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How a Lazy Summer Afternoon 56 Years Ago Is Now Taking the World by Storm

Did you know pickleball is the fastest-growing sport worldwide?

Pickleball is the sport you didn’t know you needed in your life. Not only is it fun, easy to get started, and economical it is also healthy for all ages.

Pickleball history

Thanks to a lazy summer afternoon in 1965, the game of pickleball was born. Looking for something to entertain their families, Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell began rummaging through various odds and ends sporting equipment for something to play.

Realizing they did not have all the necessities to play badminton, they improvised and used ping pong paddles and a perforated ball. Initially, the families played with the standard badminton net and height. However, as the weekend progressed, the net was lowered when it became apparent how easily the ball bounced on the asphalt playing surface.

 In the days following, a neighbor, Barney Mccallum, was introduced to the new game, and soon the three men made rules and some equipment modifications to the homespun game to create something fun the entire family could enjoy, and Pickleball was born.

But how did it get its name?

Rumor has it that it was named after the Pritchard’s dog, Pickles. But as cute as that sounds, Pickles came later and was named after the game. Joan Pritchard came up with the name “pickleball” as a nod to the leftover nonstarters in the “pickle boat” of crew races in rowing, which Joan was a fan of in college.

Pickles, the family dog, came a few years after the invention of pickleball and was instead named after the game itself.

How do you play pickleball?

Commonly played as doubles but can be played as singles, pickleball is a paddle sport combining tennis, badminton, and ping pong on a badminton size court. The court is divided similarly to tennis; the game plays to 11 points, and the winning team must win by at least 2 points.

Quick reflexes and strategic shots are key to success, as in ping pong and tennis. The sport is appealing to all ages, whether you play indoors or outdoors.

The sport everyone wants to play

According to CNBC, over 36 million people have played Pickleball in the past year. From LeBron James to Bill Gates and Dierks Bently, the famous and not-so-famous have found a reason to pick up a paddle.

What is holding you back? Many communities have courts available and local organizations. For a list of pickleball resources in the United States, visit USA Pickleball for a club near you.

Have you played pickleball? Let us know in the comments what you think of this latest craze.

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