Fastest growing sport in New Zealand comes to the South Island

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Ashburton is hosting the South Island’s first ever pickleball tournament this weekend

A cross between tennis, badminton and table tennis, pickleball is played on a badminton doubles-sized court and uses paddles and a hollow, plastic ball with holes in it.

The net is slightly lower than a tennis net.

The fast-growing sport began in New Zealand five years ago and is played regularly by around 3000 people.

Some 75 to 80 players, including a local contingent, will compete at the Mid Canterbury Winter Classic at EA Networks Centre.

American-born Ruben Garcia, who is also president of Pickleball New Zealand, says a high standard of play can be expected at the tournament, which would feature both singles and doubles matches. Spectators are welcome.

It was similar to badminton and tennis in some respects, but needed different tactics.

The rules also differed, and included no-go zones.

The tournament runs until 3pm today.


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