It's Time for Pickleball!

08 July 2016
Today was the start of the 1st Annual Senior Northern Arizona Pickleball Slam - SNAPS for short - at the Prescott Valley Events Center.
Pickelball is a sport that started back in 1965 at the home of then-Washington State Representative Joel Pritchard. (Pritchard later would be elected to the US House of Representatives.) Hanging out with his family and some friends, they tried to set up a badminton game, but couldn’t find a shuttlecock. Thus the spontaneous beginning of Pickleball.

The game mixes elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong ball. It looks like a small tennis court - actually it is the size of a doubles badminton court. The ball is more similar to a Wiffle ball, and they use paddles that are similar to ping pong paddles, but larger. Rules are largely similar to tennis, although the serve is underhanded. (When serving, the paddle has to make contact with the ball when below the waist.)

According to the Prescott Pickleball website, there are approximately 1000 Pickleball players in the Prescott area. Growth has exploded - in 2011, there were nearly 780 locations to play in the United States, now there are about 4100. However, in the Prescott area, there are only a couple of Pickleball courts open to the public. The Prescott Pickleball Association (PPA) is hoping to change that!

The PPA is working hard to raise money for 8 public Pickleball courts at Pioneer Park. The City of Prescott is providing the land, and the PPA is raising $150,000 to pay for the building of the courts. They also hope to get public courts in Prescott Valley.

This SNAPS tournament has over 160 participants for these three days, coming from Arizona, California and Colorado. Admission is free. The tournament continues on Friday and Saturday from 8 AM - 4 PM.

"Danny Boy” Kartychok, the organizer of the Tournament, sat down and spoke to us about Pickleball, the SNAPS Tournament and more:

The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) is based in Surprise, Arizona.

Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.