Pickleball craze filling courts across the Lehigh Valley

Written by on October 21, 2021

Pickleball craze filling courts across the Lehigh Valley

By Brittany Sweeney

October 21, 2021

Folks play on the pickleball courts at Mill Race Park in Palmer Township. The league in the Easton area has about 300 players. Photo | Courtesy of Mike Hartranft
Folks play on the pickleball courts at Mill Race Park in Palmer Township. The league in the Easton area has about 300 players. Photo | Courtesy of Mike Hartranft

There’s a newish game in the Lehigh Valley that is bringing people together. It’s called pickleball.

It’s an easy sport that gets people moving and socializing.

Listen to the story.

John Fisher is a USA Pickleball Ambassador for Northampton County. Pickleball is his favorite pastime.

“Pickleball is a hybrid sport that’s a blend of ping pong, tennis and badminton,” he said. 

He’s on the court at least 10 times a week at Mill Race Park in Palmer Township and has lost about 30 pounds playing the sport. 

“Pickleball is a low impact sport and you don’t run anywhere near as much as you would run if you are playing tennis, but it is a way to get good exercise,” Fisher said. “It’s good cardio.”

Close to 50 people, mostly in their 50s, 60s and 70s, hit the courts nearly every day for competition and camaraderie, but grandkids come along and get into the fun as well.

Fisher teaches the basics of pickleball: all you need is a racket and some tennis shoes. 

Beginners can learn the game Monday nights at Fairview Park in Palmer Township.

About 300 people participate in a league in the Easton area, according to Fisher. Several other communities such as Allentown and Upper Macungie Township have built courts, and demand for their use is high.

“It’s something that the whole family can do and I think it’s becoming more and more popular,” said Tammy Huk, who plays in Palmer Township.

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