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To an outsider, the game may look like tennis or racquetball, but pickleball players insist their game is different.

“It`s a little more finess, a softer game,” player LeGrand Bien-Aime explains. “So they really teach you how to be patient and force your opponents to make mistakes.”

“I`ve had some people explain it as playing ping-pong on top of the table. The court is 1/3 the size of a tennis court,” player Steve Stone adds.

As for the root of the name, well that all depends on who you ask, “It has something to do with a guy and a pickle,” Mike Pesek laughs.

“Kids used to play and when the ball would roll away to the bushes their dog would go get it. The dog`s name was pickles,” Steve Stone says.

Pickleball, it`s a name you won`t forget, and you don`t have to look far too see how much it`s growing. “Two and a half years ago we had only one place to play… Now we`re up to 11 or 12,” Stone says.

It`s popular because just about anyone can play… Knee braces are common, but not required.

If you want to learn more about the game check out the pickleball Iowa website.