Dave Gordin, left, and Ten Ober play pickle ball at Snyder Park in August. The tennis/pickle ball courts are scheduled to by resurfaced later this year. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

What is ‘pickleball’? Sport is coming to Kroc Center

The new outdoor spray park isn’t the only thing coming to the expanded Salvation Army Dayton Kroc Center.

>> READ MORE: Dayton Kroc Center’s $6.7M expansion begins

As part of its $6.7 million expansion project, the Kroc Center is building a new outdoor recreation facility, which will have a soccer/lacrosse field, stands, a warehouse, concession stand and eight pickleball courts.

This might have you asking: What’s pickleball?

The lesser-known, but fast-growing paddle sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, according to the website of U.S.A. Pickleball Association (USAPA).

Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized (20x44) court with a modified tennis net and a plastic ball with holes. The court is used for both singles and doubles play.

The first player to score eleven points and lead by at least two points wins the game, according to the website of Pickle-ball, Inc.

MORE: Plans change for outdoor athletic facilities at North Dayton’s Kroc Center  

Work has begun on a new splash park at the Dayton Kroc Center. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

The sport was “created with one thing in mind: fun. It was designed to be easy to learn and play whether you’re five, eighty-five or somewhere in between,” the website of Pickle-ball, Inc. says.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum - three dads who created a new summertime activity to entertain their children, according to USAPA’s website.

McCallum said that the game was named after the Pritchard’s family dog, Pickles, who would chase and run off with the ball.

About 15,000 indoor and outdoor pickleball courts exist in the United States.

The sport has become competitive in recent years, attracting more than 2.5 million participants in the U.S., as well as some from Canada, Europe, and Asia.

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