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Cornelius News

Trending: Fast-growing sport scores in Cornelius

Photo by Darryl Kenyon

March 12. When the Town of Cornelius held its initial 2022 public hearing on the budget in February, one of the first requests was for more pickleball courts.

It demonstrates the increasing interest in the game, especially among seniors.

Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis and tennis. Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, much like a wiffle ball, with 26-40 round holes, over a net.

Courts popping up all over town

The Town currently has multipurpose courts that function for both tennis and pickleball at Torrence Chapel and Robbins Park.

Both facilities have two courts each. Additionally, when more COVID-restrictions ease up, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools will re-start indoor pickleball at JV Washam Elementary School.

According to PARC Director Troy Fitzsimmons, outdoor courts are first-come, first-served. “Due to significant increased popularity in both tennis and pickleball it is strongly recommended participants reserve court time.”

The Cornelius resident rate is $5 per hour and $10 per hour for non-residents.

The town also has future pickleball facilities proposed at Bailey Road and Robbins Park. Due to the increased demand both these facilities would have their own tennis and pickleball court areas.  Bailey could have up to 10 pickleball courts, while Robbins would have six.

The Bailey  project has been approved while the Robbins Park plan is still pending final approval. Fitzsimmons says funding for either project is still a couple of years away.

—Dave Vieser

Pickleball by the numbers

75% of those who play 8 or more times a year are 55 and older

15% Cornelius population over age 65; countywide, 11.5% are over 65

20 feet wide by 40 feet long: Size of a pickleball court

$80,000 Total prize money at the 2019 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships. 2,000 registered players attended