The gymnasium rang with laughter. Sneakers squeaked on the shiny wood floor. Balls bounced and points were scored.
It was the gym at the Moshannon Valley branch of the YMCA of Centre County, but it wasn’t children from the summer day camp playing basketball. It wasn’t children at all.
And the ball? Well, that’s kind of a pickle.
The game is pickleball, a kind of hybrid of tennis, badminton and ping pong. The nets are as big as a volleyball court, but they sit low on the ground. The yellow ball looks perfect for unleashing your inner Serena Williams, but the racquets are more like plate size paddleball equipment.
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What is all too familiar is the fun.
Program director Whitney Ferguson says the newest sport at the Y started in May with just four participants. Just three months later, it is being played three days a week with 25 members in a league, led by instructor John Johnson, who first introduced the game at the Clearfield YMCA.
“It’s really catching on,” she said.
Most of the players are on the adult side of the Y’s age range, but Ferguson said the program is open to people of all ages, and she is seeing more interest from younger picklers.
It’s may be spreading farther into Centre County. The Bellefonte branch is considering adding it to the roster, she said.
“It’s just so competitive. It’s so much fun,” Ferguson said.