Doug Dodd and Kathy Hill scored a gold medal in the mixed double Pickleball competition during the 11th annual Alaska International Senior Games.-Photo by Shannon Reid

Doug Dodd and Kathy Hill scored a gold medal in the mixed double Pickleball competition during the 11th annual Alaska International Senior Games.-Photo by Shannon Reid

Homer residents bring home gold for Pickleball skills

Homer residents Kathy Hill and Doug Dodd scored a gold medal in the mixed double Pickleball competition during the 11th annual Alaska International Senior Games Aug. 14 held in Fairbanks. 

They stirred up quite a scene with their advanced skills in the fast-paced and oddly named game that was not only a new sport to the Senior Games but also to a few of the duo’s competitors.

“The bar wasn’t set very high,” said Dodd. “A lot of people haven’t played much.”

The killer pair lost one game out of six matches. Dodd was familiar with the game, first playing in 1988 in Portland and starting again in Homer in November of last year. 

“We had a great time and played well together,” said Hill. “We practiced beforehand in Homer against other pair doubles. We felt good about our game.”

Longtime Homer resident Hill took home a second gold medal from the women’s double competition with partner Donna Holleman from Fairbanks. A competitive tennis player in her younger years, Hill fell in love with Pickleball when she first played last March.

“I heard it was going on in Homer so I showed up one time,” she said. “They taught me what to do and I took to it. It’s an addictive game, I can tell you that.”

Pickleball, a sport combining tennis, badminton and ping-pong is played on a court a third the size of a tennis court. The unique name came from a cocker spaniel named “Pickle” that would run after the balls hit by the game’s inventor. 

Enthusiasts say Pickleball is the fastest growing game in America, certainly catching the attention of both young and older athletes since it started in Homer last year.

“Just in its short time in existence over 70 people have come out to play or come on a regular basis,” said Hill. “As winter comes on we predict more people will continue to show up.” 

Pickleball is played every Wednesday and Friday from 6:30-8:30 at the Boys and Girls club gymnasium. Players ages 14 and up are invited and it costs $2 per person. Beginners are welcome.

“We really encourage new people to come out and join us.” said Hill. 

According to Dodd, it’s an easy game to get hooked on.

“People can pick it up quickly, learn rapidly and progress quickly yet still have the game be challenging.”

The sport suits a variety of ages and both youth and elderly are encouraged to join in the fun.

“I like it because older people can play it with younger people because it’s not totally dependent on strength and speed.” said Dodd. “The point being is that you can continue playing as you age. One of the better players in Homer is a guy in his 70’s.” 

More information on the sport of Pickleball can be found at the USA Pickleball Association Web site: http://usapa.org 

More in Sports

Photo by Kris Inman 
A radio-tagged wolverine moves across the Greater Yellowstone.
Refuge Notebook: Wolverines show how knowledge leads to conservation

As I contemplated a topic for this week’s Refuge Notebook article, I… Continue reading

TSR
Kenai girls, Homer boys swimmers win Homer Invite

The Kenai girls and Homer boys won the Homer Invitational on Saturday… Continue reading

Carter Tennison scores a touchdown for the Homer Mariners against Kodiak High School on Saturday, Aug.28. The Mariners won 34-0. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Houston football shuts out Homer

The host Houston football team defeated Homer 42-0 on Friday night in… Continue reading

Homer’s Frida Renner competes during the varsity girls race of the George Plumley Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at Palmer High School. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)
Kenai runners lead area at Plumley Invite

West Valley senior Daniel Abromowicz and Chugiak junior Campbell Peterson won the… Continue reading

Lydia Jacoby of the United States swims in a heat during the women’s 100-meter breaststroke at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Jacoby named to National Team

Seward senior Lydia Jacoby, 17, has been named to the 2021-22 National… Continue reading

tease
Results posted for The Gauntlet

The Gauntlet, the season-ending mountain bike event at Tsalteshi Trails, was held… Continue reading

Sports in brief

Football The Sept. 17 junior varsity football game vs. Kenai was canceled.… Continue reading

Photo by Kat Sorensen 
Fireweed in Seward, Alaska.
Tangled Up in Blue: Hand Dipped

The Lost Lake Run was a long one. I ran over 15… Continue reading

Michael, Sarah, Pete, Becky, Will and Margaret take a picture in front of Exit Glacier in Seward on Aug. 21.
Out of the Office: Finally feeling at home

Homer News reporter Sarah Knapp explores Alaska with Tennessee family.

Most Read