Competition Athletic Surfaces built the first pickleball court surfaces in the Chattanooga area in 2013. A dedicated band of pickleball enthusiasts raised funds for the four courts located beside Collegedale's Imagination Station.
"The craze took off soon after," says CAS founder and owner Lee Murray. "Collegedale was on the cutting edge."
Pickleball might be called tennis-lite-and-easy. The sport, which combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis, is played on a court one-third the size of a tennis court. Two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated polymer ball over a net.
"It's easier to pick up and less strenuous than tennis," Murray says. "And it's more social. More people. More fun."