Fran Meckler is the Coordinator of the POP Tennis program at the SaddleBrooke Tennis Center and she invited me to give this sport a try.
It is a slower sport than tennis and uses a shorter court. The paddle is smaller and the ball is like a tennis ball with less bounce.
Service is done underhand and below the waist, meaning there is no overhead slamming serves as in regular tennis.
Since I have lost some of my agility and speed, this seemed like a fun way to get exercise, enjoy fellowship, and actually feel like I was back in the game.
The group, led by Fran, meets at 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Sunday and the courts are reserved until 4 p.m., although players may leave earlier if they wish. Players rotate in and out after six games are played, and the score is kept as in tennis.
The server gets one serve and it must land in the opposite court, just as in tennis. Less power is needed to return the serve and if the opponent rushes the net, then a lob may be appropriate.
There are some free racquets provided by the tennis center if a player does not own his or hers, but most players bring their own.
POP Tennis racquets and balls may be ordered from several online outlets, or there is a local source where you can purchase these items if you would rather hold a racquet in your hand before the purchase. The Racquet Shack is located at 3148 E. Ft. Lowell Rd., Tucson, AZ 85716 and you can talk with the owner, Ron Buotte over the phone at 520-323-3916. When I did my online search for a POP Tennis racquet I was directed to several local sports stores, but none carried the POP Tennis racquet, except The Racquet Shack. This may have changed since the sport has become quite popular in SaddleBrooke and at other places that play tennis.
Come and watch the sport next Wednesday or Sunday between 2 and 4 p.m. at courts five and six to see if you might like to participate. For more information contact the tennis center at 520-825-0255.