Pickleball isn’t just for adults. Afterall, why should they have all the fun?
Encouraging the younger generation to learn the game, the St. Charles Park District is now offering two different sessions for Youth Pickleball this winter: from 3-4 p.m. Feb. 23-March 23 and 3-4 p.m. Feb. 25-March 25. All sessions take place at Haines Middle School, 309 S. 9th St., St. Charles.
The program is for ages 10-18, but players will be grouped by age and skill level.
Pickleball — a combination of tennis, racquetball and ping-pong – is a growing sport that allows all generations to play together. And families who play together can look forward to Pickleball Family Open Play on Sundays starting March 28.
During Youth Pickleball, participants will learn the skills to play the game as well as the rules, so players “get a good feel for what is takes to play competitively,” said Athletic Supervisor Megan Hatheway.
Learning a new sport also helps build confidence and players will reap the benefits of social interaction, sharing a common interest and making new friendships.
“It’s also a great opportunity for fitness. Once you know the game, it can be a lifetime sport and a family activity – as all experience levels are welcome,” Hatheway said.
With 3.3 million pickleball participants nationwide, the St. Charles Park District has noticed a steady growth in its pickleball adult participants over the last 10 years. Responding to this interest, they host regular open gyms and special social nights at both Haines and Pottawatomie Community Center.
Now, youth will have the same opportunities to learn the game. And when the weather warms up, families can play together at the outdoor court at Belgium Town Park. And six more courts will be erected outside at James O. Breen Community Park this spring.
Paddles for Youth Pickleball will be provided, but bring a water bottle. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, masks are required at all times, even during playing.
To register for Youth Pickleball, visit www.stcparks.org. For more information, call Megan Hatheway at 630-513-4336.
Rules of the Game:
A combination of ping-pong, tennis and racquetball, Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court, 20X44. Most commonly played with doubles, players use paddles and a perforated ball. Players serve the ball across a net to the opposing side like tennis, but with some unique rules. The following are basic rules, according to the USA Pickleball Association and the International Federation of Pickleball Official Rulebook:
• The court is divided into right/even and left/odd service courts and non-volley zones.
• The ball is served diagonally across the net to the opponent’s service court using an underhand motion.
• The ball is struck back and forth across the net until a player fails to return the ball in accordance with the rules.
• Points are scored only by the serving side when the server or the server’s team wins the rally, or the opposing side commits a fault.
• The first side scoring 11 points and leading by at least a 2-point margin wins.