Happy Aging is a unique series focused on how to help you age well. These stories have been created in cooperation with AARP and Word In Black.

As the thwack of the pickleball is the dink heard round the nation, more and more people are getting in on the fun. Pickleball, a mash-up of ping-pong, tennis and badminton, is the fastest-growing sport in the country, with 8.9 million players volleying and “dinking” at courts across the nation, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. The association says participation in the sport increased by a whopping 159 percent over three years.

The sport’s name, legend has it, stems either from a cocker spaniel owned by one of the founders or the pickle boat of crew races. It’s played on a small court — one tennis court can be subdivided into four pickleball courts — with two teams of two people per team.

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