San Juan College to host first pickleball game – The Durango Herald

The sport is growing in popularity

Pickleball is best described as a mix of table tennis, tennis and badminton. (Courtesy of

The San Juan College Foundation will host its first pickleball tournament January 27-29 at the Health and Human Performance Center at San Juan College.

The foundation will host a reception for players and guests, with food, non-alcoholic beverages, door prizes and merchandise. A $10 entry fee is payable at the door.

Pickleball has exploded since its inception in 1965, when U.S. Reps. Joel Pritchard, R-Wash., and Bill Bell came up with the idea after a morning round of golf.

The following weekend, Barney McCallum was introduced to the game at Pritchard’s house and they created rules, relying heavily on badminton. They wanted to create a game that the whole family could play together.

Their creativity gave birth to what is today. Pickleball’s boom is undeniable, with more than 36.5 million people playing the sport from August 2021 to August 2022, according to the Association of Pickleball Professionals. .

Even major star athletes, from LeBron James and Tom Brady to Kevin Durant and Patrick Mahomes, have drawn more attention to the sport by investing in professional pickleball teams.

And now big companies, including Holland America, Anheuser-Busch, Skechers and Carvana, are joining the ranks of sponsors.

David Ellisor competed in Durango Parks and Recreation’s first pickleball tournament in 2013 at the Durango Recreation Center.

Pickleball, possibly the fastest growing sport, is a combination of table tennis, tennis and badminton and can be enjoyed by all abilities and played in one or two games.

The men’s and women’s world (3.0-3.5) and advanced (3.5-4.0) championships on Saturday, January 28, and the mixed doubles on Sunday, January 29.

The north entrance of the HHPC gymnasium will be the entrance to the tournament for players and guests. There is no charge to watch the competition.

“We are very grateful to Pumps & Service, Morgan Stanley and United Healthcare for supporting this event,” Sarah Oliver, communications coordinator for the San Juan College Foundation, said in a news release.

“Committee members Nate Lacey, Jim Luther, Marilyn Hazelwood and George Sharpe were very helpful in the planning process. This competition is a testament to the power of teamwork,” he said.

For information, call Sarah Oliver at (505) 566-3522.