By Sophie Eagan
Let’s talk a little about the history and origin surrounding this fantastic game. Pickleball was founded in 1965 by 3 friends, Joe Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum. It all started in Bainbridge, Washington where the three were returning from a game of gold and were pretty bored, they were attempting to play a game of badminton but could not find the Shuttlecock.
What they did was use a Wiffleball and lower the nets of the badminton game, they also constructed two new paddles from an bit of old plywood from their shed, changing the name Wiffleball they began to call it Pickleball as it mimics the game of Badminton, Ping Pong and Wiffleball, their dog was also called Pickles, the kids would constantly shout throughout the day “Pickles bring that ball back here!” And so, Pickleball was born!
The Kids Loved It!
All three of the friends had children which is why they fabricated the paddles to be smaller (like the Ping Pong paddles) so the kids could hit the ball easier. The game also has three unique rules that won’t be found in any other racquet sport, the non-volley zone, the double bounce rule and also the serve position.
● Serve Position – You put one foot in and keep one foot out then serve the ball, you must serve from an under arm position with the bat and not out to the side, this is why the on foot in one foot out rule was added.
● Double-Bounce – During the very early days of creating the game, the server had a massive advantage over the component. The player receiving the serve would have to stand there and wait for the ball to bounce, meanwhile the server had loads of time to re-position themselves for a quick return off the volley. The three fathers quickly added the double-bounce rule to take this cancel this advantage out to make it fair.
● Non-Volley Zone – This is where they made the game more into fitness and strategy rather than just pure power which is what the dads first started with, they modified a 7 feet space on either side of the net where the ball must bounce before it is hit.
The game gathered huge interest within their community and network of friends, everyone started to play it as it was cheap, great for fitness and even the elderly were coming out to play it in parks and gardens all over Washington. Young children who had never played any racquet sports were enjoying Pickleball. The game has even taken in by schools and used in PE lessons across America.
Pickleball is used in many exercise and fitness classes as well as the PE hall’s across the United States. Not only does it provide an all over fitness for the children but it also teaches hand-eye co-ordination. The game is available in portable kits that can be taken along to the park with families and enjoyed for the entire day, you will also find other families at the park joining in!
In Pickleball you are using every muscle in your body, the legs, arms and torso are the most at work here. As the game is not too strenuous it is also great for the elderly to have a go and enjoy. So whether you are just looking for something that the kids can do in the backyard, would like something to take to the park or even getting the family in shape, Pickleball is a fantastic game for all ages to enjoy, why don’t you give it a whirl?
- Sophie has a little girl she introduced her to playing Pickleball and she absolutely loved it! The great thing is there are many different sizes and weight of Pickleball paddles so you can compensate for the ages you are playing with, give it a go and you will be pleasantly surprised!