BLACKFOOT – The pickleball doubles team of Bill Hunt and Frank Tomazin took first place in their age category in the Senior Olympics last Saturday in Pocatello.
“It was a good time,” said Hunt. “I also took first place in singles in my age group (75-79) and second place in the singles tournament overall (ages 50 and up).
Hunt started playing the game last winter in St. George. Tomazin starting playing the sport about three or four weeks ago.
“I play racketball during the winter,” said Tomazin. “Pickleball is similar in that you aim for certain spots on the court and try to make your opponent run from side to side to wear him down.
“It’s a larger version of ping pong and a smaller version of tennis,” he said.
Hunt and Tomazin play one time each week, every week.
“Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the U.S,” Hunt said. “It originated in Washington and is big in Texas and southern Utah.”
“St. George, Utah, is taking out all its tennis courts to put in pickleball courts,” he said.
The pickleball court measures 20 feet x 44 feet. The LDS Church in Moreland has a concrete pad that is being used for this sport.
The ball is a wiffle ball that is bigger than a baseball and smaller than a softball.
The racket is rectangular in shape and is larger than a ping pong ball racket.
To begin play, the ball is served underhand below the waist. It is served cross court.
In doubles, each player serves the wiffle ball once and then the opposing doubles team members serve it once apiece. Service alternates between teams.
The person or team only scores when he or she is serving the ball. Eleven points wins the match. Players must win by two points.
“It’s a game for all ages and all skill levels,” said Hunt.
“We are trying to get as many people as possible to come out and try it,” said Tomazin. “It’s fun.”
For more information, contact Hunt at 681-0834 or Tomazin at 684-5363.