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Locals bring home pickleball medals at Georgia State Games

  • By Doug Gorman
  • |
  • Jun. 30, 2017 - 6:19 AM

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Locals bring home pickleball medals at Georgia State Games

Submitted photo

Several Coweta County residents participated in pickleball competition at the Georgia State Games last week at Tyrus Park in Spalding County. Tom Murty and Joe Marinella each won medals in singles, while Beth Murty and Phyllis Graham captured a Silver medal in doubles. Phyllis Graham and Mark Cunningham also won bronze medals in singles.

The game of pickleball has been around for more than 50 years and is a wooden racquet sport that is similar to tennis, badminton and table tennis.

It was started by accident when Washington State politician Joel Pritchard invented the game as a way to give his children something to do. He lowered a badminton net and, instead of using a shuttlecock to hit the ball, they used a whiffle ball.

What started out as a game for children has grown into a sport for adults.

It’s growing in popularity among some residents of Coweta County. Last weekend, several local players participated in the annual Georgia State Games at Tyrus Park in Griffin.

Among the winners, Beth Murty and Phyllis Graham teamed up in doubles and claimed the Silver medal. Graham and Mark Cunningham also won the bronze medal in singles.

Tom Murty and Joe Marinella took silver medals in singles.

Pickleball players at the Georgia State games were grouped by age and skill level.

Some of the more interesting pickleball rules include that the pickleball must be served so that contact with the ball is made below the waist with only the serving side scoring a point.

Usually the first side to score 11 points wins the match. Some tournament games are played to 15 or 21 with players needing to win by two points.

Players must hit the ball on the first bounce. 

Pickleball Lingo 

Baseline—The line at the back of the court.

Dink—A short shot made with the face open.

Fault—A infringement of the rules that ends the point.

Foot fault—Stepping on or near non-volley zone while volleying a ball, or while serving.

Half-volley—A type of hit where the player hits the ball immediately after it has bounced in almost scoop-like fashion.

Lob—Hitting the ball in a high arc to the back of the opponents’ net.

Poach—In doubles, to cross over into your partner’s area to make a play on the ball.

Rally—Hitting the ball back and forth between opponents.

Sideout—Occurs when the serve moves to an opponent’s side of the court.