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Have you heard about the growing sport of Pickleball? For the last few years Pickleball has been exploding in popularity in the United States and it has found a growing community here in Lubbock, but that doesn't mean Pickleball is new. In fact, it was invented in 1965 by three dads, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum who say their kids were bored with regular summer activities according to USAPickleball.org

So what is Pickleball? It's a game that is supposed to be simple to learn, while being fun, social, and friendly. According to USAPickleball, the sport combines different elements of tennis, badminton, and even ping-pong and is played outside or inside on a court that is the size of a badminton court. It's played with a paddle and a plastic ball holes and can be played in doubles or singles, like tennis. One thing players seem to really enjoy is that all ages and skill levels can have fun and play.

In 2019, the Lubbock City Council approved construction of eight new Pickleball courts at the Burgess Rushing Tennis Center, since then the sport and the number of people playing in Lubbock has increased and a Facebook group called, "Lubbock Plays Pickleball" is wanting to show the Lubbock City Council that the Pickleball community is growing and that a new Pickleball facility would be valuable for Lubbock.

Pickleball facilities seem to be going up across Texas. In Austin, a new privately-built facility called Austin Pickle Ranch is set to open in 2023. In Grand Prairie, I saw this business being built called Chicken N Pickle.

Other cities have added Pickleball courts to parks and tennis facilities.

So what does the future hold for Pickleball in Lubbock? That may be up to the players, the Lubbock City Council, and of course the private sector.

If you are looking for more information about Pickleball in Lubbock, join the Lubbock Plays Pickleball group.

There will also be a Pickleball League that begins Monday, March 21 for 7 weeks. Matches will be held at the Burgess-Rushing Tennis Center and costs $25 for BRTC members and $30 for non-members. More information is in the Lubbock Plays Pickleball Group.

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