Pickleball gains popularity in the Chippewa Valley

Eau Claire (WQOW) –  A unique sport is growing more and more across the Chippewa Valley, and in turn, is even bringing in people from across the country.

Over 80 teams, from as far as Florida and Pennsylvania, came to Eau Claire over the weekend to compete in the area’s largest pickleball tournament.

The sport is similar to tennis, but uses paddles instead of rackets, and a ball similar to a wiffleball.

Tournament director, Ron Doering, said pickleball is the largest growing sport in the United States, and that it is likely because nearly anyone can play with ease.

“It appeals to a wide age range of players,” Doering said. “That has helped it grow. The rules are set up so that an older person can be competitive to a degree with a younger person.”

Doering also said that Eau Claire’s newer courts in McDonough Park are part of the reason players come from so far away.

Mary Pautsch

Mary Pautsch

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