Pickleball Redux

I wrote about pickleball here back in August. The sport is booming. The photo following was taken from the USA Pickleball Association website, and it depicts play in the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships that were held in Indian Wells, CA from November 2-10. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which hosts the BNP Paribas tennis tournament each March, had 49 tennis courts converted into pickleball courts (no small feat) to accommodate the more than 2500 participants. One wag said of the pickleball championship; “This is the big dill!” I get it.

For a parking fee of 10 bucks and an all-day admission pass of 5 bucks you could view as much pickleball as long as you were able to withstand the 90 degree F temperatures. We lasted two hours watching mixed doubles, and I had some observations: Many of the men hogged the court (not this gentleman however); and many of the men appeared to have played in what they slept in the night before (although their partners looked just lovely); and while most contestants were gracious, there were some very dubious line calls (as players are required to self-police). All-in-all though, it’s a great spectator experience and one that causes me to think that I should dust off my racquet and revisit the game.

Apart from some very spirited play, the most impressive feature of this championship is the venue. The Tennis Garden is spectacular.

My only disappointment? No sign of Margaritaville’s Jimmy Buffett.