Mansfield is known for the Pickle Parade, but what about Pickleball?
Three dozen teams from across the state descended on the Mansfield Activities Center Jan. 19 for an all-day Pickleball Tournament open to every age and skill level. Matches were divided by doubles and singles, co-ed and single sex, but the play was all the same…fast paced, energetic and fun.
“Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the US,” said Greg Guse, recreation services supervisor for Mansfield Parks & Recreation. “It’s a racquet sport that is a mix between tennis and ping pong and easy to learn.”
Two, three or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net. According to the US Pickleball Association, Congressman Joel Pritchard and two friends invented the game one summer afternoon in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The men were bored and couldn’t find complete equipment to play either badminton or ping pong, so they combined the net from one and the paddles from the other. The game was named after Pritchard’s family dog, Pickle, who enjoyed retrieving errant balls while the men played. The game caught on quickly, and the national association was formed in 1984 to organize official leagues and tournaments.
Mansfield residents have been playing Pickleball at the MAC since November 2015, with three open court times per week that are free for members. They currently have around 70 players that come out and play during the week. This was their first full-day tournament, but with such a great turnout they hope to have another in early fall.
If you’re interested in learning the sport or upping your game with some new competition, call the MAC at 817.728.3680 for upcoming times and schedules.
Congratulations to all the winners.
Womens Doubles Gold: Jamie Elliot & Beth Ervine (1011)
Womens Doubles Silver: Chris Newcomer & Kathryn Burge (1008)
Womens Doubles Bronze: Moniqua Ledbetter & Jackie Taylor (1000)
Mixed Doubles Gold: Kay Seamayer & Ronnie Curry (1005)
Mixed Doubles Silver: Jan Pahde & Nate Smith (1004)
Mixed Doubles Bronze: Ed Franco & Pat Quinlan (9997)