◆ More than 200 members are part of the Star Valley Ranch Pickleball Club.
Pickleball is a combination of badminton, ping-pong and tennis and is often played on converted tennis courts.
Because multiple pickleball courts can be created on a single tennis court, it is efficient for many recreational areas.
In addition, because it is less demanding on joints it is very attractive to wider array of players.
“It’s such a fun sport,” said Thomas Morris, President of the Star Valley Ranch Pickleball Club. “It’s very addictive. People think it’s a bit of a crazy name but once you start it, it is addictive.”
Though the sport was created in 1965 and has been spreading across the country for many years, it has been in the past decade that it has caught fire in the West.
“We started here with a club probably about ten years ago,” Morris said. “We converted some old tennis courts which are smaller than a standard court. It’s easier on older people’s joints. Its really become a quick, fast-paced competitive game that a lot of tennis players are converting to.”
That doesn’t mean there is not a competitive element.
“There are several leagues that are professional leagues with professional players who play on a circuit of different tournaments thorough the region,” Morris continued. “We have a sanctioned tournament here in July which is our big fundraiser. Its a three-day event on July 26 that we use to raise money. There are a tremendous amount of people who travel from place to place just to play pickleball.”
Getting into the sport is cheap and easy by comparison. Opportunities to play in the valley are abundant during the summer.
“We play every day with open play every morning,” Morris added. “Then everybody can play after that. We just kind of reserve the courts for our members and those who want to play. I think we have over 230 annual members last year with a tremendous amount of transient people who drop by. We also get folks from the valley and we welcome them as well.”
Not only do players make new friends, it is also non-threatening to start.
“One good thing is that it is very easy to get into,” Morris concluded. “For our new people who want to try it; people are more than willing to help new members get some exposure. We’re more than willing to try and help new people in the community. You can play competitively or play socially.”
“You can also contact me,” Morris said. “I’m happy to give any information I can.