To the unfamiliar, pickleball is a sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. One uses solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated ball (a pickle ball or a wiffle ball), over a knee-high net. It is played as a double’s game, indoors or outdoors, on a court the size of a badminton court. There is a ‘no volley zone’ at the front of the court, more commonly known as the ‘kitchen.’

Earlier this term, Mr Macleod and I organised the inaugural inter-house pickleball tournament. It was a great success with 15 pairs, representing nine different boarding houses, participating. To most of the players, the sport was a real novelty. Nonetheless, they took the bull by the horns and played with great enthusiasm and spirit.

The tournament was a knockout which started at the round of 16. After two rounds of closely fought matches, the semi-finals were set: Kaius V and Abel J vs Raf S and Ray K; Aryaman V and Amir G vs Daniel H and Alexander B. Both were fantastic games, with the latter game giving show to some of the best pickleball I had ever seen!

And then there were four. The best pickleball protégés squared off in the final of all finals. Raf S and Ray K (Farrer House) vs Daniel H and Alexander B (Hawtrey House). Two Year 9 boys vs two Year 12 boys – who would come out on top?

In a best of three sets match, it was the older boys who took an early lead, winning the first. The Farrer House pair then came storming back in the second game, getting within striking distance of their opposition. However, the Hawtrey House pair were just too good and came out victorious.

Overall, the tournament was a great success. It was a brilliant evening of electric rallies and top-class sportsmanship, encapsulating what pickleball is all about.

The game is fun, easy to learn and very accessible – so I encourage everyone to give it a try if you haven’t already.

This week, the new Pickleball Club will be starting and hopefully lots of boys and members of the community will get involved!