Pickleball gains fans across Sonoma County



March 13, 2020, 4:17PM

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times on the fenced-in concrete tennis courts at Finley Community Park in Santa Rosa during a recent weekday morning.

To the west of the main entrance, two traditional tennis courts sat unused and empty, practically longing for people to come by, whip out their rackets and start a good volley. To the east of the main entrance, however, six smaller courts teemed with dozens of players — men and women alike.

The players were all business, many decked out in headbands, wristbands and sweat-wicking shirts. One woman grunted every time she smashed the plastic yellow ball. Another player showered her doubles partner with compliments after every good shot.

Contests were friendly but competitive — lots of laughter, many high-fives, a smattering of light-hearted trash talk.

Their game? Pickleball.