Pickleball craze spills into Marbletown! - BlueStone Press
October 21, 2020

Pickleball craze spills into Marbletown!

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And the beat goes on …

And the Wiffle ball bounces over the net and outside “the kitchen.”

It’s not tennis, it’s not badminton, and it’s not ping-pong …

It’s called pickleball!¶

Ingredients include two parts tennis, one part badminton, a half-part ping-pong, and a whole lot of fun!¶

It resembles tennis mostly in respect to player positioning, scoring and basic play. It morphs into badminton or ping-pong (depending on how you hold your racquet) when it gets into play because the smaller version of the Wiffle ball (aka pickleball) loses steam as it cruises over the net, which allows both players (on one side) to stand and punch the ball over the net back and forth, without so much concern for impact injury and court coverage. This also sets itself apart from tennis in respect to safety (and speed), which intrigues players of all ages. It is also important to note the difference in racquet. Pickleball utilizes a wooden face racquet, while tennis utilizes a string racquet.

When the BSP met with some players – Pat and Terry Haddock and Marie Perfect – at the Rondout Municipal Center on Lucas Turnpike, Terry Haddock said,” You don’t have to be a top athlete to play, but you do have to have a sense of humor.”¶

Perfect added,” We want to try to encourage the parks to incorporate pickleball-court setup options on their tennis courts to attract more people (to play). It’s a shame to have tennis courts go to waste.” (We played a quick match, and the Haddocks hustled their way to victory. Perfect and I fought back to no avail, losing the match decisively 5-11.)¶

They continued to talk about the “the pickleball system,” where you sign up for a time slot through a Google calendar app, once your name is submitted to Jill McLean, recreation director. It’s free for Marbletown residents, $3 each or $20 for 10 sessions for out-of-town residents, presented in vouchers, purchased right in the same building with the Marbletown town clerk’s office. Each time slot allows six players, as you (can) rotate as you play.

McLean sent a memo to the BSP:

“Pickleball is available at the Rondout Municipal Center (RMC).  All participants must sign up for court time with the Marbletown Youth and Rec Office. Emailing us at youthandrec@marbletown.net is the best option to reserve space, but you may also call the office at 687-0800. We have a waiver form that must be filled out and filed with us before playing. It is available online at Marbletown.net under the Youth and Rec document center or in our office. Marbletown and Rosendale residents are free and nonresidents will pay $3 per 2-hour court time or $2 if they buy a sheet of coupons in advance.  Lessons are also available with pickleball instructor Bridget McGrew. 

… We are also looking to have outdoor courts in place by spring time!”

 

Pickleball is even spilling over into the Town of Rochester. The Haddocks are very proactive in the “pickleball community.” Terry Haddock continued to give insight on some breaking news for the Town of Rochester: “Outdoor and indoor court modifications are already in progress. The Veterans Park already has one permanent (outdoor) court with one more promised (completion) in the spring.

“Skate Time 209, which will be called Neighborhood 209 in January, will have portable setups for three courts. The skateboard ramps will be removed, and there will be space for three portable setups,” she said.

Haddock also spoke of the “pickleball ambassador,” Jayne McLaughlin, ambassador for U.S.A. Pickleball Association, a national nonprofit. McLaughlin works with the USAPA on a local level, and looks for court creation all through the surrounding areas. Kingston has six permanent outdoor courts at Loughran Park, and the YMCA has three (portable) indoor courts. The YMCA utilizes a “paddle-system” where you lay down your paddles in a row, and the first four paddles play next.¶

Now back to the score … The third number in the match score only designates what serve you are on, whether it is one or two, so typically you would call out your score, the opponents score, and whether it is first or second serve. For example, “3-8-2” means the server is losing 3-8 in score and is on their second serve.¶

Let’s get back to “the kitchen.” The kitchen is the small area just beyond the net before the servers’ box. The servers’ box is the area you must hit your serve cross-court just past the kitchen. One important thing to note about the kitchen is that you must hit a ball on the ground before you can hit it in the kitchen. Players must stay out of the kitchen with respect to their feet until the ball hits the kitchen. Another important note is that you have to let the ball bounce on the court for the return, and then you can approach the net.¶

Our suggestion to you is to come join up at the Town of Marbletown – Rondout Municipal Center – and learn as you go, or sign up for lessons with Bridget McGrew. Remember to sign up for a time slot with McLean first. (Racquets are typically supplied to you when you go to play at the Rondout Municipal Center.)¶

Terry Haddock finished by saying, “This is a great group of people that play here at the RMC,” continuing in a secret, whispering tone, “Just keep that off the record because I still want to still be able to get (time) spots.”¶

 

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