What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a growing sport, the fastest-growing sport in the United States, with roughly 4.8 million players. The average age of a Pickleball player is 38.1 years old. People are drawn to this easy-to-learn sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. More and more people are getting excited about Pickleball because it is an excellent combination of activity and socializing. The sport helps improve coordination and balance while also building strength and endurance.
Where did Pickleball come from?
Pickleball originated in 1965 in Washington state. It was created as a family game by three dads - Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum - who created the game after a snarky response from the kids about being bored. They used old Ping-Pong paddles and a perforated ball on a badminton court. If you're curious about that name, you’re not alone - Joanne Pritchard had been part of a crew racing team where there was an A Boat, a B Boat, and the Pickle Boat (this boat held leftovers or odds and ends rowers) to her, Pickleball was just that, an amalgamation of several different games fused together, and it stuck. Pickleball has grown exponentially in the past few decades. In the states, Seattle is the biggest fan - there are three courts per 20,000 residents, which is the highest ratio among all cities. Washington State has even adopted Pickleball as its official sport, but the Pickleball capital of the world is Naples, FL.
What do you need to play the game of Pickleball?
To play the game of Pickleball, you'll need a net, two paddles, and a pickleball. Wearing comfortable clothes and shoes is a must, as the game can be quite active. The game is played with two or four players using paddles, and the pickleball (similar to a wiffle ball). The ball is plastic and perforated with anywhere from 26 to 40 holes. The court measures 20 feet by 44 feet – the size of a badminton court – for both singles and doubles play, or nearly one-third the surface area of a regulation tennis court. The smaller court area shortens reaction making it akin to ping pong. Games are played to 11, and you must win by two points - if you're looking for a bit of inspiration, check out what it looks like at the professional level!
Playing the game!With 9,000+ places to play in the United States, you shouldn't have an issue finding a court near you - and if you can't, convert your driveway! My love of the game got so great that I started an online boutique filled with fun things for my fellow pickle ballers - visit Pickles & Paddles for accessories, apparel, and pickleball-themed gifts!