What is pickleball?

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - What is pickleball? Well, it's a sport that involves a paddle, a ball, a net, and is a combination between ping pong, tennis, and badminton.

"We use an oversized ping pong paddle so it's larger, the net is low like in tennis, and the court is the size of a badminton court," said NSG Pickleball Chairman Tom Burkhart.

As for scoring, it's similar to volleyball but with each game playing to 11 points, win by 2.

"Pickleball is all about strategy and where to place it. I have a volleyball background so I have a pretty mean upper slam that works pretty well for me. It's really all about hand-eye coordination" said player Charlotte Rivera of Dallas, Texas.

"It's pretty easy to learn, and there are things you can do to improve your game," Burkhart added.

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation.  More than 900 players are competing in the National Senior Games this week in Birmingham alone, the most the event's ever had.

"It gets pretty heated, and there can be a lot of aggressive players which is what we like," said player Bubba Davis from Angel Fire, New Mexico.

"It'll be game on. We have to be game on for this one, we have to be serious because a gold medal is involved," Rivera added.

Pickleball competition starts Saturday and concludes next Thursday at the BJCC.

Where can you play pickleball? "YMCA's, churches, and recreation centers across the nation," Burkhart said.

For a complete list of where you can play pickleball in the United States, go to www.usapa.org to find out more.

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