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Pickleball Rises Fast on Spring Hill Campus

Tom+Gutermann+joins+classmates+in+friendly+pickle+ball+match
Mya Falgout
Tom Gutermann joins classmates in friendly pickle ball match

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States, dominating the athletic and social media world. According to usapickleball.org, there are currently 410 courts in Alabama and an American membership increase of over 30% in the year 2023. 

Students at Spring Hill College have had an increased interest in the game and constantly play on the courts that were included in the renovations last fall. Whether students are playing a real game or just having fun, the courts are filled with laughter and excitement. Spring Hill College alum of 2020, Branna Hokanson, comes back on campus to play weekly. Hokanson stated, “I think it would have been awesome if we had a pickleball club while we were here. I love playing pickleball, it’s a good sport just to play with my friends, family, and I’ve gotten my grandmother to play out here a couple of times.”

Some students have agreed with Hokanson and mentioned how they wish to start a club here on campus. This would promote staying active, socializing with others, and campus involvement.

 The sport gained its popularity for being easy to play and requiring very little practice. It is also light on the body, allowing players of all ages to enjoy. The sport can be played in singles, or doubles. Each player gets one paddle and one ball is used to play. Each rally begins with an underhand serve, and ends when there has been a fault taken place. A fault can be hitting the ball out of bounds, into the net, or by hitting a volley while you are standing in the kitchen. 

The non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen, is the box right next to the net on both sides of the court. You cannot hit a volley, which is a shot hit out of the air, while standing in the kitchen. You must let the ball bounce in the kitchen before hitting it, or have your body outside of the kitchen when you hit a volley. Only points can be won on your serve, so if your opponent makes a fault when they are serving, no one gets a point. The first team or person to reach 11 points wins, but you must always win by 2 points. 

Sebastian Torress, a Badger tennis player, still finds time to pick up the pickleball paddle during the week. Torress stated,“I think pickleball is fun as you can get along with friends and invite really whoever you want and still have fun.”

Spring Hill College’s courts are public and free for students to play at any time. Paddles and balls can be purchased from your nearest sports outlet. If you think you may be interested in starting a pickleball club here on campus, email the Center for Student Involvement, at [email protected]. And remember, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

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Mya Falgout
Mya Falgout, Staff Writer
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