Ping-pong too pedestrian? Tennis too wearying? Then hop aboard the retro sport of 2003--PICKLEBALL! This bizarro cross between ping-pong and tennis was invented way back in '65 when... actually this story is so retarded I refuse to tell it. Read the story for yourself at, and just trust me--this is a really fun game.

Pickleball is played on a hard court with a thigh-high net, a wiffle ball and large wooden paddles. Each game is played to 11 and one must win by two points. Like tennis, one serves cross-court, but underhand. Your opponent must let the ball bounce once before returning it. Afterwards, both can play it in the air or on the bounce.

"Oh, right!" I hear you sarcastically remark. "And what's to stop my opponent from slamming it down my throat at the net?" Happily, there is a seven-foot zone on each side, where no player is allowed to volley. This allows one to "dink" the ball over the net, revealing the secret every experienced player knows... Pickleball is a game of strategy and placement, not brute strength.

"Hmmm..." I hear you murmur, not completely convinced. "Your game sounds intriguing--but is it right for me?" Well, according to, the sport is played "in thousands of school P.E. programs, retirement communities and correctional facilities." But even if you're not infirm or serving five to ten for manslaughter, Pickleball is a laugh-a-minute good time for anyone wanting to break out of the stodgy tennis routine. WSH

Pickleball equipment, rules, and court dimensions are available at Courts are located at SE 10th and Maple, next to the City Library in Hillsboro, and at Tualatin Hills Park.