On Friday, the seniors who participated in the second annual pickleball competition came for the fun, costumes and prizes.
On Saturday, however, the games will turn serious as a USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) sanctioned tournament takes place starting at 8 am at the on 9525 E Highland Rd.
“We will have players all the way from age 50 on up to 84 playing tomorrow,” said Deborah Weeks, the tournament coordinator. “They will be competing in their age bracket for medals.”
Weeks, who is in her second year organizing the event, says that the participation for the tournament has grown from 64 to 78 competing players and includes competition coming from three different states and two different countries.
"We have a group coming from Canada to play," she said.
Other local area pickleball players from Novi, Rochester, Royal Oak and Birmingham are also travelling out to Hartland this weekend to join in and compete.
Pickleball, which is a combination of badminton, tennis and table tennis, is also the fastest growing sport in America, according to Weeks.
“Especially among the senior community,” she said.
The game is played with a whiffleball and slightly lower nets, which according to pickleball player Sharon Parker, makes it easier for seniors to play.
"Being older, you can play it a little easier than tennis," she said.
Weeks said that one of the reasons why she enjoys the sport is that every age can enjoy and play it, explaining that they're oldest pickleball particpant is in their 80's.
“It’s great to be around a group of older people who are healthy and they’re active,” Weeks said.
Pickleball isn’t just for seniors, however, as Weeks pointed out there are also open pickleball sessions on Monday nights at for anyone 19-years and older.
“We're trying to encourage the younger players to come out and play,” she said.
Weeks is also inviting anyone curious about the sport to come out and watch the games on Saturday. Extra chairs have been put out for any Saturday spectators to come and enjoy the games.
Saturday’s games will start at 8 a.m. with ladies and mens doubles with the afternoon games being mixed doubles.
For more information about pickleball, go to the USA Pickleball Assocation website.