Pickleball: The Sport That's Taking America By Storm
Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played on a court similar to a badminton court, with a net that is 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches high at the center. The players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated plastic ball over the net. The game can be played as singles or doubles, and the rules are simple and easy to learn.
Pickleball was invented in 1965 by three friends, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum, who wanted to create a fun game for their families. They improvised with some ping-pong paddles, a wiffle ball, and a modified badminton court. They named the game after Pritchard’s dog, Pickles, who loved to chase the ball. They also borrowed some rules from badminton, such as the serve being diagonal and underhand, and the scoring system being based on rally points.
Pickleball gained popularity over the years as more people discovered its benefits and appeal. It is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. It is also a social sport that fosters camaraderie and friendship among players. Pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors, in recreational or competitive settings. It is estimated that more than 3 million people in America play pickleball.
Pickleball has also evolved over time as new equipment, techniques, and strategies have been developed. The first composite paddle was made by Arlen Paranto, a Boeing engineer, in 1984. He used fiberglass and honeycomb materials to create a lighter and stronger paddle. Today, there are many types of paddles available, with different shapes, sizes, weights, and materials. The balls have also changed from wiffle balls to pickleballs, which are specially designed for the sport. The balls have different colors and sizes depending on the playing surface and weather conditions.
Pickleball has also become more organized and regulated as more tournaments and associations have been established. The first pickleball tournament was held in 1976 at South Center Athletic Club in Tukwila, Washington. The first rulebook was published in 1984 by the United States Amateur Pickleball Association (USAPA), which is now known as USA Pickleball. USA Pickleball is the governing body of the sport in America, and it oversees the rules, equipment standards, ratings, rankings, and tournaments. USA Pickleball also promotes the growth and development of the sport through various programs and initiatives.
Pickleball is a sport that has a rich history and a bright future. It is a sport that has captured the hearts and minds of millions of Americans who love its fun, fitness, and friendship. It is a sport that has become more than just a game; it is a lifestyle. Pickleball is truly the fastest-growing sport in America.