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Hollywood Loves Pickleball: The Game Is Sweeping The City & The Nation

May 17, 2024

Pickleball, a quirky-sounding name for a sport that's sweeping across the globe, is a delightful blend of Tennis, Badminton, and Ping Pong. With its origins dating back to the mid-20th century, this fast-paced game has captured the hearts of people of all ages and fitness levels.

In a community gathering marked by enthusiasm and anticipation last week, City of Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy welcomed residents to the unveiling of the revamped Stan Goldman Memorial Park. Joined by locals, community figures, and dedicated workers, Mayor Levy underscored the significance of the park's enhancements, particularly the addition of new Pickleball Courts.

Stan Goldman Park is a 12 acre passive park which runs along a canal and Interstate 95, connecting Johnson Street and Hollywood Boulevard. The park features a fitness trail, fishing area, playground, picnic areas, dog park, the newly expanded Pickleball Courts, a skatepark and restrooms. It was named after Late City Commissioner Stan Goldman who was a city commissioner for eight years. He was a longtime advocate for the park and worked to expand it. The park was dedicated to him in 1986.

The Pickleball Courts expansion was made possible by a capital investment of nearly $300,000 capital injection, with project management led by the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts and the Design & Construction Management Department.

Local pride was evident in the involvement of Merrick Industrial Management Corporation, a Hollywood-based contractor tasked with bringing the vision to life. Their contribution underscores a commitment to enhancing the community they call home.

How It Started
Pickleball traces its roots back to Bainbridge Island, Washington, in 1965. It all began when Joel Pritchard, a congressman, and his friend Bill Bell returned home one afternoon to find their families bored and restless. In an attempt to entertain them, they rummaged through their garage and found some Ping Pong Paddles, a perforated plastic ball, and a Badminton court. Little did they know, this impromptu invention session would lead to the birth of a new sport.

Experimenting with various rules and equipment, they created a game that combined elements of Badminton, Tennis, and Ping Pong. They lowered the Badminton Net, modified the paddles, and adopted a plastic ball with holes. As the game evolved, the founders named it after the Pritchard family's dog, Pickles, who had a habit of chasing after stray balls.

From its humble beginnings in a backyard on Bainbridge Island, Pickleball quickly gained popularity among friends and neighbors. Within a few years, it spread to other parts of the United States and eventually across the globe. Today, Pickleball is played in community centers, retirement communities, schools, and parks worldwide.

Here Are The Rules
Pickleball is played on a Badminton-sized court with a modified Tennis Net. The rules are relatively simple, making it accessible to players of all skill levels. Here's a brief overview of how the game is played:

Equipment: Pickleball is played with a paddle made of wood, graphite, or composite materials and a plastic ball with holes, similar to a Wiffle Ball.

Court: The court is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long, with a net height of 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches at the center. It's divided into two halves by a centerline and further divided into service courts by a non-volley zone or "kitchen" area.

Serve: The game begins with an underhand serve diagonally across the net. The server must keep one foot behind the baseline and serve the ball into the opposing service court.

Volleys: Players cannot volley (hit the ball without it bouncing) while standing in the non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen. This rule prevents players from dominating the game with aggressive net play.

Scoring: Pickleball is typically played to 11 points, and the winning team must win by at least two points. Points can only be scored by the serving team.

Faults: Common faults include hitting the ball out of bounds, stepping into the non-volley zone while volleying, or serving into the net.

Health Benefits
Beyond its entertainment value, Pickleball offers a host of health benefits that contribute to its growing popularity among people of all ages. Here are some of the ways in which playing Pickleball can improve Physical and Mental Well-Being:

Cardiovascular Health: Pickleball is a dynamic, fast-paced sport that requires constant movement and quick reflexes. Playing Pickleball elevates the heart rate, improves cardiovascular endurance, and burns calories, making it an excellent aerobic exercise.

Muscle Strength and Endurance: The repetitive nature of Pickleball strokes, such as swinging the paddle and moving around the court, helps build muscle strength and endurance, particularly in the arms, shoulders, legs, and core.

Balance and Coordination: Pickleball involves a combination of hand-eye coordination, footwork, and spatial awareness. Regular play can enhance balance, coordination, and agility, which are essential for everyday activities and injury prevention.

Joint Health: Unlike high-impact sports like Basketball or running, Pickleball is relatively low-impact, putting less Stress on the Joints. This makes it an ideal option for individuals with Joint issues or those looking for a gentler form of exercise.

Social Interaction: Pickleball is as much a social activity as it is a sport. Whether playing doubles or singles, it provides opportunities for social interaction, camaraderie, and community building. Many players form lasting friendships both on and off the court.

Stress Reduction: Engaging in Physical Activity releases Endorphins, Neurotransmitters that promote feelings of happiness and well-being. The social aspect of Pickleball, combined with the enjoyment of the game itself, can help reduce Stress and improve overall Mental Health.

Pickleball's journey from a backyard pastime to a global phenomenon is a testament to its appeal and accessibility. With its simple rules, affordable equipment, and health benefits, it's no wonder that Pickleball has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.

Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a novice looking for a fun way to stay active, Pickleball offers something for everyone. So grab a paddle, hit the court, and experience the joy of Pickleball for yourself!

There is a Certified IPTPA Instructor in Hollywood, Coach Gary, at: - you can reach out to him for a lesson and pricing at: (917) 301-8309. As a Certified IPTPA Instructor and Member of the Association of Pickleball Professionals, he has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the game.

The Stan Goldman Memorial Park is located at: 850 Knights Road, Hollywood, Florida 33021.

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