Charlotte Pickleball Classic could be first of many stops for sport in Queen City

CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Hundreds of professional pickleball players are in South Charlotte this weekend to determine who is the best of the best.

The Charlotte Pickleball Classic has brought more than 300 players to the Charlotte Indoor Tennis Club off Sharon Lakes Road. The event is hosted by the World Pickleball Tour.

Despite the funky name you won’t find any pickles at the event, instead, there is some fierce competition.

“It’s just fun. It’s a good time. It’s a good workout. It’s very social,” said Charlotte Indoor Tennis Club Owner, Meg Hollingsworth.

Pickleball uses a paddle and whiffle-like ball with a court setup similar to tennis. The sport first dates back to the 1960s in Seattle. Now more than 60 years later, it’s a hit.

The World Pickleball Tour is in its second year and has expanded to more than 30 events across the country. During the first year, only a few dozens of players took part.

“We have almost 10 times that for this year and I think next year you will see us not only at domestic events but international as well,” said World Pickleball League Founder, Jacob Taylor.

Before crossing international borders, the tour planned the first-ever tournament in the Queen City.

“It’s a great town from a pickleball player standpoint. You see a lot of pickleball players from this part of the country, but specifically, it’s the facility,” said Taylor.

The Charlotte Indoor Tennis Club got the call to host pickleball, but the owners had to make some changes first by painting new lines on the existing tennis court.

“We have six indoor tennis courts and now we have 6 indoor tennis courts and 12 pickleball courts,” said Hollingsworth.

The change was a welcome addition for Hollingsworth, who is also a pickleball player herself.

“We actually were at the beach and we thought it looked interesting. We jumped on a court, started playing around and we got hooked. We called friends and invited them out the next day, We came back to Charlotte and started putting down painters tape lines to start playing Pickleball here,” said Hollingsworth.

The weekend tournament at the Charlotte Indoor Tennis Club is free for spectators. Once the tour leaves Charlotte, the pickleball courts will remain for anyone to play.

You can find more information on how to reserve a pickleball court here.