Pickleball is steadily becoming a more and more popular sport among people in Central Alberta.
Picking up on the increased popularity, the Town of Sylvan Lake will be hosting it’s first ever pickle ball tournament.
“It’s a bit of a different sport,” said Recreation Program Coordinator Alec Pollock. “It seems to be pretty popular among the 45 plus crowd.”
Pollock described the game as a mix between tennis, table tennis and badminton.
To play, the sport requires the use of a solid paddle, usually made of wood or composite materials, to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net.
The game is played on a badminton court but uses a tennis net.
The rules are also similar to tennis, though there are a few modifications.
The tournament was decided upon after witnessing the success at other nearby tournaments and watching the community participate in drop-in pickleball at the NexSource Centre.
“The tournament in Penhold was hugely successful. There were a lot of people out for that one,” said Pollock.
He hopes the tournament in Sylvan Lake will be successful as well, but Pollock believes there will be a good turnout.
“People are really enjoying the game and get really into it,” he said.
The first ever pickle ball tournament in Sylvan Lake will run over the September-long weekend.
The Battle of the Paddles, as the tournament has been dubbed in an unsanctioned tournament, and accepts players of all levels.
“This is a great opportunity to come out and try something new and different, even if you haven’t played it before,” Pollock said.
There will be two events of play for this tournament – singles and groups – with each event divided into divisions.
In the singles event, there will be two divisions: moderate and advanced.
For the groups event, there are three divisions: novice, moderate and advanced.
“Our round-robin tournament will allow everyone to play plenty of games,” said Pollock, adding there could be upwards of 20 games played by each team.
Pollock says there will be a high number of games played due to the amount of courts booked for the tournament.
There will be at least six courts for the tournament, which will means plenty of games always going on.
“We aren’t entirely sure yet about the make-up of the tournament, we are still trying to decide how that will look,” said Pollock.
Tentatively, the tournament outline will have singles playing on Friday, group novice and moderate playing Friday/Saturday, and group advanced playing Saturday/Sunday.
Registration for the tournament is $40 a person, and includes a $10 food voucher.
Anyone looking to play in both events can do so for an additional $20.
According to the Pickleball in Sylvan Lake Facebook page, “If you wanted to play Singles and your significant other wanted to play Group, you’d still both have to pay the $40.”
To register call the NexSource Centre at 403-887-2199.