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All about one of the fastest-growing sports and where to play it

If you’re looking for a new game to get your heart racing, pickleball might be the sport for you. Pickleball was invented in 1965 by three dads: Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum, whose kids were tired of their typical summer activities. Since the 1970s, pickleball has grown from a family pastime to a paddle-court sport with formalized rules. The fast-paced competition combines various elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It can be played indoors and outdoors on a badminton-size court and a slightly modified tennis net with a paddle and a Wiffle ball.

According to the USA Pickleball Association, pickleball has had a 650% increase in players over the last six years and has been incorporated into physical education. programs, parks and recreation centers, correctional facilities, camps, YMCAs, and retirement communities.

Where to Play:

KELLY RECREATION COMPLEX

Outdoor and indoor courts are available. Outdoor courts are free, while indoor courts are $2 per person per session. No reservations are necessary, and paddles and balls are available for use.

404 Imperial Boulevard

Lakeland, FL 33803

WOODLAKE PARK

Six unlighted pickleball courts are available for free from dawn to dusk.

3415 New Jersey Road

Lakeland, FL 33803

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