Pickleball gathering is Saturday at Popp’s Ferry courts

Pickleball continues to be a huge and growing story in Biloxi and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

This weekend, on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., there’s an event where pickleball players, armed services veterans and active duty U.S. Air Force personnel will all join at the six new courts on Popp’s Ferry Road, at the sports complex near the Margaret Sherry Library. The group will be on hand to construct a new storage shed for pickleball supplies. Home Depot’s Biloxi store is providing the materials for these volunteers to do the work.

Visitors interested in learning about pickleball also can drop by to learn about the recreational sport, which is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. Two, three, or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net.

Local organizer Tom Linenberger says consider the popularity of this sport: Even though it’s been around for only a few years locally, there are 260 players Coastwide, and, says Linenberger, “in the past three weeks there have been 37 visiting players, representing 11 states and two Canadian provinces. That is a continuing trend.”

In fact, Linenberger sees the activity as a visitor amenity.  “Pickleball is an excellent conduit for visitors to interact with locals, the Coast’s greatest asset,” Linenberger says. “We hear continually from visitors that the friendliness of the local residents is one of the main reasons they plan to return. Now, we invite people to come out Saturday to find out more about what we have to offer.”

Want more information? Email Tom Linenberger.