The Chicago Pickleball Open, hosted by Chicago Metro Pickleball, kicked off their weekend start on Friday at Nike Sports Complex in Naperville.
What is Pickleball?
“Pickleball is the fastest growing sport and most pickleball players come from a tennis background, a ping pong background, a badminton background,” said Dana Joseph, co-tournament director of the Chicago Pickleball Open. “It’s a combination of all three. It’s on a smaller court than tennis and it has a no volley zone which is referred to as the kitchen. And that’s what makes this game very unique.”
This is the second annual tournament and Naperville has been the first stop this year.
“The APP tour was created to provide amateurs and pro players the ability to play in all different areas of the regions across the United States,” said Joseph. “We were supposed to start in Hilton Head prior to COVID-19. Since then, this is our first event that we’ve been able to kick-off. After this event we will go to Cincinatti, Hilton Head, and they will end the year in southern California.
Even though COVID-19 came into everyone’s world, we had to embrace it and we had to make adjustments. So Ken and I are extremely thankful that this is our first tournament that we got on the ground this year that we were able to run. And the fact that it’s in our hometown made it even more special.”
“When you say pickleball people kind of look at you like, what a funny name. But once you play you get addicted really fast and it’s a community like I can’t explain. It’s wonderful.
The group also works with No Small Productions to provide a live stream of the matches played by the pros, followed by interviews with the pro players. They can be found at The APP Tour Facebook and YouTube pages.
Chicago Metro Pickleball has 380 players this year and they will be playing at Nike Sports Complex until Sunday.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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