Up & Coming Weekly

July 11, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 19 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JULY 12 - 18, 2023 UCW 19 SPORTS & RECREATION Explore the basics of pickleball a STAFF REPORT A court sport is sweeping the nation, and it isn't tennis or basketball. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, 4.8 mil- lion people played pickleball in 2021, marking a nearly 15% growth in the total number of play- ers from the year prior. Data from the SFIA suggests pickleball is popular among people of all ages. Total partici- pation among players between ages six and 17 (21%), 18 and 34 (29 %) and 35 and 54 (20%) is significant, and players 65 and older also are well represented (18%). As the popularity of pickleball grows, now is a great time to explore the basics of this game that's become a go-to pastime for so many people. What is pickleball? USA PickleballTM notes that pickleball com- bines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. at game is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes and can be played both indoors and outdoors on a badminton- sized court with a slightly modified tennis net. Much like tennis, pickleball can be played in a singles (one-on-one) or doubles (two-on-two) format. How long has pickleball been played? Despite a recent and meteoric spike in popularity, pickleball has been around since 1965. e brainchild of three fathers from Bainbridge Island (which is just a brief ferry ride away from Seattle), the game was invented as a means of entertaining bored children. It has since evolved from those roots and become a wildly popular game across both the United States and Canada, and the game has even begun to spread into Europe and Asia. How is pickleball played? An extensive list of the rules of pickle- ball can be found at https://usapickleball. org/what-is-pickleball/official-rules/ rules-summary/. A game is typically played to 11 points, and a team must win by two. Tournament games may be played to 15 or 21, and a team must win by two. Does pickleball use referees? Recreational games of pickleball can rely on the honor system much like pick- up games of other sports do. However, USA PickleballTM notes that referees and line judges are important components of tournament play. More information about becoming a pickleball referee can be found at https://usapickleball. org/get-involved/pickleball-officiating/ Why should I play pickleball? Players enjoy the game of pickleball for a multitude of reasons, including the thrill of competition, the chance to socialize and the op- portunity to exercise outside of a gym or home fitness center. But many play the game because they find it fun. Pickleball has experienced a notable spike in popularity in recent years. More information about the game and how to get involved is avail- able at https://usapickleball.org As the popularity of pickleball grows, now is a great time to explore the basics of this game that's become a go-to pastime for so many people. Plan a national park adventure a STAFF REPORT e National Park Foundation reports that the National Park System spans more than 84 mil- lion acres and encompasses 424 sites and units in the United States. National parks do their part to foster conser- vation of natural resources and reserve wild land for the scores of animals that call these places home. ey're also enticing places to vis- it, with their vast vistas and interesting wildlife. Planning ahead can make any trip to a national park even better. Know when to go. Research the best times of year to visit certain parks. All may not be open year-round. ink about the kind of experience you want to have. Most parks are busiest during the summer. erefore, if you want to skip the crowds, perhaps visit in a slower season. Research environments. With so many parks, it can be challenging to decide where to go. Take into consideration your interests as well as your limitations. Find out which amenities and features each park offers, including shuttles, stores for gear, animal life, terrain, and potential hazards. e more you know about each potential park, the better you can narrow down the place to visit first. Know the rules and regulations. Most parks have regulations in place to keep visitors safe. Some parks require reservations to enter or ac- cess certain areas of the park. Some may need you to reserve space in advance. Permits may be needed for certain activities, such as fishing. Check the park's website to learn about permits or restrictions that may af- fect your trip. Choose your accommodations. With their expanse of land and things to see, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring a park. Figure out if the park has accommodations on the property. If not, you'll need to locate lodging nearby. Camping on the grounds can be a way to enjoy the park more inti- mately. Look into campsite rentals or whether recreational vehicles can be parked on a campsite in or near the national park. Yellowstone and Yosemite are two national parks that tend to book campsites well in advance, so visitors should plan accordingly. Pick your priorities. National parks tend to be massive, so make a list of the must-see at- tractions this time around (you can always visit again). While you can have an itinerary, you likely will enjoy the trip more if you're relaxed and get to meander around rather than sticking to a strict schedule. Consult the rangers. Make friends with the park rangers. ey are experts on the park and can let you know which places to visit or if there are any shortcuts to certain attractions. Use their experience and guidance. National parks are located across the United States. e parks are wonderful vacation spots, and visitors can plan now for their trips to see these natural wonders. Planning ahead can make any trip to a national park even better.

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