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Pickleball tournament takes over Ogden

OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Pickleball has become one of the fastest growing sports in Utah, and Ogden is hosting a major tournament this weekend.
OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - If you've never seen the sport of Pickleball, Ogden is the place to be this weekend.

The Dennis Forbes Memorial Pickleball tournament is taking place at Mount Ogden Golf Course, with some $18,000 in prize money at stake.

"All the best players are here," said Steve Wong of the USA Pickleball Association. "All the best players from all around the U.S. and Canada. It's going to be a great tournament."

Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis, and is played by people of all ages, from teenagers to 90-year-olds.

"It's pretty much like you're playing table tennis, but standing on the table," Wong explained. "It's very fast-paced and there is a lot of strategy."

The health benefits from playing Pickleball are immeasurable. John Gullo, the tournament chairman, had six bypasses. But shortly after discovering Pickleball, the 69-year-old lost 60 pounds and 10 inches from his waist.

"I was doing everything I could to get healthy again," Gullo said. "Between treadmill and all that boring stuff, I kept seeing this sign for Pickleball in Southern Utah. I finally went out and tried the game and fell in love with it."

"I know people who have had both hips replaced, both knees replaced, the shoulder done, and they're out here playing," said Pickleball player Nadine McKay. "It's good for your brain too."

One of the most attractive features of the sport is the social aspect. 

"You make so many good friends," said Linda Forbes. Her husband Dennis, an avid Pickleball player, passed away in January, and the tournament is named after him. "Some of the best friends I've ever had in my life are from Pickleball. I just wish my husband was here to see this."

The tournament runs through Saturday.

Check out the video to see how Dana Greene fared in his first venture into Pickleball.


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