Pickleball, a sport that combines tennis, badminton and ping pong, has become a popular sport all over the U.S., Canada and around the world. Founded in 1965, there is now a USA Pickleball Association that provides rules, tournaments, rankings and promotional materials. Locally, there are regular pickleball matches in both Warren and Moretown. Both groups play outdoors in the summer and indoors in the winter.
Gary Kessler, co-organizer of the Warren pickleball group along with Geordie Hall, said the open play group meets indoors at Warren Elementary School in the winter on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Those interested in playing should sign up in advance at https://warrenpickleball.playerlineup.com. They cap players at 12, as there are two courts that can accommodate eight players at a time.
The Warren group held clinics for newer players outdoors in the summer. Kessler said the group is not divided by level and all are welcome. There is a regular group of players, though some visitors to the area join in, as well. There are 214 players registered on the Player Lineup list.
“There is a seasonal cost which has not been determined in Warren. Players should have their own paddles. If we have sufficient interest, we would offer a new player clinic in Warren on one of the play nights and a limited number of loaner paddles would be available. Interested people can contact me via the messaging on Player Lineup,” Kessler said.
In Moretown, pickleball players meet on Sundays at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Moretown Elementary School. There is one indoor court.
“Pickleball is easy to learn and fun to play!” said Moretown organizer Susan Werntgen, a member of the Moretown Recreation Committee. “Our Moretown group has provided a way to meet new people, socialize, exercise, share some laughs and connect. Some venues are more competitive. Ours is not. Our group ranges from school-age to those in their 90’s. All are welcome and somehow it works. Post COVID isolation, pickleball has provided a wonderful way to share time together. In addition to games, we have shared potluck dinners and shared time with others. Both of our venues [Moretown and Warren] are welcoming and offer a fun experience. Both groups have players who play at both Warren and Moretown depending upon the schedule.”
Werntgen said pickleball began in Moretown around 2016 when the select board gave permission to paint lines on the town tennis courts. She said the Moretown group is at capacity for winter indoor play this year. It will not be signing up additional players until play resumes outdoors in the spring. Those interested can contact her for more information at (802) 496-2594.
“Moretown welcomes players of all abilities. Our focus is on fun! We plan to offer introductory sessions for children next summer, and hopefully for adult beginners too.”