HISTORY OF PICKLEBALL
Pickleball is a court sport played on a badminton-sized hard court with the net set to a height of 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic ball similar to a whiffle ball and plastic or wooden paddles about 2x the size of table tennis paddles. It can be played indoors or outdoors and is easy for beginners to learn, but can be a fast-paced, highly-skilled competitive game for more athletic and experienced players.
The game has developed a passionate following due to its friendly, social nature, and its multi-generational appeal. Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles. New players can learn the basic rules quickly in a few minutes. Equipment is relatively inexpensive. Pickleball is popular in school Phys Ed programs and in senior living communities. The sport is governed by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPickleball.org).
Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. They were looking for a fun activity for their children during the summer break from school. According to Barney McCallum, the game was originally named after the Pritchards’ dog Pickles who would chase the ball and run away with it. As the game progressed, a name for the sport was needed and “pickleball” was adopted as the official name.