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Picklball interest continues to grow

Nearly 250 members at Sun City
By: Joy Hunter Courtesy submission
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Sun City Lincoln Hills held a pickleball tournament, level A, Dec. 7, as the sport continues to grow. It is not only popular locally, but across the country as well. Pickleball provides exercise and skill development, and is great for social interaction. It is played outdoors on a modified tennis court. It requires hitting a wiffle ball with a paddle somewhat larger than a ping pong paddle. Roger Lopossa and Lee Malling claimed gold last week, with Kathy Dillon and Ken Klein coming in second. The bronze medal went to Paul Walz and Loretta Halpin. Sun City residents Bill and Sandy MacCullough were introduced to pickleball while visiting a relative in Arizona. They returned and presented the idea to the appropriate parties and were allowed to set up a temporary facility on the basketball court. They implemented a pilot program to determine the level of interest. It steadily grew, and today the membership stands at 248. Four permanent courts were built, with only one being shared with the basketball players. The courts are in almost constant use, and it’s not unusual to see up to 30 players waiting their turns to fill the 16 available spots. The waiting is no problem as the time is used to socialize and compare playing strategies. Beginner lessons are offered at Sun City Lincoln Hills, 1 p.m., Wednesdays and Saturdays. There are three levels of mixed-doubles ladder leagues. The levels alternate play at 1 p.m., Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. There is a womens ladder league from 1-4 p.m., Mondays. Mixed doubles team play will begin in January. Joy Hunter is a pickleball player and News Messenger contributor from Sun City Lincoln Hills