Pickleball History

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Pickleball History

Pickleball has a very quirky name especially as there are no pickles involved!

It all started in 1965 in the back yard of Joel Pritchard’s house located in Washington state.  Joel and his friends Bill and Barney were looking for an activity that all their family members could participate in.  They had an old badminton court, table tennis paddles, and a perforated plastic ball.  At first they placed the net at 152.4cm (badminton height), but as the weekend of play progressed, they found the ball bounced well, so they lowered the net to 91.5cm.

The name has two credible origins.  Joel’s wife Joan, started calling the game Pickleball because the combination of the different sports reminded her of the pickle boat where the crew’s oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of different boats.  Later, the Pritchard’s got a dog and named it Pickles.  He loved to chase the wiffle ball and run off with it. Alas, the “Pickle” stuck, and today we enjoy playing Pickleball.

More About the Game

Pickleball is a court game, played either out of doors or indoors, and it can be played by most ages and abilities.  Play is with two (singles) or four (doubles) players.  The court is similar in size to a doubles badminton court, 6.09 meters wide and 13.41 meters long.  The paddles are made of wood or composite material, and the ball is similar to a plastic wiffle ball. Slightly different balls are used dependent on whether play is indoor or outdoor.  The tennis type net is hung 91.5cm on the ends and 86.4cm at the center.  The boundary lines are striped like a tennis court without the alleys.

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