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What, you may ask, is pickleball? At the beginning of the year while visiting a college friend and his wife in Palm Springs, it turned out that our friend Melody Schneider has become a very good pickleball player. She lives in a northern suburb of Chicago with her husband Steve Schneider and she is sufficiently advanced at the game that she won a doubles tournament recently in Milwaukee. She also travels with her graphite racket and a few competition balls, akin to yellow whiffle balls, presumably in case a game might break out in Palm Springs while they are in residence during the winter.
A couple of weeks ago Coronado resident Don Grueser called to discuss his favorite sport, which as it turns out, is pickleball. Sensing that a trend was developing, a story about pickleball clearly was in order. Grueser was fresh from earning a silver medal in the Men’s 3.0 Doubles event in the California State Games. The Pickleball portion of the multi-sport California State Games was played at the Coronado Tennis Center. “I’m having a ball playing it,” Grueser said by phone from Colorado Springs. I probably should have asked him if he had his racket and pickleballs with him in case a game broke out in Colorado.
“I have a tennis background and the learning curve was pretty easy,” Grueser continued. “Once I learned the rules and how to keep score it was an easy transition. The California State Games were quite a large event with 150 people competing. We have quite a group playing in Coronado and we are very anxious to increase the number of residents who play here. The city of Coronado is interested in supporting pickleball and they want to be sure there is a strong player base. Tammy Carney was the star. She runs the pickleball organization for the city and she won a gold medal in the 3.5 Women’s Doubles.”