By Elizabeth Morgan
Shannon Carducci spoke with the Orofino City Council April 23, regarding a proposal to supply the labor and paint to paint two pickleball courts on one of the city’s tennis ball courts, A resident of Orofino and retired for some time, Carducci explained that he’s played in competitive pickleball tournaments and has directed tournaments in Coeur d’Alene.
He said he’s noticed that there are currently no pickleball courts painted on the existing tennis courts, and noted that one of the courts is almost unplayable for tennis because of the cracks in it. Pickleball courts are smaller and could be placed on either side of the cracks without a problem. It still leaves one tennis court available, and in the future if the tennis court is repaired, four more pickleball courts could easily be added.
Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and has been around for 50 years, but has really become popular in the past 10 years. It’s a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels, which combines the elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.
In addition to providing the paint, painting the courts, and the contribution of paddles, balls, and portable nets, Carducci also offered to teach others. “I’m a certified referee, I play a fairly high level and I would be willing to put on a beginner’s clinic multiple times to introduce the game to the community. It’s a great way to stay fit and I would love to see it take off here in Orofino.”
With further discussion the proposal was approved by the council, giving Carducci permission to commence with the courts. The tennis team at the high school still has priority use during their season, but a multiuse approach of the existing courts is an asset, with no cost to the city. Pickleball courts were also mentioned as one of the objectives in the City’s Activity Connection Plan.