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Where it all began....

Like all great stories, pickleball came about on a sunny day with little to do. In 1965, two dads named Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell arrived at Pritchard’s home on Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA.

They found that their families were bored with no way to pass the time. Looking to alleviate the boredom of his loved ones and close friends, Pritchard started to hatch a plan to bring an end to the group’s summer time woes.

Pritchard’s property had an old badminton court so they started there with hopes of playing. However, they couldn’t find enough rackets for a full game so instead, he improvised by using spare ping pong paddles and a wiffle ball. With these bits and pieces lying around, a brand-new game was born. Today, you know it better as pickleball.


Pickleball is a sport played with a racket that combines elements from badminton, tennis, and ping pong.

The game is played on a court with the same measurements as badminton doubles.

The net is similar to a tennis net, but a little lower.

The game is played with a hard “paddle” and a hard, hollow plastic ball with holes in it.

Even though pickleball is like tennis, there are important differences that make pickleball especially more accessible for children and seniors.

The most important difference is the speed of the ball. A pickleball ball travels at about a third of the average speed of a tennis ball. It is equally important that the court is somewhat less than a third of the total area of a tennis court.

The smaller surface area combined with the slower ball speed, and an underhand serve make pickleball easier to play than tennis.

The game is the fastest growing game in the USA with more than 4.2 million players. The tipping point was around 5 years ago. Now Pickleball Courts are popping up all over the country including in retirement communities.  The game started to take off in the UK around 2011 and now has over 120 Places to play and over 4,000 estimated players.

The following link provides a quick overview but there are many more videos about the game on YouTube.

It is very easy to learn how to play Pickleball and it is a great game for all ages.

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