Covid-19 has been no match for Rotorua pickleball players.
After practising in driveways and backyards at home for months, Rotorua athletes took on visitors from across the country this month and took out titles.
About 120 players entered the 2020 Pickleball Rotorua Open Tournament, the first large scale pickleball event in New Zealand since lockdown.
Over two-and-a-half days, 180 games were played, wrapping up on October 4.
The sport - considered one of the fastest-growing worldwide- is similar to badminton, table tennis and tennis.
It uses a court, paddles and a ball can be played inside or outside and in singles or doubles.
Shaun Tamai and his nephew Lionel Rogers, both from Rotorua, won the open men's doubles category.
Tamai teamed up with Rotorua's Ramari Raureti in the open mixed doubles, and they finished as runners-up.
Raureti took out the open women's doubles title with Auckland player Goretti Sua.
Sharon Fleet helped set up pickleball in Rotorua in 2015, is a former chair of Pickleball New Zealand, national committee, and oversaw the tournament this month.
She told the Rotorua Daily Post the Rotorua results were "just great".
"People see it as being the number one tournament to attend."
"We've got wonderful, wonderful, passionate, pickleball players, and it's really starting to take a hold right across the country," she said.
She was "thrilled" by the growth of the sport in New Zealand in the last five years.
"We mainly started targeting people aged 40 and upwards, but we have attracted a much wider demographic now, and that's really exciting. It's in a huge number of schools around the country. We've got probably about 60 to 65 centres playing pickleball around the country. And it's growing."
Shaun Tamai, a champion tennis player, started playing pickleball last year.
"The competitiveness and fitness" that comes from the sport has got his whole family hooked, and they played in their driveway over lockdown.
"It was a great way to get the kids outside."
He said months of restrictions on practices and matches meant "everyone was eager and keen" at this month's tournament in Rotorua, whether they were spectators or competitors.
Winning a title with his nephew Lionel Rogers was "an awesome experience" for Tamai.
Ramari Raureti has been taking out top spots in tournaments since first up picking up a paddle nearly four years ago.
It's the "great bunch of people" playing in Rotorua who keep her coming back each week.
"They are just very friendly, there is a huge range of really competitive people and learners ... And I love the hard, fast, volleying and smashing at the net, that aggressive, attacking type of play that is a feature of our style in Rotorua."
As Covid-19 restrictions lifted earlier this year, she got some hits in after setting up a court on a tennis court with her children.
"But it was hard not being able to play all through lockdown ... Just to get back into the sport was wonderful."