Pickleball swings into action

The Tanglewood Pickleball Travel team headed north to Del Webb in Orlando for their first match of the 2014 South Central Florida Pickleball League season Saturday.

The league was established by David Majick of Highlands Ridge to allow players to move from the recreational to the competitive level, thus allowing stronger players to meet head-to-head.

Majick feels that this has enabled all involved to improve their skills tremendously.

The league is comprised of five teams; Highlands Ridge, Tanglewood, Riverbend (LaBelle), Lake Ashton (Lake Wales) and Del Webb (Orlando) which will meet each other once this season before the final "shootout" in March.

The Tanglewood team is comprised of five holdovers from last season; Debi Yandell, Wayne Buck, Gary Sewell, Randy Crawfis and Tom Stadler plus newcomers; Cheryl McCullough, Sandi March, Tracy Vernest, Ellen Nesbitt, Mike March and Charlie Athorn.

In A level play, Debi Yandell and Cheryl McCullough combined to win both of their games while Wayne Buck and Mike March were victorious in all three of their games.

At level B, Sandi March teamed up with Tracy Vernest to win her first game then partnered with Ellen Nesbitt for a second victory. Meanwhile, the men's team of Gary Sewell and Randy Crawfis took one of three games.

In the C flight, Charlie Athorn and Tom Stadler came home with one win in their three matches.

In mixed play, the Tanglewood team of Debi Yandell and Wayne Buck defeated Del Webb as did Mike and Sandi March.

As one of the newest, yet fastest growing sports in the country, pickleball is still a mystery to most. Pickleball is a game similar to tennis, played on a badminton sized court with an oversized ping pong paddle (graphite, composite or aluminum) and a plastic whiffle ball.

The net is slightly lower than a tennis net. Pickleball is played indoors and outdoors.

The Tanglewood Pickleball Club has a very active membership of more than 100 dedicated players who compete in a variety of leagues and tournaments within the community.