The sport of pickleball has grown rapidly, specifically since the pandemic, and one place it’s gaining traction is JCCC.
“Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country,” said JCCC Pickleball Club President Tom Brewer. “Everybody can play pickleball. You don’t have to have a lot of skill.”
“Old people can play with young people,” he said. “Men play with women.”
According to usapickleball.org, in 2021, the section of under-24 pickleball players was the fastest-growing age demographic.
Brewer talked about his experience when he first began JCCC’s Pickleball Club, saying, “A lot of the students thought, ‘Well, this is just a game for old people.'” “But they’ve learned different.”
But just because young adult students have discovered that they can enjoy pickleball doesn’t mean JCCC’s Pickleball Club isn’t accessible to the sports stereotypical older demographic.
“The Pickleball Club is unusual in that, as far as I know, it is the only club that is specifically designated for students, faculty, and staff,” Brewer said.
On what makes Pickleball so accessible to all demographics, Brewer said “it’s the court itself, it’s the equipment itself, and it’s the rules.” You don’t have to have great strength to get the ball over the net.
“There’s a lot less territory to cover [than on a tennis court] so you don’t have to be that fast.”
He said there are also rules against overhand serves and standing right next to the net. This neutralizes the advantage that a much stronger, taller or faster person would have in gameplay.
“[Pickleball even has] special rules for people playing in a wheelchair” that allow players to drop-serve. The rule–that has now been adopted into standard rules for all to play, he explained–allows one to drop the ball off the ground and hit it with the paddle as the ball bounced back up towards the server.
This rule was originally only for players in wheelchairs and was made to give the server the ability to generate more power in their serve than they could if they had to drop the ball from their left hand straight onto the paddle in their right hand.
The club will meet indoors in the fieldhouse every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m.
Reid McEvoy, student reporter