A peck of picklers - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

A peck of picklers

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's an activity that's gaining in popularity - a cross between tennis and ping pong. It’s called pickleball.

At Melba Bishop Park, you can pick a peck of picklers, who play every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. All you need is a ball and paddle and you can play pickleball.

It's kind of short attention span tennis, played with a waffle ball.

Coach Phil Dunmeyer has seen an amazing growth in picklers, saying:

“There are now over 150,000 pickle players in the United States.”

And he knows why pickleball has become so popular.

“The game is so user friendly. Anyone learning to play pickleball picks it up in heartbeat and learn it so fast. It's easy to learn,” said Phil. “Tennis and pickleball are uniquely the same. The baseline, you use tennis strokes. You teach tennis strokes from the baseline.”

“When you move the players up to where the game is really played, which is in the non-volley zone or kitchen. They it becomes a game of badminton or squash,” continued Phil.

Few play the game with the frequency and passion of the North County Picklers. They are more like cult.

It's not only a good workout, pickleball can be rewarding. Doubles partners Alex Hamner and Jennifer Lucore have been to the nationals in Arizona.

“They get over 600 players in that and Jennifer and I won the women's open three times in a row. Jen won the singles a couple of times and I won singles last year,” said Alex.

But your skill level doesn't matter. This group doesn't even mind playing with a dill pickler.

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