Sun City West hosts 3-day pickle ball tournament: 'One you start, you're addicted,' says participant

SUN CITY WEST, AZ - Hundreds of people -- even a few dogs and a pickle mascot -- flocked to the courts in Sun City West to take part in the three-day “Fun in the Sun” pickle ball tournament.

More than 350 people signed up for the event, most of them playing for bragging rights and of course, a medal to drape over the mantel.

“Once you start, you’re addicted,” said pickle ball participant Mike Maloney.  “It’s worse than heroine.”

According to the participants, the game of pickle ball is on the rise. However, not everyone is familiar with the rules. It’s similar to tennis. It’s similar to ping pong. But tournament Director Shari Jones explained it best.

“The game is played very similar to table tennis, but you’re standing on the table.”

The sport is about winning, but it’s also about losing if you’re Dale Hanes. He’s lost 22 pounds since he started playing a year and a half ago.

“It’s good from a lot of aspects. It’s not hard on the joints, yet it’s still good exercise,” he said.

This week’s tournament is expected to bring in around $15,000, which will go toward the maintenance and upkeep of the courts.

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