Guilford County has been converting some tennis courts to pickleball courts to meet demand, but right now the county can’t keep up with the popularity of the sport.

“There is a pickleball craze if you haven’t heard,” said Guilford County Commissioner Mary Beth Murphy, who also sits on the county’s Parks and Recreation Commission.   

She said Guilford County is working with other local governments across the state to learn the best way to add pickleball courts. 

“We are looking into that to support the craze in Guilford County,” she said.

For those unfamiliar with the game, players use balled-up pickles to – well, actually, that’s not true.  

 More accurately, the game is something of a jumble of badminton, ping pong and tennis. Two or four players compete, using wooden paddles to hit a polymer ball – one that’s kind of like a Wiffle ball – back and forth.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by dads who were looking for a game for their bored kids to play in the yard.  Now, more than a half a century later, it’s one of the fastest growing sports in the country.

The City of Greensboro has both indoor and outdoor pickleball courts – which are like smaller tennis courts with lower nets. There are outdoor pickleball courts at Smith Community Park and Lake Daniel Park and indoor courts at Greensboro’s Sportsplex.  

Wikipedia has a view on why the game is becoming so popular.  According to the people’s online encyclopedia, “The spread of the sport is attributed to its popularity within community centers, physical education classes, public parks, private health clubs, YMCA facilities and retirement communities.”

 There are a significant number of organized pickleball tournaments played each year in the United States as well as internationally.