HANOVER (CBS) – A first of its kind club has sparked new interest in pickleball in Massachusetts.
Paying homage to the sport’s namesake, Wanda Melandy and Lisa Demmiritt are the proud owners of Pickles in Hanover. From backyard beginnings to a professional sport, pickleball is quickly gaining popularity in the U.S.READ MORE: Seekonk Middle Schoolers Wrote Anti-Semitic, Racist Messages In Students' Yearbooks
“It was a family that started playing it in their backyard,” Melandy told WBZ-TV. “The way it became pickleball was their dog’s name was Pickles.”
With their grand opening Friday, this pickleball-only club is rallying new players to the court.
“It’s really all ages and all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to be a superstar athlete to play this game, “ Demmiritt said.
Walking on to a pickleball court, you’ll quickly realize it resembles a few different sports.
“It’s a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping pong. Played with a hard ball, like a wiffle ball, and a paddle instead of a tennis racquet,” Demmiritt told WBZ.
But, she said the aim of this game is more subtle.READ MORE: State Lawmakers Vote To Extend Some Pandemic Policies Including Outdoor Dining, To-Go Cocktails
“It’s a finesse sport if you really play it. There is a lot of slamming and hitting but it is finesse.”
And Demmiritt said you want to stay out of the “kitchen.”
“The kitchen is the blue part here. Up to the line. You can’t stand and stay in the kitchen. You can’t slam in the kitchen. Or even follow through into the kitchen.”
It’s a competitive sport with players volleying for a win. But no matter what, the game always ends with a paddle high-five.
“That’s the really nice thing about Pickleball. It’s a community,” Melandy said.
She and Demmiritt want to open five more clubs like this in the state in the future.MORE NEWS: 'Vax Express' Commuter Rail Train Bringing Shots To Communities With Low COVID Vaccination Rates
You can find more information on their website.