BY KATE PERKINS
Popular in Florida and Arizona, pickle-ball is the newest sport to hit the Crosslake Community Center.
Jon Henke, director of parks, recreation and library in Crosslake, is hoping that the sport will be as popular in Crosslake as it is in the southern states.
The Crosslake Community Center recently began offering the sport after a $500 donation from resident Rod Nelson was made expressly for the sport.
Pickle-ball is a racket sport played on a badminton-sized court and with a lower net. The paddles are made of wood or a similar material, and the ball used is similar to a wiffle ball, but smaller.
Henke said that community center visitors have been asking about pickle-ball for about a year. It’s especially popular with senior citizens, he said. The game is easier for seniors to play because of the smaller court, which requires less running. That means that those with hip or knee problems will find it less strenuous than tennis.
Any age can play, Henke said. The pace of the game can vary, and Henke said that when advanced players get going, the game can be very fast-paced with a lot of action. It can be played with two or four players.
On June 6, the community center will hold a pickle-ball orientation. Two sessions will be held; one at 2 p.m. and another at 6 p.m. It’s free for participants.
Pickle-ball is offered at the community center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3 p.m. and Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. The cost is $10 per hour of court time, no matter how many players (two or four).