QUINCY — Saturday morning offered near-perfect weather for the Quincy Park District’s Gem City Pickleball Classic tournament at the Upper Moorman Park courts.
Ben Klingner, recreation program director for QPD, said the turnout was looking good for the three divisions offered, beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
“We had 19 teams signed up,” Klingner said. “One team had to withdraw from the advanced division. So it worked out that we had six teams in each division.”
One of the fastest growing sports in the United States, there are three parks that offer pickleball in Quincy.
“We have two courts at Johnson Park,” Klingner said. “Those are the newest courts. There are four at Berrian Park, and then we have the six courts here at Upper Moorman.”
Klingner describes the game as a hybrid between tennis and ping pong. The courts are smaller, and the game is played with paddles and whiffle balls, which move a little slower and float a little more than tennis balls.
“It makes for longer volleys and points,” Klingner said. “I think that’s part of what draws people to it, that it’s more playing time and it’s easy to pick up.”
In Quincy, there isn’t an organized league, much like the three-on-three basketball with teams coming together for the Gus Macker tournament.
“We thought about setting up a league,” Klingner said, “but the players seem to enjoy setting their own times to play, and then we just have the tournament for them.”
The courts in the parks are open for public use, and Klingner invites anyone to come and give the game a try.
“I would encourage anyone that wants to get out and stay active, get some cardio in, it’s a great sport for that,” he said.