Max Massey, KSAT 12 - 31 May 2018
Some may describe the sport as a combination of ping pong and tennis, but most people who play just describe it as fun.
Ed Beyster, of Windcrest Tennis and Pickleball, is the ambassador of pickleball for San Antonio.
Beeyster said the premise of the game remains the same: Get the ball over the net. You have to serve it underhanded and must be the one to serve to earn a point. It’s played on a smaller court, and you play to 11. Also, there is a red area that’s vital to the rules.
“If you notice the red area, that’s called the kitchen. You cannot go in the kitchen and hit the ball in the air. You can’t charge the net like you do in tennis,” Beyster said.
KSAT asked Beyster the following questions:
How have you seen pickleball grow?
“We had four people show up the first day within three months. We had 60 to 90 people come, so we put two more courts in,” Beyster said.
Five years later, four more courts have been installed. Now, the center has tournaments almost every weekend and league play multiple times a week.
Why is the sport becoming so popular?
“Because it’s easy. They can’t play tennis anymore. They’ve got bad hips or bad knees. I have a bad shoulder and I can’t play tennis anymore, so it’s become an easier game. It’s a smaller court. They are getting their exercise,” Beyster said.
What is the typical age for pickleball players?
Beyster said the average age for a player is around 60 years old, but the tides are starting to turn.
“(We are) getting younger people now. We have had a woman who was 93 that played in San Marcos. There’s a woman who is 96,” Beyster said.
There are several facilities all over Texas and the country that offer the sport and training classes for anyone who is interested in joining in on the fun.
2019 Registration is Open!
Photo: Jerry Lara - Staff Photographer - SA Express News
Margaret Canby, 85, is the top-ranked player in her age division in the country.