Popular Racquet Game Pickleball Now at the CARC

Pickleball, a racquet game rapidly growing in popularity, is now available at the Garrett College Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex (CARC). In this relatively new sport, two to four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated ball similar to a wiffle ball over a net on a court the size of one used for badminton.

Invented serendipitously in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, WA, by U.S. Congressman Joel Pritchard and businessman Bill Bell, the game was named for the Pritchard family dog Pickles who would chase the balls and hide them in the bushes. The name Pickles’ Ball was later changed to Pickleball.

Three avid Pickleball players in Garrett County, Steve Stromwell, Mike Stephens and Greg Stoner, approached Steve Putnam, Director of the CARC and Maney Gale, CARC Program Coordinator, last year to talk about bringing Pickleball to the CARC. In December, shortly after the conversation, a group of local residents started playing Pickleball on one of the basketball courts at the CARC.

"Steve and Maney were very accommodating and were a tremendous help in getting the program started at the CARC. We are so grateful to both of them and the Administration at the College for their assistance in growing the game of Pickleball in Garrett County," Stoner said

Stoner, who is a member of the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), submitted a grant through the Garrett College Foundation to the USAPA. The grant was approved and provided funds to buy a net and some beginning supplies for the program at the CARC as well as four Pickleball paddles and two balls.

The Garrett Institute for Lifelong Learning (GILL), affiliated with the Continuing Education and Workforce Development division of Garrett College, also offered a demonstration session last fall on the game of Pickleball.

The Pickleball program has met with success at the CARC. “The response has been great. It’s a good addition to our program that allows for interaction between multiple ages groups and demographics” Gale said.

Pickleball is currently scheduled at the CARC for Tuesday and Thursday 7 - 8:30 p.m. and on Wednesday's from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. .More information on Pickleball at the CARC is available at www.gccarc.comor by calling Maney Gale at 301-387-3086.

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