Pickleball in Wilmington

By Chamber Membership and Events Coordinator Hannah Greene


As you may have heard the newest, most popular sport in Wilmington is Pickle Ball. For those who don’t already know it is a paddlesport combining elements of badmintontennis, and table tennis. It is played between either two or four people. The paddles are solid wood and the balls used are very similar to a wiffle ball, the dimensions and layout of a badminton court, and a net and rules very similar to the game of tennis. The game was invented in 1965 in Washington state by three men who were running out of activities to do with their families after a game of golf. One of these men was governor from 1988-96 but is best known for his relation to the commencement of Pickelball, him and his friends created this game as another activity they could do and to spend time together.


Interestingly, the game was created to cater all ages and abilities, which makes it a great activity to bring people together. It is easy to learn and pick up but, can also be a faced paced competitive game for those who would like to advance. One really nice feature of this game is that it can be played indoors or outdoors especially here in Vermont. 


Here in Wilmington they are taking advantage of the old school building and the town tennis courts. They were able to take an old mostly uninhabited building and outdoor area and really turn it into a popular spot. On Thursdays they offer clinics taught by more advanced players at 8:30, giving anyone looking to improve their game the chance to. 


The https://www.usapa.org is an extremely useful tool and Mecca for information on all things pickleball. It tells you all the information you would possibly need to know about pickleball, regulations and rules, tournaments offered, you can join as a member or ambassador also a very useful tool called places 2 play. This shows an interactive map showing you where you can play all over the country.


Right now the sport is on the rise in popularity at an explosive rate. The number of locations to play has more than doubled since 2010 and it is one of the fastest growing sports in the country at the moment. It has almost 4,000 locations across the country all accessible to the public and easy to find on the USAPA website. 


There are many reasons for it becoming so popular. As I said before it is easy for anyone to pick up so there isn’t a huge learning curve like in the game of golf. It also is a social activity, allowing you to talk and make new connections with people you may have never met before. Also, with health trends on the rise pickle ball is an easy and fun way to stay in shape throughout all of our seasons. It also helps with hand eye coordination, foot speed and lower risk of injury. Another plus is that it is fairly inexpensive. You basically just have to get your racquet which is much more durable than a tennis racquet and less costly than a bag of golf clubs. And there are typically no membership fees just a small one each time that you play. 


Luckily Wilmington is right on the ball with this trend. We have a small league that plays multiple times a week with the option for indoor or outdoor pickle ball depending on our ever fluctuating weather. Wilmington pickle ball was founded by Fred Salway, Gary Henry and Dario Lussardi. You can go down to the Old High School community building Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 am on. Games last anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes. There are also facilities in Bennington and Brattleboro So if you are looking to be more social or in shape or just looking for a new hobby there is pickle ball in Wilmington for you.   


For more information Call Fred at 860-989-2116