STONE HARBOR, N.J. (CBS) – People are packing the Stone Harbor Recreation Center courts but not for your typical game of tennis. They’re here to play pickleball.
“This is our sixth year in Stone Harbor. Last year we got the four additional courts, so we’re up to ten courts. Each year we get bigger and bigger,” Stone Harbor Pickleball coordinator Kim Jackson said.
During the game – which is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong – players must serve under hands below the waist, which starts the service sequence. Points can only be won by the serving side and games are usually played to 11.
The popularity of the paddle sport is growing.
“Oh, tremendously, and there is more and more young people, and more and more terrific young tennis players coming over into the sport,” pickleball player and instructor Phyllis Kilgour said.
“We get days… in the summer that, you know, that we have over 100 people but we keep it moving. Everyone has a great time. We’re really happy for how it has blossomed in Stone Harbor,” Jackson said.
In fact, this season they’ve seen more than 5,500 people show to up play, all ages and skill levels. They’re even willing to offer instruction to new players.
While the games can be intense, it’s about more than the on-court action.
“Just the relationships and the friendships that, you know, Stone Harbor pickleball brings to all of us has just been incredible,” Jackson said.