Perhaps Some Pickleball With Your Turkey?

LA MESA -- Wander down Palm Avenue in La Mesa and glance left toward the tennis courts in Collier Park and you're likely to see a strange scene.

It can look at first glance like middle-aged giants standing on a miniature tennis court.

Look closer and you'll realize you have no idea what you are looking at.

Justine and Tim Frazee, however, are more than glad to explain.
This scene is a relatively new sport that is finding a following, including many baby boomers heading into retirement.

Called "pickleball,'' this game is a sort of hybrid of badminton, tennis and ping pong.

It is played on a court similar to, but smaller than a tennis court and uses a plastic ball that is harder than a wiffle ball, but not as lively as a tennis ball.

The game, usually played with two teams of two (like tennis doubles), can also be played as singles. Its best players are clearly quick with their hands, but the smaller court and the less lively ball makes the game much easier on the hips and knees than traditional tennis. There are times when it can look no more aerobic than ping pong, but it is. CLICK HERE to see a video of some of the best in this national field going at it.

The Frazees, who operate under the title of Pickleball Ambassadors, have been growing a group of devotees in La Mesa and they meet regularly from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Collier Park on Wednesdays and Fridays. However, the group is gathering for a special Thanksgiving Day effort at 11 a.m. Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) and anyone looking for a little exercise before overindulging in food, is welcome to join the Pickleballers.

The Frazees said Pickleball has other devotees in Lakeside and in other locations within San Diego County and players will often move between venues to find opponents and meet kindred spirits.

And like all good sports, there is a tradition of enjoying libations during a Pickleball effort, though not at Collier, a public facility that frowns on all but the athletic spirit.

You can contact the Frazees at 619-293-3093. The association's national webpage is www.usapa.org and local information can be found on that site as well.

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Tags: Collier Park, Gina Garcia, La Mesa, La Mesa Athletics, La Mesa Today, La Mesa news, Lakeside, Pickelball Ambassadors, Pickleball, San Diego County, More…Thanksgiving Day, Tim Frazee, badminton, ping pong, tennis, wiffle ball

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