WILLIAMSBURG — For anyone who has driven by one of the parks in the Williamsburg area and spotted residents playing a game that looks like a mix of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong, what you’ve witnessed is a game called pickleball. This sport with a funny name is quickly gaining traction in the Historic Triangle.
For the uninitiated, pickleball is a game played in a space similar to a badminton court with a net that is lowered to 36 inches. The players use what looks like oversized Ping-Pong paddles to volley a hard plastic whiffle ball back and forth over the net. The game is played until one of the participants earns 11 points, but the winner has to be up by two.
As the sport has gained popularity, facilities have popped up in parks, gyms and tennis clubs. Some places, such as Mounts Bay Courts at the Kingsmill Resort and Black Creek Park in York County, are going so far as to build a dedicated pickleball courts.
Other facilities, such as the Williamsburg Recreation Center, which is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, offers courts on certain days of the week as well as paddle and ball for rental.
During the month of June, James City County will offer two introduction to pickleball clinics at Veterans Park on Ironbound Road. The first clinic is scheduled for Wednesday, June 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., will be specifically for teenagers, ages 13 to 17. There will be another clinic on Sunday, June 20 from 9 to 11 a.m.
Both clinics will cover the basic rules and playing fundamentals. All equipment provided and all participants will be required to follow the current safety and health guidelines. To register call the JCC Parks and Rec office at (757) 259-4200.
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