Pickleball League Teams with Police to Fight Hooligans
Local News - Newsmakers
Written by Millbank Daily-Weekly   
Friday, 17 July 2015 21:42

Faced with increasing reports of hooliganism and a beleaguered staff, the Millbank Police have turned to the city’s Pickleball Expert League for help.

“This is a no-brainer,” said Millbank’s self-proclaimed “Pickleball Maniac” Doug Sheffley. Sheffley, 71, is the owner of Pickleball Mania Pickleball Supplies. “Ours sport attracts only the highest caliber of citizen. We’re trustworthy, dedicated, punctual and always display good sportsmanship. Who better to enforce the laws of our city?”

Pickleball Lady with GunPickleball is popular in many senior communities throughout the country. It appeals to the elderly because it is a low impact sport, similar to tennis, but played on a smaller court with a whiffle ball and special paddles. Sheffley introduced the game to Millbank in 2012, and its local following has soared as evidenced by the many T-shirts, bumper stickers and handprinted newsletters around town. The game’s critics say its zealous fans act more like a cult than athletes and harass residents in their efforts to recruit new players. The Downhill Moderate Senior Living Facility converted its chapel into a pickleball court, and Sheffley has held weekly rallies to get the city to install outdoor courts in Ottoman Park.

It is at those weekly rallies that pickleball players first encountered the city’s large and shadowy cabal of hooligans. Sheffley said his peaceful rallies were often disrupted by teenagers in ill-fitting pants on skateboards who called them bad names and demanded that space in the park be used to construct a skateboard area, and not “some place for old people to die.”

Millbank Daily-Weekly staff reached out to a local teenager who owns a skateboard and says he speaks for all local hooligans. “Old people blow chunks,” said the teen who asked not to be identified. “Pickleball blows chunks, and that one ancient dude, Pickleball Man or something? He better shut his mouth before someone shoves a paddle in it.”

Sheffley said the hooligan problem at his rallies got so bad that he had to ask the police for help. However, police chief Vern Howard told Sheffley that staffing resources were overextended due to the recent spate of defecations at the community pool. This is when Sheffley got the idea to offer the assistance of the pickleball community to the police. Sheffley reported the police resisted his generous offer at first, but eventually saw the benefits.

“He’s persistent,” conceded Chief Howard of Sheffley. “When he wants something, he doesn’t stop. He called me every day. He got his disciples to call me every day. They jammed up the switchboard, and marched in front of the station with their ping-pong paddle things. I don’t have the staff to fight them, not with all the pooping going on. So I caved.”

Pickleball Ladies with Guns

The resulting partnership between the Millbank Police and the Pickleball Expert League means that all League members are automatically deputized and given a firearm with the authority to use it in the line of duty.

“Duty means keeping hooligans in line,” said Sheffley. “But shooting these youths is not our first priority. It’s our second priority.”

The partnership also means that many of Millbank’s grandparents and grandchildren will be at odds, with the elder generation potentially hunting down the offspring of their own children.

“It doesn’t have to come to that,” insisted Sheffley. “Not if we can get these little punks into a pickleball-intensive diversion program. Eight hours a day with a paddle and they’ll be too tired and happy to cause any trouble. Once they start playing they won’t ever want to stop, and the good news of pickleball will be shared with a new generation. I can see a day when every man, woman and child finds true joy on clean, new outdoor pickleball courts in Ottoman Park.”

Millbank Daily-Weekly staff asked Chief Howard what training or instruction was being given to senior citizens now carrying guns. Howard said, “Let’s just get them all guns and get Sheffley off my back first. We’ll worry about showing them how to use them later.”

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Last Updated on Friday, 17 July 2015 22:00

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