HealthBeat: Pickleball at the Pentagon


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sanford Pentagon is giving pickleball players in Sioux Falls another facility option to play on the court as cold weather sets in.

With six court options and room to grow, local players say it’s a great addition for the community.

Described as a sport combining elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong — pickleball will keep you moving. And the best part? You don’t have to have experience with any of those activities to get on the court, according to Sioux Falls Area Pickleball president Larry Plucker.

“It’s great exercise. Our club motto is fun, fitness and friendship. So everybody here is here for all or some of those reasons and they put them in the order that they want them to meet,” Plucker said.

Matt Ditmanson with the Sanford Sports Complex says members of Sioux Falls Area Pickleball now have another facility option during the winter months at the Sanford Pentagon.

“It’s a nice fit for us to have them come in and to participate indoors, safely away from the ice,” Ditmanson said.

With six courts set up the facility is currently the largest indoor one in Sioux Falls, with even more room to grow. And that’s important, because growth is exactly what Ditmanson is seeing.

“You look anywhere you go, whether it’s indoor or outdoor pickleball and there’s more and more people showing up. They’re curious about the sport. Once they get a paddle in their hand they know it’s not very intimidating,” Ditmanson said.

With 315 members in the Sioux Falls Area Pickleball group alone Plucker says the facility is a great addition.

Experts say that the stereotype that the sport is only for snowbirds or older people just isn’t true. And after testing it out myself I’d have to agree.

After a quick rundown on how the game is played, Plucker showed me just how beginner friendly it really is — and age friendly, too.

“Some of our youngest players are in middle school and our oldest player is 83-years-old,” Plucker said.

Plucker is optimistic about the potential for regional tournaments at the facility, and is looking forward to playing at the large indoor facility this winter.

Sioux Falls Area Pickleball is hosting an open house at the Sanford Pentagon Wednesday night.

For more information, click here.

For the schedule of when the pickleball courts are available, click here.

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