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Members of Perham’s unofficial pickleball group are, left to right: Margaret Olson, Dave Connel, Alan Oltmanns, Mick Kester, Donna Connel, Carol Bucholz, Marion Krueger, Terry Anderson, Bill Krueger, Jerry McCullen and Rodger Scheltsad. Not pictured is Dwight Olson.

Holding court: Pickleball players bond over their shared love of the sport

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Lovers of the game call it the fastest growing sport in America: pickleball.

 While it’s title as “fastest growing” might be up for dispute, a group of Perham-area residents just want to play ball.

 Pickleball was created in 1965 by three fathers – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum – as a summertime game for their children. Supposedly, the game was named for the Pritchards’ family dog, Pickles, who would often interrupt the game by running off with the ball.

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