Although it does not garner the mass attention that mainstream sports do, Pickleball is a quasi-intramural sport those involved show their talent and passion on the court.
The annual tournament was on Saturday afternoon in the gyms of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and consisted of seven singles players and 13 doubles teams.
While player turnout was good, audience viewership was slim. However, many players of the sport have a positive outlook on the growth of the sport.
Created in 1965 by Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell, Pickleball is a sport mixing the likes of table tennis and badminton, and was named after a dog their dog, Pickles.
Eventually, the game evolved from the use of badminton racquets to ping-pong paddles and incorporated wiffleballs. Many players believe to understand the sport, they must envision themselves on a life-sized ping pong table.
Chloe Delgado, a nursing major from Frisco said she thinks Pickleball is gradually gaining more influence.
“I took the Pickleball class last Spring with Professor Shake and really enjoyed it.”
Although court space is limited and equal to badminton courts, players often run from the ends to save the ball from making contact with the ground. It was not rare to see players running into barriers due to in-game focus.
The tournament started at 10:00 a.m. and finished at 2:00 p.m. Matches lasted anywhere from five minutes to 30 minutes.
The winner of the singles match was Zach Fetter while the doubles match championed the graduate student team “All Stars.”
Emily Sherrill, a nursing major from Jonesboro, Arkansas said she had no idea what Pickleball was before taking the class, but ended up enjoying it.
“After the class ended, we wanted to keep playing regularly and get others to play and enjoy it as much as we do.”
The Pickleball club now has weekly meetings and matches open to anyone interested.
Although competitive, the sport has made its presence in other schools across the United States. Its main goal is to create communities of players that express fun through a unique outlet.
Though the tournament cost $5 per person, that is subject to change for future tournaments.