Players pick up Pickleball at new Anchorage tournament
Mark Daly has a pretty good racquet going -- he's now hooked on Pickleball.
It's a sport Daly and his wife took up 18 months ago, while on vacation in Arizona.
"My wife and I really didn't have too many games we play together, you know," Daly told KTVA Sports, while he waited for his next match in the inaugural O'Malley Open Tournament.
The O'Malley Sports Center is divided into nine Pickleball courts. Each measures 20 feet, by 44 feet, half the size of one side of a tennis court -- but Pickleball is more than one sport.
"Pickleball is a combination of tennis, racquetball, badminton, and table tennis," said tournament director Kimo Hansen.
Pickleball has its own creative name for the 14-foot-wide "no man's land" around the net at center court, which is known as the "kitchen."
"The game would be over before you know it if people were up to the net, trying to crank them right at the net," Hansen said. "So we have a buffer zone."
You can only enter the "kitchen" when the ball bounces in it. Something else to remember about Pickleball: Each team's first return after a serve must come off a bounce. Then you get the ball over the net, any way you can.
Mark Daly and his partner are pretty good, as they advanced to the next round. Others found themselves, well -- caught in a pickle.