Pickleball for all: How to join the latest Twin Cities sports craze

Pickleball outing at Mooty Pickleball Courts in Edina.
Hector Sztainer (left) provides MPR News host Tom Crann a lesson in pickleball on Friday.
Megan Burks | MPR News

It seems like pickleball is all the rage right now, with new courts launching all across the Twin Cities and at least one pickleball-focused business.

Pickleball outing at Mooty Pickleball Courts in Edina.
Hector Sztainer, pickleball ambassador.
Tom Crann | MPR News

To see what it's all about, MPR News host Tom Crann went to the Mooty Pickleball Courts in Edina Friday morning to meet up with Hector Sztainer. The retired physical education teacher is a certified pickleball instructor — or as he prefers, a pickleball ambassador — who picked up the game about a decade ago when he was looking for something to teach young children. It was easy, active and fun — the same reasons it's now gaining popularity among adults.

Sztainer said it’s also a welcoming sport.

“People come here [to the courts] and look. One or two people will go to them and say, ‘Come and play. Come and try.’ This is what it is. It’s an open game for everyone, no matter your age, your gender, your level of play, anything,” Sztainer said, adding that he and other players always have extra paddles to share with newcomers.

To hear more from Sztainer, click play on the audio player above. And if you want to try the sport, check out some resources below.

Pickleball outing at Mooty Pickleball Courts in Edina.
Sztainer and Crann in pickleball action.
Megan Burks | MPR News

Where to play in the Twin Cities, courtesy of the Twin Cities Pickleball Club:

Learn the rules of pickleball in the video below, or read them here.

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