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Pickleball season kicks off

 

John K. White

The bright pings of whiffle balls against paddles rang out like a popcorn machine at Marshall Fields in Vernon Saturday during the inaugural Spring Fling pickleball tournament.

There were 120 competitors taking part in the fun event, mostly from the 400-member Vernon Pickleball Association at the glorious facility near the airport.

Laughter, cheers and friendly jeers also rang out over the pops of the balls, illustrating the joy and camaraderie of the sport with the Vernon club.

"There's competition from every level, right from the recreational players up to the top competitive players," said Anne Longley of the Vernon Pickleball Association on Saturday.

"This one was an in-house tournament. We also have an open tournament that's in August."

Longley said pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in North America.

"That's because it's easy to learn, it doesn't involve a lot of equipment, and the rules are pretty simple," Longley said. "It's played on a badminton-sized court so it's a smaller court than tennis which means that it's very accessible for people of all ages to play."

The rules are very similar to badminton, and you use a paddle and a whiffle ball so it's different from tennis.

To learn more about pickleball in Vernon, check out vernonpickleball.com.



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