Pickleball enthusiasts attend a clinic, with directors Mary and Greg Hughes, to brush up on the sport to prepare for this weekend’s tournament at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds. (Contributed)

KING CITY — This Saturday, King City Rotary Club will host the region’s first Pickleball Tournament with community service organizations, taking place at the Expo building at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City.

The primary goal behind the Feb. 10 event is to bring the service clubs in King City together for some friendly competition, bragging rights and to raise some money for King City’s Fourth of July parade and fireworks.

The various service clubs are paying $50 for teams of two. Service clubs can contact King City Rotary President James Ewart at [email protected] or 831-682-1235 to sign up.

“At this time we have over 12 teams signed up to play,” Ewart said. “The teams will begin play at 9 a.m. and we will go on until the early afternoon.”

Pickleball is a racket or paddle sport in which two players (singles) or four players (doubles) hit a perforated, hollow plastic ball with paddles over a 34-inch-high net until one side is unable to return the ball or commits a rule infraction. The sport can be played indoors and outdoors.

Pickleball is America’s fastest growing sport. As of 2022, there were an estimated 4.8 million pickleball players in the United States — a 14.8% increase over the previous year — with 10,724 playing locations registered with USA Pickleball.

The idea for the local Pickleball Tournament began with long-time resident Jim Hearne, who mentioned that there were many great organizations in King City and when they work together they can achieve great things.

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