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Pickleball comes to Big Sky

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It’s the serious game with the funny name and you can now play in Big Sky.

Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court with the net lowered to 34 inches at the center. Players use a perforated plastic ball similar to a whiffle ball and wooden paddles about twice the size of pingpong paddles. This indoor/outdoor game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, evolved into a popular sport throughout North America and is gaining popularity in India, Singapore and New Zealand. The name is in part derived from the pickle boats – or the last boat to return to port with its catch – that were common in the region.

New players can learn the basic rules quickly in a single session and no special apparel is needed – just clothing and footwear that’s comfortable and appropriate for a court sport. Equipment is inexpensive and easily portable, and the game can be played by all ages.

With the cooperation of Big Sky Community Corp. and Big Sky’s tennis community, the first court in Meadow Village now has two sets of Pickleball lines. Portable nets allow a single tennis court to convert temporarily into two Pickleball courts.

The game was introduced to Big Sky by Barry and Zoey Silverman, the official Big Sky Pickleball ambassadors appointed by the USAPA, Pickleball’s governing organization.

The Silvermans first learned the game at the Pickleball Club in Laguna Woods, Calif., which has more than 125 members. To organize and maintain the necessary equipment here, the Silvermans have formed the “Big Sky Pickleball Club.”

For additional information call Zoey Silverman at (406) 579-3055 or email at


Sundays, 4 p.m.
Mondays, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesdays, 9 a.m.

In the original print edition of the Aug. 8 Explore Big Sky newspaper, Zoey Silverman’s last name was incorrectly printed as Zimmerman. This online version of the story has been corrected.

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