WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J.—One of America’s fastest-growing sports might soon be coming to a converted tennis court in the borough, thanks to a $33,700 state matching grant.
Officials said the grant will be used to help the borough convert at least two tennis courts, one for basketball and one for the fastest-growing sport in America: pickleball.
Winding Way resident David Eisbrouch had phoned in to the Feb. 8 Borough Council meeting to inquire about converting an existing tennis court or two into a pickleball court for local pickleball enthusiasts.
He said he and his family, including his “kids,” now in the late 20s and early 30s, enjoy the game. He said pickleball can be played outside for 9–10 months per year, except for inclement or cold weather.
Whether one or two pickleball courts may be possible with an in-hand $33,700 state matching grant was not clear, but officials said they initially planned to convert two existing tennis courts with the grant.
Eisbrouch said that it might be possible to create two pickleball courts from one tennis court.
Councilwoman Jackie Gadaleta and Councilman Steven Falanga said they would reach out to Eisbrouch to tap his pickleball expertise.
The sport of pickleball, created in 1965 in Bainbridge, Wash., combines elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis. Two or four players use paddles made of wood or composite material to hit a perforated plastic ball, similar to a Wiffle ball, over a net. It is played on a court that matches the layout of a badminton court, with a net and rules that resemble tennis.
The USA Pickleball Association describes the game as “fun, social and friendly. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.”
Falanga said some funds may be used to resurface tennis courts that have suffered water damage, as the tennis courts were used extensively into last fall’s season.
Borough Administrator Tom Padilla said he would keep Eisbrouch posted on the grant and future pickleball court coming to town.