Rotorua duo Dick Parker and Ian Jackson have a combined age of over 120 years but both possess a dab pickleball hand.
If you haven't heard of pickleball you're not alone, but as the fastest-growing sport in America and Canada with over eight million players, it's probably no surprise it has reached New Zealand shores.
Rotorua's Pickleball Club boasts between 30 and 40 regular players.
Jackson has been playing the sport since it arrived in New Zealand (about five years ago) while Parker is a relative newcomer. Last weekend the pair, with about six other members of the Rotorua club, travelled to Henderson to contest the Men's Super Doubles section of the Te Pai Pickleball Tournament 2020.
To meet criteria, the team of Jackson and Parker had to be above the combined age of 120, with no player under the age of 55.
"I have to admit from the start that Ian is the gun and I make up the team," Parker said.
However, according to Jackson, it takes two to play the game.
The pair were the only Rotorua players to make the podium. The others got somewhat thrashed according to Parker.
"It was a great tournament," the men agreed.
Pickleball, for those who don't know, is a paddleball sport combining elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.
Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, with 26-40 round holes and called a whiffle ball, over a net.
"In Rotorua we meet at the Badminton Club," Jackson said. "The badminton nets are lowered to 34 inches [slightly lower than a tennis net] and we use the full court."
In Tauranga, residents meet every Monday and Wednesday from 10am to 12pm. Pickleball Mount Maunganui member Viv Smith said about 40 people were on the club list with about 26 people at each of the two meets.
"I think we in Tauranga see Rotorua as the country's pickleball centre," Smith said.
"We do have a couple of people who attend tournaments but we're more of a social club."
Parker said he was in the "upper echelon" of the club's age-group while Parker's 10-year-old grandson is possibly the youngest.
"I believe the American Pickleball open section is for people aged between 19 and 49, it is a sport that caters for all ages and all skill levels."
Jackson said if anyone was keen to see how Pickleball was played, there were loads of pickleball videos on YouTube.