Buffalo Bill Cody Park tennis courts are often full of players. Ironically the courts are full of pickleball players, not tennis players. Pickleball is a great sport for exercise and socializing. The game is a combination of ping-pong, badminton and racquetball. The court is about the size of a badminton court and played with a bigger and more durable paddle than a ping-pong paddle. The ball is about the size of a whiffle ball but more durable. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America and is thriving in Leavenworth.

The Big Dill Pickleball Club of Leavenworth, managed by Jim Crandell, finished the first Ladder League with a tournamentMay 18 at Harney Fitness Center at Fort Leavenworth (due to rain). The Ladder League tournament consisted of three divisions with the city of Leavenworth providing the first- and second-place medals.

The top placers from each division were Division A: Rob Schmidt, Todd Tarnoff and Don Atterbury; Division B: Walt Clark, Diane Cole and Charlie Radford; Division C: Mary Ellen Maxwell, Shelly Wilson and Josiah Nawlin. 

More than 30 people participated in the Ladder League varying in ages from 20 to 78 years old with players coming from throughout the greater Kansas City area.

The next Ladder League starts the week of June 24 with three categories: men’s, women’s and mixed open.

The city intends on adding four new Pickleball courts at Bob Dougherty Park sometime in 2019.

Everyone is welcome to join the Big Dill Pickleball Club. Find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BigDillPickleballClub/