There is a new sport in town and Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority announces multiple days and locations to play. What’s the big Dill? Although it has a funny name, Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation.


What is Pickleball? It is a sport that combines elements of tennis, ping-pong and badminton and played with a paddle and more durable whiffle ball. The game is played with two or four players on indoor or outdoor courts of badminton size or a slightly modified tennis court, according to officials.


“Pickleball is popular because it is easy to learn and play for people of all ages, skills and competitive levels,” said Carole Taylor, PARA4life and McAbee Center manager. “Because of the smaller court size and lightweight ball, the game is incredibly popular with seniors/active adults looking for a low-impact form of exercise,” she said.


Local ambassadors for the United States of America Pickleball Association, USAPA are Scott Hilliker and Carolyn Willingham.  “We have about 70 players from the McAbee Center who typically organize through GroupMe, a social networking app,” said Hilliker. “There is a similar group for the Phelps Center players,” he said.


Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at McAbee Center and Friday morning at Phelps Center are typically the busiest play times at the moment,” said Hilliker. “If you are new to the game and interested in learning, please contact Kim Brown at the McAbee Center to inquire,” he said.


PARA has Pickleball courts reserved for gaming at the Phelps and McAbee Centers during the following dates and times:

Phelps Center

  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • 9am-12pm


McAbee Center

  • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 1-3 pm
  • Thursday at 1pm-8pm
  • Sunday at 1pm-5pm

“Although PARA does have some equipment to borrow, you can get into the game for a relatively nominal expense with purchase of a paddle and balls for $50 to $60,” said Hilliker.

Pickleball play is included with PARA membership or a daily user fee applies. Seniors/active adults may be eligible for insurance based membership. You can check your benefit eligibility through the following links or PARA’s Center staff is happy to assist you:

More information is available by visiting tcpara.org or by calling Kim Brown at the McAbee Center at 205-562-3235.