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Tue, Nov. 19

Anyone up for some Pickleball? Group gets sport rolling in Chino Valley
Pickleball

Mary Ann Dumont plays a game of Pickleball Thursday morning, Oct. 10, 2019, at the new courts located behind the Chino Valley Community Center. 
(Jason Wheeler/Review)

Mary Ann Dumont plays a game of Pickleball Thursday morning, Oct. 10, 2019, at the new courts located behind the Chino Valley Community Center. (Jason Wheeler/Review)

After years of going to Prescott to play Pickleball, a group of Chino Valley residents now have a place of their own to play.

“Several years ago there was a group who played at the First Southern Baptist Church here in Chino, then they decided that wasn’t the best for their church and so we were all going to Prescott to play,” said Nancy Diffendaffer. “We wanted something closer to home.”

A couple of months ago, Diffendaffer and some other residents approached the Chino Valley Parks & Recreation Advisory Board who were in favor of the idea to have Pickleball courts in town, and things started rolling from there, Diffendaffer said. There’s now a dedicated space for the game behind the Chino Valley Community Center, located at Perkinsville Road and Road 1 East.

The Town of Chino Valley owns the slab, which previously was all for basketball, but it was decided to give the group, known as the Chino Valley Pickleball Association, half of that space, making it so there’s room for two courts, Diffendaffer said.

The group meets at the courts at 9 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It currently has 15 members, and anyone is welcome to join, Diffendaffer said.

“We’ll be trying to set up some lessons for people to teach those who are interested, and the town tells us that there is the prospect of building more courts if they see the need,” she said. “We’re hoping to get a lot more people involved.”

Pickleball is a paddleball sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis played by two or four players using solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball over a net. It’s the fastest growing sport in America, Diffendaffer said. It involves a lot of retirees, but younger people are starting to get into it as well, she said.

Even though they have the space to play, Diffendaffer said there’s still some issues that need to be worked on, like not being able to leave the nets out for security reasons. Paul Latulippe said a cage is going to be built nearby the courts in which to keep the nets.

“We’re going to put slats on it so (people) can’t see what’s in there,” Latulippe said. “Maybe put up a sign ‘you’re on camera’ just to kind of let people know this is being watched.”

Until that’s worked out though, people who want to play Pickleball are going to have to make sure they can get a hold of whoever has the nets to make sure they can get them out, Diffendaffer said.

For more information about the Chino Valley Pickelball Association, email Diffendaffer at gndiff@live.com.

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