‘I Got Hooked’: These Chester Countians, Like Many Americans, Have Fallen Head Over Heels for Pickleball

pickleball players
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Chester County has been swept up in the pickleball craze that is capturing the interest of people of all ages throughout the nation, writes Gina Lizzo for Main Line Today. 

While pickleball is not a new sport, courts are popping up everywhere, whether they are brand new or refurbished tennis courts.  

“I got hooked,” said West Chester resident Joel Payton. “Now, I play five to six times a week.”

The game is described as a larger version of ping pong but is not as hard on the body as tennis, racquetball, and squash. It is more about strategy rather than power, which makes it easier for older players to still enjoy it.  

Not only are there health benefits to playing pickleball, but it also has a social advantage. 

“This has really helped me forge relationships in the area. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to do so as quickly,” said Merlyn Garcia, who moved from California to Chester Springs. 

Another Chester Springs pickleballer, Jackie Sweeney, agrees that camaraderie is what makes players come back for more.

“We really have built a community,” she said. 

Read more about pickleball in Main Line Today.