Pickle ball fans - get ready! The redevelopment of Crestview Park's courts began this week, including the addition of six, dedicated pickle ball courts to the park.
This fast paced racquet game combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It’s played on a court with a paddle and plastic ball, similar to a wiffle ball. The sport, invented in 1965, is relatively new, but is rising in popularity.
“Over the past three years we have seen an increased interest in pickle ball,” says the Park District’s Director of Facilities, Angela Ferrentino.
The Elmhurst Pickle Ball Club is one of the main promoters of the sport in town. Edward Susmilch, a club member, is looking forward to the new courts and the chance to familiarize people with the sport.
“What I really love about pickle ball is that players of all ages can play together and enjoy the game,” he says.
Picking up the skills for pickle ball is relatively easy compared to other sports.
“It is not uncommon to see people competing successfully against experienced players after only 20-30 minutes of instruction,” Susmilch adds.
The District initially accommodated rising interest in the sport with painting dual line tennis/pickle ball courts. However, it was not an ideal solution because tennis nets are higher than traditional pickle ball nets.
Crestview Park’s courts are in need of resurfacing and presented the District a great opportunity for the District to expand their park offerings. The project also helps the District continue to focus on the future and the Vision 2020 Strategic Work Plan, which was formed based on community feedback.
The project was approved at the April 8, 2019 meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners. The project also includes the resurfacing of the park's basketball courts. Construction is set to wrap up at the end of September.
Ed Susmilch and the rest of the Elmhurst Pickle Ball Club anticipate using the courts often. Plans for parties or perhaps a tournament have been discussed; but for now, Susmilch is thrilled to get out and introduce Elmhurst to the game.
“We can’t wait for the new courts!”