Pickleball makes its way to Iron River

IRON RIVER – Pickleball, regarded as the fastest growing sport in the United States, has found its way to Iron River.

Two portable courts were purchased by the Recreational Association of Iron County (RAIC) and set up in the Windsor Center gym. Sixteen Iron County seniors played their first pickleball games last Saturday.

“I was amazed how quickly everyone picked up the game, and how much fun everyone had,” said RAIC President Dennis Margoni. “At the end of the evening we must have had 50 referral names to contact.

“Our mission is to provide year-round activities for our population. This game certainly meets that criteria.”

Around the country, pickleball is being played largely by seniors. The reasons given for playing were exercise, meet new people and fun.

Pickleball is played on a badminton-size court with the net lowered to 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic baseball (similar to a wiffle ball) and wood or composite paddles.

Dawn Pisoni of the Windsor Center has scheduled two times for free learn-and-play classes – 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

“You can sign up in advance to be assured of a spot or you can take your chances by just dropping in to play,” Margoni said.

Bob Williams, an instructor for a recent clinic, says “pickleball is a strange name, but I just love the game. I am hooked.”