Pickleball makes appearance at Ozarks

Release Date: 10/19/2012

Pickleball, one of the fastest growing sports in the nation, found its way to campus this past week as Ozarks Association for Physical Education (OAPE) arranged a demonstration for students, faculty, and staff.

Pickleball

Many U of O students recently learned about the fast-growing game of pickleball from a group of members from the Arkansas River Valley Pickleball Club.

Pickleball (part tennis, part ping pong, and part badminton) may seem strange, but it is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation. Played on a court one-third the size of a tennis court but incorporating many of the same rules, pickleball brings low impact exercise together with a fast paced, competitive game.

Lisa Hibbard, a physical education instructor at Ozarks, has always wanted to play pickleball and thought it would be a great project for the newly organized OAPE.

"Ozarks Association for Physical Education is focused on promoting physical education, wellness and health awareness to the campus and community," Hibbard said. "Pickleball is a great way to do that. People love playing it because it's easy to learn. It's lower impact than some sports, but still fast paced and exciting."

Hibbard, along with OAPE and Brett Stone, assistant professor of health and physical education, brought in members from the Arkansas River Valley Pickleball Club to explain the rules and demonstrate the game.

"River Valley Pickleball is the largest pickleball organization in the state. The members were happy to come to Ozarks and share this new game with our campus," said Hibbard.

She hopes that pickleball will provide a way for OAPE to bring new avenues for physical activity to the surrounding community.

"Ideally, we would be able to form a pickleball league next spring and have our students demonstrating the game for the local community," Hibbard said. "We'd love to get everyone involved."