In swing of things …

Celebration of completed pickleball courts July 21 at Belfast City Park

Ribbon cutting for new courts at 9 a.m., scramble tourney follows
By Staff | Jul 20, 2018

Belfast — While pickleball players have served up a great deal of play at Belfast City Park over the past few years, that hardcore contingent of the popular sport now has an official domain to call home.

After a yearlong makeover to the former secondary basketball court at the park, the transformation officially was completed in June and a celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony officially will open the four new courts on Saturday, July 21 at 9 a.m.

Following the ribbon-cutting, a scramble will ensue at 9:30 a.m. for players of all levels with refreshments and prizes on tap.

Bill Carr of Belmont, who has led the charge to have pickleball courts brought to Belfast City Park, said the scramble already is full with 54 players registered and more on standby.

Players enter the tournament without a partner and are assigned different partners for each match, with overall individual winners selected via winning percentages.

Pickleball features a court that is roughly one-third the size of a tennis court and the pickleball, made of plastic, is slower than a tennis ball.

There are four quadrants on the court, with the middle section on either side of the net split into non-volley zones, also referred to as “the kitchen.” The court is 44 feet by 20 feet, while “the kitchen" is 15 feet long within those dimensions.

A player can enter the zone, but cannot strike the ball unless it bounces there first, eliminating the chance of, for instance, a strong forehand winner by the net, which is prevalent in tennis.

Points can be scored by the serving team, or side, depending on if the game is singles or doubles. Also, serves are underhand, unlike the overhand serves of tennis.

The server must serve to the adjacent box of the opponent and must clear the non-volley zone. The server serves until the opponent wins the rally and then gives way to his/her teammate to serve. Once the opponent wins the rally of the teammate's serve, the opponents then get a chance to serve.

At noon, there will be a free, relaxed opportunity for prospective players to play and learn the rules of the game.

For more information, email acsmiller02@gmail.com, call 207-338-0983 or visit the events page at belfastpickleball.com.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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