PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) - It was named after the inventor’s dog, and this weekend, the sport with the weird name that’s sweeping the country has taken over a Plantation park.

Featuring just under 700 competitors, the Association of Pickleball Professionals’ Plantation Open is the first ever pro pickleball tour in Broward County.

Organizers said the sports event, taking place through Sunday, has been a huge hit.

“I have the APP Tour here, 24 stops, and we’re one of them now. This sport – we’re here,” said Andy Rubenstein, Director of the APP Plantation Open.

Organizers said Central Park in Plantation was the perfect fit for the event.

Professional pickleball player Johnny Goldberg said the popular sport with the unusual name has come a long way.

“When I first started here, it was just six courts. Now there are 17 courts,” he said.

Pickleball is played with a paddle, a whiffle ball and on a court three times smaller than a tennis court.

Goldberg said anyone who gives pickleball a try becomes immediately hooked.

“You don’t have to come from a tennis background. I’ve never played a racquet sport,” he said. “It’s amazing how, no matter what sport you played or what background, you can come in and love it right away.”

The sport with the funny name is gaining so much traction, 30 states are being represented at the Plantation Open. One player came all the way from the United Kingdom to play.

“Four years ago, this was the old people sport. You don’t see old people out here. These pros aren’t old, right?” said Rubenstein. “They are unbelievable athletes, amazing athletes — younger and younger, faster and faster. It’s a matter of time before it’s an Olympic sport.”

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