Pickleball was devised in the USA in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, congressman from Washington State and Bill Bell, a successful businessman. They had returned to Pritchard’s home on Bainbridge Island, Washington State (near Seattle) to find their families sitting around with nothing to do. The property had an old badminton court so Pritchard and Bell looked for some badminton equipment and could not find a full set of rackets. They improvised and started playing with Table Tennis bats (Old wooden type without rubbers) and a perforated plastic ball. At first they placed the net at badminton height of 60 inches and volleyed the ball over the net. As the weekend progressed, the players found that the ball bounced well on the asphalt surface and soon the net was lowered to 36 inches. The following weekend, Barney McCallum was introduced to the game at Pritchard’s home. Soon, the three men created rules, relying heavily on badminton. They kept in mind the original purpose, which was to provide a game that the whole family could play together.
It is now the fastest growing sport in North America and shortly will be in Europe. It is an ideal game for Youngsters to learn eye hand co-ordination prior to taking up tennis to become the next Andy Murray or Laura Robson, without the strain on their body by wielding a full size tennis racket. It’s great for all ages, especially those wishing to keep active in later life.
Pickleball is a racket sport that combines elements of tennis, platform tennis, badminton and table tennis. It is easy to learn, fast-paced and extremely fun to play due to the long rallies that occur throughout a game.
Pickleball is almost always played in doubles, although singles is also very popular and fun to play, especially for those looking for a greater challenge.