Sylvan Lake to host first pickleball tournament

Battle of the Paddles is set to take place Sept. 1-3

Pickleball as been described as a mix between tennis, table tennis and badminton.

And it is steadily becoming a more and more popular sport in Central Alberta.

Dubbed the Battle of the Paddles, a new unsanctioned tournament, will take place at the NexSource Centre in Sylvan Lake on Sept.1.

“It’s a bit of a different sport,” said Recreation Program Coordinator Alec Pollock. “It seems to be pretty popular among the 45 plus crowd.”

To play, the sport requires the use of a solid paddle, usually made of wood or composite materials, to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net.

The game is played on a badminton court but uses a tennis net.

The rules are also similar to tennis, though there are a few modifications.

Organizers in Sylvan Lake decided to host a tournament after witnesses the success of nearby tournaments.

Pollock said he hopes the tournament in Sylvan Lake will be successful as well.

“This is a great opportunity to come out and try something new and different, even if you haven’t played it before,” Pollock said.

There will be two events of play for this tournament – singles and groups – with each event divided into divisions.

In the singles event, there will be two divisions: moderate and advanced.

For the groups event, there are three divisions: novice, moderate and advanced.

“Our round-robin tournament will allow everyone to play plenty of games,” said Pollock, adding there could be upwards of 20 games played by each team.

Pollock says there will be a high number of games played due to the amount of courts booked for the tournament.

There will be at least six courts for the tournament, which will means plenty of games always going on.

“We aren’t entirely sure yet about the make-up of the tournament, we are still trying to decide how that will look,” said Pollock.

Tentatively, the tournament outline will have singles playing on Friday, group novice and moderate playing Friday/Saturday, and group advanced playing Saturday/Sunday.

To register or to find out more about Pickleball call the NexSource Centre at 403-887-2199.

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