Pickleball becoming one of Reno's fastest growing sports

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) It’s called pickleball. A combination of tennis, ping pong, and badminton, and a sport that, as instructor Vicki Sharp says, is growing rapidly in Reno

“We probably have about 400 active pickleball players in Reno because it’s so active,” said Vicki Sharp, who teaches the game. ”and so many people can play and enjoy the game.”

If you’ve never played, it’s recommended that you start at the Neil Road recreation center. Then once you get better and want tougher competition, move to the Evelyn Mount Community Center on Valley Road,

“It’s just a little more competitive over here,” said City of Reno facilities coordinator Mark Sanders.

You can drop in and play for only a dollar, which more and more people are doing.

Pickleball is an all-ages game, and one you can continue to play as you get older.

“It’s easier on the body, so when you are getting older it’s easier to play,” said Jim Barnes, who has been a pickleball player for 4 years. “All the people that play are enthusiastic. No matter what their level, they are enthusiastic.”

“You don’t have the shoulder aches with it because you aren’t going overhand with your serves,” said Sue Snyder, who has recently started playing. “You aren’t just powering into everything.”

Despite the recent rise in play, the game has been around since the 1960s.

“It started in 1965 in Seattle,” said Sharp. “A family had a badminton next and they told the children they were gonna come up with a new game that day, and the game was born.”

So why do they call it pickleball?

“It got its name because they had a dog named Pickles, and he would always chase the stray balls.”

To find out where to play in Reno, click here