Pickleball, an increasingly popular racket sport, is a sort of mix of tennis, racquetball and pingpong.
David Silberman, the USA Pickleball Association’s Frederick ambassador, says pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country.
Although it originated more than 50 years ago in Washington state, it has been gaining in popularity in recent years.
The city of Frederick’s Department of Parks and Recreation began to host the game four years ago on four indoor courts at the William R. Talley Recreation Center. Three more courts are now available at the department’s Trinity building near Harry Grove Stadium.
The original group of players numbered about 25 people; today nearly 350 have signed up to play.
Organized pickup games are played six days a week and divided according to skill level.
Players use special paddles and a whiffle ball, and matches take place on courts with specific pickleball lines. Nets and court sizes are smaller than their tennis counterparts, and the most common game is doubles. The average doubles match lasts about 15 minutes.
For details, go to cityoffrederick.com/1111/Pickleball.