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Why pickleball swept over San Diego

"All those extra lines are confusing for us tennis players"

Gerry Velazquez (far right in photo): "They put four pickleball courts in place of our tennis court."
Gerry Velazquez (far right in photo): "They put four pickleball courts in place of our tennis court."

In the last week, rallying between local tennis players and pickleball players moved outside countywide tennis courts, two of which share the Collier namesake.

"At the Collier Park one in La Mesa off of Spring Street and the 94, they put four pickleball courts in place of our tennis court," said Gerry Velazquez in a May 22 interview. "There's a big banner on the fence inside the tennis court that says pro pickleball and all this stuff, and outside of the court, they have a big toolbox container with only pickleball stuff inside of it. [Explicative] pickleball."

On three different dates leading to May 19, the County of San Diego Parks and Recreation posted memes that read "VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING PICKLEBALL STRIPES AT COLLIER COUNTY PARK (in Ramona) Wednesday, May 19, 6-7 p.m." Acting as an umpire, Facebook posted in part, "Post permissions for this event have been turned off for guests."

"It's happening out there in Ramona, too," said Velazquez, a mobile auto detailer from Encanto. "That meeting is because the pickleball players are infiltrating all of our tennis courts, and there's probably beef between the pickleball and tennis players."

Since the shutdown of gyms last year, Velazquez and his fellow racquetball players were displaced and couldn't play racquetball, which requires an enclosed 40-foot long by 20-foot wide by a 20-foot tall court.

"Until now, in LA Fitness here in San Diego, they are not allowing us to play racquetball," Velazquez continued. "I lowered my membership to non-active, dropping my monthly fee of $29 by $10 a month until they open up the racquetball courts again.

"So when Covid-19 hit, I played more tennis, while most of my racquetball player buddies started doing pickleball. That's why there are more pickleball players this year."

"I picked it up when the pandemic hit," Noli Zosa said in an [ABC 10][3] news report. "When my gym closed, I was looking for something to do, besides just walk around my neighborhood a few times."

[23: https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/watch/pickleball-taking-off-in-popularity-with-san-diego-players/vp-BB1bmLls

Zosa was interviewed at the Del Cerro Tennis courts, where they reportedly transformed one of the tennis courts to four pickleball courts before November of last year.

"It's kind of a combination of ping pong and tennis," Zosa said. ".... and badminton," continued Velazquez, "and played with a paddle and a wiffle ball, a hard plastic hole-ey ball that if you hit it hard, it doesn't go really fast."

According to USAPickleball.org, you can fit four regulation pickleball courts within a single regulation tennis court by adding the lines and swapping out the net; the pickleball nets measure 34 inches in the center, which is two inches shorter than the tennis net.

"Note how the lines are made to coincide as much as possible with the tennis court lines in order to minimize line confusion for the players," says the site of the national governing body for pickleball. "Note also that this layout does not allow room for fences between the side-by-side courts. To serve as a backstop for the balls, the tennis net should be extended with netting or some sort of temporary barrier."

"And that's where there are issues when we play tennis on shared pickleball courts," Velazquez explained, "all those extra lines are confusing for us, tennis players."

"I don't like pickleball; it's not physical enough. But, most of my friends that sold out to pickleball love it, and I don't see them returning to racquetball. They say pickleball is easier on the body and less cardio, and it's more of a reactive sport."

"It's fun, fun, fun ..... the main thing people come for is because people are so nice and you'll hear a lot of laughter in all the games," continued Joe Arnold in the ABC 10 news report. "I just love the comraderie you have with the three other people in close proximity to," corroborated Zosa, "and we make sure we don't run into each other and keep our distance."

The circa 1965 game, reportedly named after a dog named Pickels, can be played with two or four players.

A year before the pandemic, according to The Sports & Fitness Industry Association, "pickleball participation has increased 9.7 percent in the last three years. There are 3,301,000 total participants [where] 20.2 percent of total participants are 65 years old or older."

On Yelp, there are about 15 pickleball venues listed to play in our county; there are also multiple reports of cities throughout the U.S. where conflicts arose between both sports participants sharing tennis courts.

"They haven't infiltrated our Encanto tennis courts yet," Velazquez said.

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Gerry Velazquez (far right in photo): "They put four pickleball courts in place of our tennis court."
Gerry Velazquez (far right in photo): "They put four pickleball courts in place of our tennis court."

In the last week, rallying between local tennis players and pickleball players moved outside countywide tennis courts, two of which share the Collier namesake.

"At the Collier Park one in La Mesa off of Spring Street and the 94, they put four pickleball courts in place of our tennis court," said Gerry Velazquez in a May 22 interview. "There's a big banner on the fence inside the tennis court that says pro pickleball and all this stuff, and outside of the court, they have a big toolbox container with only pickleball stuff inside of it. [Explicative] pickleball."

On three different dates leading to May 19, the County of San Diego Parks and Recreation posted memes that read "VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING PICKLEBALL STRIPES AT COLLIER COUNTY PARK (in Ramona) Wednesday, May 19, 6-7 p.m." Acting as an umpire, Facebook posted in part, "Post permissions for this event have been turned off for guests."

"It's happening out there in Ramona, too," said Velazquez, a mobile auto detailer from Encanto. "That meeting is because the pickleball players are infiltrating all of our tennis courts, and there's probably beef between the pickleball and tennis players."

Since the shutdown of gyms last year, Velazquez and his fellow racquetball players were displaced and couldn't play racquetball, which requires an enclosed 40-foot long by 20-foot wide by a 20-foot tall court.

"Until now, in LA Fitness here in San Diego, they are not allowing us to play racquetball," Velazquez continued. "I lowered my membership to non-active, dropping my monthly fee of $29 by $10 a month until they open up the racquetball courts again.

"So when Covid-19 hit, I played more tennis, while most of my racquetball player buddies started doing pickleball. That's why there are more pickleball players this year."

"I picked it up when the pandemic hit," Noli Zosa said in an [ABC 10][3] news report. "When my gym closed, I was looking for something to do, besides just walk around my neighborhood a few times."

[23: https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/watch/pickleball-taking-off-in-popularity-with-san-diego-players/vp-BB1bmLls

Zosa was interviewed at the Del Cerro Tennis courts, where they reportedly transformed one of the tennis courts to four pickleball courts before November of last year.

"It's kind of a combination of ping pong and tennis," Zosa said. ".... and badminton," continued Velazquez, "and played with a paddle and a wiffle ball, a hard plastic hole-ey ball that if you hit it hard, it doesn't go really fast."

According to USAPickleball.org, you can fit four regulation pickleball courts within a single regulation tennis court by adding the lines and swapping out the net; the pickleball nets measure 34 inches in the center, which is two inches shorter than the tennis net.

"Note how the lines are made to coincide as much as possible with the tennis court lines in order to minimize line confusion for the players," says the site of the national governing body for pickleball. "Note also that this layout does not allow room for fences between the side-by-side courts. To serve as a backstop for the balls, the tennis net should be extended with netting or some sort of temporary barrier."

"And that's where there are issues when we play tennis on shared pickleball courts," Velazquez explained, "all those extra lines are confusing for us, tennis players."

"I don't like pickleball; it's not physical enough. But, most of my friends that sold out to pickleball love it, and I don't see them returning to racquetball. They say pickleball is easier on the body and less cardio, and it's more of a reactive sport."

"It's fun, fun, fun ..... the main thing people come for is because people are so nice and you'll hear a lot of laughter in all the games," continued Joe Arnold in the ABC 10 news report. "I just love the comraderie you have with the three other people in close proximity to," corroborated Zosa, "and we make sure we don't run into each other and keep our distance."

The circa 1965 game, reportedly named after a dog named Pickels, can be played with two or four players.

A year before the pandemic, according to The Sports & Fitness Industry Association, "pickleball participation has increased 9.7 percent in the last three years. There are 3,301,000 total participants [where] 20.2 percent of total participants are 65 years old or older."

On Yelp, there are about 15 pickleball venues listed to play in our county; there are also multiple reports of cities throughout the U.S. where conflicts arose between both sports participants sharing tennis courts.

"They haven't infiltrated our Encanto tennis courts yet," Velazquez said.

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