Pickleball players gather at Adams Playground in Peterborough

Sharri Pelanske of Rindge serves while playing doubles with James Roy of Peterborough.

Sharri Pelanske of Rindge serves while playing doubles with James Roy of Peterborough. STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

Sharri Pelanske of Rindge, left, and Jen Bergeron show off their colorful sneakers.

Sharri Pelanske of Rindge, left, and Jen Bergeron show off their colorful sneakers. STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

Sharri Pelanske of Rindge and James Roy of Peterborough, right, rally with Diane Koller of Peterborough and Steve Lord of Peterborough.

Sharri Pelanske of Rindge and James Roy of Peterborough, right, rally with Diane Koller of Peterborough and Steve Lord of Peterborough. STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

Players gather at Adams Playground for pickleball Tuesday morning.

Players gather at Adams Playground for pickleball Tuesday morning. —STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

From left, Steve Lord of Peterborough, Jen Bergeron of Dublin, James Roy of Peterborough and Micheline Daniel of Peterborough touch paddles at the end of the game.

From left, Steve Lord of Peterborough, Jen Bergeron of Dublin, James Roy of Peterborough and Micheline Daniel of Peterborough touch paddles at the end of the game. STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

Jerry Creto of Jaffrey returns a shot.

Jerry Creto of Jaffrey returns a shot. —STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

By BILL FONDA

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 06-20-2024 11:01 AM

Modified: 06-25-2024 11:30 AM


Although temperatures hadn’t hit their high of 90 degrees Tuesday morning, it was still warm enough and sunny enough that players waiting for their next game of pickleball at Adams Playground in Peterborough were taking refuge under umbrellas.

Sessions are typically in the Peterborough Community Center at 25 Elm St., but move to the Adams Playground tennis courts when the weather is good. The game is played on roughly half of a tennis court, although pickleball courts are narrower than tennis courts. The paddles are look like large table tennis paddles, and the ball is plastic.

“We love to have fun, encourage each other and laugh,” Sharri Pelanske of Rindge said.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Wash., by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum. According to USA Pickleball, there are two different stories about how the game got its name, with Pritchard’s wife Joan claiming she named it after a type of boat called a pickle boat, and McCallum saying it was named for the Pritchards’ dog Pickles.

According to a March 2023 report from the Association of Pickleball Professionals, 48.3 million adult Americans – nearly 19% of the total adult population – had played pickleball in the previous 12 months, a 35% increase from the 36.5 million in August 2022. 

“It’s addicting. We’re all addicts.” James Roy of Peterborough said.

Pickleball players are rated on a scale of 1 to 5.5, and the Peterborough Recreation Department offers recreational play for players in levels 2 to 3.25 Tuesday and Friday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and Saturday from 8:30 to 10:20 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.

Open play for levels 2 to 5 is Wednesday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. Competitive play for levels 3.5 to 5 is Monday and Thursday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

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The department also offers clinics for beginners, including June 24 and 25 from 9 to 11 a.m. For information about registration, clinics and fees, go to peterboroughnh.myrec.com/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=29950.