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Professional pickleball tournament kicks off in Delray Beach

The Delray Beach Pickleball Open runs from March 18 to 21, 2021.jpg
Posted at 2:08 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 17:04:29-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — The Honda Classic isn't the only tournament in Palm Beach County this weekend.

Inside the Delray Beach Tennis Center, almost 1,000 pickleball players will compete in the Delray Beach Pickleball Open, the first professional pickleball tournament in the city.

Nearly 200 of the players are professional pickelballers.

"We are excited to see Anna Lee and Lee Waters. They are the locals," said one spectator on Thursday.

Ken Herrmann, CEO of the Association of Pickleball Professionals, said they added Delray Beach to their 18 tournament stops

"Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. Over four million people are playing right now," Herrmann said.

Tennis courts have been converted into 27 pickleball courts, with some of the best in the country playing

"A lot of people figure this as an old person's game and it is not," said Debbie Spina.

Spina said this weekend could draw more attention to the sport and get more people playing.

Carl Foster helped set up this APP tournament and said they are following all the CDC recommendations for COVID-19 and have plenty of outdoor space to work with at the tennis center.

Foster hopes Delray Beach could be a future home for more tournaments with the APP as the sport continues to grow

"We are one of the majors, so we are looking forward to being here for the next 10 or more years," Foster said.

For more information about the Delray Beach Pickleball Open, click here.