Relishing Pickleball

David Zapatka

“Is Pickleball the Perfect Pandemic Pastime?”

On May 30, the New York Times ran an article with the title above. They went on to say Ellen DeGeneres recently declared herself among the intergenerational sport’s ardent enthusiasts.

Just think of it. Social distancing is defined as maintaining a distance of six feet. Pickleball’s non-volley zone is seven feet. Perfect! The article talks about residents living at the Latitude Margaritaville community and how they responded to the pandemic. It states, “There were face masks and gloves and cans of food, yes, but also paddles. And balls. And chalk. Because while the coronavirus pandemic may have put normal life on hold, nothing was going to stop these people from playing pickleball. And thanks to the pandemic, there may soon be many new ‘picklers,’ as obsessives proudly call themselves. In driveways and rooftops across the country, players are setting up makeshift courts, using temporary paint or chalk to draw lines and making nets out of whatever items are available and getting everyone in their households to join in on the fun.”

Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres recently said she was having a hard time walking, because she was playing so much pickleball. She posted an interview you can view at this site: It’s entertaining, as you might guess. Apparently, she has become an avid enthusiast.

Tamara Baldanza Dekker, the chief marketing officer at Margaritaville, says, “To parents desperate for new ways to entertain children (or themselves), pickleball can be a godsend. It’s a multigenerational game, so you can play with your kids, and grandparents can play with their grandkids. It appeals to everybody.” Fortunately for those of us living in and around Sun Lakes, even though many courts were closed, enough courts remained open that we could continue playing any day of the week we chose. The good news now is, those courts that were closed are beginning to reopen. Additionally, the construction of new courts continues at a furious pace. You don’t have to go any farther than Ocotillo or Gilbert to see beautiful new courts nearly ready to open. (They may be open by print time of this article!)

Have a question about pickleball? Want to know more about the sport, the rules, equipment or have some pickilicious news you would like to share with our pickleball community? Email David Zapatka at [email protected]