Pickleball courts serve up sense of community in New Windsor

Wednesday night a small group came out to New Windsor to christen the town's new pickleball courts.

The crisp thwack of ball against racket echoed through the thick summer air, almost rhythmically.

It could have been mistaken for pingpong, perhaps tennis. But to those in the know, it was the sound of a game some in Carroll County hope will soon begin sweeping the community.



Wednesday night, a small group came out to New Windsor to christen the town's new pickleball courts. The courts are on the tennis courts at Sulphur Springs Park/Tennis Courts, behind the New Windsor fire station. What's new is the markings for this specific sport's courts.

And even though it may seem like something small, for the pickleball community, it's a victory.

Ryan Rash, of Eldersburg, has been playing the sport for about a year. The game is a little like pingpong mixed with tennis, with a Wiffle ball-type ball, he said.

It's played on a court similar to the size of one used for badminton, Jean Rogers, of Westminster, added. She's been playing for 4 1/2 years.

The game is great for everyone, they agreed. It can be competitive, Rash said, which he likes.

Plus, for people who may not be able to play tennis or other sports that can be tough on the joints, pickleball is a great option, Rogers said. People can take it at their own pace.

"You can play with people of your own skill level," she added.

But more than that, there's a sense of community.

"The camaraderie, I like," Rash said. "That's my favorite."

Rash's wife, Susan, has just started playing the sport.

People are welcoming to the first-timers, Rogers said. Those who have played longer are more than happy to "help out the newbies," she added.

These courts came about with help from The Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County.

Partnership Executive Director Dorothy Fox came out Wednesday to cut the ribbon, with help from New Windsor Mayor Neal Roop and Bob Eney, the USA Pickleball Association ambassador for Carroll County.


This initiative demonstrates the town's leadership and commitment to its community, Fox said. It shows New Windsor is willing to listen to new ideas, and to take action, she added.

It's great being the first in the county to have these courts, Roop said.

"My main goal as mayor — my vision — is to bring people to town," he said.

If these courts can help do that, it's a bonus, he added.

The group, some wearing blue-and-yellow pickleball-themed shirts, cheered as the ribbon was ceremonially cut, before piling onto the courts to play on the newly marked ground.

For the pickleball community, these courts are just the beginning. New Windsor may be the first in the area, but lovers of the sport hope it won't be the last.

They need help and support from the county, Rogers added, to get more courts marked throughout Carroll.

"From here, we're just moving on," Eney said. "We're going to go to every municipality that has tennis courts, and we're going to just keep promoting pickleball."