Pickleball: Ping Pong on a Tennis Court

The outside pickleball courts are located up the stairs, just north of the water tower at 9th and Burke streets.

It is a cross between tennis and ping pong and was invented in Seattle in 1965.

It’s pickleball.

Played with a short wooden paddle and a whiffle ball, in Fort Scott there are two places to enjoy the sport.

One is indoors at Buck Run Community Center, 735 Scott Avenue, and the other is an outside court at 9th and Burke street, near the water tower. Paddles and balls are available at Buck Run.

The outdoor courts are a first-come, first served basis.

“We are lucky we have two places to play,” Janice Allen, a local player said.

Pickleball is taught as part of the physical education curriculum at Fort Scott Middle School, “And all kinds of kids show up at the water tower to play,” Allen said.

Teams can be found playing at the outside court at 6:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and also at 6 p.m.

At Buck Run, 9 a.m. Monday through Friday people play and also Saturday morning at 8 a.m., she said.

There are four courts at the water tower site.

“You can go and watch,” Allen said. “We have a good time.”

Submitted photo

“I’m 77 years old,” Allen said. “It’s an excellent exercise and social game. And I’ve lost 25 pounds since I started playing a year-and-a-half ago.” The outside court opened in 2017.

Submitted photo.

The pickleball court is two-thirds the size of a tennis court, scoring is like for ping pong, serving is underhanded and a person can only score while serving. There are four courts at the water tower location.

Submitted photo. Pickleball can be played outside at night as well because of lights at the court.

“You don’t have to go with people,” Allen said. “We’ll rotate you in and out of the game. Someone will help you get started.”

“You need to wear shoes with tread, cross-training shoes, not running or walking shoes,” she said.

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