Opelika Sportsplex adds more pickleball courts

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 9:57 PM EST

Opelika, Ala. (WTVM) - The city of Opelika is expanding the number of pickleball courts in hopes of hosting even more tournaments.

Some of the players say it’s not only keeping them in shape, but it’s a fun sport anyone can play, no matter their age.

“I’m medium at pickleball, but I sure do love playing.” says one Opelika pickleball player.

People like playing pickleball so much in Opelika they’re doubling the number of courts from 12 to 24.

The additional courts will allow the sportsplex to host tournaments for people all around the world to play.

Now how do you play pickleball? It’s a game like tennis, badminton and ping pong.

“The thing pickleball tries to do that’s different from tennis is try to take out that strong serve. You don’t see the high-powered serves and what not and you have to have the ball bounce a second time. So, somebody can’t sit at the net on the very first shot and bury it right away.” says Kat Case, a pickleball player.

It is played on a shorter version of a tennis court with less movement. You hit the whiffle ball back and forth with your paddle.

The only place you cannot hit the ball from in the air is called the non-volley zone, but if it bounces in that area you are allowed to step in and hit it.

Pickleball player, Eugene Smith, says he’s been playing almost two years even with his seven knee replacements.

“I try to play every day if I can, like I said it’s something you can do every day and not get hurt real bad.” say Smith.

David Scott says once you start playing pickleball it is addicting. He estimates the new pickleball courts will be completed around June for upcoming tournaments.

“We have a regional tournament in June, the Alabama senior Olympics in August then two pro-tournaments in October.” explains Scott.

With the news of the additional 12 courts being added, Opelika hopes to be a potential Olympic qualifier for pickleball.

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