Pickleball has been a sport for 52 years and already has more than 2 million players in the US! It combines the speed of tennis with elements of ping pong and badminton, making it a fun and competitive game for players of all ages. With its unique name and immense popularity, it’s easy to see why pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America.
Where did this sport come from? According to pickleball legend, friends Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell thought of the game one summer day in 1965. After returning home from a game of golf, their families were bored and looking for a game to play. Without a full set of badminton rackets, they decided to improvise and began playing with ping pong paddles instead. After adding a plastic ball and a shortened badminton net, they had a new sport on their hands! According to one of Pickleball’s original players, the inspiration for the sport’s name came from the family dog, Pickles. The cocker spaniel would chase after the ball and run off with it. The sport was officially dubbed “Pickleball” in honor of the beloved family pet.
So how do you play? You can go solo or grab a partner to play doubles! Each possession begins with an diagonal serve to your opponent. If the opposing side does not return the ball or hits it out of bounds, you score a point and continue to serve until the other team wins a volley and gets the chance to serve. Points are only scored by the serving side and the pickleball action continues until one side scores 11 points, with at least a 2-point lead.
There are a few funky terms you may hear during a game of pickleball. When playing, beware of the “kitchen,” or the non-volley zone on the court! You’re not allowed to hit a shot from this 7-foot area adjacent to the net unless the ball bounces there first. You also have to keep an eye out for a “dink shot,” or a shot that arcs over the net and is aimed at the “kitchen” zone. Now you’re ready to hit the court! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or are picking up a paddle for the first time, you’re sure to enjoy this fun and fast-paced game.
This spring we hosted our first ever Pickleball tournament! Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to our winners!
Congrats to our Open Doubles Winners!
Michael Fergus took home the title of Open Singles Champion–and his team took 2nd place in the doubles tournament!