- Midwest Sports
What is Pickleball?
“What is pickleball, you speak of,” you ask?
The sport was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, just outside of Seattle, Washington. The sport pickleball is a combination of tennis, ping-pong and badminton that is played on a court about one-third the size of a tennis court with a net that is 34 inches high at the center.
Pickleball is played with a paddle (think over-sized ping-pong paddle) and perforated ball – kind of like a wiffleball.
How Pickleball Got Its Name
(The Founders of Pickleball: Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum.)
The story goes that the wife of one of pickleball’s founders came up with the name. She started to call their game pickleball because “the combination of different sports reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.”
However, the other founder claims that they named the game after a dog, who was named Jake. Just kidding, the dog’s name was of course Pickles! Hence the original name of the sport was Pickle’s ball, later transformed into pickleball
Similar to a badminton court, a pickleball court is 20 by 44 feet for both doubles and singles. The net is hung at 36 inches on the ends, and 34 inches at center.
Why We Love Pickleball
This game is easy on the body and has a simple learning curve which makes it excellent for people of all ages to enjoy. Other racket sports, such as tennis, racquetball, and badminton, might require hours of play or lessons just to get the gist. But since pickleball was designed with family in mind, it only takes a few matches to understand how to play. From there, it’s easy to get a game going and show off your skills!
In addition to the fun/social aspect, pickleball is also extremely competitive for those who are a bit more “cutthroat.” Whether it is participating in the Senior Olympics, playing in a USAPA sanctioned event, or just competing against your Tuesday afternoon “nemesis,” pickleball provides an opportunity for some high level competition!
Beyond that, the game is just plain fun! Get out and play some pickleball with your friends and family this season! You won’t regret it.