DIMONDALE, Mich. (WLNS) – When it comes to the sport of Pickleball, there’s a good chance you won’t stumble upon it when flipping through the local television channels. That’s why the Dimondale Pickleball Society is bringing those in the community out to the village, on the corner of Jefferson St. and South Bridge St., to learn about the game.
“This spring, when we were opening back up after COVID, I just thought that the community needed something that was just plain fun,” the founder of DPBS and recently retired Village manager, Denise Parisian said. “In a couple of months, we had the court repaired, a banner, t-shirts, posters, a Facebook page, and we were rolling.”
If you’re thinking to yourself, ‘What is Pickleball?’ it’s a sport that looks similar to tennis but is played on a smaller court with a few more differences.
“You play games up to 11,” DPBS teacher and former tennis pro, Ryan Whitehall said. “There’s an area on the court called ‘the Kitchen,’ which is about three feet from the net. This is one of the biggest differentiators. That area of the court, you’re not allowed to step in unless the ball is hit on the ground in that area.”
DPBS plays every Wednesday throughout the summer, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. At 6 p.m., Whitehall, who played and learned Pickleball from former Michigan State tennis coach and the No. 1 Pickleball player in the world, Simone Jardim, teaches those in the community how to play the game.
As of the end of June, DPBS is in their fourth week and those that have come out to play this summer have realized it’s not hard to learn the game.
“Doesn’t matter if you’re ten years old or 80 years old, we’ve had all ages and ability levels,” Whitehall said. “Everybody is really enjoying themselves.”
“People are helping each other, on the court, learn the game and sometimes the greatest athlete might not be the best Pickleball player and sometimes the person that you would think is not an athlete is a great player,” DPBS organizer, Camron Gnass said. “You can easily find us at dimondale.org, or on Facebook at the Dimondale Pickleball Society.