Pickleball becoming more popular along the Gulf Coast - FOX10 News | WALA

Pickleball becoming more popular along the Gulf Coast

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MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

It’s a sport that has become more and more popular…pickleball.

It might have a funny name, but it is very much a serious sport.

“I would describe it as a mix between ping pong and tennis. It's like full court ping pong and the scoring is a lot like volleyball,” said Lindsey Stiegler, a pickleball player.

It really is that simple.

“The way I started playing was my next-door neighbor who is 76 years old had been asking me for about three years to come and play pickleball,” said Bubba Bullington.

Bubba has been playing pickleball for just over a year now.

“I kept saying ‘No, I'm busy. I can't do that.’ Then I’d walk away and say ‘I'm not gonna play a sport called pickleball’,” he said.

But one Wednesday he came to the Via Center on Dauphin Street in Mobile. Then back on that Friday. Little did he think is that he would be back every chance he could since.

“We are very excited here at Via to offer pickleball to the community. We are open to ages of 18 and up. We have a wide range of players here from beginners expert playing,” said Deanna Murphy, Via center director.

Even though it is a sport that mostly seniors play, it is catching on with younger generations, even on the Gulf Coast.

“When I first started playing down here, about the third time playing they said there's a man here that is 82 years old,” said Bullington. “I said: ‘Man, I can't wait to play him!’ First time I played him he had me running every way and it was just amazing at 82 years old what he could do.”

Although pickleball is a combination sport of ping-pong and tennis and scored like volleyball, Bullington said it puts you into the best shape of your life due to all the running.

“The most fun part is the people that you play with. You get to know them…they get to know you. If you miss a shot, you laugh at each other…you have fun. It's a social type game more so than a competitive sport,” said Bullington.

For more information on playing at the Via Center in Mobile, click here.

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