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Murrysville

Pickleball players hoping Delmont tennis-court work may benefit them as well

Patrick Varine
| Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 10:27 p.m.
Harold Dicer and Mike Keryeski go for a ball in a game of pick-up pickleball at the Natrona Heights YMCA on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.
Michael Swensen | Tribune-Review
Harold Dicer and Mike Keryeski go for a ball in a game of pick-up pickleball at the Natrona Heights YMCA on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

If Delmont officials are going to redo the tennis courts in Newhouse Park, Vince Talarico wants to make sure they keep the area's pickleball players in mind.

“We'd like to see some pickleball lines put down,” said Talarico, a Murrysville resident. “It would give us an outdoor location to come and play.”

Pickleball is a paddle sport combining elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. Talarico said a group of about 50 area residents regularly gets together to play.

“Right now we're kind of locked into using the YMCA (on Route 286),” he said. The group has also occasionally played at locations in Murrysville and Hempfield.

A pickleball court is smaller than a standard tennis court, and the net is lower, at 34 inches. Seattle-based retailer Pickleball Central notes in a blog post that a tennis court can have two sets of lines so either sport can be played with just an adjustment of the net. Depending on the size of the tennis court pad, it could fit as many as four pickleball courts.

Pickleball was first invented in the mid-1960s, and has enjoyed growing popularity in the Pittsburgh area: later this month, the city will host the Gamma Pickleball Classic at the D.L. Lawrence Convention Center, and this past weekend 2017 USA Pickleball National Men's Singles Champion Tyson McGuffin was in O'Hara Township hosting clinics and giving lessons.

Delmont Councilman and borough recreation board member Stan Cheyne said he's happy to consider adding the lines.

“It's a popular sport,” Cheyne said. “I told Mr. Talarico that we might also consider (lining) the dek hockey courts. They're not in as bad of shape as the tennis courts.”

Talarico provided Cheyne with a diagram showing how to line a pickleball court.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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