Dink, poach, rally. Not exactly the words you would expect from a respected congressman and a successful businessman. However, to the contrary, on a lazy summer day in 1963 these three terms were born. With the help of bored children and an act of desperation by their fathers, a simple game was created. Pickleball. A melting pot of Badminton, Tennis, and Ping-pong with unique variations which makes Pickleball its own.
Pickleball was invented in 1963 on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Creators, Joel Pritchard, a U.S. Representative from Washington and Bill Bell, a very successful businessman, had just returned home from a day on the links. Tired of getting bothered by their kids for something to do, the men took action. They took to the badminton court, but they could not find a key ingredient to the game. They could not find a shuttlecock (birdie). At this moment, this is where the notion of Pickleball was born .
The men found what resembled a Wiffle ball. A light weight plastic orb with holes in it. What seemed like a good idea at the time only induced more complaints from the youth. The children nagged that it was difficult to hit the ball with the light weight badminton racquet. Back to the drawing board for the dads. As the day progressed, they created a wooden paddle, much like a ping pong paddle, just bigger. As the days rolled on and tweaks were made, the men took their idea to the world. They introduced their new game to friends and those friends told their friends.
In just two short years , the game had sparked a huge following. One of the main attractions of Pickleball is that it could be played by all ages, which makes it a perfect family game. The ability to play indoor and outdoors and the minimal amount of equipment needed to play, along with the low price of gear, the Pickleball craze was on.
Many people ask, why the name Pickleball? One widely believed rumor is that Pickleball was named after the Pritchards family dog. However, Pickleball was already created and in fact the family dog was named after Pickleball. The name Pickleball was actually derived from a maritime slang term Pickle-Boat. Pickle-Boat means a usually slow rowing vessel because the crew was made up of left over oarsmen from other teams. Why they chose that name, well Joan, the wife of Pritchard said because of the fact that the game was a combination of so many sports.
Currently, Pickleball is growing faster than ever. There are now over 2,000 official places to play Pickleball domestically and it is starting to go global. The popularity of Pickleball is widespread in community centers, YMCA, and even being instructed in school physical education classes.
Welcome to the new craze of Pickleball and don't forget to browse our selection of Pickleball paddles, all are made right here in the USA.
- USAPA Pickleball official site
- Sports Knowhow.com, Pickleball history
- Bainbridge Conversation, “the doggone lies about Pickleball”