NARRAGANSETT, RI – A request for more places to play popular sport pickleball is before Narragansett City Council for consideration, with up to eight new fields to host games.
Pro Tem board chairperson Susan Cicilline Buonanno, who sits on the recreation advisory board, said the board has received many requests from pickleball fans who want more places to play the game in town. No venue or cost has yet been set, she said.
“We have heard visitors and residents love the game,” she said. “It’s a promising game and people seem to like it.”
Council voted on Monday to direct the director of parks and recreation, Michelle Kershaw, to research additional locations and costs for more courts.
Kershaw said adding land to the existing pickleball courts at Clark Road is problematic.
“It’s just basically a paint job,” old tennis courts, she says. “This whole particular area should be dug up and I don’t think it pays off. “
The city spent about $ 62,000 three years ago to turn the tennis court into a pickleball field. Kershaw said she is looking for four to eight more courts, possibly in the north of the city.
Council Chairman Jesse Pugh said the desire for more pickleball courts should not override other recreational needs in the city, such as improved playgrounds and a skate park.
“It’s obviously a success, but we have other needs in the city. It’s just research and that’s fine, but we don’t want to reduce our other needs, ”Pugh said.
Invented in the 1960s as a garden game for children, pickleball is a paddleball sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis.
“It’s a growing sport,” Kershaw said.
Two or four players use sturdy paddles made of wood or composite materials to strike a perforated polymer ball, much like a wiffle ball, over a net.
The sport shares characteristics of other racquet sports: the dimensions and layout of a badminton court, and a net and rules somewhat similar to tennis, with several modifications.
There are thousands of pickleball tournaments across the country, as well as many international championships.