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Tennis Snob faces Pickle Ball Take-over

Vernon Worthen Park

Okay. I’ll confess. I was a tennis snob. The day I saw pickle ball courts take over the tennis courts adjacent to Vernon Worthen Park in downtown St. George, was a day of mourning. Smaller courts. Silly paddles. Only the weak, slow and retired could be opting for such a water-downed sport. Imagine my consternation when I started seeing more tennis courts being adapted for pickle ball and then when a whole pickle ball complex was installed at The Fields at Little Valley. What were people thinking???

Summit Athletic Club

Yes, friends would suggest that I should give it a try. More and more friends began inviting us to go play as a couple. I declined several times—but I started to feel isolation creeping in to my choice of eliteness. Wednesday night at the Summit was where we could find our friends, hanging out on the %$@*$ pickle ball courts. I finally relented when our friends told us they were going to bring extra paddles so that we could come and give it a try.

Courts at Little Valley Park

I stood on the court with paddle in hand, listening to the crazy rules, trying to make peace with my step onto the dark side. We started warming up, dinking the ball back and forth. My competitive juices started to warm, as well, and it didn’t take long for those competitive impulses to take over. The harder I hit the ball, the harder it came back. The more finesse I used, the more finesse my opponents shoved right back. This little “paddle ball” game grew into an all out war, and the moment I lost, I wanted back on the court for a re-match. Sweat was pouring down my face, and I was guzzling water to keep up the pace of this wuss sport.

Pickle Ball is described as a mix between ping pong, tennis and badminton, all sports that I enjoy, and I could definitely feel a little of each of those sports as I played.

Our evening ended. The façade of eliteness stripped away. I was a convert. We discussed the best kinds of paddles and where to buy them as we walked—humbly walked—off the courts. Tennis is still my first love—but pickle ball had earned my respect and attention, and we’ll be back on the courts next Wednesday. But for now I’ll go take some Ibuprofen and rub some icy hot on some of those muscles that got whooped by Pickle Ball.

Pickle Ball Tournaments in St. George:

Looking for a spot in St. George? Find me at the pickle ball courts or just call:

Chris at 435-313-3966




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