Fastest growing sport coming to Sherman - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Fastest growing sport coming to Sherman

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SHERMAN, TX -- It's the fastest growing oddly named sport in the nation and it's coming to a local town in Texoma. The term 'pickleball' is rumored to be named after the game inventor's dog 'pickles'.

But other sources say the name actually came from the sport of rowing, where a 'pickleboat' has a mixed crew, pickleball is a mixed sport.

Pickleball was invented by a Washington state Congressman 50 years ago, but its popularity didn't take off until recently. Since 2010, the number of places available for people to play has doubled.

"Pickleball. It's pretty much badminton and ping pong,” said Matt Hubert, Sherman Athletics Coordinator, “kind of a hybrid both sports. You use a paddle, instead of a ping pong ball, you're using a wiffle ball"

The sport has swept through 2,000 recreation centers and retirement communities in America. Hubert says he first played pickleball a few years ago and noticed how the game welcomed a vast range of participants, making it ideal for the Sherman population.

"Pretty much if your coordination as a little kid can hold a paddle,” he said, “and have the skills to volley a ball, wiffle ball back and forth over a net that's about 36 inches high to a senior citizen in this area."

Another attraction to the game for Hubert was its low cost.

"The private consumer can go purchase four paddles, a net and several balls for just under $100,” Hubert said. “So it's really an inexpensive sport to play."

Hubert's goal is to get a friendly competition going within the community by setting up teams in a future league.

"Everybody wants to be king of the court in pickleball so it may evolve it to that, which would be really exciting if it did,” said Hubert.