It’s been called the fastest growing sport in America for the last few decades. It’s easy to learn, easy to play at all ages and it’s kind of a big deal in Coronado.
Pickleball is a cross between tennis, racquetball, and badminton, played on a hard court 44 feet by 20 feet wide. The sport was invented by three fathers in the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington. When they could not find the shuttlecocks for their children to play badminton, they improvised with a battered old wiffleball and Pickleball (named after their dog Pickles) was born. The sport has grown nationally and internationally ever since and today it is estimated that over 3 million people play regularly.
In Coronado, the hub of Pickleball activity is at the Marriott Island Resort Fitness Center. There are eight permanent courts with play open to the public. On Mondays from 8 a.m. to noon, the courts are dedicated for ‘open play.’ The courts should be reserved online at a cost of $24 per court for two hours. However, if you’re going to play regularly, you can purchase a 10-use punch card for only $54.
There are also pickleball courts at the Coronado Cays Tennis center which can be reserved for $5 per person. Open play for all levels is Saturdays between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.. You can find more information on clinics and tournaments at the Cays on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/coronadopickleball/
In addition, the Coronado Shores now have two Pickleball courts for residents and their guests’ private use.
Back at the Marriott, I ran into Jon Pollock who, according to his friends, is the Godfather of Coronado Pickleball. Every Tuesday and Thursday mornings Jon organizes round-robin style tournaments for up to 32 players. As I took in my first ever game of doubles, it was easy to understand the game’s popularity. Play is fast paced and the camaraderie contagious. I will definitely be going back to get in a game.