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Pickleball was created less than 30 miles from Baden Headquarters across Puget Sound on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. One day in 1965 Bill Bell and Joel Pritchard were bored after a long day of golf, can you blame them? However, Pritchard’s house had a badminton court so they began to look for badminton equipment but couldn’t find badminton rackets. Similar to kids, they used what they had and ended up creating their own game. Their game blew up a little more than some other games like “Heads up SevenUp” however. They decided to use ping pong paddles, along with a plastic ball with holes throughout it. They placed the net at 60 inches to start off with, however when they realized how well the ball bounced off the ground, they lowered the net to 36 inches. The next weekend, Barney McCallum a friend of theirs was introduced to the game as well. After that Barney, Bill and Joel began to make the rules for Pickleball, using Badminton as a heavy influence.
Pickleball then took off with the first permanent pickleball court being constructed in 1967. Fast forward 23 years later and in 1990 Pickleball was being played in all 50 states. In 1999 the first pickleball website was created called “Pickleball Stuff “. As of 2020, Barney, Bill and Joel have all passed away however their game continues to live on.
Unique features of pickleball are the layout of the court (Kitchen area), the sound of the ball hitting the paddle and being forced to serve with an underhand swing. Pickleball is a game that everyone can play with ease. It does not require solid speed like soccer or have the violence/big hits of football. Any athlete can play this which is the best case for all.
Pickleball was also named after the Pritchard’s family dog. Can you guess the name of it… PICKLES. Congrats you just learned a fun fact for the next time you go play Pickleball that you can tell all your friends.
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