Barefoot Bulletin April 2023 | Page 16

Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head resident Judy Thomas started the Fins Ball game rolling by drawing on her baseball background . Using a cardboard gift wrap tube with a broken broom handle inside and a pickleball . With each whack of the ball , it was apparent that a new game was in the making .

From these humble beginnings , different aspects of the game were developed and , before long , more residents were playing the game . Various bats and balls were auditioned , the field was designed and redesigned and rules were loosely put into place .

According to Latitude Margaritaville Lifestyle Director Ramona Ward , the first actual meeting to discuss how the game could be incorporated into ongoing community activities took place on July 26 , 2020 .

The community helped to develop some rules that are similar to softball — without the running . “ Players now like to say , ‘ We play it this way because we don ’ t want to spill our drink ,” she laughs .

Using an open piece of property set aside for future bocce ball courts , a group of residents helped to set up a basic playing field . A call was issued inviting anyone who wanted to play . “ The first day of the call , we established eight teams of 10 ,” recalls Ramona . “ It was really basic . No team shirts , no real field , no frills . Then interest grew exponentially . It has grown very organically with neighbors recruiting neighbors to form a team .”