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Pickleball — funny name for a fun game

By in Press Enterprise on July 29, 2017

By Carl Love

Ethan Ibison is out for a morning walk at Aldergate Park in Menifee when he sees four people on a really small tennis court knocking around a yellow wiffle ball.

They’re playing pickleball, one of the fastest growing sports in America, I tell him. Think of it as a blend of tennis, ping pong, badminton and racquetball.

After we talk a few minutes, he tells me it looks like fun. Then he asks: Just to clarify; is it called banana ball?

Lemon ball, grapefruit ball, yellow pepper ball, the confusion is understandable when it comes to a sport I’d never even heard of until Ginny Lutz e-mailed about the grand opening for the courts at Aldergate recently.

Sharon Metzger of Menifee was the first person on the court recently. Two years ago, she kept hearing about fellow retirees playing the sport wherever she went, so she had to check it out. She hasn’t stopped playing since.

It is good exercise, great for hand-eye coordination and a fantastic way to meet people. Metzger and her husband Wayne moved here from Fountain Valley three years ago and have made plenty of new friends through the sport.

I’m there more than an hour and a dozen people are ready to play, all friendly and eager to show me how. It’s clear they love it and want others to share their passion. They’re pickleball cheerleaders.

Lutz is eager to report Aldergate is now listed on the USA PickIeball Association website. Other Southwest Riverside County locations there are Aguanga, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Winchester and another one in Menifee. As to other local communities, come on, get with it, slackers!

Another player, Richard Cruz of Menifee, says he was introduced to the sport while walking by a game with his dog. Lutz held his dog while he tried it out. Sold! Even though he […]    

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