The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


Kisha Williams / Elite Realty

Pickleball—the game you may have never played—may be Charter’s newest sport

Juliette Montes
A pickleball rests on a player’s paddle. But the real story lies in the background: the potential blending of the two courts (tennis and pickleball) poses much debate around campus.


No, it’s not a countdown. Rather, it’s the score of an early pickleball game. The winning team has three points, the opposing team has two, and the 1 means that the first player on the winning team has the serve. 

As “bigger ping-pong” and “smaller tennis”—some of the game’s alternate descriptions—continue to rise in popularity, the Jaguars could be announcing this very score as early as “next year,” according to Principal Bayer. 

What makes pickleball one of America’s fastest-growing sports is its ability to attract people of all ages. “It’s gotten to the point where it trickled down from my age group to your age group,” said Charter’s Hope (P.E.) instructor, Ms. Schmidt. 

Coach Schmidt reached an epiphany, one day, when she noticed that a middle school in her area replaced their tennis courts with four pickleball courts, with pickleball occupying one side of the space and soccer occupying the other. “So I was like, ‘we need to do something.’” 

Now, Schmidt lies at the forefront of pickleball’s introduction to the school. In her Hope classes, “I would take a couple of paddles up to the tennis court and tell the kids, ‘Okay, just volley back and forth.’” She even bought an indoor net, so “they set it up and a couple of people play in the gym.”

As opposed to tennis, pickleballers play on a smaller court, use smaller rackets, hit lighter, perforated balls, and serve underhand, making the ball easier to hit and strike back; it’s an easy game to learn and get good at—and why the sport’s allure hasn’t stopped short at the gates of Pembroke Pines Charter.

For freshman Jorge Sancler, one of Schmidt’s students, pickleball’s smaller court keeps him playing. “It’s kind of like tennis—you pass the ball, you hit the ball, but [it’s] a little more fun with friends. Pickleball is more of a close game, and you can do more tricks. Tennis is more hardcore and the courts are bigger and stuff.”

How will pickleball be implemented? 

Charter has six outdoor basketball courts, and “the very last one rarely gets used because there’s enough room for basketball, so I said let’s turn that one into a basketball-pickleball court.” But when Schmidt pulled up the dimensions of an official court, she found it to be too big to fit two courts on that one basketball court. 

One of six outdoor basketball courts. If plans are successful, students may be playing pickleball on this very court beginning next year.

So she consulted Principal Bayer, and “what we’re thinking is since we’re not really going to have a team or anything—at least not in the foreseeable future—[we’ll] make the pickleball court sideways. What I’m pushing for is then to just paint the [pickleball] lines on the existing basketball court.” 

Schmidt has already put two roll-away pickleball nets in the next year’s budget. “We can put them on the court and take them off the court. If people want to play basketball we take them off, if they want to play pickleball we put them on. There’s an elementary school near me that has that exact setup, and their nets are out there all time—elementary school is now playing, you know, little kids,” she exclaimed. 

Yet even with such immense popularity and support, the racket sport meets opposition from its bouncier counterpart. 

“As a player of both, I think a pickleball court in school is a great idea, but tennis players do not like pickleball at all,” said senior and tennis player, Nicolas Diaz. He raises the point that the net height is different, “so you can’t put one court inside the other.” But, more importantly, “It would interfere with the tennis team.”

Similarly, “A lot of people use the tennis courts, and I don’t want the courts to be taken by people playing pickleball,” said Caitlin Cabrera, also on the tennis team. Nevertheless, the junior is open to the addition of the sport, even if it means painting the lines. “But I do think they should have the lines on the court so [students] have more use for them in a way. It would be good for us to have a new sport for people to practice.”

Diaz prefers Schmidt’s idea of a basketball-pickleball court. “I think a lot of people would stay after school to play it.” 

Whatever the opinion, Schmidt expresses steadfast reluctance to manipulate the tennis courts. “I said to Mr. Bayer and Ms. Llanos: We only have four courts and we do have a team, so unless we decide that we’re going to go from this little interest to a grand interest, and start having pickleball teams, I won’t touch the tennis courts.”

Hopeful, despite other challenges

Interestingly, the court’s size, although smaller than a tennis court, poses the largest challenge to smooth implementation. 

“Mr. Bayer had wanted to actually build a designated pickleball court out in the parking lot between the basketball courts and the football field,” Coach Schmidt said. “But I know he’s looked into other things out there too and the city has denied it.” 

“It takes a lot of budget to build it,” Bayer said. “I think we’ll just do the extra lines—[like] how the soccer field has other lines. We’re going to do something like that so it’s dual purpose, but then work into making it exclusive.”

Next year’s students will potentially be swinging their rackets back and forth, back and forth on a cool—hopefully not too windy—Thursday afternoon, before committing an infraction.


Indeed, two infractions must be made before possession of the serve goes to the opposite team.    

These rules, among many, may soon acquaint themselves with Charter’s future pickleballers. “We can get it done now and get the kids started without having to dig up anything or repave anything, no permits, no nothing,” said Schmidt.

Kisha Williams / Elite Realty
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About the Contributors
Daniel Morrison
Daniel Morrison, Managing Editor
Hey! My name is Daniel Morrison and this is my fourth and—unfortunately—last year writing for The CHAT Newspaper. This year, I’m serving as The CHAT’s Managing Editor alongside Kara Warren. Whenever free, I write, listen to music, and workout. If you need to contact me, email me at [email protected]
Juliette Montes
Juliette Montes, Photo Staff
Hi! My name is Juliette Montes, I'm currently a senior, and this is my first year in the CHAT. I will be a Photographer/ Broadcasting Member in the CHAT. I love art (photography/cinematography/painting). In my free time I like to read, travel, and hang out with my friends and family. I’m beyond looking forward to becoming a reliable asset to the team, and creating an immersive CHAT for everyone to enjoy:) If you ever need to contact me, reach me at [email protected].

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