402021386 750735427099064 9111799098436826850 nPickleball, once a relatively unknown sport, has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. What started as a casual backyard game has now transformed into a full-fledged sport with its own leagues, tournaments, and even professional players. The growth of pickleball as a sport can be attributed to several factors.

First and foremost, pickleball is incredibly accessible. Unlike other sports that require expensive equipment or specialized facilities, all you need to play pickleball is a paddle, a ball, and a net. This affordability factor has made it easy for people of all ages and backgrounds to pick up the sport and give it a try. Additionally, pickleball can be played on any flat surface, both indoors and outdoors, making it even more accessible to communities around the world.

The ease of learning pickleball is yet another reason for its popularity. The rules of the game are simple and straightforward, making it easy for beginners to grasp the basics in no time. Also, the social aspect of pickleball cannot be overlooked. With its smaller court size and slower pace compared to other racket sports, pickleball encourages interaction and camaraderie among players.

FTCC unveiled five brand new outdoor, lighted pickleball courts that officially opened in November 2023 and are sure to attract players from far and wide. They have permanent lines and nets. This means that players can enjoy a hassle-free game without the need to constantly set up and take down equipment. Lights allow the game to be enjoyed day or night. With FTCC's new pickleball courts, the sport is set to become even more accessible to the local community. Whether a seasoned player looking for some friendly competition or a beginner eager to learn the ropes, these courts offer the perfect setting for honing your skills.

The FTCC Foundation is organizing the inaugural pickleball competition on the recently constructed illuminated pickleball courts situated at the FTCC campus on Saturday, March 23. This tournament will follow a round-robin format and will accommodate up to 96 participants, competing in men's, women's, and mixed doubles categories. Players have the option to participate alongside a teammate or be assigned one.

The skill levels for the tournament will range from 2.5 (Beginner) to 3.5 (Intermediate). Players under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the tournament. The matches will be played to a score of 11, with a requirement to win by 2 points. Each player will have a minimum of 3 games guaranteed. The playoff games will be played to a score of 15, with a requirement to win by 1 point.

Each participant will be given a protective cover for their paddle. The teams that secure the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions in each event will be awarded a medal.

The courts will be open for players to warm up 15 minutes before each division starts.
The funds raised from the competition will be used to support scholarships and programs for students at FTCC.

Players have the option to participate in either one or two events. The initial event costs $35, while the second event requires a fee of $15 per individual. Participants are required to sign up beforehand. To register visit: https://one.bidpal.net/2024ftccpickleball/welcome. For more information, contact FTCC Foundation at 910-678-8441 or foundation@faytechcc.edu.

The schedule for the tournament will be:
Women’s Doubles – 9:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Mixed Doubles – 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Men’s Doubles – 2:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

The tournament will take place at Fayetteville Technical Community College, 2201 Hull Rd. If there is inclement weather, a rain date will be announced.

Fayetteville Technical Community College has recognized the growing popularity of pickleball and decided to offer pickleball classes for all skill levels. Whether you're a beginner looking to learn the basics or an advanced player aiming to refine your skills, FTCC has got you covered.

The next beginner class starts on March 9. For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/356jv9f4. So grab a paddle, hit the court, and get ready to experience the thrill of pickleball at FTCC!

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