We spoke about it almost exactly a year ago but now the pickleball courts are a reality. Six courts are now open for action in Forest Hill Park. Tennis players don’t need to fret there are still two courts available for your own version of smashball.
For those that don’t know, Pickleball is a weird mix of miniature tennis and giant ping-pong. It can be played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net. A plastic ball with holes is hit back and forth with paddles. Original paddles were wooden but now you can get a paddle in lightweight composite materials, including aluminum and graphite. A basic set of pickleball with four paddles and balls will set you back around $40 on Amazon.
Check out the rules here but just think tennis and run the score to 11 as opposed to tennis 40-love etc.
If you’ve ever wondered about the history of Pickleball the USAPA (USA Pickleball Association) has the answers for you.
Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. Three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum — whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities — are credited for creating game. Pickleball has evolved from original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout the US and Canada. The game is growing internationally as well, with many European and Asian countries adding courts. Click to read the complete history of pickleball.
Why Call it “Pickleball?”
Pickleball has a very interesting name, especially since no pickles are used. Accounts of how the name originated differ.
1. According to Joel Pritchard’s wife (Joan), she started calling the 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.”
2. According to Barney McCallum, the game was officially named after the Pritchards’ dog Pickles, who would chase the ball and run off with it. According to McCallum, “The Pritchards had a dog named Pickles, and you’re having fun at a party, right? So anyways, what the hell, let’s just call it pickleball.”
Others claim both accounts may actually be true. In the early years, no official name was assigned to the game. However, a year or two after the game was invented, the Pritchards purchased a cocker spaniel and named it Pickles. As the game progressed, an official name was needed and “pickleball” was it.