MISSOURIAN MINUTE: Show-Me Senior Games Pickleball

Thursday, July 10, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. CDT

The Missourian Minute is a regular video series of scenes from around mid-Missouri. These visual slices of life capture the sights and sounds of people and the activities they love.

COLUMBIA — Pickleball took over Cosmopolitan Park's tennis courts for a weekend in June as part of the 2014 Missouri State Senior Games.

Pickleball is like tennis, but played on a smaller court with paddles and a wiffle ball.

The sport has seen tremendous growth in Columbia during the past five years, according to previous Missourian reporting.

Dozens of competitors ages 50 and older arrived early on a Saturday morning last month to compete for state titles in men's, women’s and mixed doubles. Winners could punch their tickets to the national senior championships in Minnesota next year.

That chance and Columbia's reputation as a growing hotbed for the sport drew competitors from around and outside the state. Out-of-staters included several age group champions, including Andy Gensch and Grace Jaworsky, who had taken home gold medals for mixed doubles in the 50- to 54-year-old age group the previous day.

Supervising editor is Derek Poore.

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