Mark Perehinec: Substitute Teacher and Pickleball Player

 Pickleball is a popular sport that was invented in 1965. It is a paddled sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It started becoming popular in 2019 and 2021.

Substitute teacher Mark Perehinec started playing when he was 65-years-old and has been playing for a year. Pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors, and there are many places to play it in Altoona and Hollidaysburg.

Perehinec plays it at Hollidaysburg YMCA, which is an indoor and outdoor place to play. He also plays it at Cherry Hill Park and Garfield Park. Most of the courts are 44 feet by 22 feet tennis courts, and each team is in charge of one-fourth of their court.

Perehinec said most of the people who play this game are kind and always willing to help, which can help many newcomers.

“Anyone can play this sport. Even people who have never played it before are able to make a good shot within the first few games. It is also an easy sport to learn and people are always willing to help, but it does take a long time to master the skills of the game,” said Perehinec.

Perehinec said people who play want more people to play and often are paired up with people who are newbies.

“They are patient and will help teach the rules of serving, playing and scoring. It is a great group of people that I play with and range in age from 78 to 16,” Perehinec said.

Pickleball is a sport where people don’t sit out long and are always switching out teams and partners. One of the things that Perehinec enjoys about pickleball is that it’s a fast paced game and the rounds don’t last long.

Perehinec said, “Frequently games are completed in less than 15 minutes, so if you are waiting to play, it is rare that you would be sitting, waiting for 15 minutes. It is usually less.”

Another thing about pickleball is that it isn’t an expensive sport unless people make it one. The only things that you really need are a paddle and pickleball balls. Paddles can be purchased for less than $20, and the balls can be bought in a pack of three for $10. Almost any decent pair of sneakers would work, so you don’t have to purchase a new pair that is specifically made for this sport.

Pickleball is a fun sport that can be played by anyone, and it’s easy to learn and play. It isn’t an expensive sport to play unless people make it one.