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Pickleball coming to Reese Park in Bay Village

Headline: Pickleball coming to Reese Park in Bay Village

By JEFF GALLATIN

BAY VILLAGE – Bay Village will be in a pickle before the end of summer.

Bay Village Recreation Director Dan Enovitch said last week city workers will be painting pickleball court lines on one of the Reese Park tennis courts off Clague Road within the next three weeks.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from people in the community interested in us bringing pickleball to the city, so we’re going to put in a court and see how people react to it,” he said. “It won’t disrupt the tennis activities, but they’ll be able to play pickleball because those lines will fall within the court.”

Pickleball combines parts of three different racquet sports: tennis, badminton and table tennis. It can have two, three or four players who hit a perforated-like wiffle ball over a net.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island near Seattle by three dads whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities, according to USAPA.org. Pickleball has evolved into a popular sport throughout the U.S. and Canada. The game is growing internationally as well, with many European and Asian countries adding courts.

Enovitch said recreation department staff considered which city tennis courts would be the best for pickleball courts.

“We looked at the Dover Center courts near City Hall as one possibility, but we have so many tennis classes and activities there we thought it would disrupt that area too much at this point,” he said. “The courts at Reece Park are in a good accessible location and we can see how people like the addition to our activities.”

Enovitch said he believes the pickleball will prove popular.

“It’s something that different kinds of people can do,” he said. ”Adults and children can play it and you can have different numbers of players. It started as a kid’s game, but adults have really taken to it as well. It’s great exercise for people and a wiffle ball type ball is pretty easy to hit around.

“It’s exploding all around the country,” he said. “Northern Ohio is no exception to it. It’s huge out in Mentor where they’ve put in several courts just for pickleball. Rocky River has had some success with it, so we’re pretty confident there will be interest here.”

Kenn Kaminski, recreation director for the city of Mentor, said its pickleball courts are used extensively.

“There are regular tournaments as well as people who want to just come play with friends or family,” he said. “We’ve found that it was well worth it adding the courts. It’s a pretty simple game to play and not real expensive in terms of equipment for people.”

Enovitch said because city workers are doing the work and it’s going on an existing tennis court, it will be relatively inexpensive. He said it would be around $400 to $800.
“After we get the court in, we’ll see how people react to it,” he said. “If it proves popular we’ll evaluate that and then give the information to the administration and city council to see if they want to do more with it.”

 

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