Do you like to play table tennis? Or badminton? Have you ever heard of pickleball? Let me tell you a little bit about the background of pickleball. The sport originally came from two men, Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell, who were sitting around with their families and started to play on the badminton court in the backyard of Pritchard’s house but couldn’t come up with enough badminton rackets. So, they began to use table tennis paddles and hitting a whiffle ball over the net, which they eventually lowered to the ground and began bouncing the ball, almost as if it was giant table tennis.
Pickleball is a great form of cardio and a fun activity for all ages. The sport has been spreading widely since that day and still is today with nearly 4,000 places to play of the USA Pickleball Association’s (USAPA) map. Try playing pickleball today and see how fun the game truly can be! Stop by the front desk at The Athletic Club of Overland Park today to borrow pickleball equipment and get your court set up. Here are some history facts of the game.
1967 – First pickleball court constructed
1976 – First pickleball tournament was held at South Center Athletic Club in Tukwila, Washington
1984 – USA Pickleball Association was organized. First rulebook formed
1984 – First Composite paddle was made by Arlen Paranto
1990 – All 50 states were participating in pickleball
2003 – Pickleball was included in the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah
2009 – First USAPA National Tournament for players of all ages