New “pickleball” craze comes to Tazewell County

Area pickleball players say all ages and skill levels can play the sport.
Published: Feb. 5, 2023 at 5:20 PM EST
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TAZEWELL, Va. (WVVA) -Pickleball is a fast-growing sport that has taken root in the area. There are multiple clubs in Tazewell County alone that feature the sport and give pros and novices alike the chance to play together.

“Oh, this is the funnest sport. This is so much fun. It’s like a mixture of tennis and racquetball and table tennis. It’s all mixed up with a whole lot of goofy rules,” says Estella Catron, a local pickleball player.

Steve Sarver, owner of a tennis court in Bluefield, Virginia, says pickleball’s universal popularity inspired him to modify his courts for this new craze. He says, compared to similar sports, pickleball is very easy to learn.

“In pickleball, you can have an enjoyable time playing with people at your own level, thirty minutes after you start for the very first time. The ball travels slow, the court’s not that big to cover and pretty much people of all ages can play,” says Sarver.

The YMCA in Tazewell, Virginia also started their own pickleball club, and the YMCA Sports Director says, in six weeks, club attendance has more than tripled with club members of all ages.

“Pickleball is a little bit slower paced. However,... it can be a little fast paced. And so, it ranges from ages too. It doesn’t matter what age you are and stuff, everybody kind of picks up... and joins the sport,” says Matthew Griffey, the Sports Director at the YMCA.

Time will tell if pickleball will stand the test of time and find its place among classics like tennis and ping pong, but, for now, it remains a growing pastime with passionate fans.

If you would like to join either of these clubs, the YMCA pickleball club meets every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from ten to noon and the Sarver pickleball club meets Sundays at four, Tuesdays at six, and Thursdays at six.