In a pickle on what to do? Try pickleball at Hall Gym

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, November 22, 2022

SALISBURY — You may have heard of pickleball, but do you actually know what it is or how to play? A good place to find out, and maybe even break a sweat, is at Hall Gym.

Pickleball was invented back in 1965 in Washington state by a group of dads who were looking for a fun, new game for their kids to play during the summer. It combines elements of tennis and ping pong. You use a paddle smaller than a tennis racket, but bigger than the one you use for ping pong. You use those to hit a ball with holes through it over a net. It sounds simple, but it’s harder than it looks.

Hall Gym has been hosting weekly pickleball games for over seven years on Wednesdays and Fridays. Recently, not as many people have shown up to take advantage of the gym’s access to pickleball, but that doesn’t mean its popularity has waned.

“They started going to city park, where they’ve got outdoor courts. Then they started going to the YMCA. A lot of people are just doing different things, but it’s a lot of people playing,” Tom McDaniel, an employee at Hall Gym, said.

Albert Donadio has been playing pickleball for four years ever since knee and shoulder problems caused him to stop playing golf and tennis. Donadio thinks the leisurely aspect to the game makes it so enjoyable for him and others.

“This game is not to be played serious. Never was supposed to be,” Donadio said. “It’s just a lot of fun and you do get to meet nice people.”