The passion and politics of pickleball
Rainy weather forced the action indoors. The clack of plastic paddles echoed throughout the Walter Reed Community Center gymnasium. Monday mornings are reserved for players 55 and older in this gym. Both basketball courts were converted for pickleball, with eight eager seniors occupying a quadrant.
Barbara Smith has been living in Arlington for 17 years. She discovered her love for pickleball last December.
“I took pickleball classes here at Walter Reed. It was called Pickleball 1. Then I started playing three times a week. I felt like I started making progress.”
Over the past three years, the number of Americans who reported playing pickleball wentfrom 5 millionto36.5 million according to theAssociation of Pickleball Professionals.
Arlington County is one of the many communities caught up in the pickleball craze. That’s not without its problems. Denizens are fighting over sound ordinances and the use of public parks.
As the sport builds in popularity among amateur players, professional pickleball is also getting an influx of cash from sporting celebrities like Lebron James and Kevin Love.
We host a panel conversation about the passion and politics of pickleball.
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