Pickleball helps the young-at-heart stay active - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Pickleball helps the young-at-heart stay active

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People don’t have to be athletes to play this sport, which is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong. (Source: CNN) People don’t have to be athletes to play this sport, which is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - Pickleball, a sport named after the founder's dog, Pickles, is growing in popularity around the nation.

It's good exercise but not too hard on the body.

It's a combination of tennis, ping pong and badminton. Players need a plastic ball, a paddle and a small version of a tennis court.

"It's an underhand serve so people with bad shoulders can play," said Tom Earley, co-founder of the North Georgia Pickleball Club. "You don't move around a whole lot so people with bad knees can play."

It's not just a game for the older than 50 crowd, but it is more forgiving than other racket sports like tennis or racketball.

Bill Hess, 73, recently had a partial knee replacement but is now back at it. He likes the camaraderie.

"Everyone has fun. You hear all the laughing out here," Bill Hess said. "You miss a shot and you all laugh. You don't laugh at one another; you laugh together."

Hess also likes the competition. He and his wife, Carole Hess, both play.

"We play together, and we play against each other," Carole Hess said. "I'm not sure which is more fun, actually."

Pickleball is helping David Dunn who has a history of heart disease.

"I get a lot of exercise. I've lost weight," Dunn said. "I just feel a lot fitter. It's such a great game."

It's easy to learn. If you have a little hand-eye coordination, you can be playing the game within 15 minutes.

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