The fastest growing sport in America, here at LHS

Cameron Rhode

Everyday, Sioux Falls Area Pickleball hosts pickleball at a variety of parks. For more information, follow the link below.

Cameron Rhode, Editor-in-Chief

In the case that one has not been in a gym class lately, they may not know about one of the fastest growing games in the nation.

The game in question is pickleball, a sport that combines parts of badminton, tennis and table tennis into a whole activity in itself. LHS physical education teacher Kaaren Huber has been at the helm of bringing this game into the lives of her students.

“I went to a convention of phys ed educators and I saw this game. I thought this would be great [at LHS] because it’s another good outdoor game,” said Huber. “I researched it and thought, ‘Oh it’s ultimately tennis played on a smaller court.’ Anything that we can utilize as an activity for both indoor and outdoor is a win for phys ed. It’s all about exposing the youth to many areas of what they can do and continue as they leave high school, but more importantly as they get to college.”

While pickleball is not new, it is making a resurgence both around America and here in Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls can thank the Parks and Rec Department.

“I first heard about [pickleball] about 4-5 years ago and with the Sioux Falls Parks and Rec having courts down by Riverdale Park, it kinda sparked an interest to see what it’s all about,” said Huber. “As a phys ed instructor, I looked at it as a sport we can do not only indoors but also at our own tennis courts. Even though our courts aren’t pickleball courts, we could fill this in as another sport that we can introduce our kids to, because our parks and rec have done a nice job with adding outdoor courts.”

Another contributor to pickleball’s rise locally is Sioux Falls Area Pickleball. This non-profit organization’s goal is to promote fun, friendship and fitness through shared enjoyment of the sport of pickleball. They also play almost every day.

“There is a big group that gets together down at Riverdale park,” said Huber. “They are all ages, and they are VERY serious about [pickleball]. You try to match yourself up with your level in ability, because this is not an age thing. Anytime in the morning they are busy playing because afternoons tend to get too hot.”

Any LHS student looking to stay active this summer should consider pickleball. 

“It’s one of the fastest growing sports right now,” said Huber. “It’s a good workout and it’s fun and all ages can play [pickleball].”