the name, but when they come out and play it," said Baird, "I've never had anybody that didn't say that was fun."

On the former site of one of the club's tennis courts, four pickleball courts now draw a growing number of players.

"Part of it is they hear us laughing, said Baird. "And they hear people out here having fun. I've had people say,'I want to be on the fun too.' "

Although the game is enjoyed by all ages, many seniors are drawn to pickleball, saying it's less strain on muscles and joints.

"The court is only 44 feet long, compared to 78 feet on the tennis court," noted Baird. "It's only 20 feet wide, whereas a tennis court is 36 feet wide. So, when you're playing double, you're only covering 10 feet."

The origin of the game's funny name remains the subject of debate, but the most popular version credits the inventor of the game naming it after his dog "pickle" that was always chasing after the hard plastic balls.

In my first crack at the game, I managed not to hurt myself or anyone else. And it was fun. To me, it was kind of a mix of tennis and ping pong.

Club president Mike Jackson says the game is a perfect fit for their facility.

"It's good exercise and the whole family can play and you really can be different levels of skills and still enjoy playing the game.

Many of these pickleball players used to or still do play tennis at the club. And, with that in mind, a brand new tennis court was also installed right next to the pickleball courts.

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