Pickleball: Nothing to do with pickles, but everything to do with fun


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Pickleball is currently the fastest growing sport in the world and El Paso is not falling behind the trend either.

This sport has nothing to do wit pickles even though the story is very sweet.

“In 1965 in a backyard, using ping pond paddles and a badminton net some kids just started hitting a wiffle ball over the net,” said Ben Avalos, who has been playing pickleball for 41 years.

“The dog named Pickles would go and chase the ball,” he said, “and since he was always stealing the ball, it’s called – pickleball.”

Avalos is a retired PE teacher and now trains others on how to play pickleball at different recreation centers around El Paso.

“The sport has grown and the popularity has grown where we have hundreds of people now laying in El Paso,” he said.

Everything started in El Paso back in 2013, when a group at a senior center created their own field using tape on the floor.

One of them was Terry who is now 78 and is not thinking about putting down her pickleball paddle any time soon.

“Once we started playing we played it all the time,” she said.

You can try out pickleball yourself by joining one of the practices at the Galatzan Recreation Center every Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The city of El Paso will also be hosting a Halloween Pickleball Tournament on October 22. Fee for entry is five pounds of candy per player and it will be held as a single elimination format.

For more information about the tournament call 915-212-0734.

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