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Pickleball Tournament

Pickleball Tournament


Narrator: More than 100 students from all four high schools in the Dysart Unified School District recently competed in the district’s first Pickleball tournament at Valley Vista High School. The tournament was arranged by local pickleball players in the community, including Norm Davis, who is an ambassador for the USA Pickleball Association. Norm: I retired from the pickleball board to get into the schools so that we could get this kind of an event going. And hopefully the next step would be get it into ike a league form of the high schools. It’s a good fun sport. It’s great exercise. It’s a great social kind of a sport, as you can see. And so I thought it would be something fun and constructive, and good exercise for the kids to do. Narrator: Students first learned of the game in gym class and found it quite easy to pick up. Julianne: I like playing all sports, so I found it as another way of tennis. So I liked learning it, but it wasn’t that difficult if you put your mind to it. Because in tennis if you want to like smack the ball over as hard as you can. But in this you want to hit it lightly enough where it’s also powerful but deceiving. Narrator: Julianne also found out quickly that not only is the sport easy to learn, but it’s incredibly fun to play. Julianne: Me and my friends loved playing the game. We’d be so competitive with each other. We’re like, oh we scored, oh we won. So when we heard about the tournament were like, oh my gosh, we have to do this. So me and my partner Hayley Parker did it together. It’s been very good. We are currently undefeated 5-0. Which, I had a great time meeting the other players from the other schools, talking to them ,and also playing them. was fun. Norm: The rules are designed to take power out of it. You don’t get a hundred and twenty mile an hour serves, and so the more hits the more fun, the more fun the more gregarious you feel. And that’s why you see the kids laughing and joking and playing around. You don’t see that in other sports. Narrator: Pickleball has become a popular sport over the years within the more senior communities. However this event was a way to help introduce younger groups to the sport where it actually got its origins. Norm: The game started in 1965 in Bainbridge Island out of Seattle. A group of old lifetime friends that had cottages, it was a rainy day in June and, kind of rainy, and the kids were cranky, and the parents tired. So one of the fellows had a badminton court, and he gave them some ping pong paddles and a softball sized wiffle ball and said go play. And the kids were having a ball. Well the next day they lowered the net because the little kids had a problem. So it was designed for kids and over the next eight or ten months they resolved the rules to what they are today. It is for all generations. Narrator: Julianne and her teammate ended up taking first place in the tournament and earning the trophy for Shadow Ridge High School. But more importantly, she says she had a great time as younger and older generations came together to build a stronger community with such a fun activity. Julianne: For schools, I know that people are very competitive, and I know the sport is not as competitive, but it’s also Co friendly. So I could see it bringing groups and communities together. I had a great time I hope they do this again, and I would like to come back.

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